Oh Captain, My Captain: A Case for Xander Bogaerts
In a season full of ups and mostly downs, there have been a few real shining stars for the Boston Red Sox. First, we have 22-year-old phenom Rafael Devers. In what is only his third season in the majors, Devers has been a hitting machine, keeping up with some of the best hitters in the league. Not only that, but he appears to be becoming more comfortable at third base now that he doesn’t have to share time there.
But Devers isn’t the only Red Sox that has been having a great year.
Xander Bogaerts has been a fan favorite since he began playing for the team during their 2013 World Series run. As his career has gone on, he has only ever improved as a player. This year, he has already passed his career best in home runs, his slugging percentage is the highest and is just a few RBI’s short of his career best from last year.
Bogaerts is they player that always has stepped up when his team has needed it. But it is becoming obvious that this trait extends beyond the baseball diamond.
In recent weeks, the Red Sox have been seemingly spiraling out of control with only a few flash in the pan signs of getting better. But while this has been going on, Xander has stepped into the role of team leader. He has been one of the only ones that has faced all the tough questions and criticism from the media regarding the teams many problems.
After the high of last year and then having such a disappointing season this year, it takes a lot to get up night after night to face the scrutiny. Especially in the Boston media market.
That added with Alex Cora praising the shortstop for being a leader in the clubhouse as well, one thing seems certain: Xander Bogaerts needs to be named captain.
The Red Sox haven’t had an official captain since 2011 when Jason Varitek left the team. After that, it seemed as though most of the team always looked to David Ortiz as their leader even though he never had the title. But ever since he’s retired, there has been a vacancy in the player leader position. While other players have had quick bursts of appearing like the leader, no one has done it as consistently as Bogaerts has.
To me, Bogaert’s leadership reminds me a lot of Patrice Bergeron’s with the Bruins. Though Bergeron is only the B’s assistant captain, he’s been there the longest, he’s been there through the teams good and bad times and he’s always been a reliable and consistent player. Just like Bogaerts.
Now I’m not saying he needs the official title of captain to continue to be the team’s leader but I believe he deserves the recognition from the team, the coaches and the front office. And now that he’s signed a long term contract with the team and after what has happened this season, now would be the perfect time to make him captain.
Mary Evers (@For_Evers_Young)