He is swinging as sweetly as any left-hander in the Red Sox line-up since Fred Lynn. He is making Web Gem running catches in tight ball games. Ladies and gentlemen, he is J. D. Drew—you remember, the guy you loved to vilify until he hit that Salami in the playoffs last year.
Red Sox fans are now seeing the living embodiment of what Theo Epstein envisioned when he made the 5-year, $70 million investment in the low-key slugger. This is the guy we wanted to see all of 2007. But, hey, while he wasn't worth $14,000,000 last year, he was no bust. First of all, he played in 140 games, that's being on the filed 86% of the time. Not exactly a malingerer. His on-base percentage was .373 and his OPS was 15 points higher than the league average. Sure, he didn't get the 20 HRs and 100 RBI that he did in his final year in L.A.—but considering the adjustment to a new league and the circus that is Boston media, it was a pretty decent year. And now, when the Papi Void seemed as large as Hillary Clinton's campaign deficit, he has stepped up.