Xander Bogaerts

Were Red Sox stealing signs vs. Blue Jays? Shortstop Freddy Galvis thought so and went to absurd lengths to block Mookie Betts

Were Red Sox stealing signs vs. Blue Jays? Shortstop Freddy Galvis thought so and went to absurd lengths to block Mookie Betts

BOSTON -- Freddy Galvis might have a future as an NBA power forward, because when it came time to box out Mookie Betts, he stuck to him like Dennis Rodman.

The Red Sox have a reputation for stealing signs and relaying pitch location to their hitters, and the Blue Jays clearly weren't having it in a 10-4 victory on Tuesday night.

With one out and Betts on second base in the seventh inning, Galvis left shortstop to dance practically on the infield grass directly in front of the Red Sox right fielder until moments before David Phelps pitched. Though it looked like both players shared a laugh, it was also Galvis's serious attempt to keep Betts from relaying signs to J.D. Martinez, who ended up lining out to center.

"You've just got to be very aware of these guys," said Jays catcher Danny Jansen. "That's what they do. That's what their rep is for. You've got to be ready to switch it up and make adjustments every pitch. They're that good at it. They're that good at peeking in and relaying signs. Any way we can obstruct it, we're going to do what we have to do."

Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo found the whole exchange amusing and credited Betts for a heads-up response that forced Galvis to retreat.

"That was funny, because honestly, we were thinking he might be doing it, so Freddy was having fun with him," Montoyo said. "Mookie told the umpire, 'Hey, if I go that way, is that obstruction?' And the umpire said yeah, and Freddy said, 'OK, let me move out of the way a little bit.' "

Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts said he believes perennial Gold Glover Andrelton Simmons is the only other shortstop he can recall actively seeking to block a runner's view to keep him from stealing signs or relaying location. Betts picked the brains of a number of teammates and coaches during the game about Galvis's gambit and whether he could've earned an obstruction call.

"Smart by Mookie," Bogaerts said. "Smart by Mookie."

Stealing signs has been a part of the game practically since Abner Doubleday laid out his first diamond, and there's nothing in the rules that prevents a runner from trying to decode signs with the naked eye and relay them to the hitter. Where teams have gotten into trouble is when they use electronic devices to aid in the thievery, as the Red Sox learned during the Apple Watch fiasco in 2017, when they were caught stealing signs via wireless devices and ultimately fined.

Nothing Betts may have done on Tuesday was illegal, and the gamesmanship didn't end there. After Betts advanced on Martinez's liner, the Toronto TV broadcast caught Andrew Benintendi glancing towards Betts at third before popping out to Galvis to end the frame.

There was nothing Galvis could do to block Betts' view from there, after all.

"Freddy's good at that," Jansen said. "Not just the Red Sox. Whenever he thinks people are [stealing signs], he'll do that and I think that's what a good shortstop does. He's very aware, that's what Freddy is. I love that guy."

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Xander Bogaerts joins even more elite company with his latest home run

Xander Bogaerts joins even more elite company with his latest home run

Xander Bogaerts is hotter than the weather right now and with each home run, the Hall of Fame company he joins gets smaller, but better.

His first-inning shot over everything at Fenway gave him at least one hit, one RBI and one run scored in eight consecutive games.

Only one other player has done that for the Red Sox.

Ted Williams. 

Of course, the greatest hitter of all time did it twice - an eight-game streak in 1942 and 11 in a row in 1950 (h/t to Twitter's @SoxNotes for the numbers).

The record for consecutive games with an RBI is 17, set by the Chicago Cubs' Ray Grimes in 1922. 

After his fifth homer and 13th RBI since July 4, the All-Star shortstop's batting average for July is up to .385 and .309 overall. 

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Xander Bogaerts joins Hall of Famers as hot streak hits historic level

Xander Bogaerts joins Hall of Famers as hot streak hits historic level

The Boston Red Sox have won five of their last seven games despite some less-than-stellar pitching.

And they have Xander Bogaerts in large part to thank.

Bogaerts stayed scorching hot Monday night, going 3-for-5 with one RBI and two runs scored to help the Red Sox defeat the Toronto Blue Jays 10-8 at Fenway Park.

With that performance, the Sox shortstop now has recorded at least one hit, one RBI and one run scored in seven consecutive games. That puts Bogaerts in some very elite company.

Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, Jimmie Foxx and Joe Cronin all have their numbers retired at Fenway Park and are members of the Baseball Hall of Fame, while Troy O'Leary was a solid outfielder for Boston in the late 1990s.

Bogaerts still has four games to go to catch Williams (the Chicago Cubs' Ray Grimes owns the MLB record of 17 consecutive games with an RBI) but he's still put up some eye-popping numbers of late.

The 26-year-old has amassed 12 hits in that seven-game span to raise his batting average to .307 while adding 12 RBIs and four home runs since July 4.

Bogaerts has been Boston's best hitter in a lineup with plenty of big bats as he continues to earn every dollar of his recent contract extension.

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