Weekly Superlatives: Dustin Pedroia, J.D. Drew, Jacoby Ellsbury & More
After wrapping up spring training last week, this is the 1st regular season edition of Weekly Superlatives for 2011. Fortunately, this edition will be dedicated to season prediction awards and will not hand out awards from the 1st 5 games of the season, because things have been so poor, it’s hard to pick individuals to give awards to. Coming into last Friday’s opener, there was a lot of optimism and hope in the Red Sox camp, but that has seemingly been thrown out the window with the team’s inability to win. Putting all of that aside, here is a look at some season predictions (0-5 not with-standing) in award form. Enjoy!
The ‘Most Likely to Cost the Team the Most in Laundry Bills’ Award
As the season begins, there are a few things that are certain in the game of baseball. #1 – Terry Francona does not have hair, #2 – J.D. Drew does not know how to smile, and #3 – Dustin Pedroia will play like he has a chip on his shoulder (because he does). Peddy is an aggressive and scrappy player who is willing to sacrifice his body to make a play or get a base hit. He will dive into the bag on the base-path and is never afraid to take on a SS looking for a double-play. He is the type of player you want on your team, because you know he will give you 110% on every play, no exceptions. He is a winner, period. Now if only the Red Sox were winners, I would be a lot happier.
The ‘Least Likely to Play 5 Days a Week’ Award
This is a guarantee more than it is an award. Throughout his tenure with the Red Sox, Drew has spent more time on the bench with odd injuries than anyone in recent memory. He receives more negative attention than practically any other Red Sox player for that and his inability to show emotion. When you couple that with the fact he had a poor season last year, he will likely sit for mysterious injuries and because he can’t hit lefties if he wanted to. The Sox have 2 right-handed outfielders on the bench in Mike Cameron and Darnell McDonald, both of which hit lefties well, so they will get significant playing time against guys like C.C. Sabathia and David Price. When playing well, Drew is a solid guy to have lower in the lineup, but he has to a) Be playing and b) Be playing well, 2 things he has struggled with.
Jacoby Ellsbury & Carl Crawford
The ‘Most Likely to Use the Base-Paths as a Track’ Award
For decades the Red Sox were a slower, more powerful team. Stolen bases were not the norm and having a speedy team just was never in the cards. Now, with the emergence of Ellsbury a few years ago and now Crawford’s arrival on the scene this season, the Sox have more speed than they know what to do with. Both guys could steal 50+ bases without blinking an eye and will apply pressure on the opposition if they can get on base and move into scoring position. They both also provide a huge boost in the outfield, being able to track down almost any ball that is hit their way. With that comes an issue though. Where to hit these guys in the lineup? Do you keep Ells at the top and Crawford at the bottom? Do they both stay in the 1st few slots? Does Crawford lead-off? Finding that right combination of positions in the lineup will be the key to elevating this team to greatness in 2011, although at this point, they need to become a decent team before they can rise to a high level.
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