Posts Tagged ‘Cal Ripken Jr.’

He’s 5’9″, weighs 180, and is 25 years old. He bats right and throws right. He made his Major League debut on August 22, 2006 and began his Major League career with the 2007 season. On April 21, 2007, 45 games into that Major League career, his batting average was .181, and he’d recorded one single in 28 at-bats. He was benched during a Yankee game. Before the next game, he stood at his locker and told everyone to chill out because as soon as he got a hit he’d take off. He proceeded to bat .415 in May, good for earning Rookie of the Month. In the nineteen months that followed, he won a World Series ring, American League Rookie of the Year, and during this month a Gold Glove, a Silver Slugger, and the American League Most Valuable Player, arguably the most prestigious honor in baseball.

Ladies and gentlemen, Dustin Pedroia the Destroyah.

He batted over .300 in a month eight times; batted at least .305 in June, July, and August; and finished 2008 with a .326 batting average, narrowly missing the batting title by a mere four points. He hit 17 home runs, recorded 83 RBIs, and converted 20 out of 21 steal attempts. In 157 games at second base, he made only six errors and maintained a fielding percentage of .992. He’s the third player to win the MVP after winning ROY, following Cal Ripken, Jr. and Ryan Howard. He’s the first Red Sox player to win MVP since Mo Vaughn won it in 1995. He garnered 16 of 28 first-place votes, 6 second-place votes, 4-third place votes, and 1-fourth place vote, earning a total of 317 points. All I have to say to Evan Grant is “What now?!” (For those of you who haven’t heard this story yet, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News didn’t include Dustin Pedroia the Destroyah in his top ten. To say that that was an error in judgment would be the understatement of the century.)

Congratulations, Dusty. You earned it, and no one deserved it more than you. I think I speak for all of Red Sox Nation when I say that we always knew you had it in you. You showed everybody, that’s for sure. You’ve done a lot for this team and this city, and we can’t tell you how much we appreciate it. And as for me, I’m feeling pretty good about the future of second base in Boston right about now. Stellar work; keep it up. No doubt you’ll be in Boston for years to come.

Youk came in third in the AL MVP voting. He was another strong candidate, and to be honest I was a little surprised he wasn’t runner-up. But Dustin won in a landslide, and like I said I don’t think anybody deserved it more than him.

Someone who won’t be in Boston next season is Coco Crisp, who was traded to the Royals for lefty reliever Ramon Ramirez. This trade happened rather quickly, but I can’t say I’m surprised. Theo’s been saying for a while that he wouldn’t hesitate to trade Crisp, and it’s easy to see why. Although Coco Crisp’s defense is impeccable, his offense was lacking, to say the least. And now we’ve got Jacoby, who’s younger, faster, comparable defensively, and more prolific offensively. True, this past season wasn’t his best, but we know what he’s capable of. And even if we assume that Jacoby and Crisp are equal offensively, Jacoby has more going for him. So it’s a win-win: we needed relievers, and Jacoby and Crisp both get to start full time. As far as Ramirez goes, he pitched in 71 games in 2008, pitching roughly one inning per game and one strikeout per inning, and posted a 2.64 ERA. So all in all if we look at this objectively it’s a pretty good deal.

We’ve officially made contact with AJ Burnett’s agent. So have the Yankees, but their negotiations with Burnett have stumbled on the hurdle of his demand for a five-year deal. I know I say this all the time, but that’s because it’s true: we could really use this guy. I say if we have the opportunity to sign him, we should go for it.

In other news, the Pats exacted their revenge on the Dolphins in Florida and won, 48-28.  The Bruins are on a major hot streak. We just served the Habs another defeat, 3-2 in overtime, officially putting us on a winning streak against them and a four-game winning streak overall. Ladies and gentlemen, this could be the year a Stanley Cup finally comes to Boston! On a side note, in Friday’s game against the Panthers Milan Lucic dropped the gloves again and gave Nick Boynton a complete and total beat-down after Lucic had scored two goals and checked him very nicely into the boards. I’m telling you, Lucic is just dominating.

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