There have been a lot of great players to wear a Red Sox uniform. It would be awesome if all of them could play together on one field. While that would be quite impossible since the organization has been around since the first Roosevelt administration, there are still enough team legends around for the Sox to put together an alumni game. They will do just that on May 27 when the Sox have their first Old-Timers game since 1993.
The roster is packed with all-time greats (Pedro Martinez, Wade Boggs), All-Stars (Mike Greenwell, Derek Lowe) and cult heros (Jonny Gomes, Troy O’Leary). Obviously the game will be played in a more tongue-in-cheek manner than an actual competitive MLB contest, but what if we could build a lineup out of the players taking part during their peaks? Here’s how it would/should look.
Wade Boggs, 3B
Whether or not he wanted to enter the Hall of Fame as a Red Sox or Devil Ray, Boggs will always be a Red Sox. He is a perfect guy to leadoff since he led the majors in on-base percentage six times. You want a guy that gets on base (and wins batting titles like Boggs did five times) to start.
Mike Greenwell, C
You may wonder why Greenwell, who played 1,105 games in left field, would be placed at catcher. That’s because the two-time All-Star did record one plate appearance as a catcher, hitting a single and scoring a run. He slashed .303/.368/.463 with an OPS+ of 121 in his career overall. That’s a nice bat to have second.
Mike Lowell, 1B
If Boggs is at third then Lowell has to move to another position. He can handle first and provide pop at the three-hole, what with his six seasons of at least 20 home runs.
Dwight Evans, RF
One of the more underappreciated players in franchise history, Dewey played a mean right field and was a 20-year veteran who could hit for power (385 career home runs) and work the count (three-time MLB walk leader).
Troy O’Leary, LF
While advanced metrics have O’Leary pegged as a roughly league average hitter for his career, he popped 28 home runs and drove in 103 in 1999 en route to becoming one of my favorite Red Sox of all-time. Since this is my lineup, he gets in.
Orlando Cabrera, SS
2004 doesn’t happen without Cabrera, who only played 58 regular season games with the Red Sox but will go down in history as a legend in Boston. Interestingly enough, he had just one season when he posted an OPS+ of 100 or more (2003) but he was a pretty fine fielder and ended up with a respectable mark of 21.4 in bWAR.
Sam Horn, DH
Not only was he the inspiration for the name of the famous Red Sox forum, he was also a lefty-hitting DH who hit a total of 16 home runs in 103 games with the Red Sox.
Lou Merloni, 2B
Merloni can do double duty as the second baseman and radio commentator for the game.
Darren Lewis, CF
Lewis spent most of his twilight tears with Boston, roaming center field at Fenway from 1998 to 2001. He would be out of baseball after 2002. He was a light-hitting outfielder with some speed, finishing his career with a 73 OPS+ and 138 stolen bases. He once led the majors in triples, doing so in 1994 when he won his only Gold Glove.
Pedro Martinez, SP
Obviously. Luis Tiant will have to be an overqualified No. 2 starter.
If David Price can just replicate what John Lackey did in 2013, the Red Sox should be pleased. (Christopher Smith; MassLive)
Price’s dominance last night was coupled with a much-needed strong outing from the team overall. (Chad Jennings; The Athletic) ($$)
Hanley Ramirez sent some Twitter congratulations to Price last night. (Lauren Campbell; NESN)
Diving into mound visit conversations. (Peter Abraham; Boston Globe)
Xander Bogaerts was not phased by Buck Showalter coming on the field to pull Kevin Gausman during his home run trot. (Michael Silverman; Boston Herald)
Tanner Houck is a first round draft pick but the Red Sox are not rushing him up the ranks. (Alex Speier; Boston Globe)
Are we making too much of the Red Sox’s bullpen problems? (Cam Ellis; BP Boston)
What do the Red Sox do on their days off? (Hayden Bird; Boston Globe)