KANSAS CITY -- It's been a season of firsts for catcher Kelly Shoppach.
Last month, in the Red Sox' home opener, he recorded his first stolen base -- with great comic effect, going into a slide way before he reached the second base bag, providing some comic fodder for his teammates.
On Monday night, he added another milestone -- his first career triple. It came in the fourth when Kansas City left fielder Alex Gordon backed up against the fence in left and couldn't hold onto Shoppach's long fly ball.
Shoppach raced to third and, after 1,525 career plate appearances, had his first three-bagger in the big leagues. Until Monday night, he had the fourth-most plate appearances for any major leaguer ever without a triple, including the most by an active player.
"It shouldn't be mathematically possible for me to run that far," joked the catcher. "I thought he was going to catch it. It was fun."
Shoppach said he knew "for a fact that I didn't (hit a triple) in college. I don't recall any in high school. Little League is too far away to really remember. Never as a professional, for sure."
Actually, Shoppach's memory failed him there. He had three in the minor leagues -- including two in one season.
But that didn't take away from the achievement.
"Now I have all the (statistical) columns filled -- except caught stealing," he said.
Jackie Bradley Jr. will likely have a spotless attendance record for White House trips.
The Boston Red Sox outfielder began discussing those championship trips to meet the president after Red Sox chairman Tom Werner referenced the New England Patriots' Super Bowl win at a team get-together on Friday morning.
“If my team is going, yes, I’m going,” Bradley Jr. told WEEI.com's Rob Bradford, adding later, “I don’t like politics, not even a little bit.”
The Patriots so far have six players who have openly stated they will not attend New England's White House trip to meet President Donald Trump. Team leaders like Dont'a Hightower and Devin McCourty are among those unwilling to attend.
For Bradley, the White House trip is not about making a political statement.
“The reason why we’re going there is because we did something together as a team. The White House is cool,” he said. “I’m with my team."
The 26-year-old outfielder has twice attended the championship trip to the nation's capital. In college, he went with the South Carolina Gamecocks after they won the College World Series. He later attended with the Red Sox in 2013. Bradley Jr. said he enjoyed attending the White House to meet Barack Obama, but added he wasn't concerned with which president was hosting the event.
He said: “How many people can say they’ve been to the White House? That alone. There is a lot history there, and I’m a big fan of architecture. I think the whole thing is unique.”
Trenni Kusnierek talks with Dave Dombrowski about the Red Sox clubhouse and their expectations for the 2017 season.