Red Sox Hitters Will Never Conquer DiMaggio

Joe DiMaggio is a player whose 56-game hitting streak has been targeted over and over again by some of the best hitters ever. But despite the best efforts of players like Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr., Red Sox hitters will never conquer DiMaggio and his 56-game streak.

Xander Bogaert and Jackie Bradley Jr.’s recent hitting streaks, while admirable, were in noRed Sox Hitters Will Never Conquer DiMaggio way a threat to the 75 year old record. For weeks people speculated whether Bradley Jr. would break Jolting’ Joe’s record that’s stood since 1941, but Bradley Jr. only made it to 29 games, while Bogaerts made it to 26. What most people don’t understand is that Dimaggio’s record is so hard to break that it’s unlikely anyone will ever come close to claiming it. Take the following into consideration.

The only three players to ever hit well into a 40 game stretch are Willie Keeler, Pete Rose, and Joe DiMaggio. Willie Keeler set the original record at 44 in 1897 when players didn’t play night games where it’s tougher to see the ball. Joe DiMaggio didn’t have to travel across the country to Los Angeles or Seattle to play in away games, tough travel that takes a toll on most players. Joe DiMaggio also didn’t have to worry about the different kinds of pitches that players today are so accustomed to seeing on a daily basis, not to mention DiMaggio also didn’t have to play in many night games either. Pete Rose has the most hits of anyone else in the history of Major League Baseball (4,256) and he only made it to 44 games. If these factors weren’t hard enough, the kind of technology that players use today to study opposing players wasn’t even a thought in the minds of players like Keeler and DiMaggio in their playing days. Video tape was still a few years away in 1978 when Pete Rose tied Keeler at 44 games. Pitchers today have all kind of access to technological information that gives them loads of information about a batter they’re facing, which is partly why it’s so hard to extend a hitting streak past 30 games nowadays. That’s why Red Sox Hitters Will Never Conquer DiMaggio.

Finally, the pressure of a hitting streak can take a toll on players. After Bogaerts’ streak ended on June 3rd, he talked to Scott Lauber of ESPN about the pressure of maintaining a streak, “I’m going to be honest, that is kind of hard…I really don’t know how [Bradley Jr.] did it because it’s hard. Later on [in games], I was a bit nervous, especially these last few games. I’ve been getting out my first two at-bats. I would get a hit in my later at-bats. I enjoyed it.” While Bogaerts enjoyed the streak while it lasted, he seems relieved that it’s over.

Say what you want, but Red Sox hitters will never conquer DiMaggio’s hitting streak. Getting an edge over the technology, along with the tolls that night games, traveling, and press pressure is too much to overcome.

Prospect Andrew Benintendi Reaches Class AA

Boston Red Sox prospect Andrew Benintendi was recently promoted to Class AA Portland after posting a .341 batting average in 135 at-bats with Class A Salem. Benintendi’s strong hitting has left many wondering if the No.1 Red Sox draft pick of 2015 will see action in the major leagues this season, especially after a hot hitting streak in Class A.

The 2015 Golden Spikes Award recipient and No.1 Red Sox draft pick has caughtprospect Andrew Benintendi the attention of many throughout the Red Sox farm system. Some are asking if Benintendi will make an appearance before the end of the season. “Some guys, that path is quicker,” Red Sox roving outfielder coordinator Billy Mcmillan said in a Boston Globe interview. “In our limited exposure with him, he’s demonstrated that he’s ready for the next challenge.” That’s putting it lightly. Benintendi has already set a Salem Red Sox record with a 21-game hitting streak this season.

While it has been exciting to watch Benintendi do so well, some are saying that he should take his time and play in the minors for another years or two. Dustin Pedrioa joined the Red Sox farm system out of college but spent a few years in the minors before joining the team in 2006. In addition to taking more time to work out kinks in the minors, there’s also the issue of whether there’s any room on the team right now; there really isn’t. Jackie Bradley Jr. is here to stay now that he’s an offensive asset. Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, and Brock Holt are consistently playing well. On top of that, Josh Rutledge and Chris Young is posting solid stats. So given the amount of offensive power the Red Sox have right now, it’s better if prospect Andrew Benintendi sits tight in the minors for another year or two so he can continue developing his style. Just like all the other players, Benintendi has to earn a spot and that takes time. So we’ll see if Benintendi is the real thing, a reincarnate of Ted Williams or Carl Yastrzemski, or if he’s just another $1million fluke.

Jackie Bradley Jr Finally Found Stride?

Who would have thought that Jackie Bradley Jr. would have a hitting streak over twenty games this season, especially after crafting a mediocre batting average last season? It comes as a pleasant surprise to many to see Bradley Jr. hitting well. Personally, I’m very happy to see Bradley Jr.’s bat on fire, but I can’t help but wonder if his hitting will stay consistent as the season progresses. So has Jackie Bradley Jr finally found stride in his career, or is this another fluke?

Bradley Jr.’s hitting streak has gotten some talking about how far he can stretch it. TwentyBradley Jr Finally Found Stride games is nothing to ignore, but it’s not enough to begin considering him a future Red Sox legend. Let’s look at some numbers to get a better sense of this idea. Joe DiMaggio holds the record for the longest hitting streak with 56 games in 1941, breaking Willie Keeler’s record of 44. Pete Rose tied Keeler in 1978, but since then, few players at all have come even close to shattering DiMaggio’s record, which will probably never be broken. The Red Sox team record wouldn’t be easy to break either. If Bradley Jr. were to hit safely in 27 games, he’d only be tied for seventh with Dom DiMaggio (Joe’s brother), who initially set the record with 34 games in 1949. Bradley Jr. would then have to surpass Manny Ramirez, Johnny Damon, Wade Boggs, Nomar Garciaparra, and David Ortiz, who’s already stealing all the thunder in his final season in baseball. So is Bradley Jr.’s streak impressive? Yes, but not so much when compared to other Red Sox players.

I’m not trying to undermine the way Bradley Jr. is playing this season. It’s easy to assume that Bradley Jr. finally found stride in a career that’s had its ups and downs. He’s exceeded so many people’s expectations, including mine. So has Bradley Jr finally found stride? Perhaps, but I want to see what he does the rest of the season before I give a hard yes. Let’s make sure this isn’t another fluke where he hits well for a few weeks before dropping off again like he did last year. More importantly, let’s see how Bradley Jr. does before we get too invested in him.

David Ortiz: Don’t Worry, Be Happy, Folks

david ortiz

Courtesy of www.sports.espn.go.com

After much hemming and hawing during spring training, it appears David Ortiz feels pretty good. He may say pretty [expletive] good. He is on a 27-game hitting streak. Red Sox management was concerned that he would not be able to play in any games. We can have someone run for him if it comes to that, but he is swinging that bat to the tune of .416. Then, must we worry that he seems to be doing just a little too good?

There is a lot of chatter about steroids, but personally, I don’t think he would do them. The Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy spoke with Ortiz “mano-a-mano,” and he vehemently denied the accusations. Now that puts the reader in the unfortunate place of determining the truth.  If you know your Hamlet then you will recall the line from the Shakespeare play, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks,” directed toward the Queen during the play reenacting the death of the King, in which she plays a part. In other words, too much talk about the subject deems you guilty. Or, you can believe Big Papi, the big, lovable lug that he is, and take him at his word: he is steroid free. God forbid, we just enjoy his success, especially after the nail biter of a preseason. No, we have to find something about which to whine.

Besides, I think the Red Sox have bigger fish to fry with a lack of depth at third base, getting bats on balls, and getting themselves out of a slight slump.