The Evil word instability has been one that the Red Sox are very fond of when referring to their outfield in the last few years. The man without a pulse in J.D. Drew, or can also be known as Nancy for his ability to fight through any tough hangnail that came his way, upon the end of last season when his contract expired. That was after he collected his 5 years and $72 million dollars which when you boil it down to his production during that time… John Henry and Co. was robbed blindly on their investment. He missed 204 games in the five years while he was in a Sox uniform finishing with .264Avg, 80 HR, 286 RBI while never amassing more than 24 HR’s or 68 RBI’s in a season. Enough said. During the off season, the need to fill the void in right field was assessed by acquiring Ryan Sweeney as part of the Andrew Bailey trade from the Oakland A’s and signing the 2010 NLCS MVP Cody Ross.
The original plans sought out by Bobby V and the rest of the management was to have a platoon situation were Sweeney would play against righties (.296 career AVG vs RHP) and Ross would play against southpaws (.282 career AVG vs LHP) As per usual in life, everything needs to be taken with a grain of salt because things are bound to happen that will effect futuristic plans especially in baseball. Carl Crawford was originally slated to only miss the first few weeks of the season with a return in early may as a legitimate possibility. Today is May 18th. Not a word has been murmured regarding a possible date for his return after suffering a setback with his surgically repaired wrist and UCL sprain in his left elbow. Even more bad news came seven games into the season when 2011 AL MVP Runner up Jacoby Ellsbury injured himself sliding into second base. Injuries are a part of sports that every team and coaching staff prepares themselves for. They can also be a ray of light for some players allowing them to step in with hopes of being able to help contribute as much as possible to their team’s success. This has very much been the case for Cody Ross in 2012.
Ross has played in 36 of a possible 38 games, ranks fifth in the AL with 27 RBI and is second on the team in HR with 7. He is redefining the words bargain and entertaining these days both of which are important for Dr. Creepy and the rest of the Red Sox brass as they continue their farce of a celebration with the 100 years of Fenway but that’s not the big picture. Ross can and has played all over the outfield playing in center left and right at an average ability might I add. He doesn’t have the greatest arm or instincts for that matter which was apparent on Wednesday night when he stumbled in RF on a shallow fly ball that allowed the eventual winning run to score in a 2-1 loss to the Rays, but he is an admirable outfielder that can swing a mean stick. That very bat helped smash a HR and 4 RBI’s last night en route to a 5-3 Red Sox victory. Sporting the number 7 is appropriate for him in my opinion because he brings that same grittiness that brought on a big following for one of my favorite players to watch during my childhood in Trot Nixon. Being able to keep up the 30 HR 115 RBI and 145 hit season that he is projected for will probably not be likely for Ross. The arrogant bat flips, ruggedness and ability to play every day in any outfield position are indeed definite happenings. The smile he will be exemplifying at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia this weekend will also be enjoyable to watch as the city of brotherly love will continue to embrace Ross with loud Boo’s for the beat he down he bestowed on the Phillies back in 2010. He was a member of the Eventual World Series Champion San Francisco Giants hitting .294 with 5 HR and 10 RBI in the 2010 postseason. If Ross were to help lead this 2012 edition of the Boston Red Sox to a postseason and duplicate the clutch performances he performed in 2010 with the Giants, he would stamp his name in the hallowed history of one of the most illustrious sports teams in the country. At this point in time, this team needs a lot more things to go right before they can start thinking about playing in October. Until then hopefully the rest of this team can take notes developing the lunch pail mentality that Ross brings to the ball park each and every day.
About the Author
Written by Jefferson Mills
I am a 22 year old aspiring sports journalist. I graduated from Hofstra University with a BA in Broadcast Journalism and was born and raised in Norwood, MA, twenty minutes south of the great city of Boston. Sports consume my life in every which way as I have been an athlete since the age of 8 playing organized football, baseball and basketball throughout high school and have been an avid die-hard Patriots, Bruins, Red Sox and Celtics fan. I Interned for the "Mecca of Sports Radio" WFAN 660 AM while in college and also interned for News 12 Long Island. Working as a member of the hardest working sports department in one of the most talented college radio stations 88.7 FM WRHU is the one thing I am most proud of when it comes to my work in the field. My passion and work ethic define who I am as a writer, person and friend which is why I hope to become successful in the sports Broadcasting spectrum in years to come.