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BAY CAN PLAY, NOW THE SOX MUST PAY

By Richard T. Rawson Jr.

Ted Williams. Carl Yastrzemski. Jim Rice. Mike Greenwell. Bozo…err…Manny Ramirez. Jason Bay. The legacy in left field continues for the Boston Red Sox.

Boston fans are beginning to realize what they can expect from Jason Bay, and they are loving every minute of it. He flew under the radar while with the dreadful Pittsburgh Pirates, getting little national recognition for the damage he was doing to National League pitching.

When he was traded to Boston last summer, all of the focus was on the controversial Manny Ramirez. As the chase for the postseason was on, Jason Bay was somewhat overshadowed in a lineup that included MVP Dustin Pedroia, slugger David Ortiz, and Kevin Youkillis. Still, we heard whispers that Bay was a lock for 30 homeruns and 100 RBI’s a year.

We’re just now starting to see what those whispers were all about. He produced in his first taste of the postseason. We’ve seen that he’s a huge upgrade defensively in left field. Recently, we’ve witnessed just how clutch he can be, with two dramatic, game-changing homers in a four day span. The first, a game-tying, 9th inning blast off of the greatest closer of all time, Mariano Rivera. Three days later, he’s launching another 9th inning homerun, this time to put the Sox ahead and vault them into first place for the time being.

Bay is putting up numbers similar to Ramirez without the circus act or headaches. He’s also doing this while making about a third of Manny’s salary, which brings us to Bay’s pending free-agency at the end of the season. He’s forcing Boston fans and the front office to take notice. I can envision Theo telling John Henry to get his checkbook out as he sees Bay among the league leaders in several offensive categories. The Sox brass is probably hard at work right now, trying to figure out the market for a slugging corner outfielder.

At this rate, “Sign Bay Now” signs will fill the stands at Fenway this summer. Jerry Remy calls him the “quietest clutch hitter in the league.” Bay produces, says the right things, and likes playing in Boston. Refreshing, no?

Ramirez may be off to Mannywood, but Jason is welcome right here in the Bay State.

5 comments:

  1. Agree 100%. Bay and Youkilis are running the show... and nice crank by Every, we're in good hands this year.

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  2. Who is this new writer? He seems to know his stuff!

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  3. What a great article! Who is Rich Rawson Jr.?

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  4. MVP written all over him. Can't wait until he really gets heated up. Isn't it great how quickly the Bay/Manny comparison quietly went away thanks to his immediate impact in the dugout and on the field?
    Great Article!

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