Does John Lackey deserve our sympathy?
Who is this little boy wearing J.D. Drew’s old uniform? He claims he’s his little brother and is our Short Stop this year. I suppose we’ll take his word for it. Hunter Golden gives TRUST.
A look back at the revolving door that has been Boston Red Sox shortstops since Nomar Garciaparra’s departure in 2004.
With less than 2 weeks to go before Pitchers and Catchers officially report, we are continuing to pass some of the cold long winter by making some bold (and a few not so bold) predictions for the upcoming season.
Remembering my childhood hero’s rise to stardom, fall from grace, and re-emergence as a true symbol of what the Boston Red Sox mean to all of us.
Hunter Golden gyrates, grooves and hip swivels his way into your hearts and minds by providing you with this week’s Red Sox Hot Stove news in a nice, neat tupperware container.
For whatever reason, I’ve been having a large number of conversations about retired numbers lately. From students trying to get me on a tangent by asking who they all are to discussions about whether Pedro Martinez’ return on Opening Day was a play to get 45 on the facade, the frequency of the topic has gotten me thinking about what the next number retired would be. So, instead of the usual recriminations or wishful thoughts on the 2010 campaign, I wanted to run down the top 5 candidates in order of what I think is their likelihood of retirement. I don’t expect everyone to agree, but it should spark some interesting conversation.
The current list stands at 1, 4, 6, 8, 9, 14, and 27 (along with Jackie Robinson’s 42). Bobby Doerr, Joe Cronin, Johnny Pesky, Carl Yastrzemski, Ted Williams, Jim Rice and Carlton Fisk — as good a rundown of Red Sox greats as you can get. Hall of Famers all, aside from Pesky, who represents a special case. The restrictions on retirement have been eased by current ownership, and the rules are now a bit fuzzy; it used to be that a player had to begin and finish a Hall of Fame career with the Sox. That seems to no longer be the case, despite a few acrobatic moves to get Fisk there. So, with that in mind, here is my list of five, along with their numbers, chances and qualifications.
Since agreeing to come back to Fire Brand recently, I’ve reading the site’s archives — in part to get a feel for the place after a few years and in part to try and brush off the writing cobwebs and remember how to do this again (and I’m already opening an article with a self-referential aside, so I guess it’s like riding a bike). Anyway, it struck me while reading that these pages haven’t yet addressed one of the most notable deals of the winter: Nomar Garciaparra’s one day contract.
The Fireside Chat crew put together an excellent discussion of the move, but I feel like Nomar’s Red Sox career — and his career in general — deserves an obituary in addition to a eulogy. After all, you can trace these current Red Sox — and moreso this current Red Sox era and fanbase — right back to 1997 and right back to the phenom shortstop that lit Fenway on fire that summer. Nomar Garciaparra created the modern Boston Red Sox, and gave us some of the greatest moments this side of October, 2004, and now he’s Red Sox property again, this time for eternity.
One of the more interesting names in Red Sox history with an origin from his fathers first name turned backwards and his last name is a combination of his parents last names. He was not only an elite athlete, but with a 4.0 GPA in high school and majored in business management at Georgia Tech. He was then drafted 12th overall by the Boston Red Sox in 1994 with the 12th overall pick.
After three years in the minors he made his first full season in 1997 with the Red Sox. He led the league in AB, hits and triples. He won the rookie of the year award and was voted 8th in the MVP award voting. His season would only be a taste of what was to coma as over the next 6 seasons he would total 40.6 WAR according to Sean Smith’s WAR calculations.
This amazing 7 year span even includes his forgettable 2001 season including the Sports Illustrated cover, a wrist injury and only 21 games played. That’s how great he really was and comparing him to Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez he was right in the middle with Rodriguez totaling 54 WAR in his first seven full years and Jeter with 35.1.
While in Boston he was often known for his first pitch swings and infield pop ups, but that never hurt his production. He was not much for taking walks with a career BB% of 6.6%, but much like Dustin Pedroia he could hit most anything around the plate. He only struck out 10% of the time on average.