Goodbye, Mike Lowell
Looks like the Sox are intent on trading Mike Lowell to the Texas Rangers. I’ll be sad if this transaction goes through — Lowell must still pass medical exams and that’s no gimme. Lowell has proven to be one of the classiest members of the Red Sox organization over the past four seasons. And a performer. Yes, the past two seasons his hip has caused a reduction in playing time and defense, but look at the way he has gutted it out. J.D. Drew takes himself out of games if his dandruff is acting up. Even recovering from off-season hip surgery, Lowell had a higher batting average than Drew (.290 vs. .279), and more RBIs in fewer games (75 vs. 68). I’m not saying that at this stage of his career that Mike is a better player, just that he’s nearly as productive offensively. And, I appreciate his approach to the game far more. That is, give me a team of Mike Lowells and I’ll win a World Series… give me a team of J.D. Drews and I’ll be watching the playoffs from home.
(An aside: It is interesting that the Sox are getting a young catcher in return. I guess you can bet that Varitek won’t be back in 2011.)
Of course, no one from the outside knows what goes on behind closed doors at Fenway, but I find it interesting the Sox would rather trade Mike Lowell than David Ortiz. Yes, Ortiz’s bat may still be a bit more potent — although his production in clutch situations last year was abismal. But I’d rather keep a guy like Lowell, who could play third, first and DH (as he is expected to do for Texas) than Ortiz, who would be a weak first base sub at best.
Anyway, I hope this move works out for Mike. I expect him to have a good year for Texas, one that will have Red Sox nation envious. It might even end up being poetically just that Texas eeks out the wild card playoff spot ahead of Boston based on the production of Mike Lowell.
But whatever happens, I’ll always think of Mike Lowell as one of the great Red Sox, both for his on-field exploits, and his character off the field. Thank you for giving us what you had, Mike.