NESN color guy Jerry Remy just pointed out something I’m kind of embarrassed I hadn’t noticed: in Toronto tonight, Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia is giving his signs to pitcher Clay Buchholz as if there were men on base.
It would certainly seem to suggest that the Red Sox suspect some chicanery on the part of the Blue Jays. Maybe they think someone is relaying signs from one of the hotel rooms at the Rogers Centre, though it seems like it’d be awfully difficult for the hitter to pick those back up in time for the pitch.
For what it’s worth, the Blue Jays are just 15-14 at home this year, compared to 17-17 on the road. That’s less of a home-field advantage than most teams enjoy.
Maybe there’s another explanation for what the Red Sox are doing, but it’s certainly unusual.
The World Series champion Red Sox are scheduled to visit President Trump in the White House on February 15. Some have speculated that manager Álex Cora, who is from Puerto Rico and has been critical of Trump and has been a big factor in Hurricane Maria relief efforts, might not go as a form of protest. Thus far, nothing concrete has been reported on that front.
However, third baseman Rafael Devers says he isn’t going to join the Red Sox on their visit to the White House, Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston reports. Devers would prefer to focus on baseball, as the Red Sox open spring training on February 13 and position players have to report on February 17. Per Chris Mason, Devers also said via a translator, “The opportunity was presented and I just wasn’t compelled to go.”
Devers hails from the Dominican Republic and he, like many of Major League Baseball’s foreign-born player base, might not be happy about Trump’s immigration policies. Understandably, he is being tight-lipped about his motivation, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Devers is making a silent protest by choosing not to attend. He is thus far the only member of the team to bow out.
Devers, 22, hit .240/.298/.433 with 21 home runs, 66 RBI, and 59 runs scored in 490 plate appearances last season.
Last year, when the Astros visited Trump at the White House, they did so without Carlos Correa and Carlos Beltrán. Both are from Puerto Rico. It is certainly not unprecedented for individual players to opt out of the White House visit.
No word yet on what food will be served during Boston’s trip to the nation’s capital, but the smart money is on hamberders.