Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Guess that Red Sox Slugger

Let's see if you can guess which current or former Red Sox first basemen is Player A and  which current or former Red Sox first basemen is Player B.  The stats are courtesy of and are confined to the player's time with the Red Sox.

Player A: .316/.383/.509, 32 HR, 150 RBI, 67 2B, 221 games
Player B: .236/.366/.412, 33 HR, 120 RBI, 29 2B, 222 games

If you guessed that Player A is Adrian Gonzalez and that Player B is Jack Clark (who was mostly a DH with the Red Sox), well, you have way too much time on your hands.

I find it interesting that in almost the exact same amount of games played, Clark's production is comparable to that of Gonzalez.  Remember, when Jack Clark was with the Red Sox he was at the end of an 18-year career and was not in his prime being paid an average of $22-million a season.

In Gonzalez' defense, he has volunteered to move to the outfield so the Red Sox lineup could accomodate himself, David Ortiz, Will Middlebrooks, and Kevin Youkilis and I'm sure the move from first base to right field has taken some of his focus off of his hitting but (there's always a but in these arguments) there was no position change to blame for his slump in 70 second half games a year ago - .317/.404/.489, 10 HR, 40 RBI, 16 2B.  Those numbers do look good but when you compare them to the production he had in 89 first half games - .354/.414/.591, 17 HR, 77 RBI, 29 2B - then his 2011 second half was a slump.

The bar is high for Gonzalez and he is being paid to be a lot closer to the guy we saw in the first half of 2011 - or even the finished product of 2011 (.338/.410/.548, 27 HR, 117 RBI, 45 2B) - than the guy we have seen in 62 games this year (.260/.313/.411, 5 HR, 33 RBI, 22 2B) and unless he breaks out at the plate, the Red Sox have almost no chance to contend for the playoffs.

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