Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Some fans will never like Stephen Drew. Maybe it's because they didn't like his brother, the emotionless J.D. Drew. Or they don't like that he struggles against left-handed pitching. Or maybe it's just because, in comparison, Xander Bogaerts is so fun to like.
Bogaerts had two important walks in Game 4 of the ALDS against Tampa Bay. He was also used as a pinch-runner in Game 3 and scored. He his an exciting player and the Red Sox are giddy about his future.
But Drew remains the starter at shortstop. He not only plays very dependable defense (just not as flashy as say a Jose Iglesias), his OPS (combined on-base and slugging averages) ranks third among American League shortstops. And his personality fits in this clubhouse. He's a grinder who is respected by his teammates.
It is also easy to say Drew will start in the ALCS because neither possible opponent has a left-handed starter.
But Bogaerts will remain a weapon off the bench. He was one of several enoyable stories from that clinching Game 4. See today's column.
So, who do the Red Sox want to play in the ALCS? Both teams can hit and pitch. The Tigers ranked second in the league in runs scored (behind Boston, and Oakland was third.
In team ERA, Oakland was second (behind Kansas City) and Detroit third.
History, of course, is against the A's. Since 2000, they are 0-for-5 in ALDS Game 5's. See the New York Times story.
And finally, reliever Craig Breslow tweeted this to some of his special fans:
Thank you friends @TuftsMedicalCtr. Such a moving & inspirational message. Just when my champagne tears had dried up
See the link.
Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.
Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases
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