Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Bradley Jr, Betts and Bogaerts Are the Bash Brothers

The modern version of the Bash Brothers.  The first one recently followed up a 29 Game hitting streak with a towering home run against the Orioles.  The other is currently riding a 23 Game hit streak after hitting two screaming doubles against the same Orioles. The third just hits two line drive home runs as I sit here typing this. Jackie Bradley Jr., Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts have become the modern version of the Bash Brothers.

Thanks for the Roids Jose!
Now I grew up loving the original Bash Brothers.  Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire were the stuff of legends.  They would anchor the Oakland A's fearsome line up through a string of World Series appearances, and the forearm smash they did after one of the them his a HR seemed to be a nightly occurrence.  I grew up a Red Sox fan, but my favorite baseball cards were that 1986 Donruss rookie card of Canseco and that 1985 McGwire USA Olympic baseball team rookie card.  They were my most prized possessions.  My friends and I would gamble for these baseball cards, usually by playing poker or pool.  Yeah we were kinda losers, but these baseball cards were worth 20 bucks back in the day!

Things started to change in the 1990's. Canseco wheels started falling off.  He bounced around a couple of teams, including the Red Sox, had a fly ball bounce off his head for a home run, and ultimately became a trolling D list celebrity.  McGwire went to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1997 and continued a prodigious home run stretch where he seemed to get 60 dingers every year.  The Bash Brothers, like all brothers, went their separate ways.

Then the whispers of Steroid use popped up.  They were just whispers until Canseco's bombshell "Juiced" hit the bookshelves.  Detailing rampant drug use amongst the biggest names in baseball, the Bash Brothers took on new meaning.  Neither of the Bros could escape.  Canseco of course admitted steroid use.  McGwire hid behind the veil of not talking about the past.  At this point, Bash Brothers were two dirty words.

Until the Killer B's came along.  Hey, they aren't going to hit 60 home runs or wear togas on the cover of Sports Illustrated.  But this is a different era in baseball.  Steroids have been reduced or eliminated.  While HGH is still around (with other drugs too), the level of drug use has been reduced to the extent that 25 home runs is a good power hitting year.  And these guys are capable of it.  Even C and G got excited about the hitting streaks.  Each one would tell me if Bogaerts or Bradley Jr. got a hit (or didn't).  The Red Sox did not capture their fancy last year, but now...

We are fortunate to have the Bash Brothers here in Boston.  They are likeable players on a team that for several years had been tagged as a very unlikable team.  The Red Sox are in first place despite having real struggles pitching.  Mostly due to the Killer B's the Red Sox have come back from the dead.  People are talking about them again. 

Let's just hope they don't pose like the Blue Brothers with bats

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