The Boston Red Sox are preparing to bid farewell in retirement to Mike Lowell in a pre-game ceremony scheduled for Saturday, Oct 2nd before they play host to the New York Yankees. The Yankees, ironically, are the team that drafted Lowell in the 20th round of the June 1995 amateur draft.
In case you can't recall, Lowell was acquired by Boston on November 24, 2005 from the Florida Marlins along with Josh Beckett and Guillermo Mota for Jesus Delgado, Harvey Garcia, Hanley Ramierz and Anibal Sanchez.
Lowell spent 13 seasons in the big leagues with 3 different clubs and amassed 222 HR's, 949 RBI's and a .278 batting average. He was a 4 time All Star and the 2007 World Series MVP as well as a fan favorite in Boston. Always considered a working class player.
Even before the Red Sox made preparation for his pre-game retirement ceremony, Lowell had already pre-arranged to have his entire family in Boston for his final weekend. Red Sox fans can participate in "Thanks, Mike Night" by attending the game or by posting their well wishes for Lowell at the website: www.redsox.com/thanksmike.
Lowell, who became a free agent after winning the 2007 World Series MVP award took a home town discount to stay in Boston. He signed a 3 year, $37.5 million dollar deal only to have the team go out a year later in December of 2008 and try and sign free agent corner infielder Mark Teixeira. If that had happened, Kevin Youkillis would have moved to third and Lowell would have in all likely hood been moved out of Boston. Lowell was actually traded in December of 2009 to the Texas Rangers for catching prospect Max Ramirez but the deal fell through because of a right thumb surgery Lowell had to have just weeks later.
Ultimately I think what ownership has done in the past with regards to previous players has been great.
However, it seems rather odd to me that the Red Sox, who made every attempt possible to shop Mike Lowell around by the trading deadline on July 31st, begin preparations for a pre-game retirement ceremony now in his honor. Given the recent history with the Sox trying to unload Lowell, doesn't this all seem strange?
I've often wondered since the announcement was made on his retirement ceremony what Lowell's thoughts might be on this subject. We'll probably never know, Lowell's too much of a class act to react negatively on this and why would he, they ARE actually honoring him.
Having grown up a life long Red Sox fan, I would like to believe that the Red Sox are acting in good faith by honoring Mike Lowell in retirement. This is something I would agree is well deserved, but I can't help but feel that the Red Sox PR fingers are all over this one.
Red Sox fans or Red Sox Nation as they are sometimes referred to as, are no fools. I just hope this move doesn't taint the fans persona of the Red Sox organization and it's current ownership.
I do think this will be a great opportunity for fans to show Lowell their true appreciation and loyalty for his contributions to the Red Sox and especially for the 2007 World Series Championship he helped bring back to Boston.