Will Middlebrooks popped the question.
Jenny Dell said "yes."
He got himself a Dell indeed.
Dell posted the above photo of her engagement ring on her Instragram and Twitter page Monday night.
The relationship between Middlebrooks, the Red Sox third baseman currently on a rehab stint in the minors, and Dell, the former Red Sox sideline reporter for NESN, became public after the 2013 season. They posted a photo as a couple on New Year's Eve, the first public evidence of their relationship.
Dell currently works as a sideline reporter for the NFL on CBS and will be featured on the network's Thursday night telecasts. Middlebrooks has been on the DL since May 17th and hurt himself again on Saturday. Middlebrooks was hitting just .197 with with two home runs in 21 games with the Red Sox this season. He has been rumored to be a potential trade bait once he recovers and gets back to the majors.
NESN announced that Dell would not be returning to the Red Sox telecasts this season less than a month after she and Middlebrooks posted their New Year's Eve photos.
The two biggest stories of Super Bowl Week in New England were Jerry Remy's decision to return to the the NESN booth and word, reported at the time by Boston.Com's Chad Finn, that Dell would not be back as part of the Red Sox broadcast team. He reported at the time that a source said Dell's exit from the Red Sox telecasts, NESN's most exclusive real estate, was "penance for . . . well, one thing or the other."
The Red Sox never said she was exiled to the NESN Sports Today Desk, because of her relationship with Middlebrooks. For some, it caused a journalistic conflict of interest. Others, like myself, saw that a "sideline reporter" giving us a tour of the new eco-friendly bathroom at Fenway during a game broadcast on a team-owned network really wasn't practicing journalism. Dell was, reportedly, also flirting professionally with Fox Sports.
Dell took over as the NESN sideline reporter prior to the 2012 season. It took a while for her to develop professionally in front of the camera. By the end of that disastrous campaign, her presence was about the only thing that made Red Sox telecasts bearable. She figuratively drove the bandwagon during 2013's Improbable Dream season.
"The Curse of Jenny Dell" lives. In the wake of Dell's unceremonious and shameful exit from NESN, the World Champion Red Sox are currently sitting in last place. Dell, who took plenty of heat on the message boards and social media for her relationship with Middlebrooks, has gotten the last laugh.
She's headed to the NFL while the Red Sox can't go any lower in the standings without being in the A.L. Central.
Karma is smiling on Jenny Dell these days.
Her engagement ring? It was only the second most-impressive piece of hardware she's gotten this month.
Middlebrooks, for his part, posted a photo of the Newport, R.I., hotel where the couple was staying Monday. No other information about their wedding plans was posted and neither has publicly commented beyond Dell's photos.
They did share the moment with family.
Family night :) ....the best pic.twitter.com/gMGv67ohKw— Julie Middlebrooks (@juliefrances61) July 15, 2014
Reaction among those commenting on the posts was, predictably mixed. While many offered their congratulations, some felt mixed emotions. As one Instagram follower noted: "If it's wrong to be incredibly jealous and not happy for you at all, then I don't want to be right."
The OBF column is written by award-winning journalist and Bay State native Bill Speros. Hit him up on his Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page, on Twitter @realOBF or at his
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