Thursday, December 12, 2013

Boston Red Sox Need Stephen Drew

All signs point to Stephen Drew returning to the Red Sox. This is great news! It is great news because Stephen Drew at shortstop for the Red Sox makes them a better team in 2014.

It is also great news because I get to fight on twitter with Red Sox fans who think Drew is awful, overpaid and a pussy.

The Drew bashers are a special breed. They are vehement with their hatred of Drew but never seem to have the facts to back up their hatred.

The combination of Drew and Xander Bogaerts on the left side of the infield is much better than the combo of Bogaerts and Will Middlebrooks. If you disagree, then you just weren't watching the playoffs last season.

I know Drew slumped in the playoffs with the bat, but he was perfect with the glove and defense is just as important if not more important in the playoffs than the bat. The ALCS should have taught you that as the Tigers lack of defense helped the Red Sox get to the World Series.

The defensive aspect is lost on so many. If you save two runs with your glove, it means the same as hitting a two run double. Are we clear on this?

Then there is Game 3 of the World Series. Middlebrooks entered the game and the crazy inning begins on an infield single that Bogaerts, now at SS, struggled to get to. I love Xander but he is a pretty average defensive SS. Drew makes that play easily. If you disagree, you were not watching the rest of the postseason.

The controversial play to end Game 3 starts of course with the great play by Dustin Pedroia and ends when Middlebrooks is unable to catch the throw from Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Middlebrooks flat out whiffed. Middlebrooks is a very average defensive third baseman. Bogaerts probably makes that play. He appears to have much softer hands and better reaction time on the hot corner than Will.

Let's talk offense, I keep hearing how Drew can't hit. Well, if the Sox sign Drew he will be replacing Middlebrooks in the lineup. So it comes down to who would you rather have, Middlebrooks at third base or Drew at shortstop? Well, if you go by OPS, the nod goes to Drew .777 to .696. So Drew is better offensively and defensively than Middlebrooks.

With Drew in the lineup you get to put Bogaerts at third where he is better defensively than he is at SS. What I am trying to say is that with Drew, the left side of the Red Sox infield becomes better defensively AND offensively. Imagine that!

Let's now talk about the notion that Drew is always hurt. I am sure you have heard this. This is the same thing that followed his brother J.D. Drew, who I also like to defend.

Below is a picture and here is an article from a site that likes to bash Drew.



Let's break this down. His first full season in the majors was 2007 and he appeared in 150 games that year. He followed that up with seasons of 152, 135 and 151 games played. Then in July of 2011, in his 86th game (that's a lot at that point in the season) he broke his ankle. He was out for the rest of that season and missed a lot of time the following season appearing in just 79 games. Then he came to the Red Sox last year and played in 124 games. What a wicked big pussy huh?

Remember J.D. Drew? He was considered a big pussy too and Red Sox fans would long for Trot Nixon. Nixon was tougher after all. He was a dirt dog and just played harder. I love Trot Nixon but he was not as good as Drew. They had similar offensive numbers but even there Drew edges out Trot in OPS .873 to .828. Defensively it is not close. Drew rivals Dwight Evans as the greatest defensive right fielder in Red Sox history. 

As for Trot being tougher and Drew being a pussy? In Drew's five years in Boston he averaged 121 games played. In Trot's last five years in Boston he averaged 114 games played. 


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