With baseball’s World Series beginning this week I think it’s only appropriate to announce manager John Farrell’s Boston Red Sox starting lineup for World Series game one….in October of 2013!
1. Jacoby Ellsbury (CF) –.297 / 18 HR / 72 RBI. The Sox put his guy in the leadoff spot on opening day and kept him there all year. Good move. He was solid, healthy and stole 39 bases. Sox nation wonders if he’ll sign long term deal after the series. Sox management is not worried. Jackie Bradley Jr hit .309 at Pawtucket and is ready.
2. Dustin Pedroia (2B) –He hit in his best spot, second in the lineup and was just what the doctor ordered. Early in spring training Petey said to the press “Hey, Farrell knows how we do things around here.”
3. Will Middlebrooks(3B) — Mr. Cool was cool. The real deal as a number three hitter. A .300 average with 25 homers and 93 RBI. He’s Evan Longoria and what’s wrong with that?
4. David Ortiz (DH) — Big Papi got his two-year deal in the off season. In return Papi promised not to say “its disrespectful to make $13 million a year.” 28 HR and 98 RBI. Good enough.
5. Cody Ross (RF) — The Sox signed him to a 3-year $27 million dollar deal in the off season. Maybe that’s why he played with a smile even bigger than 2012. Ross was a solid number five hitter all season.
6. Mike Napoli (1B) — The Sox overpaid some to get him in free agency but his ability to catch and play first base has been a great thing. His 25 homers aren’t bad either.
7. Adam Lind (LF) — A shrewd move by Ben Cherrington. After taking on Lind’s $5 million dollar contract as part of the John Farrell deal, the lefty hitter was just what was needed in the Sox lineup. 20 homers and 71 RBI and the versatility to play leftfield and first base has worked well. Lind and Farrell in exchange for Mike Aviles. Oh, Canada!
8. Ryan Lavarnway (C) — The move to finally make him “the guy” has paid off. What’s wrong with .271 / 18 HR / 59 RBI in first full year? Having Napoli catch a couple of times a week has been great.
9. Jose Iglesias (SS) –He is what he is. Great glove, no hit. The Sox decision to live with this has worked well.
— Clay Buchholz (SP) –Sox development folks thought he had the best stuff on the staff and they were right. His 18-win season has been brilliant. No brainer to be the game one starter.
— Jonathan Broxton( Closer) — Who knew? The Sox brought him in as a power pitcher to help in the late innings. He eventually took over the ninth inning from Andrew Bailey and….well, it’s fall classic time!
ITEMS FROM THE DUFFEL BAG:
— Does Maine’s Brian Butterfield come to Boston with Farrell? Does Toronto give him a chance to be manager? Remember Farrell and Butterfield were the finalists for the Blue Jays job two years ago.
— It’s a rainy Friday night. There’s a timeout in the local high school football game. The Red Sox have long been eliminated. I hear the entire crowd and cheerleaders sing along to “Sweet Caroline.” Some things never change.
— Did you see former C’s guard Ray Allen put his Wellesley, Mass., house up for sale? 12 person theater. 6 car garage. Wonder if Mrs. Allen will leave some of her cooking stuff behind with the $5.2 million dollar price tag.
— Husson U golf team winning 7 straight NAC championships — that’s a lot of good golf from a lot of different players.
— One of the biggest reasons I want to see the NHL play – I want to see the Bruins young defenseman Dougie Hamilton. He’s tearing up junior hockey. He needs to be playing in a spoked B uniform.