Friday, February 26, 2010

More on Mike


I have this problem where I can’t stop writing about Mike Lowell. Everyday it’s Mike Lowell. Mike Lowell had a press conference, Mike Lowell is still going to be traded, Mike Lowell is staying with the Red Sox. It’s making my head spin and I want, strike that, need it to stop. I’m hoping I can cure said ailment by making myself tired of him. And so…

Theo Epstein “fully expects” Lowell to be on this team. Which is funny seeing as Lowell doesn’t really want to be on this team. Yes, he handled his press conference without saying, “eff these guys,” but he also made it clear that he sees himself as an every day player. If he stays with the Red Sox, there is no way he’ll be an every day player. Unless Beltre gets his knee broken…

Even that would be silly to say. Lowell knows he wasn’t on top of his game last year. Epstein couldn’t begin planning a future based on Lowell potentially being healthy, especially with the injury to his thumb. But now where will he fit in? Well, it looks like he may still be able to play the field at either first or third base depending on who needs a break – Youkilis or Beltre, or if Ortiz isn’t hot this year, it’s possible he’ll fill in part-time as a DH.

Epstein said, “Everyone agrees that you never know what’s going to happen in this game. Situations change all the time. If something opens up here for Mike to make more of an impact, play more, and we didn’t get him ready, then we didn’t do our job. So we’ve got to get him ready. Maybe something will open up, or maybe he’ll help in more of a reserve role.’’

Maybe, maybe, maybe. It’s all a big maybe for Mike Lowell this season unless he gets traded, and who can really be 100% content with that? I’m aware that there are millions of people who would gladly ride the pine for $12 million dollars a season, but they’re probably not athletes. Lowell is the epitome of an athlete. He loves the game, he wants to play, and he wants to win. When it comes down to clutch games, he doesn’t want to be sitting on the bench, he wants to be contributing. I know this seems like a grand and sweeping assumption, but I’ve been around athletes my whole life. They want to win and they want to be a part of the win. Especially if they know they’re good enough. Mike Lowell knows he’s good enough.

Regardless, the Red Sox have messed up with Lowell again. I doubt he’s ever felt 100% wanted with the Red Sox, but this time they’ve really done it. Lowell could be training with Texas right now had the Sox not ignored his report of a thumb injury. If it had been acknowledged and handled properly, he may be off with a team that isn’t scrambling to figure out what on earth they’re going to do with him. The good news is that it shouldn’t be too painful for the Red Sox fans to watch. There won’t be any “the Red Sox are too cheap” accusations, Lowell won’t be claiming that he’s got another five years in him and that he wants to spend two in Japan, he’ll just be there, ready to play when called upon. All I’m saying is that next year I’m buying a Mike Lowell jersey whether he’s with the Red Sox or not.

Samantha Lewis is the Creative Director of North Shore Editorial and can be found on Twitter here. You can read more from her at Beantown Athletic Supporters.

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