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Goodbye To Brock Holt (Who Isn’t Going Anywhere)

The end of his playing career is only the beginning.

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Boston Red Sox
Don’t say goodbye. It’s wasting your breath.
Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

In the days following his retirement it’s important to remember that Brock Holt, largely known as a fan-favorite white guy, was legit good for a minute. In 2018, he hit .277/.362/.411 over 367 at-bats in the Sox’s best season ever. Three years earlier, he had been an All-Star, and it didn’t happen by accident. He had a leg up, being “plucky” and playing for a popular team, but he earned his spot by hitting .292/.379/.412 in the first half and playing lots of positions, which the voters reliably eat up.

Moreso than his contemporaries (like, say, Daniel Nava), for a few years he was a major part of the team. Then, like so much around here after the Sox’s 2018 World Series title, things fell apart. Holt left the Red Sox in 2020 to jump around the league collecting a few final paychecks — but only in body, and never in spirit, because Brock Holt and Boston are inexorably intertwined — and it only wrapped up this November, when he hung up his cleats for good.

The timing was divine. Looking forward to 2023, the Red Sox don’t have a great TV booth. Dennis Eckersley just retired. Kevin Youkilis is good but can make his own schedule. Pretty much everyone else is cringe. The job of Red Sox color man is there for the taking and Holt, who never saw a place on the diamond he didn’t feel he belonged in, is ready for it, and should he accept it, as I suspect he will, we will all be better off.

Consider the alternative. If not him, who? He was a guest announcer in September in what felt to all the world like an audition that he had passed simply by accepting the challenge. Do I want to hear more Tony Mazz? I do not. Holt is my guy. Give him to me.

Best-case scenario, Holt ends up as Jerry Remy’s de facto replacement. If he can put two sentences together he can be exactly what we need to cancel out the Dave O’Brien-ness of our currently situation. My point is that I’m bored by our booth(s) and Holt would help.

Which is to say that even if he’s not the savior, Holt figures to be good and likable because that’s all he ever has been in the public. While I have high hopes, I’m okay with a merely average performance. I just need him to get the chance. Everything about the Red Sox is up in the air right now. If Holt can call everyone off, we can all relax, if only for a minute.