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Red Sox at Braves lineups: Did Garrett Richards really stash the cobwebs?

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He looked great the last time out, but can he stay on the handlebars?

Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox
“Hero” might not be too strong a word.
Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

The Red Sox and the Braves square off for the seventh of their nine scheduled preseason meetings at 1:05 p.m. this afternoon in Port Charlotte, Fla., behind sentient mustache Garrett Richards. There is no broadcast for today’s game. (Ed. Note: My bad, there is a broadcast on MLB.TV of which I was unaware.)

Of all this year’s spring training trend stories, none are likely as important as Rob Bradford’s investigation into how Richards’s life has changed since he voluntarily immortalized himself in baseball lore, for WEEI. Seriously tho, just as a general note—if you’re worried you’re going to be forgotten about, as a player, the quickest way to be remembered forever is to get some chops started. We don’t forget true greatness, which comes, like all greatness, at great cost:

“The thing is that you take a bite and you can feel the tug,” he said of the challenges that come with eating with facial hair. “It takes a little while to get used to. It’s not my favorite part of having a mustache. When I look at myself in the mirror I can’t see myself without it. My wife absolutely hates it, bless her heart. She has stuck with it for a year. I can’t imagine it was easy. I’m just going to keep it going. I think it has kind of become part of me now. I don’t know, I’m kind of digging it.”

You know who else loves it? Divorce lawyers! But they, like us plebes, don’t have the courage of these men to actually wear one. If I don’t speak for you, dear reader, I salute you. I also salute the Boston pitchers set to follow Richards—Colton Brewer, Phillips Valdez, Kevin McCarthy and Marcus Walden—who have no sartorial business following a true giant of the game.

The batting order has the usual late-March stink of opening day-ness, with the exception of Hunter Renfroe sitting on the bench in favor of Michael Gettys, though the lineup is a little boggled, with Marwin Gonzalez at first base, Bobby Dalbec at DH and J.D. Martinez in the field. The Braves also run out a very official-looking lineup and to be honest, it’s pretty scary, containing as it does three of the top 12 MVP vote-getters for the 2020 National League MVP, including the winner, Freddie Freeman. If Richards is going to stay off the moss, it won’t be easy.

Red Sox lineup

1. Kiké Hernández (R) 2B

2. Alex Verdugo (L) CF

3. J.D. Martinez (R) LF

4. Xander Bogaerts (R) SS

5. Rafael Devers (L) 3B

6. Marwin Gonzalez (S) 1B

7. Christian Vazquez (R) C

8. Bobby Dalbec (R) DH

9. Michael Gettys (R) RF

SP: Garrett Richards, RHP

Braves lineup

1. Ronald Acuña Jr. (R) RF

2. Ozzie Albies (S) 2B

3. Freddie Freeman (L) 1B

4. Marcell Ozuna (R) LF

5. Travis d’Arnaud (R) C

6. Dansby Swanson (R) SS

7. Jake Lamb (L) 3B

8. Jason Kipnis (L) DH

9. Cristian Pache (R) CF

SP: Huascar Ynoa, RHP