The Boston Red Sox will return to the site of their last World Championship tonight to open a set with the Colorado Rockies, and they will do so without the services of J.D. Drew, who is apparently unable to play after tweaking a hamstring last week.
Consider that “the other shoe.”
Admit it, you’ve been holding your breath like the rest of the Red Sox fanbase. Outfielders have been dropping like flies—one might be able to bring Adrian Beltre up on serial charges at this point—and somehow Drew remained in right, a surprisingly durable performance in the face of all the carnage.
Consider that, following Drew’s injury last week, the Sox rolled out an outfield of Daniel Nava, Darnell McDonald, and Bill Hall—and won the game.
For those keeping score at home, those guys were known as Who, Never Heard of Him, and Whatshisname during Spring Training.
I’ve made no secret historically about my stance on Drew. I find him overpaid, overrated, and remarkably fragile. So for those of you wondering if I am going to harangue him for this stint on the shelf, the answer is simple: Of course I am.
And here’s why. It’s not because he’s dealing with a nagging injury, or even that he’s hurt. It’s that he was willing to accept a spot on the bench with a wound that only days ago sounded like nothing, and he did so when the team needs bodies in the outfield more than ever.
The Sox are about to cruise through Colorado and San Francisco, cities with two of the better pitching staffs in all of baseball, and will face five right-handers in six games. If ever there was a need for Drew in the lineup, it’s right now. But he can’t be bothered to take one for the team because he needs to make sure his boo-boo heals.
Give me a break.
Mike Cameron is battling a sports hernia that will require surgery at the end of the season and it’s killing him to miss games. There was a great story on Boston.com today highlighting how much Cameron is hurting—both physically and mentally—and how he aches to return to the field.
And then there’s Drew, who tweaked a hamstring in a way so minor that Terry Francona indicated days ago that there was almost no chance Drew was going on the DL. Then, with a pair of critical series on the horizon and the Sox already remarkably short-handed, Drew volunteers to sit ‘em out.
It’s just the latest example. Drew can’t be bothered to suit up if his shoelaces aren’t the same length or if his fingernail is chipped. It’s no wonder many on the Boston radio airwaves have dubbed him Nancy. The man officially has no heart and zero capacity to put the team before his own concerns.
So let the Drew Defenders tell me all about his superior defense, how he never takes a bad route to a ball, and how he hit a couple of big home runs during the playoffs.
Fine. Point taken.
But you take a walk into the Red Sox clubhouse and ask Cameron, whose body hurts when he swings, runs, and throws, what it would take for him to hit the disabled list right about now.
Then try to mount a J.D. Drew defense.
Until then, the prosecution rests.