After the Boston Red Sox took down the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Division Series on Monday night, there were several people who were viable candidates to receive the lineup card.
Nate Eovaldi was awarded the card after his performance in the AL Wild Card Game against the New York Yankees that helped get Boston to the ALDS, but it wasn’t Kiké Hernández, Eduardo Rodriguez or any other player this time around.
It was chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom.
“Caught me off-guard with that one. I did not know that was going to happen,” Bloom told The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier. “I think he understood what (the presentation of the lineup card) symbolized for the totality of the roster we put together, all 56 players that we used, everything that went into putting it together — not just by me, but by our department. I think he got that. And it was really emotional for me that he chose to express it that way.”
All eyes were on Bloom after Major League Baseball’s trade deadline. The Red Sox desperately needed solid relief help and a first baseman when they brought in outfielder Kyle Schwarber and pitchers Hansel Robles and Austin Davis.
Needless to say, everything worked out in the end: Bobby Dalbec became one of Boston’s best players, Robles got some big outs after struggling early with the Sox and Schwarber filled in nicely each time he was in the lineup.
So it only seemed fitting to have a barefoot Bloom receive the lineup card during the Red Sox’s champagne celebrations in the clubhouse.
“I didn’t know it was being filmed,” Bloom told Speier. “I didn’t know I was going to be presented with the lineup card. I recognize, especially in retrospect, it was kind of a gross thing. But I wasn’t too concerned about that at the time. I had a brief out-of-body experience just taking it all in. When the baseball gods give you a chance to celebrate, you should. It’s a really fortunate thing every time it happens. It’s the players’ celebration, but we get to be a part of it on the periphery and celebrate with each other a little bit. And I think it’d be a shame to miss an opportunity to do that.”
Now the Red Sox prepare to take on the Houston Astros in a best-of-seven AL Championship Series that begins Friday night. We’ll see if more celebrating is in the future for Bloom and Co. with a trip to the World Series on the line.