The water is dirty, and it is good.
Boston Red Sox shortstop Alex Gonzalez celebrates his 9th inning, walk-off bloop single, leading the Sox over the Los Angeles Angels of the Land of Eternal Strip Malls...er...Anaheim, 9-8 on Wednesday night.
Alex Gonzalez was acquired at the trade deadline to shore up the shortstop spot after an injury to Jed Lowrie and atrocious defensive play by Nick Green. At the time of the trade, Gonzalez was batting .210 with three home runs and a .554 OPS in 68 games and 270 at-bats while playing for the Cincinnati Reds. Red Sox Nation groaned and questioned the move; a trade for the sake of making a trade?
Since joining the Red Sox, Gonzalez is posting a .299 batting average and has hit safely in 13 of his last 15 games. His production at the bottom of the Sox lineup sets the table for Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, and Victor Martinez, all productive hitters, to contribute to the run scoring parade the Red Sox have enjoyed as of late. Gonzalez's offensive contributions will be key to the Sox postseason success.
Red Sox GM Theo Epstein brought Gonzalez back to Boston at the trade deadline for his defense, but it's Gonzalez's offensive production that is reaping benefits for Boy Wonder GM at 4 Yawkey Way.
Yes, Theo must take responsibility for the likes of Julio Lugo and the achingly-slow Edgar Renteria while searching for the perfect shortstop.
But the other side of the coin is that Epstein has done some of his best work when it comes to hiring shortstops. If he didn’t get rid of Nomar Garciaparra (much to the chagrin of Boston girls throughout the Hub City) in 2004, bringing in Orlando Cabrera to stabilize the infield, there would have been no World Series parade that October.