Jason Bay Has Found His Bay State

david smithContributor IMay 12, 2009

BOSTON - APRIL 24: Jason Bay #44 of the Boston Red Sox hits a two-run home run in the ninth inning to tie the game against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park, April 24, 2009, in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

This time last year Red Sox nation loved their All-Star left fielder.

Now most of Red Sox fans do not love that left fielder anymore, but they found a new love at left field, Jason Bay.

Since joining the Red Sox in late July of 2008, Bay has a batting average of .304, 18 Home Runs, and 71 RBIs. Not including his .341 BA, 3 HRs, and 9 RBIs in the postseason last October.

Unlike Manny, Bay can field too.

In 2008, Bay had a .985 (.988 with Red Sox) fielding percentage and did not make an error in his final 34 ballgames.

He played on the Canadian Little League team in 1990. Won the National League Rookie Year in 2004 as a Pirate. He is loved by his home country Canada and remains one the most recognized Canadian athletes. He was voted third in a 2005 Canadian male athlete of year, behind Steve Nash and Sidney Crosby.

When being introduced as a Red Sox, he admitted to being a Red Sox fan growing up having a Carl Yazstremski and Jim Rice poster hanging up in his room.

It did not take long for Manny's shoes to be filled. In his first game as a Red Sox, he scored the only two runs in a 2-1 victory over the Oakland A's. In his second game he hit a three-run HR in the first inning.

Now this season, Bay is having an All-Star year. Batting .324, driving in 34 runs, and has 9 home runs. His nine home runs are tied third in the AL and his 34 RBIs is second in the Majors.

Jason Bay is a great team player on the field and clubhouse.

He is loved by many, and he let most of Red Sox Nation forget about Manny very quickly.