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Over the past week or so, it’s been made abundantly clear that Mike Lowell is no longer happy in Boston. It’s sad, but who can blame him? Lowell has been fighting injury and giving his all to the Red Sox since 2006, and his efforts have not gone unnoticed. There’s a reason Red Sox Nation relentlessly chanted “Re-sign Lowell,” during the 2007 World Series when he proved to be one of the strongest links on the team.
But it’s not 2007 anymore, it’s 2010, and three years in the majors can take a toll on a player, as we’ve seen with Lowell and his ongoing health issues. Now, instead of standing strong at third base, he’s rotting away in the dugout watching his team trudge through the season largely without him. He’s become bitter, and he’s quickly gaining the title of a clubhouse lawyer, as is the case with most veterans when they realize they can’t keep up with the brisk pace of a regular starting position.
I can’t imagine anyone anyone having a good feeling sitting in the dugout knowing that their General Manager tried desperately to trade them during the off-season but was unsuccessful. There’s no doubting how much Lowell loves Boston either. He made that perfectly clear when he opted to take a contract that was one year and $12 million short of a 4-year, 48-million dollar deal that the Phillies offered him in 2007.
Still, there’s a reason that Theo is one of the best GMs in the sport, and that’s because he’s bloodless. He’s able to separate his emotions from his business, and as a result, he’s fearless when it comes to letting some of his major players go. His ability to maintain such a blase attitude when it comes to letting his players go has given him a winning team year after year. Derek Lowe, Manny Ramirez, Johnny Damon and Pedro Martinez are just a few names that come to mind when thinking Theo’s ruthless contract and trading tactics.
We love Lowell because he’s a fighter. He wasn’t brought to Boston to be a superstar, but has worked to earn our love and respect. We’ve seen that as he’s overcome cancer, injuries and surgery to try and maintain his spot on the team. Your heart goes out to a guy like that. I feel bad that David Ortiz, even after being outed for steroid usage, is given the benefit of the doubt more often than Lowell.
As much as I’d like to see Lowell play on a regular basis, I have to agree with Theo on this one.
Besides moral support, I don’t see a role for Lowell on this year’s team. Lowell sports a “phone booth” range where he is unable to cover enough ground at third base and his speed has drastically slowed down. And with Ortiz climbing out of his slump, there’s really no need for Lowell at the plate besides the occasional start at DH to face the left-handed pitchers.
The Sox are desperately trying to make up some ground to keep themselves alive in the AL East and they are clinging to any sort of consistency they can find at this point, even if it means benching #25.