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Don't move Will Middlebrooks to first base

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  July 16, 2013 01:20 PM

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Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
1977 BOS 159 637 593 77 157 33 30 112 5 27 162 .265 .300 .489 .789 101
BOS (6 yrs) 623 2429 2230 285 561 98 94 358 10 147 495 .252 .296 .439 .735 93
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/16/2013.

I'll admit my bias upfront -- Hobson was my favorite player as a kid, and I'm irrational when it comes to his contributions to the Red Sox. But that '77 season, in which he set a Red Sox record for homers by a third baseman while usually batting ninth, was a fine one, especially in an era when on-base percentage was little more than an element in Earl Weaver's secret formula.

Hobson's career was derailed by too many dive bars and dives into the bat rack, with an assist to Don Zimmer, a manager who didn't have the good sense to take him out of the lineup in '78 when he was adjusting bone chips in his elbow before he threw.

Middlebrooks isn't David Wright, though Bogaerts may be. We hope he's not Russ Davis. But Butch Hobson '77?

I could live with that for a half-dozen years or so, with Iglesias at short if he continues to hit enough and Bogaerts if he doesn't.

If Bogaerts does move to third, then Middlebrooks is an appealing trade chip.

Just don't let Zimmer anywhere near him. And don't move him to first base.

About Touching All The Bases

Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.

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