Archive for the ‘Julio Lugo’ Category

Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard

With the fantasy league going so well, I’ve forgotten that I started this blog to actually write about real baseball. So I’m going to knock off the rust, spew some opinions, and hopefully start some discussion.

Last year I wrote a post titled 5 Reasons I Hate the J.D. Drew Signing. This was one of the first things I wrote, and the interesting thing about it is that it was actually referenced on TheSportingNews.com.

So in an attempt to get thefoulline.com back out in the world of baseball opinions, here is an update on the same theme.

6 Reasons I Hate Julio Lugo:

1. He’s a career .271 hitter that’s being paid $9 million a year. The Sox could have kept Orlando Cabrera for the same amount of cash.

2. He looks like a velociraptor when he’s getting ready to hit.

3. A major league leading 11 errors so far in only 35 games played.

4. He runs like a bowlegged donkey.

5. He complains about the Boston media… to the Boston media… when they write negative things about him. Memo to Julio: You’re not in Tampa Bay anymore.

6. Julio wears #23. This number should be reserved for great athletes. Guys like Michael Jordan, Don Mattingly, Lebron James, Pete Maravich and Ryne Sandberg have all worn this number with a certain distinction. Lugo should wear #67 until he proves worthy.

This list could be endless. What would you add?

Just the way they Drew it up…

Last night the Red Sox showed the difference between a good team and a team that is going to go deep into the playoffs.

Boston spotted Tampa Bay a seven-run lead going into the bottom of the fourth inning after a second poor start by Tim Wakefield. Usually this is the time Francona starts to empty the bench and concede the loss, but last night the Red Sox showed some resilience and battled back, with 15 runs in the final five frames to pull out a 16-10 victory.

There were several key players who came through in the clutch. First of all, Julio Lugo came up with three big hits last night: a single, a double, and a steamrolling of Dioner Navarro on a sacrifice fly by Dustin Pedroia in the 4th inning. Secondly, Mike Lowell went about business as usual as Boston’s Most Valuable Player this season with a 4 for 5 night.

Which brings me to J.D. Drew.

I have been pretty vocal regarding the Drew signing. I disagreed with the length and cost of his contract, and I have routinely pulled my hair out watching Drew go through the motions in a horrible season. Last night, Drew may have taken the first steps to turning this season around.

J.D. was 3 for 4 with a home run and four runs scored, but the most important thing Drew did last night was drawing a walk in the 6th inning to load the bases, which was followed by a Kevin Youkilis triple to give Boston the lead. In the past Drew would have either struck out or hit into a double play to kill the rally, but instead he showed poise and the disciplined batter’s eye that Boston was hoping for when they signed him.

If Drew can build on this performance, it will give the Red Sox lineup the boost it needs for the playoffs, and maybe even give J.D. Drew a clean slate with bloggers.

Going postal

The Red Sox mailed it in for last night’s game. Terry Francona put out the worst lineup of the year to face a pitcher that has some good success against Boston.

I don’t know if Curt Schilling pissed off Francona, or wrote something bad about him on his blog, but there was no way the Red Sox were going to win for him. With Manny still faking his injury, and Big Papi taking a game off the to rest his knee, the Sox had absolutely no power in the lineup. Heck, even J.D. was given the day off. Drew was coming off a good series in Baltimore where he had a couple of doubles and several walks. It was nice to see him being selective at the plate and actually getting on base. So why take him out and lose that momentum?

In case you haven’t seen it here is the lineup and batting averages of last night’s starters.

Julio Lugo DH .239
Coco Crisp CF .269
Dustin Pedroia 2B .325
Mike Lowell 3B .321
Bobby Kielty RF .250
Kevin Youkilis 1B .287
Jason Varitek C .261
Jacoby Ellsbury LF .370
Alex Cora SS .236

That was not a typo above – Julio Lugo was the designated hitter for last night’s game. How does that make any sense? He’s batting .239. He was possibly the worst player for that spot. What’s next? Is Doug Mirabelli going to be a pinch runner?

I understand that Francona wants to get guys like Kielty, Cora and Lugo extra at-bats, but not all of them at one time. There should be at the maximum one weak link in the chain… not three!

The race in the AL East is still close enough that every game counts. Boston is up by five games with a big series against New York this weekend. The Red Sox can’t afford to give up games to bottom feeders like Tampa Bay.

J.D. Drew struck out in the clutch? What a relief.

I can appreciate that Terry Francona is well known as a “player’s manager.” Guys love to play for him. He’s loyal to his players, keeps problems in house, and never bad mouths a player in the press. He knows how to manage a game, which is evident by the 2004 World Series. He surrounds himself with good people, like pitching coach John Farrell, who has come in this year and helped turn the Red Sox pitching staff into one of the best in the majors. He has stuck with Julio Lugo and Dustin Pedroia this year even after their horrible starts, and they have both become big contributors.

Here is my problem: J.D. Drew sucks. This guy has been killing the Red Sox this year. He is incapable of producing the clutch hit. It’s like he’s a cyborg that’s wired to only have multi-hit games when the Sox are either playing a really bad team or are up by 10 runs.

This guy is notorious for grounding into a double play at exactly the most crucial part of the game. This week he has struck out with the bases loaded more times then I would like to remember. And it’s not just that he strikes out. I would be ok with him striking out if he actually swung the bat, but he will watch two strikes go by and then on the third strike, he’ll do some sort of weird half chop at it. It never fails.

I was watching the game last night against Toronto, during the 7th inning with the Sox holding to a one-run lead. J.D. was up with the bases loaded and one out. Since I knew there was no possible way that he would get the clutch hit, I found myself hoping he would strike out, avoiding the double play and giving the guy behind him a chance for some RBIs. It’s a sad day when I cheer that he only caused one out.JD Drew is the Tin Man

The other thing is that if J.D. Drew is going to remain in the lineup he at least shouldn’t be batting fifth. Put someone in that slot who has more than 7 home runs and 49 RBIs. Pitchers in the AL have been pitching around Big Papi and Manny Ramirez all year to get to the Tin Man.

Mr. Francona, you really are a good manager, but you can’t change this guy. Some Hall of Fame managers have tried. If Bobby Cox and Tony LaRussa can’t get this guy to perform, don’t beat yourself up when you can’t. You’ve supported him this year, and have given him every opportunity to succeed, but this time it looks like the player’s manager is getting played.