Is it too soon for the Red Sox to reissue Xander Bogaerts' number?


Something curious happened when the Red Sox introduced newcomer Justin Turner at Friday’s press conference, announcing that the veteran will wear No. 2, the same uniform number assigned to former shortstop Xander Bogaerts (now of the Padres) and the late Jerry Remy. With his preferred No. 10 unavailable (that belongs to Trevor Story), Turner pivoted to No. 2, which he previously wore for the Mets from 2010-13.

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Over their century-long history, the Red Sox have retired 11 numbers, though several others are out of circulation including 15 and 49, worn by Dustin Pedroia and Tim Wakefield, respectively. Many on social media were surprised the Red Sox weren’t similarly protective of No. 2, yielding it to Turner without much thought. It’s debatable whether Bogaerts deserves to have his number retired—that distinction is usually reserved for Hall-of-Famers—though he was certainly an impactful player, earning All-Star recognition four times while leading the Red Sox to World Series titles in 2013 and 2018.

As for Remy, not only was he a fan favorite throughout his playing career in Boston, which spanned from 1978-84, but he was also a beloved color commentator on NESN, memorably partnering with play-by-play announcers Dave O’Brien, Sean McDonough and Don Orsillo. As a tribute to Remy, who passed away in 2021 following a 13-year bout with cancer, the Red Sox wore uniform patches in his honor last season while also dedicating the broadcast booth at Fenway Park in his memory.

It seems the Red Sox don’t feel any obligation to recognize, officially or not, a player who just abandoned them in free agency. However, the Red Sox could always revisit that decision, as they did with Wade Boggs after he defected to the rival Yankees late in his career, a betrayal that strained their relationship for years. Only recently did the Red Sox come around, continuing to issue his No. 26 until 2016.

With so many of their numbers already retired, the Red Sox could stand to be more discerning in that regard, though this seems like an unnecessary slight, letting Turner don Xander’s jersey number so soon after his departure.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Dylan Buell, Getty Images