A Post-Holiday Wednesday GLOW! *Part One*
And with that title, I wish you all a happy "day-after-Christmas" greeting. Good morning!! The Boston Herald's Jeff Horrigan wrote a Wednesday morning article dealing with the top five Boston Red Sox high points of the world championship season of 2007, and the five at the opposite end of the spectrum. I'd like to go over the five high points in this well written article, with my comments following each one. Sound OK? My comments will be in parenthesis. Here we go......
1. BECKETT BECOMES TRUE ACE
"Had postseason play been considered in the voting, Josh Beckett would have been a unanimous winner of the A.L. Cy Young Award. He became the game’s first 20-game winner since 2005 and was a true stopper, going 10-3 when starting after a Red Sox loss. The Cy snub should only drive Beckett harder in 2008."
( Peter here, and there's not much more to say.....Josh "Baseball" Beckett proved that he was the best pitcher in all of baseball, BAR NONE!)
2. OKAJIMA, PAPELBON AT THE END OF GAMES
"The Sox’ bullpen was in chaos in spring training before Jonathan Papelbon asked to return to his role as closer after preparing to start due to shoulder concerns. He ended up being the most dominating closer in the game today, with newcomer Hideki Okajima serving as the perfect setup reliever, effectively shortening the games for Sox starters."
(Hideki "the Darkman" Okajima was the best lefty set-up guy of them all, in both leagues!. And Paps? Just the name Papelbon says it all.)
3. LOWELL SIMPLY INVALUABLE
"The one-time “throw-in” in the Beckett trade, third baseman Mike Lowell was the Sox’ most consistent player from start to finish, batting .324 with 21 homers and 120 RBI before earning World Series MVP honors. Urged on by an adoring public, the team rewarded him with a three-year, $37.5-million contract extension."
(And he's resigned for another three years! Oh joy!)
4. PEDROIA SECOND-BEST TO NO ROOKIE
"Critics were calling for Dustin Pedroia [stats] to be benched or sent down to the minors after a dreadful start but the undersized second baseman got the last laugh. After batting only .172 through May 1, he hit .330 the rest of the way, ending up with the highest batting average ever by a rookie second baseman (.317)."
(Pedroia started to sizzle when most fans and scribes were clamoring for his replacement. He was white-hot for the rest of the year, including his heroics in that wonderful post-season.)
5. THE FUTURE’S SO BRIGHT
"Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester made invaluable contributions in September and October, providing promise for the future. Ellsbury bailed the team out with an outstanding September (.361), Buchholz pitched a no-hitter in his second big-league start and Lester won the clinching game of the World Series. The Sox may not have won without them.
(This is my favorite! Ellsbury will be our lead-off guy and provide great speed on the basepaths and in the outfield. Jon Lester will be a dependable lefthanded arm in the rotation. We ALL know he has heart! And Clay Buchholz? Only time will tell, but I recently watched a recording of his no hit outing against the Orioles, and his stuff is awesome, his future is so bright, and WE get to watch!)
Peter here, without the brackets. The number one low point was Eric Gagne, and who could argue? But today I wanted to concentrate on the bright and shining highs. Have a wonderful Wednesday, which feels like a Monday. Your comments will be read and answered. Do you have any additions to the top five list? And click on the title for another Wednesday Jeff Horrigan Herald article...this one an overview of the Sox season of 2007. A year to remember...forever! Be well.