Saturday, January 11, 2014

Red Sox 1-36: 30 is for…

30 RBI Jason Bay had in May 2009

I admit that I sometimes give Jason Bay a bit of a raw deal. It’s not his fault that he wasn’t Manny Ramirez. It wasn’t his fault that he was the bag of balls the Sox got back in their worst trade in four years. He didn’t ask for any of it…as far as I know. So, it’s too bad.

Because, while he wasn’t Manny, he wasn’t terrible either. After all, he had a pretty Manny-like May there in 2009. In fact, the whole 2009 season was fairly Manny-like with the 36 home runs, and almost 120 RBI.

But, those 30 RBI in May really stuck out. After all, that was Manny’s bread and butter, right? His ability to sniff out an RBI was what made him the superstar he was. And, then Bay came and had more of them in a month than Manny ever had with the Sox. In fact, more than any Red Sox player had in a month up until that point. Only when Adrian Gonzalez had 31 a couple Mays later did anyone hit more.

Oh, sure RBI is mostly about opportunity. If you’re batting behind the pitcher you’re going to have fewer chances to bat with men on base. And, if you’re batting behind David Ortiz, he’ll take care of quite a few of the baserunners for you. But, having a lot of RBI is still better than not having any. While it certainly doesn’t mean it was a good trade, it shows that Bay wasn’t completely useless either. It’s interesting, too, that I don’t have a better memory of Bay as a result. That was a big month early in a pretty good season. I should remember him fondly, and not as the guy who couldn’t bring us to the 2008 World Series. He wasn’t a waste of a position.

At least not in May

30 is for the 30 RBI Jason Bay had in May of 2009.

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