Fenway Park is flush with fans on a nightly basis as the Boston Red Sox are in contention to make the playoffs yet again. The issue is they’re chasing the evil empire that is the New York Yankees, who looked to be running away with the league’s best record but have slowed their pace.
That gives the Red Sox, and anyone except the evil empire, opportunities to catch up, if only a formality. MLB odds show the Red Sox as +3300 to win the World Series, the 16th best in baseball. They surely will need some help as one of the most exciting points of the season nears: the trade deadline.
It’s usually around the All-Star break when trends start to reveal themselves. It took a while to get to this point, but mid-season evaluations show the Red Sox are really good at hitting baseballs and not as great at throwing them. It’s almost to be expected.
It’s only the second full season (third overall) that Chaim Bloom has been calling the shots. In the past, Dave Dombrowski would go get the top guy on the market at any cost. Think Chris Sale or Craig Kimbrel.
But Bloom has shown he is more reserved and looked at the injured list to see who is coming back. Chris Sale was strong – not only in the Worcester locker room – in his season debut while James Paxton has yet to make his, Garrett Whitlock nears return, and other pitchers are due back. But it feels like it isn’t enough.
Here are some easy steps so you’re the first to know the latest Red Sox player news.
The easiest way is to have the phone constantly going off to scan for potential updates. Turning notifications on for your favorite personalities who cover the team can be the easiest way to find news, whether that is Twitter notifications, their organization’s applications, following national writers and publications, or otherwise.
Determining Who To Follow
This is the most critical step. While some may enjoy posting MLB lines, the real race between reporters is when it comes time to break the news. Of course, there are great publications covering the Red Sox, and a lot of organizations dedicate resources to the Boston market as a whole.
Usually, the most connected people are the veteran reporters who are on the beat. Surely you’ve heard of them because this is a gig that once you get it, you don’t like giving it up unless a personal situation pulls you to a different market.
The Boston Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato, now a columnist, is one of those guys. So is Pete Abraham, who has covered the team since 2010 for the Boston Globe.
The Athletic dedicates two full-time positions to the Red Sox in Jen McCaffrey and Chad Jennings. These are a few of the everyday men and women who comprise the beat and consistently break the news.
For injuries, it is sometimes best to follow those in the minor league markets of Worcester and elsewhere for specific updates regarding rehabilitation, players scratched from lineups or pulled from games, or to be in the know of what’s to come for the next Red Sox stars or trade pieces.
National writers are equally important. ESPN’s Jeff Passan is the most connected guy in the sport. His teammate Buster Olney, Ken Rosenthal of FOX and The Athletic, Jon Heyman of the New York Post, and Bob Nightengale of USA Today all take turns breaking news, though the local level sometimes scoops them all. For bloggers, you may consider your ol pal @SurvivingGrady.
Personal Player News
Although there are no MLB spreads in the winter, the offseason is sometimes the best for stories about players. In general, media coverage has shifted away from play-by-play of games and more to humanizing players and coaches to draw connections with fans and readers. The Athletic does it as good as anyone and has found that model widely successful for their subscribers.
But they aren’t alone, and finding those deep dives is just as competitive. Doing so during spring training, the offseason, and sometimes even during the season gives readers wanting more the ability to draw connections and sometimes find a new favorite player. Because of those connections, they learn more about those representing their Red Sox.