At BP Boston, we’re planning on bringing serious, thoughtful analysis to Red Sox fans each and every day. From advanced stats to scouting reports to thought-provoking opinion pieces, we hope to produce a variety of material that caters to the hardcore fan.
We’re also going to do stuff like this.
At least once a week, we’ll run an “Ask BP Boston” group column in which we give our thoughts on many of the team’s most pressing matters. Would Mookie Betts still be good if his name was Melvin Betts? Is it possible to play an entire game of Risk during one Clay Buchholz start? What’s the first word you think of when people bring up a Cole Hamels/Blake Swihart trade? All important topics we may tackle in the weeks ahead.
But first, with 160 games left in this long season, we need to explore the most important question of all. A question so central to the Red Sox’s success, I asked each BP Boston member to answer in his or her application (true story):
If Xander Bogaerts were a sea creature, which sea creature would he be?
I put no limitations on the length, seriousness or realism required for these answers. What follows is what I received, with the answers neatly grouped into sections. Hopefully this helps you get to know us a little better:
Surprisingly Apt Descriptions
“If Xander Bogaerts was a deep sea creature, he would be Darryl Hannah in Splash, but when she was on land. We’d know when we saw him that he was extraordinary, but that his truce grace, power and beauty were yet to be revealed, and inevitable.” – Bryan Joiner
“I’m going to go with the Loch Ness Monster for no reason other than it’s as close to Sasquatch as you can get and still be dealing with water and Sasquatch is hilarious. Also, and I think Ben will back me up on this, Sasquatch is not a sandwich.” – Matt Kory
“As for Bogaerts, I’m a little out of my element here, but I’ll go with a giant squid. Just when you’ve forgotten he’s there, he starts tearing stuff up.” - Jon Franke
“If Xander Bogaerts were a sea creature he would be a Wellfleet Oyster, for he is both delicious and an aphrodisiac.” – Wilson Karaman
Wow, They Put Some Thought Into This
“If Xander Bogaerts were a sea creature, he would be prehistoric apex predator pliosaurus funkei (aka Predator X). I mean, Predator X, Xander, it’s pretty perfect just right there, right? But actually, I picked this monster even before I knew about it’s wildly-appropriate nickname. The pliosaurus funkei was wildly hyped as a 15-meter beast considered to be “the most fearsome predator to ever swim”. Well, like this beast, there’s a chance that Xander may not live up to the hyperbolic, uh, hype that came with his meteoric* rise through the minors. He may only be an above-average offensive shortstop with some defensive flaws. He may just be a 2-4 WARP player on a yearly basis, instead of the second coming of Cal Ripken, the same way Predator X was just a fearsome 13-meter half-alligator, half-fish death monster. Bogaerts is also, by some measures … p. funkei. Bad jokes, everyone!
* – Is it still too soon to make meteor references around dinosaurs?” – Bryan Grosnick
“Xander Bogaerts is a Portuguese man o’ war. He’s strangely beautiful, deceptively deadly, from a place that is Not America and is good at stinging baseballs, whereas PMoW (made this abbrev up) sting small fish and/or stupid people. Portuguese men o’ war are actually composed of colonies of specialized minute individuals called zooids, whereas colonies of our hopes and dreams actually comprise Bogaerts. Both lack defensive range but feature cool, spiky haircuts.” – Ben Carsley
“As for Mr. Bogaerts, I think I’ll compare him to a white whale given how long the Red Sox have been searching for a steady and productive regular at the shortstop position since they traded away Nomar and let Orlando Cabrera walk away in free agency back in 2004. It feels to me like Bogaerts and his massive potential at shortstop are exactly the thing the Red Sox have been searching for over the better part of the decade, but just haven’t been able to catch and bottle up for an extended period of time. At the very least, this is the English major in me talking here.” – Alex Skillin
“Like the light-emitting diaphus adenomas – a species of lanternfish — wandering the vast depths of the sea, Xander Bogaerts warns otherwise cellphone-distracted major-league fans of his presence with his own bioluminescent glow. Though there were bouts of unexpected dimness during his 2014 rookie season, Bogaerts has the performance track-record and raw ability to shine brighter than any Red Sox shortstop since late-90s Nomar.” – Dustin Palmateer
“I will say that Xander Bogaerts is like a Cuttlefish. The reason being that cuttlefish have been referred to as ‘chameleons of the sea’. They can rapidly change their colouring to match their surroundings. Bogaerts has been groomed as the Red Sox’s franchise shortstop, but when Ben Cherington panicked and re-signed Stephen Drew, Bogaerts moved over to third. Prior to that, he was thrown into a World Series run during his first time in the big leagues and played very well. In his time with the Red Sox he has been moved all over the lineup, and dealt with a lot of new players over the last couple of seasons. Also as I am sure you know, Bogaerts can speak four languages so he can fit into many settings. For all these reasons, to me, Bogaerts appears to be quite well suited to meshing into whatever environment he is in and doing what he needs to do to survive: just like a cuttlefish changing colors.” – Chris Teeter
Repressed Childhood Memories
“I think I have to say hermit crab for Xander, like an elementary school class pet. We felt like he belonged to all of us individually, and I think we’re all completely sure that he’s going to be doing really awesome things once he does more than just kind of stand there and stare at us.” - Ryan P. Morrison
“If Xander Bogaerts was a sea creature he’d be a goldfish because despite not having much of a defense repertoire to work with, every child deserves to have one in his/her home.” – Matt Collins
The Wrong, Bad Opinion
“As for Mr. Bogaerts, he would be a kraken – mighty in the water but useless on land. *ducks*” – Mark Smith
Xander Bogaerts is Magikarp
“Xander Bogaerts, from what I can see, is best represented by one sea creature in particular. You’ve heard great stories about other guys who have had sea creatures like him. He just needs to be trained well, given time, love & care, and a spot on your team. Once he gets to Level 20, look out.
That’s right. Xander Bogaerts is a damn Magikarp. (And he’s probably at like Level 18 or something right now, I dunno.)” - Brett Cowett
“My first instinct was to go with a creature that isn’t real because Bogaerts, up until now, is an unknown. So I went with a Magikarp, which is a little fish Pokemon that provides little benefit to the user. If you train a Magikarp properly, however, it will evolve into a Gyarados, which is one of the more powerful creatures in the games.
Bogaerts spent most of last season just splashing around, as a Magikarp does, but if he can ever evolve into the Gyarados he is hoped to be, watch out. Given Magikarp’s nonexistent ability, the key is to be patient, no matter how hard it may be, because it could lead to high reward. I apologize for overwhelming you with my childhood nerdiness.” – Nick Canelas
Additional suggestions in the comments are of course welcome.
Photo by Kelly O’Connor, sittingstill.smugmug.com