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Stand by your man(s)

I have never really been a big fan of either player before or since they started playing for the Sox, both because I have felt their on-field talent was overrated (often by themselves and their agents) and because their personalities seem to shine through and be less than appealing. But, I am glad to see that the Sox stuck with Julio Lugo and J.D. Drew. Yes, we won the Series last year and they both played well enough to not hinder that venture. But, they neither lived up to their billing prior to the 2007 season, especially offensively.

I am glad they are here still because the Sox have seemed to have a tendency to invest long-term and big money in top tier veteran players, then if/when they don't blow everyone away, they dump them after a year. Think Edgar Renteria. Renteria came to town after the first Series win and, a la Jose Offerman, took over for two very popular players in Nomaaa and the O.C. We signed him for 4 years and $40 million, then dumped him after a year for a 3B prospect who we quickly shipped out for what amounted to Coco. Great job guys. I truly believe that Edgar would have turned it around probably should still be playing short for the Sox which would be better than where we are not with Lugo. He had some sort of back problem, wasn't welcomed by the fans for some reason (can't wait for the boos when he arrives with the other best team in the A.L. this year the Tigers. Can you remind me again why we're booing this guy?), and there were weird rumors about strained personal relationships he had with his teammates.

Anyway, if you are going to invest in veteran talent, you should allow them to play, especially if they are not hurting your team. Lugo had a terrible year but his track record shows that they should give him a chance to "hit" the "ball" which he failed to do to an alarming degree last year. If he fails a second year, maybe turn to Jed Lowrie for 2009.

Similarly, there is no reason to think that J.D. won't actually start hitting like a 5-spot hitter this year rather than the #8 hitter he stroked like last season. I probably will never like him - stemming back to his exit from Florida State and treatment of the Phillies. But, he can play and we have no one in the wings.

Any free agent we could have signed to replace either of these guys might very well have had similar adjustment struggles to theirs. So, it makes sense to me to see if they live up to their records, and their paychecks, in year #2.

Comments

Matt said…
Ummm... can you say THIRTY FREAKING ERRORS???

I miss Renteria like I miss hemmorhoids. I don't think he was shipped out unjustly. Looking at his performance the following year, it's hard to say that-- for whatever reason-- he just wasn't clicking in Boston. Maybe it was the infield grass. But that year was his lowest FP in his whole career.
Jon said…
And perhaps Edgar didn't want to stick around? Lugo, though he's not been all that great, at least seems as though he likes Boston.

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