As we sit here approaching the end of May, the Red Sox leader in batting average (.336), slugging percentage (.610) and OPS (1.001) is someone you might not have expected when the Olde Towne Team headed north from The Fort: third baseman Mike Lowell. That's right, the "throw-in" in the Josh Beckett deal—the guy the Marlin "brain trust" absolutely had to unload to make the thing work. Thank you, South Florida.
Were it not for some big guy named Jim in Chicago, Lowell would be a leading contender for AL Comeback Player Of The Year. In addition to playing a steady, "stand-up" third base defense, Lowell's offense appears to be tracking with (and in some cases surpassing) every other year in his career—except 2005.
Add to all of this the fact that he is one of the premier "character guys" in baseball, and it now seems that (despite Hanley Ramirez' fine start) the Red Sox have fleeced the soon-to-be San Antonio Missions big time. With all the confusion that swirled around the "GM" position at the time the deal was made, the NOG deserves credit for sticking to its plan and making it all work.