Red Sox Search For “The Great Right Hope”


Howard Sackler wrote a magnificent play called “The Great White Hope” and Boston Red Sox Nation looks adoringly for “The Great Right Hope.” You simply need that dominant right hand power bat especially in Fenway.

March 24, 2013; Clearwater, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox shortstop

Xander Bogaerts

(72) against the Philadelphia Phillies works out prior to the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Bright House Networks Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

You see it today. The Sox are prone to left handed pitching. Stellar or mediocre it seems they are vulnerable. Sox will score a boatload of runs but that something special is missing. The panacea for this was suppose to be Mike Napoli – after all he had made a career of tormenting the Red Sox in both his Los Angles and Texas stints. He morphed into Dick Gernert. I’d settle for Butch Hobson.

Jimmie Foxx was called “The Beast” for a reason. A fearsome physical force who could simply annihilate the ball. Ever since Thomas Yawkey was able to take advantage of depression economics and pry Foxx away from the then Philadelphia Athletics that vaunted right hand bat has been either a mainstay or longingly searched for.

The Red Sox have gone in two directions in seeking hope. The first is the import such as the mentioned Double XX. Vern Stephens filled the bill for a few season as did some later additions such as Jack Clark, Tony Armas and my personal favorite Dick Stuart. Why even Felix Mantilla filled the position for a season. Jackie Jensen was a legit five tool player who was once an MVP but his career was shortened by a fear of flying. Manny Ramirez gave almost a decade of right hand stability to the cause.

The Red Sox also attempted the home grown and on top if that list is Tony Conigliaro. League home run champ at age 20. Built for Fenway and a local kid that had 500 home runs and Hall of Fame stamped on him until……

Jim Rice was a classic Foxx type beast. Raw power to the nth degree. He personified the job description . I witnessed balls that I thought no human was capable of hitting that far or hard. Imagine a young Rice in the current lineup.

Others have brief flings or longer stays such as Nomar Garciaparra,Dwight Evans, Rico Petrocelli and even Walt Dropo, who for one spectacular season showed such promise.

June 23, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Boston Red Sox third baseman

Will Middlebrooks

(16) sits in dugout against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes potential gets traded such as Handley Ramirez. Sometimes they suddenly show up and fade such as Will Middlebrooks. Maybe he will resurrect his career? Now we await Xander Bogaerts.

Xander is lithe in form and is projected to “fill out” by those in the know. I’ve see the projections of a 30+ home run potential. I’ve seen him play at Pawtucket and he is offensively about as smooth as it gets. Eyeball glance says the real deal. So he is currently at the top of the list for the next “Great Right Hope.” I’m betting he will be.