USA Today Sports

Trolls push Red Sox all the way to World Series

Rob Bradford
October 19, 2018 - 5:13 am

HOUSTON -- Yes, Blake Swihart talked to his buddy Alex Bregman about his Instagram post.

"He just said he wasn’t expecting it to be like that, the reaction," the Red Sox catcher said after his team wrapped up the American League Championship Series. "He was just trying to pump up the team. It’s over now. It was over the first days we were here."


Well, while some in that Red Sox' celebratory clubhouse Thursday night would admit and others wouldn't the Bregman Instagram videos (showing home runs against Nathan Eovaldi) were put on the team's imaginary wall of motivation. Much like the win-wall at Fenway Park, this mental montage is getting pretty extensive, as well.

"We’re human. We see it, and even if we don’t see it we hear it," said Xander Bogaerts of the Instagram post, which was ultimately deleted by Bregman. "I think it was a nice way to win three games and make them feel a little bad for posting it."

The social media salvo was just part of the equation, as was the case when Aaron Judge walked by the Red Sox' clubhouse blaring "New York, New York." ("It feels about the same. Different guys with different opinions, but it feels the same," said Bogaerts comparing the actions of Bregman and Judge.)

The gift that keeps on giving for these Red Sox continues to be their perception that nobody thinks they can win this thing.

It's become easier and easier for everyone in that clubhouse to reference the lack of respect despite those 108 wins.

"I don’t understand why," said Bogaerts of people picking against the Red Sox. "We have 108 wins, more wins than anyone and they keep picking against us. Hopefully, they pick against us in the World Series and we come out winning again."

"There were definitely some people who didn’t think we would get out of the Yankees series. And then people didn’t think we would get out of the Houston series," reliever Matt Barnes said. "We had the most wins in the American League yet somehow we were the underdogs in the series. We’ve kind of had a chip on our shoulder. We know how good we are in this clubhouse. We know we’re capable of winning a World Series and we’re four wins from doing that."

"They picked against us in the game tonight. Verlander was going to hold us down," Swihart added. "We love a challenge. For some reason even being the best team in baseball everyone is always doubting us. We just like showing up and playing baseball. We just show up. We like having fun and going out there and doing our thing."

The Red Sox are undoubtedly a team that doesn't need extra motivation, but they aren't pushing it away.

Now we wait for who or what will be next to poke the bear, although perhaps the outsiders have finally learned their lessons.

"The best reminder we could give anybody," said Rick Porcello, "was getting to go to the World Series."