Boston Red Sox Look For New Star For Green Monster Post
Fenway Park's Green Monster
Historic Fenway Park marked it's 100 year anniversary in 2012. Over those years, the Boston Red Sox have had countless All-Stars and Hall of Fame Players patrol the hallowed ground in front of the Green Monster. Names like Carl Yastrzemski, Jim Rice, and of course Ted "Teddy Ballgame" Williams have made left field an honor, not just a position, for the Red Sox. Other names that roll off the tongue for fans may be Mike Greenwell, Troy O'Leary, and even more recently, Jason Bay.
And how could anyone miss a fly ball to left field while Manny Ramirez was out there? Sure, Manny was the catalyst at the plate for the Sox from 2001-08, two World Series Titles, and one of the most fearsome hitter in the game. But left field at Fenway? It was must watch TV. A routine popup could turn into an adventure, while a great catch could seem easy. Even trips behind the Green Monster weren't out of the question.
The last few seasons have become more of a "who's playing left today?" than the consistent fielder who needs to learn, know and respect the quirks of playing in front of 37 foot wall that stands about 315 feet from home plate. When to retreat, when to charge, when to play the ball off the wall are things that most left fielders never need to know on a daily basis. Then again, it is somewhat of an honor, or maybe a mystique, to be known as someone who can be THE left fielder at Fenway.
So where do the Red Sox stand today in 2013 in terms of a left fielder? Let's take a look at the top five left fielders in this years camp. Some are longshots, never to be seen again. One will be there on opening day, perhaps another will be there for the foreseeable future. But here's what we have this season in front of the Green Monster. And by the way, the Green Monster was not painted green until 1947, and was originally just called "The Wall".
A local boy from Quincy, MA, Alex Hassan.
Wow what a story this would make. Boston boy patrolling left field? This is a few years off, barring some major happenings at Fenway.
Drew Sutton, in the hunt in LF at Fenway
Back with the Sox after 2011, Sutton getting another shot. He did hit .315 in only 54 AB back then, but that's obviously too small of a sample size to base anything off of.
Mike Carp. The real dark horse in left field.
Mike Carp could be a backup in the logjam at first base, or be the team's left fielder. He's still a major league player with experience. Injuries have hampered his progress, but the upside is still prominent. A very big pickup in the preseason for a player to be named later.
Daniel Nava- only if he gets a shot to prove himself.
Nava admits he has to earn time with the Red Sox, but young Daniel Nava has the ability to get that time. Left field? - maybe. He was probably penciled in before the Sox signed Gomes, but the opportunity is still there for Nava. He will see time at other positions if Gomes performs.
A $10 million contract for two years says that the Red Sox are counting on Jonny Gomes to be their left fielder. He has the attitude, great clubhouse guy, and the look to be a Fenway favorite. Ben Cherington has placed his confidence, and money, on his bat and future mastery of the Green Monster.