Jul 12

Red Sox Trivia – J.D. Drew Edition

I have a Red Sox daily calendar on my desk at work, and a couple of times a week, it asks me trivia questions that I don’t know the answer to.  Here is today’s trivia question:

“Can you name the Red Sox player who was named Most Valuable Player of the 2008 MLB All-Star Game?”

That one’s easy!  It’s J.D. Drew, the man that all of metropolitan Boston hates.

Poor J.D. Drew – loathed by fans enthusiastic for everything that relates to Boston sports.  An underachiever, a bust, a lazy, good-for-nothing man costumed in cleats and a glove.  It’s sad to think that even with the the Red Sox injury bus full of players with broken bones, muscles, and egos, the Red Sox still won’t put him on the field.

Wait.  Where is J.D. Drew?  Google must know:

J.D. Drew, is that you?

I’m not the only one in the Boston area who is confused.  I somehow made it halfway through the season without hearing or seeing any news about how much J.D. is sucking lately.  It turns out that he very quietly retired, and even that news was snuffed out of the headlines – who cares?  It’s J.D. Drew.  I think this article was written by a very sour Sox fan.  Jon Heyman’s tweet caps it off nicely.

One of the oft-cited complaints about Drew was his tendency to collect minor injuries.  He never played hurt, but he was criticized as never playing hard enough to be hurt.  Despite being a player who could be described as a hypochondriac, he played for winning teams.  In 2006, he helped the Dodgers reach the playoffs after a 2005 campaign that ended with the team 20 games under .500.  Coincidentally, that was the year that Drew played in a career-high number of games – 146 – and set a career-high for RBIs.  The following year, he joined the Red Sox and promptly won a World Series ring.

J.D. Drew probably didn’t get the fairest shake in his career, but he didn’t do a lot to help his image.  Part of the responsibility of a player is to influence fan perception.  Jacoby Ellsbury is a fan favorite in Boston, but he had a stretch of injuries that quickly led to fan perception that he was made out of glass bones.  He wizened up to that and worked hard to earn back his reputation as a dirt dog and base thief, so much so that when he ripped a shoulder of out its socket, the fans largely gave him a pass and put up with Double A talent for half of the season.

Poor J.D. Drew.  Cooperstown will not call for him.  Not every reaction to his retirement was negative, but clearly no one will miss him.

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