06.27.11

Many People Would Like To See J.D. Drew….Dead (Except John Tomase)

Posted in Baseball at 4:34 pm by

With apologies to Armand Schaubroeck for the above headline, Red Sox RF J.D. Drew made an early exit during yesterday’s 4-2, series-salvaging win at Pittsburgh, after fouling a ball off his left eye during BP.  While it would be the height of exaggeration to say Drew never found a physical ailment that wouldn’t keep him out of a lineup, it is entirely accurate on the part of the Boston Herald’s John Tomase to claim many Red Sox fans have been “eager to crate him up aboard the first steamer to Siberia” since his arrival from Los Angeles in 2007. However, citing a number of hard-hit balls (many of ‘em caught by outfielders) over the past few week, Tomase insists that Drew, “deserves one more chance”.

Drew describes most of his struggles this season as mental. He was swinging the bat well out of Fort Myers and as late as April 27 found himself hitting .285 with an .800 OPS.

Then Drew fell off a cliff. He hit just .179 over his next 26 games with production that barely showed up under a scanning electron microscope — two homers, two doubles, five RBI.

Drew is never going to be popular with Red Sox fans, who shriek like banshees at the mention of his name. They’ve believed him overpaid since the day he signed for five years and $70 million.

But for all the heat general manager Theo Epstein has rightfully taken over free agent signings like John Lackey, Matt Clement and Julio Lugo, Drew doesn’t belong in their class. He’s been a tough out, an exceptional right fielder and a clutch postseason performer. He’s no superstar, but he’s a valuable piece of a winning team.

He can still be that piece. Drew just needs a little more time. The Red Sox should give it to him.

5 Responses to “Many People Would Like To See J.D. Drew….Dead (Except John Tomase)”

  1. Tim says:

    The Boston writers do this a lot–they have a little narrative they use to dive back into when they’re short on stuff to write about. When he came here it was the regurgitated “does he care?” nonsense that, thankfully, no one with half a brain would wonder watching him play. It was so obvious and the marginal few still oblivious so pervasive that it evolved into this “you know, JD Drew’s been pretty good here” thing. Its true, but I’ve seen nearly every guy between the Globe and Herald throw a version of this story out there in the last 2+ years.

    Red Sox fans don’t hate JD Drew. Not most of them–initially the “always injured/ doesn’t care” was the “line” on him, but eventually I think most formed a very fair opinion of him during his time here watching him every day: always plays hard, elite defensive player, amazing baserunner, seems like a decent enough guy. And while the “left because he fouled a BP pitch off his eye” is quintessential JD Drew, with the exception of 08 when he had a pretty big leg injury and played 109 games, he’s been at or near 140 games year in, year out. He was never the constant injury headache for the Sox. No ironman, but not someone worth singling out anymore.

    Now, this idea that he “deserves another chance” is probably not true, and no way is it as obvious as Tomase says. I think he’s blown through that both temporally and through the depth of the struggles. Statistically he’s bottomed out, but I guess, sure, it isn’t a huge sample yet. Observationally, he looks, at the very best, to be on the first steps of his decline (as opposed to the also very real possibility “he went directly to toast”). He might have another carry-the-team flash (he’s had them throughout his time here), it might be short and may be the last of its kind.

    I can live with him against most RHP for now. But I’d say he’s got to the ASB to show a hot streak before they start looking at Reddick a lot closer. They have the benefit of being able to DFA Darnell McDonald (who’s OPS is LOWER THAN ADRIAN GONZALEZ’S BATTING AVERAGE.) and keep Reddick around when Crawford comes back.

    Drew is a hard guy to wrap your arms around just because he’s so even-keeled, but there’s something kind of interesting about it to watch, and as a fan, he was a really good player for the Red Sox and I think worth the contract, every penny. People forget that in addition to his underrated offense, he does literally everything on a baseball field very very well. Such a well-rounded player. I can only speak for me, but I’ve always enjoyed having him on the Red Sox. He’s kind of a fascinating guy, honestly, if you really soak in how little of himself he shows when he plays.

    Also, Game 6 ALCS in 07, grand slam off Fausto Carmona. Huge HR that postseason, and he even overrode motherboard protocol and rocked a fist pump around first.

  2. john jacobs says:

    My problem with Drew is have the time he looks asleep during at bats. He takes so many last strikes with no look at bearing down or doing anything aggessive late in the count. Mc Donald or the Cameron are not the answer

  3. Grant says:

    Ratfucker (alt. headline from Schaubroeck)

  4. Rog says:

    JD Drew gets a pass in my book for the homer off Carmona, alone.

    Here’s the thing: the Red Sox got exactly what they thought they would get from him and now that everyone is properly versed in the Dummies version of Saber-metrics, I think most actual baseball fans who don’t write about it for a living understand his game and his contributions to the team.

    My question is: what is the definition of “one more chance?” His contract is up at the end of this year and the season is almost half-way over. That’s a really gutsy commentary by Tomase. I think he just wants to beat the inevitable Drew nostalgia 5 years after he retires and comes back to Fenway. Clever move, Tomase, clever move.

  5. gh says:

    The future is now put Reddick in right with Crawford comes back

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