JD Drew is an interesting sort, to say the least. I’m trying to remember a Red Sox signing that was met with the same reaction as his was. Most Red Sox fans were dumbfounded. They thought he was overpaid. They thought he was soft. They though he was anything other than a player the Red Sox should sign. And, it was really too bad.
JD Drew had a lot of talent. Because of that, it sometimes looked too easy. It looked like he didn’t care. And, maybe he didn’t. But he was a much better player than he is given credit for. If you watched, you saw that his effortless play actually created results. I can’t tell you how many times I was in the stands when a ball was hit to him. I’d watch him casually fling a ball into the infield, only to be amazed when it would beat a runner to a bag for an out. It looked too easy to be effective. It was true beauty.
Did he play hurt? I don’t know. I’m not him. I know that playing hurt is hugely overrated. The idea that 90% of so-and-so is better than a back-up is usually bunk. I’m glad he took himself out of games sometimes to allow a healthy player take his spot. Joe Dimaggio did that, and it became part of his legend. Drew does it, and he’s soft.
Is Drew the best rightfielder in Red Sox history? No. The best in the last 20 years? Probably. Add that to his $15 million grand slam, and you have a pretty good signing.
Happy 36th Birthday JD Drew!