Mike Lowell Needs a "Team" Lesson: There is No "I" in Boston Red Sox

Jeffrey BrownAnalyst IMay 19, 2010

Mike Lowell was a class act through the winter and the early part of the 2010 season when it came to his role with the team—but, he has let it be known with increasing frequency that he's not happy with his role (as a role-player) on the team.

His act is starting to get a little tired.

Lowell has not been overly-demonstrative, nor has his complaining appeared to be a distraction to the club.

Nevertheless, I believe he needs to stop complaining and focus on helping his .500 club become a playoff contender.

ENOUGH of the self interest already—even if it is coated with niceties and a soft-spoken demeanor!

Lowell was at it again yesterday afternoon around the batting cage in advance of the Red Sox game in Yankee Stadium.

He said he believes the best thing that could happen TO HIM is to be released by the Boston.

But, IMO, this isn’t the appropriate time for anyone to be talking about what is best FOR THEM—Lowell needs to be concerned with what is best for THE TEAM.

Here are some snipets of his remarks:

“I don’t want to use (asking for my release) as leverage, it’s just the reality of the situation (the club is) in. When Jacoby and Cameron come back, who do I hit for? I literally eat up a roster spot…That’s the way it is.”

“Honestly, I actually agree with everything (the team has) done. I actually would have played David (Ortiz) more. I would have needed to see if he was really hurting or he was going to come out of it. That’s why I think I pose a problem. It’s like they feel they owed me at-bats against a lefty.”

“The first baseman (Kevin Youkilis) and the third baseman (Adrian Beltre), they’re two Gold Glovers. They never get batted for. I refuse to wish injuries to good players. That’s so (expletive) terrible."

"I want to get playing time on my own…It’s almost verbatim what I said in spring training. I’m not mad about my life. I’m just mad about the fact I put in a lot of work in the offseason to get where I am, and I’m not playing.”

So, why hasn’t something happened?

First of all, Lowell is a valuable commodity who might get the organization something positive in return—if not sooner then later.

Secondly, the Sox would be on the hook for all $12 million of his 2010 salary if they were to simply release him. They may end up paying the whole $12 million anyway, so it only makes good business sense to get something in return for the investment.

And third, they need Lowell in reserve—in case Ortiz demonstrates he is no longer a functional DH or someone gets injured.

While Big Papi is enjoying a revival over the last two or three weeks, we are only at the quarter-pole of a LONG season.

Anything can, and often does, happen. With Lowell on the bench, if an injury should befall Ortiz or Beltre or Youkilis, Lowell is available to pick up the slack.

He is getting $12 million to sit on the bench…best gig in New England since Matt Cassell was backing up Tom Brady. It says here that Lowell should keep his mouth shut, cash his paycheck and stay ready for when/if he is needed.

If Lowell wants his release that badly, let him agree to rip up his contract and forego the remaining $9 million on his deal!

What’s that, Mike? Yeah, I didn’t think so!

Cut the crap and play ball!


NOTE: Ortiz is hitting .348, with 6 HR and 14 RBI this month. He has three home runs in his last four games, so the Sox are no longer sitting him against left-handers.