Thursday, October 13, 2011
Hey Look, Some Good News About The 2011 Boston Red Sox
Right now, the Boston Red Sox deserve all the negative press and publicity that they're getting. From clueless owners, an enabling former GM and former manager down to the despicable players, they are about as unlikable as I can ever remember in my lifetime.
However, we'll take a quick second to fete one of the few non-toxic players from the infamous 2011 squad. Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury received the American League comeback player of the year award today along with Lance Berkman for the National League.
Other than Dustin Pedroia, Jonathan Papelbon (let's remember he was in a contract year) and Alfredo Aceves, Ellsbury was one of the only team members to not look so bad in yesterday's expose in the Boston Globe by Bob Hohler. If anything, you felt bad for Ells as Jed Lowrie is supposedly the only other guy on the team that he's close too (must be an Oregon thing).
After a nightmarish 2010 when he only played 18 games due to rib injuries ("front and back"), Ellsbury bounced back in a bigger way than I think anybody, even a pink hat, could have ever dreamed in 2011. In his fifth MLB season, the 28-year-old Oregon State product hit .321 with 32 home runs, 105 RBIs, 119 runs, 46 doubles, 5 triples and 39 stolen bases in 158 games and 660 at-bats. His 364 total bases and 83 extra-base hits led MLB.
He was also the first leadoff hitter in Red Sox history to get 30 homers and 100 RBIs in the same season while also becoming the franchise's first 30-30 player (homers, stolen bases). His plate discipline was way better too with a .376 OBP and .552 slugging percentage.
Using all his unique skills including Gold Glove caliber defense, he's become one of the most electrifying and talented players in MLB. I'm extremely bias but I believe that he should be picking up some much bigger hardware in a few weeks as AL MVP. Along those lines, Boston has to do everything in its power to lock him down long-term since coupled with Pedroia, he should be the face of the team for the next decade.