Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I almost forgot that I had this thing. After an excellent summer of working and living in the Mount Washington Valley, I'm back on the UNH campus ready to rock out my junior year. If you happen to be around the area, feel free to stop by room 301 in the brand spankin' new SERC A building on the far end of campus. It's totally sweet. Anyway, I'm back and this time I will try to post something just about everyday. In order to motivate myself to do this, I am going to begin a series of evaluations of the 2007 Red Sox for each player. I'll try and do at least one in each post, and I'll probably get to more based on the amount of writing I feel like doing. I'm going to do it by uniform number, which means that I must unfortunately begin this list with J.D. Drew.

#7 - J.D. Drew - RF and CF - 2007 Salary: $14 million.
Back in the winter time, I was fully in favor of the Red Sox brining in Drew, since it was obvious that he was an upgrade as an everyday player from Trot Nixon and that the left field wall would perfectly suit his hitting style. Drew was hot at the plate in Fort Myers and carried it with him through the first three weeks in April. Since then, he's been nothing short of horrendous, batting as low as .222 on June 1 and currently sitting at a putrid .256. Since June 20, he has hit exactly one home run and his seven on this season is easily his worst since his rookie season. He has failed to come through in clutch situations numerous times and his position in the middle of the Sox lineup for most of the season has proved costly.

Last night, the Blue Jays walked Mike Lowell with 1st base open so they could pitch to Drew, even with a right-handed pitcher on the mound. That tells you just about all you need to know about how this season has gone for Drew. He's taken a lot of heat from the media and fans, but he clearly has no intention to at least show that it's getting to him. I wouldn't say the perception about him that he doesn't care about winning or about baseball in general is true, instead I feel he's just one of those players that has an easy style and doesn't get too wound up like Kevin Youkilis. Drew hustles on the field just as much as anyone else, but he just hasn't produced this season to make anyone feel happy about that. Defensively, Drew hasn't made many memorable plays but has made his fair share of bad onces to be sure.

Drew has looked old at times this year, and it may come as a shock to some that he doesn't even turn 32 until this November, and the Red Sox are on the hook for $56 million more through 2011. The question going forward is whether or not this year is an aberration or if this is the J.D. Drew the Red Sox will be stuck with going forward. It's possible that Drew has played through nagging injuries like those to his shoulder and legs and it's negatively impacted his ability on the field. He's also had to deal with health problems regarding his infant son, who underwent an operation earlier this summer. We cannot speculate about what kind of effect this has had on Drew's psyche over the course of the year, but it may have been weighing on him for some time. I'd like to think that in the offseason, Drew will work as hard as ever to prove he is worth the money the Sox gave him. I'm also not ruling out the possibility that Drew could come alive when it really matters for the team. But that might be a fantasy in this lost first season for J.D. Drew.

That's all for now. Good night and good luck.

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