Saturday, January 09, 2010

The Best Red Sox Third Baseman Ever?

Of course, this post's title refers to the newest member of the Boston Red Sox, Adrian Beltre. Though he hit only .265 last year while playing half his games at Seattle's cavernous Safeco Field, Fenway Park should be more to his liking. Boston GM Theo Epstein, who has upgraded his team with more pitching and defensive excellence, says this about that...

“We think Fenway is a fit for Adrian,” Epstein said. “It’s hard to emphasize just how much Safeco deflates offensive performance for right-handed power hitters. It’s really a tough place to hit. I think Adrian’s reputation as one of the best defenders in the game, period - let alone one of the best defensive third basemen - is well-known,” Epstein said. “He’s got all of the attributes that you look for in a third baseman.”

I would tend to agree with Theo. Playing at Safeco is sometimes a deflating experience for hitters. Balls hit solidly that would be gappers or taters turn into outs there. NOT AT FENWAY. I look for Beltre to hit .280 or so with 18 to 22 home runs. As for his defensive ability, he is unequalled at the hot corner. Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon called him the best defensive third baseman he's ever seen. Here's the man himself, Adrian Beltre...

“I take my pride in my defense even though I would like to be more offensively solid,” Beltre said yesterday at the press conference to introduce him as the Sox’ new third baseman. “I really like more the offensive side of the game. I’m 100 percent. My health is good,” Beltre said. “I’m real excited to come out and prove that I’m healthy. I made the decision to come here and take my chances to be on a team that has a legitimate chance to get to the World Series.”

We're in for a 2010 treat. Beltre plays the baseball, not the other way around. One of his signature plays is charging a ball and nabbing the runner at first. His range is superior and he will make the infield much more sound. Hey, with three Gold Glovers and a super solid shortstop, well, the sky's the limit. Epstein has said that a run prevented is as good as a run scored. I second the motion! I can't wait to see the revamped Boston infield and outfield this coming season.

Have a great weekend as much of the country shivers with continued brutal blasts of frigid Canadian air. Here in north central Connecticut, the temperatures are more seasonable with lows in the low teens and highs in the middle twenties. Stay warm. Please.

Oh, don't forget...the number one national champion University of Connecticut women Huskies basketball team, undefeated at 14-0, will play the number seven North Carolina Tar Heels here in Connecticut. The game will be nationally televised on CBS and CBS HD beginning at 4pm. I know there's a great football game at that exact time so I'll be going back and forth, forth and back. That previous channel button comes in mighty handy sometimes. The Huskies will be gunning for their 54th win in a row. They've won 53 straight, all by DOUBLE DIGITS. They're fun to watch.

You can click on this post's title for more Sox stuff and as always, BE WELL. See ya.

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