First Mookie, then Benni, and now JBJ. The Boston Red Sox continue their mission of fielding a 2021 team of players you’ve barely heard of.
Centerfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr has agreed to a 2-year $24 million contract with the Milwaukee Brewers. This was not a huge surprise given the Sox could have signed him anytime over the winter. But free agency has rewarded him with a new team. And at 30 years old, he’s got a chance to prove that he’s got more game.
Jackie was a Gold Glove wizard in the field-probably the best centerfielder we’ve ever had-(yep, better than Fred Lynn) and a positive but quiet force in the clubhouse. He was drafted by the Red Sox in 2011, came up in 2013, and was MVP of the 2018 ALCS. He played the game hard, never got too up or down, and never shot his mouth off. He was s not an offensive powerhouse (lifetime .239 average) which frustrated many fans and probably weighed into the Sox decision not to sign him.
But Jackie remains positive about his future, and not dwelling on the people who don’t believe in him. he told the Boston Globe:
“A lot of people like to say they’re proving people wrong or their critics wrong,” Bradley said. “I come from the mold where I like to prove the people that support me, that love me, my family. I like to prove them right.”
We’ll miss his glove, and we’ll miss him playing the game the way it should be played.