Significance of Giants' visit to Fenway has nothing to do with standings
(Photo: AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
The San Francisco Giants visited the Boston Red Sox in a late September series and the encounter wasn’t even about 2019 baseball. A matchup between two teams on the verge of mathematical elimination from postseason contention, the three-game set was filled with storylines that distract from the scoreboard, a few of which we reflect on as we head into the final 10 games of this rather arduous season.
1. Mike Yastrzemski
In what was likely one of the loudest reactions from the Fenway Faithful all year long, a Yastrzemski was announced as a starter in Fenway Park for the first time in 36 years. If it’s not enough pressure to be related to someone who was revered in Boston sports for over two decades, try carrying the name of the greatest Red Sox player alive. Come to Fenway Park. Get a standing ovation in the September night. Lead off the game and don the very grass your grandfather owned for a hall of fame career. Then swing and miss at the first pitch of the ballgame trying to leave Earth. What came a few innings later cannot be described as anything but pure poetry. Watch it again. Even if it’s for the eightieth time.
The newest Yaz in the big leagues took on the doubters in 2019 and shoved the hate back up their guts in what may be the most underrated rookie season of the season. Not only that -- he has handled the pride of the pedigree with open arms and humility and lets his bat and glove do the rest of the talking. Is a future stint in Boston in store for young Yaz?
Yastrzemski finished the series 4-13 with a pair of walks, a pair of RBI, and a lifetime of emotions.
2. Bruce Bochy
Sox fans aren’t necessarily going to be talking about an 11-3 finish for too long but they joined Giants fans in paying respects to a future hall-of-famer. With "Bochy!" chants and salutes from the Red Sox organization, Bruce Bochy needs an 8-1 record to finish the season to move into the top 10 in managerial wins in MLB history. The scoreboard didn’t mean anything (to either team, really) in a night that meant more to the baseball family than it did to the standings.
"First thing’s first. I want to congratulate Bruce Bochy; 2000 wins at this level, that’s kind of unreal. I think everyone who [does this job] wishes they could last that long and be able to do what he has done throughout his career." -- Alex Cora
3. Mauricio Dubón
(Photo: AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)
Remember when Travis Shaw was traded for Tyler Thornburg in 2016? The best player in that trade was neither of them. It was Honduras native Mauricio Dubón. We saw flashes of brilliance from the former Sox prospect and current #8 prospect in the Giants organization. Clutch hitting, electric defense, and the attitude of a winner and a leader -- Dubón has the makings of a star and he had no shame putting it on display at his old dream house. The Sox let one slip away here and his rise with the Giants is a less-talked-about storyline to keep an eye on.
The last few days have been about the sport of baseball as a whole and has left us with timeless moments. The fact that a series in September at Fenway Park was packed with highlights not related to winning a ballgame reflects on the season as a whole and the white flag everybody in the clubhouse has in their back pocket. The series theme of more standing ovations for the opposing team than for the Sox was telling, to say the least. The Red Sox front office is busy revamping and looking into an immediate future without Dave Dombrowski and possibly without multiple pieces of a championship team, including the reigning AL MVP.