Three more to go
Hope you had a great 4th of July, and are logging some time on the beach this week. Three more to go with the Tigers before the All-Star Break, when players (and broadcasters) get a few days away and regroup for the unofficial second half.
Time to open up the e-mailbag and rip through a few questions before Julian Tavarez takes the mound in Motown.
How come you folks don't talk about any of the negatives surrounding the red sox and only focus on the possitives. We would appreciate candid feedback such as the significant mistake the sox made in signing julio lugo. Candor and honesty should be a part of your job as a reported and not as a red sox employee.
Jim, Madison, Conn.
A: Candidly, there hasn't been a lot of negative news to cover, but you clearly haven't been watching when we've talked about Alex Cora needing to step in for Lugo more often, or whether J.D. Drew was playing up to his potential.
We pride ourselves in having a nightly honest discussion about the team's performance... but, when the team is sitting 11.5 games ahead of the rest of the AL East, there's only so much negative we can say.
What do you think is the fate of Julio Lugo by the end of July?
Erik Fraunfelter, Mansfield
A: I can't see him playing anywhere else. The Sox have gone through a shortstop a season... and I can't imagine the team trading away another shortstop now. If anything, the team should've learned its lesson by now that you can't give up on a shortstop too quickly. They did it with Edgar Renteria two years ago and Orlando Cabrera before that. I'm not saying Lugo is going to hit .400 the rest of the season, I'm just saying the Sox will most likely have to see this through. Terry Francona has been trying to do his best to get Lugo's bat on track, and will use Alex Cora to do that until he feels he can go to Lugo regularly.
Red Sox Nation has been incredibly supportive of Lugo so far this season, even through his 0-for-33 slump. The ovation from the crowd after his hit in the second inning Tuesday night was incredible.
We'll see what happens... but I wouldn't expect Lugo to go anywhere soon.
Why, in the opening defensive lineup, do some players have a (1) or (1,) after their names? On the 6/30 Texas game, Lowell had (1) after his name and Veritek had (1,). What does that mean?
A: It represents the number of Gold Gloves won by that player.
Why were RedSox management so worried about the #5 spot? Wouldn't 3 & 4 have to be hitting to worry about #5 producing?
Pam Wolfe, Shelton, Conn.
A: Last year, the Sox got a .231 average from the #5 spot last year, the worst in baseball, and wanted to improve on it this year. That's why they paid a high premium for J.D. Drew this past off-season. Even though Drew struggled in May, he's hitting .261 -- a decent improvement over last year.
My husband, and our 2 children had the pleasure of attending the game on Saturday - the 5-4 loss to the Rangers. We had great seats in back of home plate, the FW WEBB seats. Even though the SOX didn't win the game, I just have to tell you that the RED SOX Organization should be proud for the way they handled Handicap Awareness Day. From the introducing the TEAM on the field and getting to meet the players to the gentleman who sang the National Anthem, was a very moving experience for me and my family. We too have a "special needs" young gentleman and although nothing physical, there is no way he would be able to perform in such a way due to anxiety attacks.
The crowd certainly could tell he was having some difficulty so we all stepped in to help him.
KUDOS to the RED SOX Organization for a job well done.
Paulette E. Russell, West Kingston, RI
A: It was a tremendous moment, as some 37,000 fans stepped in to help the anthem singer (a young man named Peter Rometti who suffers from autism) finish the Star Spangled Banner. We replayed the entire anthem earlier this week and featured him on the show this Wednesday (the fourth of July.)
I spoke with Tom Werner about the moment yesterday, and he said it was "another reminder that Red Sox fans really are the best fans in the world." Hard to argue after a moment like that.
On June 30 a man named Peter Rometti sang the national anthem before the game, and NESN did not go to commercial, so that the home viewers could listen. I, unfortunately, did not catch his introduction, so I am in the dark about who he is. I was touched that the fans in attendance pitched in to sing when he had a little trouble with the words near the end. Can you tell me who Peter is and why he was selected to have the honor of singing the Star Spangled Banner? Thanks.
A: As I replied in the previous email, he is a young man who suffers from autism and was chosen to sing the anthem as part of Disabilities Awareness Night at the ballpark. The rest of the story will live on in Red Sox history forever.