THE RED SOX left Seattle having laid an egg in terms of a 1-3 record that easily could have been 0-4.
Remember, the third loss of last season didn’t come until the 20th game of the season.
But despite a disaster by the four starters in the opening series, there was a bright spot: News broke Sunday night that the Sox had signed Xander Bogaerts to a six-year contract extension worth $120 million.
That eases more of the angst that was present regarding some of the big names on this roster. First, Chris Sale and now, after the start of the season, Bogaerts was signed. It was something GM Dave Dombrowski didn’t think would happen, namely that Bogaerts would forgo testing these strange free-agent waters.
WEEI’s Evan Drellich broke the story on the deal, which also includes this season’s $12 million, then calls for $20 million per year for the next six years. There is a vesting option at another year at $20 million and he has an opt out after 2022 (after the first three years of the actual extension).
That opt-out potential comes a year into a new Basic Agreement so this takes care of that uncertainty for the player.
If you add the $20 million for next year, I’ve got, thanks to Sportac, the Red Sox already at $144,346,428 in guaranteed contracts for 2020. But that includes J.D. Martinez at $23.75 million, which is a number bound to go up after an opt out. Of course, not included in the package are Mookie Betts (at least $30 million for next year) or Rick Porcello (a potential free agent).
Speaking of Drellich, he broke the story less than two months after he was laid off by NBC Sports Boston. Good for him!!!
Now, about the work of Sale, Nathan Eovaldi, Eduardo Rodriguez and Porcello in the four games at Seattle, after a light workload in Florida. Were these guys babied too much? In 15 innings, they allowed 28 hits, including eight homers, and 22 earned runs for a whopping 13.20 ERA. Oh, and 11 walks.
Get this: According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 11 Seattle homers are the most ever surrendered through the first four games of a season by a defending champion. And the 34 runs allowed tied the 1984 Orioles for most allowed by a defending champ in its first four games.
David Price had the task of stopping the bleeding Monday night, the fifth of 11 games in 11 days on this absurd opening road trip.
While Martinez pointed to the “track records” of the starters, manager Alex Cora said, “Not good baseball. We didn’t get any innings from the starters, and that’s hard to do. The only thing positive about the weekend is the bullpen. They did an outstanding job. Although offensively we scored runs, we left a lot of people out there. Defensively, we didn’t play well. We have to move on.”
In the grand scheme of things, the Bruins’ third-period meltdown in Detroit Sunday night probably won’t matter. It left them six points ahead of Toronto for home ice in the playoffs. The Leafs have a game in hand they made up Monday night at the Islanders.
But this third period thing is starting to become a bit worrisome as a team heads into the playoffs. This is a good defensive club that shouldn’t go through stuff like this.
Sunday’s loss dropped the Bruins to 5-5-0 in the last 10 games. But the Leafs had gone 3-5-2 over their last 10.
Sunday, Brad Marchand scored the 26th shorthanded goal of his career, his 98th point of the season giving him the Bruins’ all-time record for shorties.
Marchand has three games to get the two points and six penalty minutes he needs to become the first Bruin since Joe Thornton (2002-03) to notch 100 points and 100 PIM in the same season.
Ron Darling, in his new book, admitted Len Dykstra and his Mets teammates hurled racial slurs at Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd in Game 3 of the 1986 World Series.
“Lenny was leading off for us that night, as he did most nights when he was in the lineup, and as Oil Can was taking his final warmups on the mound, Lenny was in the on-deck circle shouting every imaginable and unimaginable insult and expletive in his direction — foul, racist, hateful, hurtful stuff.
“I don’t want to be too specific here, because I don’t want to commemorate this dark, low moment in Mets history in that way, but I will say that it was the worst collection of taunts and insults I’d ever heard — worse, I’m betting, than anything Jackie Robinson might have heard his first couple times around the league.”
I did Oil Can’s autobiography with him and he made it clear throughout that this kind of stuff was thrown at him throughout his baseball life.
While Matt Barnes was brilliant in the Red Sox’ only closer situation in Seattle, Craig Kimbrel remained unemployed. But it seemed that could change not far into the future. A report in The Athletic Sunday had the Padres interested in both Kimbrel and starter Dallas Keuchel, with the Mets and Brewers also checking in on both and the Brewers on Kimbrel.
The Sox bullpen in Seattle? Not too bad. Barnes converted the only save chance. Barnes, Ryan Brasier, Colten Brewer, Heath Hembree and Brandon Workman totaled 8 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, yielding just four hits while striking out 14. However, Brian Johnson, Hector Velazquez and Tyler Thornburg yielded six earned runs and three homers in 9 2/3.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post, one of the best in the business, slammed the Bruins in a piece on “villains” being heralded in sports — for celebrating UFC’s Conor McGregor, who has had his brushes with the law.
“To celebrate Irish Heritage Night, the Bruins this month chose McGregor their honoree, rolling out a mat, having him drop the ceremonial puck before a game vs. Columbus.
“First, McGregor was brought to the Bruins’ locker room to deliver a vulgar, perhaps drunken pep talk, which, naturally, was recorded for public consumption.
“What were they thinking? He was the most worthy Irishman in Boston? The Bruins could have pulled a bum off the street and done better.
This and that
…Great line by columnist Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union-Tribune: “Robert Kraft has asked for a trial by jury of his peers, knowing full well he doesn’t have any...
…Big day for Michigan State Sunday. The Spartans beat Duke to advance to the Final Four, and then former Spartan Taro Hirose scored his first NHL goal in the Red Wings’ win over the Bruins.
…I know Charlie Coyle has helped the Bruins’ overall game, but through Sunday, Coyle had two goals and five points and was a minus-2 in 17 games with the Bruins and Ryan Donato had four goals and 16 points and is a plus-1 in 18 games for the Wild.
…Tom Brady took to Twitter on April Fools day to announce his retirement and followed that up with, “Is this a bad joke.” But he also has been quoted saying he wants Rob Gronkowski to reconsider.
…A couple of mock drafts (and we love mock drafts, right?) have the Celtics taking 7-foot-2 Bol Bol, Manute’s son, with the first of their either three or four first-round picks. The kid has had injury problems but can really play.
…More mock: 247Sports had NFL draft guy Josh Edwards taking tight end Irv Smith Jr. with the final pick of the first round. Noting you can’t really replace Gronk, Edwards said Smith “gives you that all-around complete tight end the Patriots have loved since Tom Brady got there.”
…All 16 of the Boston Cannons’ regular-season lacrosse games will be televised by NBC Sports Boston this season.
…Sean Payton on fellow coach Bill Belichick speaking — a lot — at the owners’ meetings: “When Bill grabs the mic, all of us are paying attention. You’re not only paying attention to a Hall of Fame coach, but you’re paying attention to history and someone who is able to reference some things we haven’t gone through.” Belichick was openly in favor on rules changes that could help the league move forward.
…From column pal Jon Couture on early Florida attendance: Friday at Miami: 6,503; Friday at St. Pete: 13,059; The combined 19,562 is lower than every announced Fenway crowd since 1999. Saturday at Miami: 7,642l Saturday at St. Pete: 16,010; The combined 23,652 is lower than every announced Fenway crowd since 2001.
…Finally, what a tremendous weekend of college basketball, topped by the perfect daily double of both Kentucky and Duke losing. The one-and-done effort of the Duke freshman class came up two wins shy of winning it all.