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Dave D'Onofrio's Sox Beat: Diaz earned his shot
Red Sox shortstop Jose Iglesias, left, greets pinch runner Jonathan Diaz, center, after Diaz scored the winning in Boston's walk-off win over the Blue Jays Sunday at Fenway Park. Diaz spent seven years in Toronto's minor-league system, including parts of five seasons with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. (USA TODAY SPORTS)
Since 2006 he’d been drafted, signed, played at five levels, got promoted or demoted 11 times, was granted free agency by the Blue Jays, agreed to join the Red Sox, and settled into his new organization at Triple-A — but he’d never earned The Call to the big leagues. So the question came naturally.
Then it did. Last Saturday, as he was preparing to play his 764th minor-league game, the phone rang and Diaz was told it was time to come to Boston. By then it was already 12:15 p.m., and first pitch that Saturday afternoon was at 4, so he packed his wife and three kids into the car as quickly as possible and headed north on I-95 from Pawtucket. Typically the drive takes an hour; Diaz jokes that he made it in 30 minutes.
“Amazing,” he said. “Imagine something you’ve worked for your entire life, a dream since you were a little kid. Definitely an amazing feeling.”
“He works as hard as anybody, and he’s probably one of the best defensive players I’ve ever played with. He’s unbelievable,” said Snyder, who has been starting at third base, and homered Thursday. And who compared Diaz to another of his former PawSox teammates: Jose Iglesias.
“The way I went about it was just stay positive, go about my business, and expect the best,” Diaz said. “It ended up working out — and I’m happy I can at least say that I made it to the big leagues.”
Dave D’Onofrio covers the Red Sox for the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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