Robert Stock summed up the Red Sox’ 2020 season in one sentence when appearing on the Bradfo Sho podcast.
“Anything you can think of happened in 2020,” the Red Sox pitcher said.
And a lot of what you never could have imagined, as well. Proof? Just take that afternoon on Aug. 27 in Buffalo.
It was on that day that the out-of-the-ordinary world of this past season manifested itself in just a few hours. Having hard core team-wide social justice conversations in tents while deciding whether or not to boycott a baseball game in Upstate New York suggested as such.
When discussing how much more political issues were surfaced in a Major League Baseball environment that is usually very light on such conversation, Stock offered some insight to the changed landscape.
“Different than every single previous year had to be spoken about by … Team officials would come in and say, ‘Hey guys, this is what we’re doing. We’re doing it for these reasons.’ And I’m sure that some of the guys might have varying opinions about what was going on. But it was the fact that we were united as a team,” said the reliever regarding the increased talk of social justice matters.
“We had the one game we were, I was going to say Toronto, but we were in Buffalo where we cancelled the game in solidarity of a lot of other teams.
“Firstly, it was extremely, extremely stormy just weather-wise. We were in the make-shift locker room which was just a big tent and we had to evacuate the tent because this thing looked like it was about to blow over. But while it’s feeling like it’s feeling like it’s blowing over we’re having the team meeting about if we’re going to play or not. So it’s this very serious subject and there are beams up overhead that are like rattling while people are trying to talk about very heartfelt things. It was a very surreal experience.”
Stock, who is one of the more active Red Sox players on Twitter, went on to further paint the picture of the scene at Sahlen Field, where the Sox and Jays decided to not play that day out of protest due to police brutality.
“I didn’t speak up because I felt like a bunch of other people were making very good points, the same points I would have made,” he said. “Why add on to the same thing they were saying? I think if I had something that would have been contributory to the conversation that the team, even though I was new, would have been 100 percent welcoming of my opinion because we’re team. Even if you were there for 10 years or one day. Then you factor in that we were all sitting around wondering if this tent was going to fall in on. Actually, the conversation had to end. We kind of had arrived as the decision we were making before we had to say, ‘Everybody get out of here.’ We actually piled on to the team busses for shelter.
“More than any other baseball season I had ever been a part of, it felt like a job. We’re clocking in on the hours we need to do. We’re accomplishing the tasks we need to do to prepare for a baseball game. Tanner Houck, this guy goes out there and he absolutely shoves and he gets his first major league win. Usually you take that rookie into the clubhouse and you shower beer down on him and you do all these crazy fun things in the locker room. And this time it was like, ‘Good job pal,’ from like six feet away. It was really bizarre in that it didn’t have the same fun atmosphere that a usual major league baseball season does.”
Some of the other topics touched on by Stock during Ep. 170 of the Bradfo Sho include:
- His approach to social media and why baseball players aren't as active as other sports.
- How clubhouses approach political issues.
- Being named the best baseball player in the country as a 13-year-old.
- Attending USC as a 16-year-old.
- How he went from catcher to pitcher after being taken in the second-round of the 2009 MLB Draft. (Yadier Molina's contract may had something to do with it.)
- The trials and tribulations of bouncing from one organization to another, ultimately getting back in the majors thanks in part to a YouTube video.
- What it's like to throw 102 mph and how we should view Dodgers flamethrower Brusdar Graterol.
- Why he thought Daniel Day Lewis' unlikable character in 'There Will Be Blood' was actually likable.