Five Things You Didn’t Know About Xander Bogaerts

The Red Sox shortstop fills us in on life outside the dugout.

xander bogaerts

Playing for the Sox is “a bit stressful, to be honest,” Bogaerts says. / Photograph by Mary Schwalm/AP Images

Boston is a competitive town, and nobody seems to feel that more acutely than Xander Bogaerts. In 2009, when baseball scouts came calling, the then-16-year-old traded his native Aruba for the States and a successful stint in the minor leagues. He was called up to the Red Sox in 2013—a job the 23-year-old doesn’t take lightly. When asked how Boston differs from other sports cities, Bogaerts doesn’t hesitate with his answer: “The expectations,” he says. “You just gotta win every day.” As the season presses on, we caught up with the shortstop to talk pre-game rituals, his preferred way to unwind off the field, and the unique challenges of playing baseball in Boston.

1. He’s a big believer in the morning meal.

“I try to get a huge breakfast. That’s probably the most important part of the day.”

2. You’ll find him at Fenway a good six hours before game time.

“If I have a game at 7, I probably get to the park at 1. [I’ll be] hanging out with the guys. You can play cards, you can do whatever you want. At 4, we gotta stretch, and then batting practice, and then after that, prepare for the game.”

3. But you’re probably not going to find him out at the club after a game—he prefers to chill out at home.

“I don’t really like to go out all that much. I don’t really like nightlife. I’d probably stay home, play PlayStation, that’s probably what I would do.”

4. His pregame workout philosophy is short and sweet.

“Just lift weights. Lift weights, get sore.”

5. Playing for the Red Sox isn’t all champagne showers and glory.

“It’s a bit stressful, to be honest. It’s tough, because this city’s all about winning, and the fans definitely deserve it. You just gotta work hard, keep your body in good shape—that’s the most important thing, because it’s a long season.”