Not many outside the Red Sox clubhouse and front office had the outright confidence that the Boston Red Sox offense would be as lethal as it has been so far in 2010. It is simply hands down the best in all of baseball right now â€“ and I expected them to be towards the lower end of a top five offensive team in 2010. The team numbers themselves are staggering.
Through June 21, the Sox ranked first not just in the American League but in all of baseball in eight offensive categories: at bats, runs, slugging percentage, hits, doubles, total bases, RBIs, and OPS. And they are second in the game in batting average, on-base percentage and home runs.
Scarier for opponents is that given the fact that Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Cameron and Mike Lowell have yet to contribute significantly to the Sox success so far this year, Bostonâ€™s offense could stay just as strong or get even more dynamic if and when they all get into the everyday lineup as the season rolls on. In Lowellâ€™s case, he just needs to get a decent amount of at bats under his belt, as he has only 12 so far in June. The man has the patience of a saint and I commend him for that as he waits for either more playing time, to be released or traded. He is certainly not rooting for injuries to the offensive stars of recent weeks that take up his spot in the lineup, third baseman Adrian Beltre and DH David Ortiz.
The Sox clearly have long forgotten about the absence of three-time all-star leftfielder Jason Bay from the everyday lineup. And itâ€™s a good thing, as the Mets corner outfielder is underperforming offensively, with only four homers and 27 RBI in 2010. But one player no one in Boston will ever forget about is the notorious leftfielder/DH he was traded for July 31, 2008 in a three-team deal: Manny Ramirez.
Mannyâ€™s Return To Boston
The most divisive slugger in recent Red Sox history, and maybe ever, returned to Fenway Park last weekend as an L.A. Dodger. Friday night saw pockets of the Fenway faithful stand up while Manny was still in the on-deck circle awaiting his first at bat back in town. Once his name was announced, it was a more or less a loud mix of boos, claps, and cheers for the former 2004 World Series MVP. And that suits him well, as his actions through the nearly eight seasons with Boston drew as many criticisms as they did adoration and celebration.