All the Good Sports: Who on the Red Sox Gets an A-Plus for the Midseason Report Card?
Eighty-one games down, 81 to go for the Red Sox. 54 wins, 27 losses, a half game lead over the Yankees - but midterm means report cards so it’s time to hand out the marks.
The A-pluses go to Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez. We expected good things from this dynamic duo, but they have exceeded the expectations of everyone.
The original plan was for Mitch Moreland to back up Hanley Ramirez at first base. Hanley is back in the Dominican smoking cigars and collecting fat pay checks while Moreland could be an All Star. Mitch gets an A for his bat and glove.
The second base duo of Eduardo Nunez and Brock Holt combine for a C. The statue-like defense of Nunez brings the mark down.
Steady Xander Bogaerts rates a B at shortstop.
Rafael Devers completes the infield. Sixteen errors at third base drops his mark to a C.
The catching combo of Christian Vazquez and Sandy Leon shows occasional pop, and they handle the pitchers well. A solid B.
Andrew Benintendi’s only deficiency is a mental lapse on the bases every once in a while. Benny gets a B-plus.
Jackie Bradley Jr. makes Sports Center highlight catches all the time but he’s batting only .200. The grade is a C for JBJ.
Led by closer Craig Kimbrel, the bullpen has earned a B.
Chris Sale, David Price, Eduardo Rodriguez and Rick Porcello have been consistently good. Drew Pomeranz was disappointing (and now disabled) and Steven Wright gets an incomplete. All told the starting rotation gets an A-minus.
As for first year manager Alex Cora, he’s the most honest skipper the Sox have had since Joe Morgan. There’s been little or no clubhouse drama and Cora was reportedly the catalyst to ditch Hanley. A job well done, and a straight A.
Red Sox Nation can only hope the next 81-plus will be just as productive and entertaining.