World Series Notebook
Red Sox Have Decision To Make With Lowell
Monday, October 29, 2007
DENVER, Oct. 28 -- Watching the jubilation on the field, a sizable contingent of Boston Red Sox fans made their voices heard, and loudly, Sunday night following a 4-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies in Game 4 of the World Series, clinching Boston's second championship in four years.
The chants, in order: "Re-sign Lowell! Re-sign Lowell!" Followed, in short order, by "A-Rod [stinks]!"
The one event that threatened to steal from the Sox' victory was that super-agent Scott Boras announced Sunday night that his most high-profile client, Alex Rodriguez, would opt out of his contract with the New York Yankees and thus would become a free agent. That led to immediate speculation that Rodriguez could end up in Boston, where he would be a replacement for free agent-to be Mike Lowell.
The problem: Lowell, who doubled and scored on a nifty slide and hit a solo homer in Game 4, was named the Series MVP. The fans' sentiments also come in support of his superlative defense and 120-RBI season.
"I'm on cloud nine," Lowell said. "It's unbelievable."
Lowell finished the World Series 6 for 15 (.400) with three doubles and a homer and drove in four runs. He is credited with being a steadying influence in the clubhouse, even as a huge lead in the American League East dwindled in September.
"We knew if we just kept playing the baseball that we know we can play, we'll be all right," Lowell said. "It proved to be true all the way throughout the end of September and to each round of the playoffs and the World Series."
Dustin Pedroia was a prospect toiling away in the developmental Arizona Fall League the last time the Boston Red Sox won the World Series. The 2004 Red Sox had virtually no homegrown players then, only veterans acquired from elsewhere, but there was a mandate within the organization to change that in future years.
Now, Pedroia is one of the top examples of how that mandate has paid off. The 24-year-old second baseman -- and leading candidate for American League rookie of the year -- has been a key part of the Red Sox' success this postseason.
"I got drafted the year they won the World Series," Pedroia said before Sunday night's game, "so I know that year was a special time for them. Once I got up here [to the majors] last August, that's been my mind-set. I wanted to win a World Series like they did."
Pedroia, who is generously listed as being 5 feet 9 and 180 pounds, wound up tied for second on the team in hits (five) and RBI (four) in the World Series, and he accounted for one of the Red Sox' three home runs of the series, a solo shot leading off Game 1.
Asked how many times he had been told by coaches and other people that he could never succeed as a baseball player because of his size, Pedroia said: "Not really [by] coaches. Once I go out there and play, I think coaches kind of like me. But you always hear that stuff from outsiders -- fans, media or guys you play against. They always doubt you."