Red Sox

Yankees manager Aaron Boone using Red Sox title as motivation in 2019

Yankees manager Aaron Boone using Red Sox title as motivation in 2019

New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone didn't stop himself from watching his team's top rival, the Boston Red Sox, pop champagne and celebrate their 2018 World Series championship back in October.

It was Boston's fourth World Series title this century, two more than the Yankees, who last won the Fall Classic in 2009 -- also their only championship appearance since 2003. 

The Yankees are eager to begin their 2019 campaign and prevent the Red Sox from winning back-to-back titles, and watching Boston take home last season's crown is serving as extra motivation for Boone.

“I watch a lot. I love the game," Boone said Wednesday at spring training, per the YES Network. "I've always been a fan of the game. I watched the postseason -- this year was a little more difficult. But I certainly made a point even to watch the World Series and the Red Sox celebrate and watch them on the podium. I don’t know whether it was to torture myself or what, but I made sure I watched it.

“You put this hat on and this uniform on to get to wear a big league uniform, you shouldn’t need much motivation. But to watch a team you know so well and is certainly one of your rivals celebrate where you want to be, I think that adds a little fuel to the fire, certainly.”

The Red Sox and Yankees will renew their legendary rivalry April 16 and 17 with a two-game series at Yankee Stadium.

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Michael Chavis compared to former NL East second baseman

Michael Chavis compared to former NL East second baseman

Michael Chavis' hot start for the Boston Red Sox has gotten attention. He has performed better than expected and surprisingly has been able to handle the defensive duties at second base for the Sox. His accelerated development has excited many, and it seemingly bodes well for his future.

And now that he has been in the big leagues long enough, Chavis is drawing comparisons to other pro players. Recently, he was compared to a long-time NL East second baseman.

“He reminds me of Dan Uggla,” said one scout per Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe. “It’s not perfect defensively but it’s effective enough, and he hits. He’s a good athlete.”

That's an inspiring comparison for Chavis, as Uggla was once one of the better offensive second basemen in the MLB.

Uggla played 10 years in the majors and early on in his career, he was one of the few power-hitting second basemen in the league. He had at least 27 homers in each of his first six seasons, and he finished his career with 235 dingers. His career average was just .241, but was a better contact hitter in his first five seasons, recording a .263 average. He also had a 33-game hit streak in 2011, so he consistently hit the ball.

If Chavis can provide the Red Sox with the power punch that Uggla had and solid enough defense, that would be huge for their future. Given that he has already cracked seven homers in just 89 at-bats, he seems well on his way to doing that. And right now, he's holding up well at second base, so perhaps he can lock down that position moving forward.

It's also possible that Chavis could have a better and longer career than Uggla. The former Marlin, Brave, and National didn't break into the league until he was 26. Chavis is only 23.

In the piece by the Globe, Abraham also identified Daniel Murphy (.298, 124 homers in 11 seasons) as a player comparable to Chavis. If he continues to hit as well as he has, these comps will certainly be warranted.

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Report: Sandy Leon to return from paternity leave on Monday

Report: Sandy Leon to return from paternity leave on Monday

Sandy Leon was placed on paternity leave on Friday following the birth of his daughter. As expected, his absence isn't going to be very long.

According to Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic, Leon is scheduled to return to the Red Sox on Monday, along with starting pitcher David Price, who will be activated off the Injured List.

Leon, 30, is hitting just .200 this year, but his defense and game-calling have both made a difference for the team. The Red Sox are 9-3 in games that he has played in this year (7-3 in starts).

It's unclear if Leon will be in the lineup right away, especially given how hot Christian Vazquez (.531 average in the last 10 games) has been, but Leon will certainly be back on the bench at the very least.

Leon's return also means that Oscar Hernandez will likely be sent back down to the minors. Hernandez was only hitting .111 combined between AA and AAA this season so he was just added to the roster as an emergency catcher with Leon out.

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