The Boston Red Sox have had a great first half. They currently sit at 58-39, which is good for the best record in the American League. They can’t stop now though since they’re on the verge of bringing Red Sox fans back to the postseason for the first time in four years. They lead the league in runs scored, RBI, doubles and triples. They’re second in batting average. The works only half done though and the hard part has just begun.
Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz must keep having two of the best all-around seasons of their careers. Neither has a chance to win MVP, but Pedey’s defense and Ortiz’ power are invaluable assets to this team. If they can keep knocking in runners, stealing bases and scoring runs they’ll set be the pace setters for the rest of the team.
Jacoby Ellsbury and Daniel Nava have to keep playing like two of the best outfielders in the American League. Ellsbury plays best when he has something to prove, and luckily for Boston fans he has to prove to Red Sox ownership that he’s worth a big contract after the year is over. If he can keep stealing bases and scoring runs at his current pace, he’ll get that payday. Nava’s job is simple: show everyone that his first half was not a fluke. Boston has taken full notice of your All-Star-caliber season, even if the MLB establishment has not.
Mike Napoli is a great second-half hitter, so Red Sox fans everywhere would like to see him continue that tradition. April-Napoli was a lot better than June-Napoli, so for the sake of Boston fans, bring the former. Oh yea, and keep wearing your shirt like an ultimate man at the plate. I’m not sure if it’s intimidating anyone but it makes you look like a Giambi, and he was pretty good.
Stephen Drew has to keep getting injured as much as possible. I think I speak for most Red Sox fans when I say that I like it more when he’s on the DL. Were it not for his guaranteed injuries then Red Sox fans would have been deprived the amazing season Jose Iglesias has had. He’s starting to slip a little, but the Boston faithful have good reason by now to trust his bat. If he could just hit .280 for the second half he’ll still finish with an average above .300. That would be all the Red Sox need from him since his glove is electric.
Shane Victorino just has to stop running into walls, because it’s keeping him on the bench a lot. He’s actually a very solid number-two hitter and it would help if he played more regularly. Jarrod Saltalmacchia, I have a bad feeling is going to let down the Boston faithful in the second half. Hopefully he proves me wrong, because there are plenty of people in New England who would like to see Ryan Lavarnway get a shot.
Mike Carp, we don’t get to see you much, but when we do, you always leave us satisfied and smiling. He just has to keep being the best pinch hitting option in baseball. Will Middlebrooks needs to get his stuff together. Boston fans really liked him last year and thought he was the new Kevin Youkilis. Was that a fluke? If the Red Sox want to separate themselves in the most competitive division in baseball, they will need him to be a part of that.
The bottom line is they’re all pretty much grossly overachieving. Except for Stephen of course. If they just keep doing what they do best, Red Sox fans will have a great summer and a better fall.