The Red Sox number-retirement policy is a joke

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The Red Sox are going to retire Jim Rice’s number. Fair enough. He fits the criteria the Sox have articulated for the honor: (1) Election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame; and (2) at least 10 years played with the Red Sox.

Can someone then tell me why Wade Boggs doesn’t have his number
retired? He had 11 seasons with the Sox, made the Hall of Fame, and was
a heck of a lot better player than Jim Rice ever was. The only answer
anyone has ever given me is that they have an unwritten rule that you
had to have finished your career with Boston as well. If that’s the
case then, it’s (a) been broken already with Carlton Fisk; and (b) it’s
patently stupid. If the Yankees had such a rule Melky Cabrera could
wear Babe Ruth’s number three given that he ended his career with the
Braves. If the Braves had it, Dale Murphy never would have been able to
wear his number 3 — Ruth had it, natch — and Jeff Francoeur would
have been able to sport Hank Aaron’s 44. I don’t think we’d need to
worry about anyone wearing Francoeur’s number for obvious reasons.

In light of all of that I can only assume that the Red Sox haven’t
retired Boggs’ number out of spite because he went and got a ring with
the Yankees. Which I suppose would be a good reason if Babe Ruth hadn’t
won a title with the Sox before he came to New York.

Man the whole Yankees-Sox thing is idiotic.

Aledmys Diaz is trying to improve his defense with strobe glasses

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MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports that Cardinals’ shortstop Aledmys Diaz has been sporting a new look around Busch Stadium with a pair of “strobe glasses,” technology-enhanced specs designed to help athletes focus on the ball. Like a strobe light, the lenses of these glasses affect a player’s vision by rapidly changing opacity, giving its wearers the illusion that the objects they see are moving more slowly than normal. Once a player adjusts to the new speed of play, they gain a greater sense of control and are able to time their actions with more precision.

Diaz isn’t the first MLB player to utilize the technology, just the first Cardinals’ player to do so. It’s been tested by Bryce Harper, Corey Brown, Tommy Joseph, Austin Hedges and Joe Mauer, among others around the league, and has been used for everything from refining a catcher’s reflexes behind the plate to tweaking a hitter’s ability to track a pitch. Per Langosch, Diaz has been using the glasses to hone in on the ball during pregame drills, increasing both his confidence and response time on the field and improving his defense at short.

The shortstop has been the focus of some concern this season after seeing a sizable dip in his production at the plate, and his five fielding errors, 0.6 UZR and 0.6 fWAR haven’t helped matters, either. He sustained a minor thumb injury during an at-bat on Friday night, and was left off of the Cardinals’ starting lineup on Saturday, though manager Mike Matheny didn’t rule out his ability to pinch-hit during the series. While the strobe glasses are a good start, Diaz will need more than a pair of specs to match the spotlight-worthy performance he turned out during his rookie season in 2016.

Eduardo Rodriguez could rejoin the Red Sox rotation in July

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Red Sox’ left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez may finally get a chance at cracking the rotation again, assuming all goes well in Double-A Portland first. Rodriguez took the field prior to the club’s afternoon session with the Angels, firing 68 pitches in a simulated game as he prepared for an upcoming rehab assignment in Portland on Thursday.

The 24-year-old southpaw suffered a right knee subluxation during pregame warmups on June 1, and it’s been a slow path to recovery ever since. It’s not the first time Rodriguez has had issues with his right knee — he sustained a similar injury during spring training last year — and this time around, the Red Sox weren’t about to gamble with their starter’s health. Ian Browne of MLB.com reports that Rodriguez was put in a knee brace and underwent exercises designed to help him regain some mobility and stability while he worked back up to full strength on the mound.

He’ll still need to prove he can throw a 75- to 80-pitch outing in Double-A, and barring any significant setbacks, will likely rejoin the Red Sox’ pitching staff when they visit the Rangers next month. In the meantime, the club will continue to cycle starters through the No. 5 spot, which has seen no fewer than three different pitchers since Rodriguez hit the disabled list. The lefty is 4-2 in 10 starts this season after logging a 3.54 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and career-high 9.6 SO/9 through his first 61 innings.