Red Sox OF Alex Verdugo explains why he wears special Boston chain

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NBC Sports Boston 11 October, 2021 - 02:29pm

What channel is Red Sox Game 3 on?

Reminder: Game 3 of the Red Sox' American League Division Series with the Rays Sunday (4:07 p.m.) at Fenway Park will air exclusively on MLB Network. The Boston GlobeALDS Game 3: Where to find Red Sox-Rays on TV

Why are the Red Sox wearing yellow?

The colors were selected to honor the Boston Marathon, which was postponed this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. WCVB BostonBoston Red Sox will not wear yellow Boston Marathon jerseys in ALDS Game 4

Are the Red Sox wearing yellow?

BOSTON -- Despite the fact that it's Marathon Monday, the Red Sox won't be donning their Marathon-themed yellow and blue jerseys for Game 4 of the ALDS against the Rays. Instead, Boston will wear its red home alternate jerseys for the third straight postseason game. masslive.comWhy aren’t Boston Red Sox wearing yellow uniforms on Marathon Monday? Alex Cora explains

The 25-year-old left outfielder wore a special chain with the Red Sox logo to his press conference after Friday's Game 2 of the American League Division Series against the Tampa Bay Rays. When asked about the chain, Verdugo spoke about how much he loves everything about the team and the city.

“It's just like my little tribute to Boston,” Verdugo said following Boston's 14-6 win.

“I love this team. I love this city. It feels like since I got traded here, it’s just kind of taken me in. I love to play here. I love the way the fans are. It can get tough, obviously. If you don’t perform, they get on you, but I love that. I love that fight, man, that, 'Hey man, what are you doing for us now?' For me, it's something I like to have. I have Spongebob on the back, too. It kinda just tells me to cheer up and keep going. I love jewelry and I love Boston."

Verdugo has been productive at the plate during the 2021 MLB postseason. He's batting .368 (7-for-19) with a double, a home run and five RBI through four games.

He was one of five Red Sox players to hit a home run in Game 2 versus the Rays. Verdugo also made an awesome catch in Game 2 where he went into the stands to snag a foul ball off the bat of Rays slugger Nelson Cruz.

Verdugo was one of the players the Red Sox received in the Mookie Betts trade with the Dodgers in early 2020. He's proven to be a great fit in Boston, and he's clearly enjoying his first taste of postseason action.

Read full article at NBC Sports Boston

Rays Stunned By Ground-Rule Double Call, But Umpire Says Ruling Was 'Very Simple'

CBS Boston 11 October, 2021 - 03:51am

Those were the words of Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier, a man who — with good reason — remained stunned at the ground rule double call that took the go-ahead run off the board for the Rays on Sunday night at Fenway Park. Instead of an RBI triple, Kiermaier was forced to accept a ground-rule double after his fly ball ricocheted off the right field fence, off the ground, off Hunter Renfroe, then over the fence and into the bullpen.

Logically, Yandy Diaz — who had taken off for second base with the pitch — would have scored with ease had the right fielder not deflected the ball out of play. Yet by the rules, the ball was a ground-rule double, giving each runner two bases from where they started. Diaz had to return to third base, and Kiermaier had to retreat to second.

Nick Pivetta then struck out Mike Zunino to strand the runners, and Christian Vazquez hit a two-run walkoff home run in the bottom of the frame to give Boston a 2-1 series lead.

“Man, for one, I crushed that ball. I was just hoping to see it leave the yard. I got a lot of snap and crackle with no pop,” Kiermaier said. “And for that to happen right there, it just doesn’t make sense to me, but the ruling is what it is.”

Kiermaier added: “For the ball to bounce off the wall and then hit a player and go over again, I just can’t believe that is a ground-rule double. I mean, Yandy would have scored standing up. It’s a heartbreaker, plain and simple.”

After the game, Kiermaier understood the rule and understood that it was applied correctly. Still, he politely expressed disagreement with the rule.

“We have to get rewarded for more than just a ground-rule double. I didn’t care. If I stayed on second, that’s fine. But I was hoping to see that Yandy scored because he would have easily obviously, but once again, the rules are in place. I can’t sit here and go against those. It’s incredible that it worked out to their advantage just like that,” Kiermaier said. “For a play like that to happen — it might have been panic mode after the play because I’m sure [Renfroe] didn’t know what the rule was. It ended up working out for them, unfortunately for us, but it is what it is.”

Rays manager Kevin Cash likewise accepted that the rule is the rule.

“By rule, it’s just a ground-rule double. The umpires met and got together, and said, you’re more than welcome to challenge it. I saw the replay. Obviously there was nothing intentional by it. That’s just the rule. That’s the way it goes. It was very unfortunate for us,” Cash said. “I think it was fairly obvious that KK or Yandy was going to come around to score, but it didn’t go our way.”

Cash expressed a desire for some discretion to be applied in such a case, especially with video being readily available to umpiring crews.

“Oh, I definitely wish it was different. Certainly in the moment — you can appreciate somewhat of a blanket rule, but we put a lot on these umpires, and now we’ve introduced video to umpires. I think it would be a very easy call if somebody stepped in and said it was stating the obvious that he was going to score,” Cash said. “Saying that, it’s been a rule for a long time, and we’re going to play within the rules that are presented to us this season.”

Despite the rule being clear, the play was nevertheless controversial — particularly in Tampa.

Yet to umpire crew chief Sam Holbrook, it was a rather simple situation.

“It’s in the rule book. It’s a ground-rule double. There’s no discretion that the umpires have,” Holbrook said. “There’s no, ‘he would have done this, would have done that.’ It’s just flat out in the rule book, it’s a ground-rule double.”

Holbrook explained that during the review that came after Cash challenged the play, the focus was on whether or not Renfroe intentionally deflected the ball out of play. That was not the case, so the call of a ground-rule double remained. Holbrook also said that as an umpire, he likes that the rule is black and white, and that he didn’t see any reason for the rule to change.

While it was a unique situation in a critical moment, Holbrook said it was not a complicated situation.

“Very simple,” Holbrook said. “From an umpire’s standpoint, very simple textbook in the rule.”

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