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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Our Enigma

J.D. Drew has been in Boston for only one year. Ask most Red Sox fans, they’d tell you it feels like one decade. The guy is an enigma. He’s that guy you don’t want to see come up in a big spot, whether it’s game seven of the season in Tampa Bay or (God forbid) game seven of the World Series. He’s the guy who wanders to the plate every night looking like he’s thinking about his post-game Prime Rib at The Capital Grill instead of how to approach the at-bat and make it look like he gives a crap.

He’s like that friend we all had in high school. Kind of quiet, keeps to himself most of the time. Everything’s there, but something is missing. You and your friends talk about him behind his back and he knows it’s happening, but he doesn’t do anything about it. He could kick your ass for it because he’s strong enough, but he doesn’t do it because that’s ‘just not who he is.’

This is our J.D. in a nutshell. You see it. I see it. It’s that potential the St. Louis Cardinals saw when they drafted him fifth overall in the 1999 MLB draft. ‘He’s got the tools,’ they thought. He was the guy who could hit for average, hit for power, steal bases, play great defense and be a franchise corner outfielder. 10 Major League seasons, four disgruntled teams, and a litany of injuries later, this is the guy we are stuck with for the next four years. Yippee!

Just watching J.D. play on a day-to-day basis in 2007 made me want to walk away from my television, talk to myself in a low, disgruntled mumble and slowly pull my hair out until I looked like Danny DeVito. The guy makes Red Sox Nation crazier than it already is.

Just imagine if 2004 hadn’t happened yet and this was what we had to watch for an entire season. The Red Sox wouldn’t be able to play Drew in right field because there would be too many full beers, pretzels, shoes, young children and cotton candy sticks being thrown at him on a regular basis. (Now that I think of it, that’s not too bad of an idea. Throw stuff at him until Tito and Theo realize, ‘wow, this guy’s going to get seriously hurt if we don’t get him outta there ASAP.’)

The only problem is the Sox have this guy wrapped up for another four years and $56 million. To be totally honest, the Red Sox would have to pay the remainder of his salary; package him with Clay Buchholz, Jed Lowry, and Jacoby Ellsbury just to get him out of town because no general manager that wasn’t on Mescaline would put this guy on his team. It’s just not a sane thing to do.

Even if Drew happened to have the type of season that got him 5 years and $70 Million in the first place, there’s still the postseason to concern your self with. With a quick glance, you can see that Drew’s numbers don’t exactly mirror those of David Ortiz or Reggie Jackson. While Jackson and Ortiz came up big in October, J.D. Drew falls on his face harder than when you fell off that jungle gym in second grade.

Below are Drew’s career postseason numbers through game four of the ALDS.

Those numbers don’t make me exude confidence in our $70 million enigma, that’s for sure. The Red Sox knew they needed to find great players not only for the regular season, but for the postseason as well. Did Drew’s October stats get lost in Scott Boras’ contract rhetoric? It’s pretty obvious to any run-of-the-mill Red Sox fan that J.D. Drew puckers up in October, instead of blossoming.

Bob Ryan hit the nail right on the head when it was apparent the Sox would be acquiring J.D. Drew. He waxed poetic, in classic Bob Ryan fashion, asking General Manager Theo Epstein: “on behalf of an eager constituency, I hope the rumor isn’t true.”

Well, the rumor was true. And the nightmare known as J.D. Drew is still happening.

About the Contributor
Ryan Thomas served as the sports editor for The Mass Media the following years: 2007-2008; 2008-2009