It was only a matter of time.
Jenny Dell has officially broken through with her first major “get” thanks to her privileged access to a player on the Red Sox.
During a segment featured on NESN Daily, Dell dropped a potentially significant bombshell upon Red Sox Nation last night: Will Middlebrooks, Boston’s starting third baseman and her current boyfriend, has been taking ground balls and “working out extra” at second base this offseason. Dell cryptically floated the news and refused to elaborate.
Media analysts, industry experts and professional linguists believe that if the report is true, the team is working Middlebrooks at a different position in an effort to expand his role with the team in case Boston re-signs Stephen Drew and opts to move Xander Bogaerts to third.
As one analyst from the Poynter Institute noted, “The team doesn’t really have that clear-cut, utility infielder that really rounds out a true contender. Sure, there are a few guys like Brock Holt on the 40-man roster. But if Middlebrooks is able to serve as insurance against a Pedroia injury, the team will really enjoy a measurably higher amount of roster flexibility.”
It should be noted that Middlebrooks did indeed put in some time last summer working out at second base in case the team needed him in a pinch prior to Holt’s September call up. He even played four errorless innings at the position in San Francisco in August.
However, long-time media critics speaking to Fenway Pastoral on condition of anonymity are having a hard time digesting the veracity of this particular report.
“Will doesn’t have the touch OR the soft hands required to consistently work around the second base bag, initiating double plays, turning over tosses from the shortstop, fielding short-hops from the catcher on steal attempts,” observed one journalism ethics watchdog. “He’s got a good throwing arm, but that would be largely useless at second base. I don’t know how Jenny Dell – of ALL people – doesn’t know that. What games has she been watching these past two years?”
Said another respected observer, “He’s probably just having a little bit of fun is all. I wouldn’t read too much into it. It’s January for crying out loud. Maybe everybody should just freaking relax and see where things actually stand in March. I don’t know why people are getting all up in arms about this. The real question is can Will lay off the high fastball and hit for a consistent average.”
Added a Pundit Who Says Lots Of Stuff On the Radio, “I start at third base on the station’s softball team and I had to fill in at second one day due to an injury. It was a hard transition! The footwork and the timing and the angle at which the ball leaves the bat? All that stuff is so different at second base. I have grave concerns about this whole thing if it’s true. WMB better check himself.”