Xander Bogaerts Reflects On Red Sox Tenure Ahead Of Final 2022 Game

'I'm proud of the man I've become'

by

October 4

The end of the 2022 Boston Red Sox season comes with a certain level of uncertainty.

One step from the finish line of a disappointing campaign, the possibility of Boston moving on from a few franchise cornerstones is getting very real. Nathan Eovaldi, J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts could all hit the open market this winter, and if they all leave, the Red Sox as fans have known them for the past half decade would be no more. On Tuesday night, after another spectacular moment in the Red Sox uniform, Bogaerts took some time to reflect on his decade-long tenure.

“It’s been a lot of years that I’ve been here, and I enjoy every moment. I appreciate the fans, through ups and downs. Dealing with (the media) sometimes, especially you don’t want to after some rough games — It’s hard. But, for the most part, you guys always treated me with respect and I feel like I did the same way to you guys also.

“I’m proud of the man that I’ve become. I came in here as a little kid. I was afraid to be on the field in the postseason — I remember, I always wanted to be on the bench and watch the game. I hit that double in (2013 ALCS Game 4) and (Mike) Napoli’s like, ‘Hey, you’re gonna play the next day.’ and I’m like, ‘Bro, I don’t want to play the next day.’ I walked by the office and John (Farrell) told me ‘Hey, come here kid.’ and I’m like ‘(expletive).’ He’s like, ‘You’re playing tomorrow.’ So I’ve came a long way from not wanting to be in the lineup, to being in the lineup and helping the team.”

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Bogaerts has certainly grown from being that scared young prospect.

In 10 seasons with the Red Sox, the 30-year-old has contributed to two World Series winning teams, made four All-Star games, won four Silver Slugger awards and played more games than any other shortstop in Red Sox history. His contributions to the organization have made him the “unofficial captain” of the franchise, something those in power certainly haven’t forgotten.

The Red Sox legend has the opportunity to opt-out of his contract this offseason and become a free agent. If he does that, he will hit the open market for the first time in his 10-year career. While both sides have expressed interest in a reunion, the fact of the matter is Bogaerts is far from being a lock on Boston’s 2023 roster.

For that reason, Wednesday could get emotional for Red Sox fans and their long time shortstop.

Thumbnail photo via Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports Images
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