October 23, 2007


The Sox' Starting Nine (Mark Allen Haverty, October 23, 2007, Playoff Grumblings)

Manny Ramirez continued to pad his Hall of Fame résumé with his postseason performance this year. Like Ortiz, Ramirez was on base more in the ALDS than he was not, with a .615 OBP after going 3-for-8 with two home runs, four RBI, and five walks. In the ALCS, he was on base almost as often, with a .563 OBP, with nine hits, two homes, ten RBI, five runs, and nine walks in 22 at-bats. Ramirez put up almost identical numbers on the road and at home, with ten points more in batting average in Fenway and with the same number of home runs at home and on the road.

Fifth is Mike Lowell, who has only raised his free agent dollar value with his performance this postseason, hitting .333 in both the ALDS and ALCS, with a home run and 11 RBI in the ten games. Lowell has become an extreme Fenway hitter, with a batting average .100 points higher in the Fens, as he hit .373 with 14 home runs and 73 RBI in 77 home games; by comparison, Lowell hit just .273 with seven homers and 47 RBI in 76 road games, which is rather pedestrian really. Maybe he hurt his free agent value this year, rather than helped – any team seriously looking at his numbers will see how much Fenway helped.

Sixth is J.D. Drew, who already has the big money but is now trying to justify that he was worth it. Drew has been huge when needed most, hitting .342 with four RBI, 18 RBI, 17 runs scored, and two stolen bases in the month of September over 76 at-bats, making him a huge reason why the Sox held on to win the best record in the league. Add in that he walked more times than he struck out in September, giving him an OBP of .454, and you had him doing a darned good Manny impression. Drew did struggle in the ALDS, but he rebounded in the ALCS, with nine hits in 25 at-bats, including the grand slam that everyone is still talking about, and six total at-bats. There are still plenty of Drew haters in New England, but he is winning them over, one hit at a time.

Recall that it took Josh Beckett a full season to adjust to the superior brand of baseball in the AL.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 23, 2007 3:35 PM

Drew won't amount to anything in Boston. He's the same guy he's always been...

Posted by: Benny at October 23, 2007 4:14 PM

Hopefully. They're paying him to be a good fielder with an .800 OPS, his career norms. If he can do that for 4 years he's a minor star.

Posted by: oj at October 23, 2007 5:05 PM