By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Red Sox are the best team in baseball, cruising their way to the best record in the majors and a third straight AL East crown. Along the way, they’ve developed a new celebration that is completely unique to the 2018 squad. And it’s hard to not notice it.
In recent weeks, whenever a Red Sox player has delivered a big hit, he’s turned to the dugout and twisted his hips in a way that would even impress Chubby Checker. It’s generally been a simple little move, but one that’s proven to be perfectly GIF-able for the Red Sox’ social media team.
It’s impossible to miss. Even huge, big-time nerds are seeing it and are trying to replicate the move.
Clearly, each player has his own unique flair — with Christian Vazquez’s being the undisputed best — but it’s just as clear that despite the long season and the lack of a divisional race, the Red Sox are having plenty of fun lately.
With the Sox set to be seen quite a bit more often on a national stage in the coming weeks, the celebratory hip shimmy is sure to receive much more attention and inspire a lot more reaction from unsuspecting baseball fans. (That is, unless Joe Buck — with his delicate sensibilities — doesn’t pull an Ed Sullivan Show and demand that Red Sox players only be shown from the waist up.)
So, fortunately, Alex Speier of The Boston Globe took a break from his labor-intensive research and writing to discover just how and why the Red Sox started this new celebration. But unfortunately, the answers remain a bit vague.
“Honestly, I don’t know how it started,” Brock Holt told Speier. “We were talking about that today, ‘How did we start doing that?’ The little shimmy thing, I honestly don’t know how it started. I think someone said we needed to change things up because we weren’t doing things for extra-base hits. Mookie [Betts] hit a double the other night in that big inning and did it, and I think it reminded all of us. … Then I hit the triple and did it, then Blake [Swihart] did it, and it became a thing after that.”
Sounds simple enough. A bunch of baseball players, winning a lot of baseball games, having fun on the baseball field. Typically, that last part is not allowed, per strict baseball rules that have been in effect for 100-plus years. And so, if and when any of the Red Sox shimmy their hips on national TV after a big hit late in a playoff game, you can bet that a large portion of the baseball world might react with consternation, exasperation, dismay, befuddlement, nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach and the big D. But the Red Sox sounds like they’re happy to just keep on doing their own thing.