J.D. Martinez has yet to hit a home run for the Boston Red Sox. Is it time to panic? Absolutely not. Even if the man brought in to save the Red Sox via home runs has not gotten his first (and he will have plenty this season), that doesn’t mean there have been zero dingers to marvel at during the first work of the season. Let’s rank them.
1. Hanley Ramirez
#1 for Hanley Ramirez! pic.twitter.com/z6jFACphJX— Boston Strong (@BostonStrong_34) April 3, 2018
I don’t think anyone else on the Red Sox has as sweet a swing when he connects as Hanley Ramirez. The bat rifles through the zone and then floats in his left hand as he admires it, his batting helmet lifting a bit. Not since Manny Ramirez has a right-handed Red Sox hitter had a swing so sweet. But what really makes this home run special is the inspiration for it and what Ramirez did after the game.
Before the game I promised this kid if I hit a homer I will give him my jersey. promise fulfilled. @redsox @mlb This is what we play for #godisgood #believe #thisisonlythebeginning have faith...w/faith we can accomplish anything #grateful pic.twitter.com/rQGffiYdR3— Hanley Ramirez ⚾️ (@HanleyRamirez) April 3, 2018
Hanley being Hanley is a treasure and always will be.
2. Xander Bogaerts
Xander Bogaerts hit 10 home runs last season. Here's his first one of the 2018 season putting the @RedSox up 1-0 on the Rays. pic.twitter.com/PNvk2ff70b— First and Fan (@FirstandFan1) March 31, 2018
Xander Bogaerts is riding the redemption tour train along with David Price. Do either need a redemption tour? Not to me, but I’m not everybody.
Anyway, this was a gorgeous swing and the little bat flip at the end made me audibly laugh.
3. Eduardo Nunez
The Red Sox are back baby! Inside the park HR for Eduardo Nunez on a rare misplay by Kevin Kiermaier pic.twitter.com/rgGIwVrwm3— Charging the Mound (@chargethemound_) March 29, 2018
Off the bat, this looked like a bloop single at best. But a rare misplay from defensive sorcerer Kevin Kiermaier allowed Nunez to round the bases for the first home run of the season for the Red Sox. Bonus points for the headfirst slide into home and the celebration with Bogaerts.
4. Mookie Betts
Mookie Betts turns all over one, driving it down the line for his 1st home run of the year #DirtyWater pic.twitter.com/Dg6TSeOQ5o— Around The Bases POD (@AroundBasesPOD) April 3, 2018
This one got out in a hurry. Last year, Betts didn’t hit his first home run of the campaign until the 14th game. This one came in the fifth. The Red Sox were already winning by a lot, but I’m never one to say stop hitting home runs.
With Eduardo Rodriguez, Drew Pomeranz and Steven Wright on the way back, could Brian Johnson become a relief option? (Jason Mastrodonato; Boston Herald)
Dave Dombrowski isn’t interested in sports media. (Christopher Smith; MassLive)
The Oakland A’s have a hot-off-the-presses reference ready to go as they market an upcoming series against the Red Sox. (Michael Hurley; CBS Boston)
Meet the man who makes sure the field at Fenway Park is ready to go for Opening Day and every day after. (Stan Grossfeld; Boston Globe)
April is filled with baseball excitement. Which fan bases are most excited? (Jeff Sullivan; FanGraphs)