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Remembering Chase d’Arnaud, the happiest Red Sox who almost never played

05.19.17 at 10:47 am ET
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Chase d'Arnaud (Bruce Kluckhohn/USA Today Sports)

Chase d’Arnaud (Bruce Kluckhohn/USA Today Sports)

Chase d’Arnaud is gone, but, at least in this corner, not forgotten.

It’s almost impossible for any player to live life on the Red Sox’ 25-man roster for even a few days without some recognition of their existence. But d’Arnaud seemed to pull it off.

He spent 22 days on the Red Sox’ 25-man roster, but appeared in just two games and got only one at-bat. It was a feat we haven’t seen before, and may never see again. In fact, there hasn’t been a Red Sox to live some sort of life in the organization and get just one at-bat since Bo Diaz in 1977.

All kind of games came and went, with nary an appearance from the player the Red Sox claimed off waivers on April 27. During that stretch, the Red Sox were out in the field for a total of 180 2/3 innings, with d’Arnaud playing exactly one of them, manning second base in the Sox’s 17-6, May 7 blowout of the Twins.

Two days after that Red Sox debut, d’Arnaud got his one and only at-bat with his new team, pinch-hitting for starter Drew Pomeranz. The righty hitter would reach via an infield single, and eventually score after running through third base coach Brian Butterfield’s stop sign.

Sure, there was no playing time. But d’Arnaud — a fourth-round pick of the Pirates in the 2008 draft — understood the deal.

“I love this team. All the guys are really cool. There are great personalities in this clubhouse that make it a lot of fun,” he told WEEI.com the day before being DFA’d.

“Pinch-running, I like to think I’m the go-to guy. And I’m happy with that. I come out and get all my work done because you never know what’s going to happen in baseball. I just work as hard as I can and be prepared as I possibly can for whatever opportunity presents itself.”

But the end ultimately came Thursday, with the Red Sox designating d’Arnaud for assignment to make room on the 25-man roster for starting pitcher Hector Velazquez.

Gone from the Red Sox clubhouse was d’Arnaud and his backpack filled with the recording equipment that he used in his downtime to record tracks for his band. (The Chase d’Arnaud band once opened in Atlanta for Lady Antebellum.)

Also gone was one of the most unique personalities this team has seen in some time.

You see, even while d’Arnaud was going through this epic streak of not playing, nobody was smiling more. In fact, he smiled so much it really was not normal. Every time anybody saw the 30 year old, he was bouncing to and fro, with a grin from ear to ear.

“It’s at the top of my priority list,” he said when asked why he was always so happy.

“It can be misconstrued of airheadedness,” d’Arnaud added. “But I can assure you it’s an intentional blocking of negativity that keeps me this way. Everything is better that way. You retain more knowledge. You have better retention when you’re happy. With dopamine flooding the brain, you’re going to perform better. I feel like it should be a priority for everybody, but it’s not.”

As it turned out, d’Arnaud has read books and articles on the practice of remaining in a good mood.

“Once you hear it makes so much sense,” he said. “So why not implement it?”

And that he did, all the way up to the moment his resolve to remain happy was tested once again. The guess is that if playing for two innings over the past three weeks isn’t going to put a dent in the philosophy, another transaction isn’t going to change things.

“A big part of what has made me successful in this role is my attitude,” he said before not playing once again in Wednesday’s 13-inning Red Sox game. “A lot of guys will want to play more. Of course everybody wants to play. It’s fun to play. But it’s important to know how to happy and have a level of acceptance where you understand your role and make the most of it. Just get along with the guys and enjoy everybody’s company, which is exactly what I’m doing.”

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