NEW YORK — It’s been a whirlwind for Jackie Bradley Jr. Prior to this weekend, he’d never spent any time in New York City, having come no closer than Poughkeepsie for a wedding this past offseason. He’d never experienced Yankee Stadium.
And so, first impressions of the venue?
“It’s pretty small,” he deadpanned, before quickly giving up on the jest. “It’s huge. April Fool’s. It’s really nice. It’s big. I started looking up into the sky seeing how far it goes up.”
While on the one hand, Bradley was likely using that view to take stock of his unexpectedly rapid path to the big leagues — at 22, he’s the youngest Sox Opening Day left fielder since Carl Yastrzemski, and a year ago at this time, he learned that his first full pro season would start in High-A Salem rather than Single-A Greenville — there was also likely a more practical purpose to his undertaking.
After all, Bradley likes to calibrate his feel for a ballpark prior to the game. His first opportunity to occupy the broad left field expanse at Yankee Stadium represents one of the key reasons why he’s in the majors.
While Bradley’s phenomenal offensive performance (hitting .419 with a .507 OBP and .613 slugging mark) in spring training proved a head turner, the Sox recognize that it’s difficult to forecast precisely what shape his offensive adjustment to the big leagues will take. Hence, Bradley finds himself in the No. 8 spot in the lineup — the lowest spot in the order in which he could ever recall hitting (the prior low having been when he batted sixth for the University of South Carolina after returning from a wrist injury in 2011) — where expectations may be measured.
But even if he does not prove an immediate difference-maker in the lineup, the Sox believe that he can still prove a meaningful contributor to their chances of winning.
“What we’ve seen in spring training so far is a very good defender,” said Sox manager John Farrell. “[He is] a mature young player [at] 22 years of age. A very consistent approach at the plate and he clearly makes our outfield defense better today. What he produces offensively remains to be seen. We’ll certainly take what he did in spring training. We’re excited to start his career today.”
“More than anything,” added Farrell, “we want Jackie to just go out and play his game, be himself. I know those are very simple answers but so much is out of a given players control but if he performs well, these situations have a way to work themselves out.”
For his part, Bradley expressed enthusiasm for his first big league opportunity. After forcing his way into the big leagues with a remarkable spring training, he required little encouragement to wake up on Monday morning. His alarm was set for 7 a.m.; Bradley found himself wide awake 15 minutes before that, with a sense of self-confidence and enthusiasm.
“I’m ready,” Bradley pronounced. “I’m excited and I can’t really wait to play.”
Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick joins Dale and Steve DeOssie to talk about cutting the roster down to 53 players. Jimmy Garoppolo is set to start and play most, if not all of the preseason contest against the Giants. Bill also expressed his thoughts about the kicking game and how some of the new rules have affected the importance of it.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss the news that Jimmy Garoppolo will get the start Thursday and play most of the game. They talk about what it might mean for Ryan Mallett.
Julian Edelman joins Christian and Danny Picard to talk about his approach going into the season, his performance this preseason, as well as the VMAs, and preventing cramps using mustard.
Jackie Mac joins the guys to discuss her thoughts on a possible mid-season tournament in the NBA, LeBron's return to Cleveland, trade rumors with the Celtics and Red Sox, and Darrelle Revis' contract situation.
Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston to talk about the Lebron James Saga, the possibility of Rajon Rondo being traded, and the future of Marcus Smart.
Former coach of Celtics 1st-round pick Marcus Smart, Travis Ford joins MFB to talk about what Celtics fans should expect from the strong point guard. Among other things, Coach Ford says Smart will be a hard worker, and will improve his shooting ability.
As he does every Wednesday, Buster Olney, ESPN, joins the boys of MFB to talk baseball. This week Buster shed some light on what to expect from Rusney Castillo, and how Cuban players are being viewed. He suggests that the acquisition of Castillo helps Boston's chances to get Giancarlo Stanton. Also, the Sox should shut down Koji if they want to re-sign him.
Kevin Millar checks in to talk about the Castillo signing, Giancarlo Stanton, and the MLB's pace of play.
The Sox outfielder joined Dave and Lou after the comeback win, in which he had three hits and knocked in the tying run.
Rob Bradford is joined by WEEI.com Bruins beat writer DJ Bean, as well as Boston sports fan/blogger Turtleboy to talk all things Bruins free agency. With the B's recent moves, the conversation turns to where the Bruins might next turn and what kind of dent losing Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton might make.
DJ discusses Shawn Thornton's new deal, and the on going negotiations with Jerome Iginla
DJ Bean joins the program to dismiss the recent rumors that the Bruins are in discussions to trade Brad Marchand to the Sharks for Patrick Marleau
Rick Stroud of the Tampa Times discussed the Logan Mankins deal.
Chris Nowinski discussed the future of Wes Welker.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Buck.
Tim talks about the city of Las Vegas attempting to get an NHL franchise. Lou wards off "huge" bat. Christian winds up in the dog house again, for what happened on MFB yesterday.
After Will Middlebrooks struck out against a position player, Steve Tolleson, last night against Toronto, he seemed to be laughing as he left the batter's box. Lou critiqued Middlebrooks on Twitter, which caused Will's fiance Jenny Dell to tweet (indirectly) in defense of her man.
Dale, Field Yates, and Andy Hart give a brief preview of the AFC East.
Taylor Twellman, who had to end his career early due to concussions, discusses Wes Welker's most recent concussion.
Dale, Andy Hart, and Field Yates react to the Logan Mankins trade.
Co-founder and chairman of the Boston Beer Company, Jim Koch, talks about his Sam Adams beer and the history of his brewery.
Danny picard is filling in for Mikey and talks with CSNNE's Mike Giardi about Clay Buchholz heading up the Red Sox pitching rotation, and how the Patriots have looked through training camp so far.
Mut and Villani are talking about whether the Red Sox will give Jon Lester the type of contract he is looking for, or whether they might be shopping him with rumors of the Red Sox scouting Cole Hamels.
How can teams acquire players who are entering their primes without having to live through the potentially massive transition of prospects coming from the minors to the big leagues? The Red Sox have two such case studies. The signing of Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo represents one effort to acquire a player for his prime years for whom the transition to big league-caliber competition might not be turbulent. Red Sox assistant director of player personnel discusses the scouting process involved with landing Castillo. The episode also features Brock Holt, the one rookie who played at a consistently high level for the Red Sox this year. Holt explores some of the distinctions that might help to explain why he did not experience some of the struggles that characterized the seasons of Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr.
Rob Bradford is joined by Turtleboy of TurtleboySports.com to discuss which current major leaguers might be in line to become Hall of Famers. The duo dive into the difficulties facing the current crop of big leaguers when trying to reach Hall of Fame status.
Fantasy Football Drafts are now happening every day, so Pete Davidson and Jim Hackett have you covered. This Podcast focuses on the High Value Targets you can get in your drafts if you draft smartly. These players can slip to you and make a great impact on your roster as the season moves on. The draft is won in the middle to late rounds when the best upside players are taken. Jim and Pete give you in depth analysis on the High Value Targets to seek along with the Rookies that can make an impact this year. Jim and Pete will be back this Sunday morning too, on-air at WEEI FM 93.7 with even more. Prepare and enjoy!
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