Everybody loves a “That Guy”. You know what I’m talking about: A That Guy. “Oh yeah, That Guy.” you might say when remembering him.
They’re not MVPs. They’re not All-Stars. Hell, they probably aren’t even starters. What “That Guys” are, though, is the glue that holds your favorite team together. My favorite team, the Boston Red Sox, have had no shortage of “That Guys” throughout their illustrious history. But, for the purpose of this piece, we’ll be taking a look at the top “That Guy” from each of the last ten seasons.
2012: Pedro Ciriaco
2012 was one of the most cursed seasons this franchise has ever seen, but it wasn’t without a bright spot or two. Perhaps the brightest spot of all was Pedro Ciriaco, the Yankee Killer. A fantastic That Guy to lead us off.
2013: John McDonald
Just by nature of the “That Guy”, championship teams often don’t have as many great ones to pick from. However, the 2013 Sox still managed to have a few. The then-38-year-old John McDonald was acquired to shore up the team defense and didn’t make the team’s playoff roster. The epitome of a That Guy.
2014: Grady Sizemore/Yoenis Cespedes
What a weird season this was. Two players whose stars shined infinitely brighter outside of Boston, Grady Sizemore and Yoenis Cespedes are 2014’s That Guys. Sizemore was an experiment that failed miserably aside from an Opening Day home run at Yankee Stadium, while Cespedes was a fleeting blip from the trade deadline to when he was traded for Rick Porcello that December. 2014 was really, really weird.
2015: Ryan Hanigan
One time I saw Ryan Hanigan sitting alone at the Junior’s Cheesecake Bar in Foxwoods Resort Casino. That’s all I’ve got.
2016: Brad Ziegler
2016 and 2017 are two Red Sox seasons that time has sort of forgotten. The Sox won the AL East both years, but also quickly petered out in the ALDS both years. 2016’s That Guy is submarine/sidearm relief pitcher Brad Ziegler. Ziegler was one of the 2016 Sox’s big deadline acquisitions (along with Drew Pomeranz). Which, in hindsight, was probably not a great omen for that year.
2017: Rajai Davis
Hand up, I had completely forgotten Rajai Davis was ever on the Red Sox. Best known for his iconic game-tying home run off Aroldis Chapman in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series, Davis was a deadline acquisition by the Sox in ‘16. The Sox were promptly beaten by the Astros in 4 games in the ALDS, so Davis didn’t even get a chance for more postseason heroics.
2018: Brandon Phillips
Dat Dude BP only suited up for 9 games for the ‘18 Sox, but he definitely left an impression. He provided the Sox with an iconic moment in an early September game in Atlanta. Down a run in the top of the ninth with a man on, Phillips mashed a two-run home run to give the Sox the lead. I don’t know about you guys, but when Dat Dude hit that home run, I knew the Sox were winning the World Series.
2019: Andrew Cashner
Yeah so I guess this happened. Sure.
2020: Jonathan Lucroy
Right?! I didn’t believe it either! According to Baseball Reference, 2-time All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy suited up for one (1) game for the 2020 Red Sox. To be fair, Baseball Reference could be lying and I’m certain nobody would check them on it. The 2020 season wasn’t real.
2021: Jose Iglesias
As if the 2021 Sox didn’t have good enough vibes, they brought old friend Iggy in to play some second base in early September. Unfortunately, due to being signed after September 1st, Iggy was unable to be on the Sox’ playoff roster. His vibes were so good, however, that they let him hang out in the dugout anyway!
2022: Jake Diekman
Baseball Reference would tell you Jake Diekman had an ERA+ of 100 during his stint with the Red Sox. But I watched those games. I saw him pitch. He was terrible. I have never in my life seen a pitcher so unsure of where the baseball was going. Chaim Bloom somehow managed to get out of the second year of Diekman’s contract at the deadline, sending him to the Southside of Chicago in a swap for Reese McGuire.
Well, these are my favorite That Guys. Who are yours?