October 28, 2007

WHERE EVERYBODY KNOWS YOUR BOXSCORE:

Good Or Bad, An Amazing Ride For Lugo (Martin Fennelly, October 28, 2007, The Tampa Tribune)

Julio Lugo delivered, on the field and in the clubhouse, until the Rays decided they couldn't pay him what he wanted in the market.

It wasn't the wrong call.

But it worked out pretty well for Lugo, too.

''I'll tell you why,'' Lugo's friend and Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz said. ''It's because he's strong.''

Last season, when the Rays traded him, Lugo went to Los Angeles, where he never fit in, and then to Boston as a free agent, for four years at $36 million. A lot more went with it. There was the spotlight.

And when you're hitting .197 on July 12, the spotlight can be brutal.

''The boos,'' Lugo said. ''That was the low point.''

He added, ''It's different here. Everybody knows what you do every day. You go 0-for-4 or make an error, it follows you into the next day. You get a boo in the stands, you get a boo in the paper the next day.

''But that's what you want, you want to be on the stage. In Tampa, I could go 0-for-4 and go home and nobody seemed to remember. Here in Boston they remember. That can be bad, but when it's good, it's very good.''

He hit .197 in the 80 games before the All-Star break. But he hit .280 after the break and his defense picked up. Aside from that dropped pop in the ALCS with Cleveland, he has been mostly on in the postseason.

It's October, a land far away from all the boos. Julio Lugo is hitting .400 through three games of the World Series, with four hits and three walks.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 28, 2007 9:59 AM
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