Once again, Julio Lugo is in the middle of the wrath of Red Sox fans.
It's pretty obvious Lugo just doesn't have the range to be a full time MLB shortstop any more. (Consider that Derek Jeter now has a higher range factor than Lugo does.) And two plays last night made that very clear.
The first was a grounder that Elvis Andrus hit in the hole at short in the fifth inning. I honestly don't know if Lugo could have gotten an out, as he also screened by Marlon Byrd as he was going by. But he should have at least knocked it down. (And Brad Penny wasn't happy with Lugo, as he was seen with his hands on his hips afterwards.) Ian Kinsler then hit a three-run shot off Penny to make it 4-0.
And later in the game, a grounder by Byrd just to the left of second rolled by Lugo, another ball it appeared he should have gotten to, and that led to Texas' fifth run, and that's all they needed in getting a 5-1 win over the Red Sox.
Kevin Millwood pitched seven solid innings. The Sox had him on the ropes early, but couldn't get any runs across. They finally got one from David Ortiz in the eighth, but all that did was avoid a shutout. The Red Sox got the first two runners on in the ninth, but that rally went nowhere, and the four-game winning streak came to an end.
It's pretty certain now that Nick Green will get the majority of playing time at short until Jed Lowrie returns. (And that could be about 10 days or so from now.) The Red Sox have a far better record with Green at SS (21-8 with Green; 8-13 with Lugo) and he gives them more offense too (17 RBI to Lugo's 4).
More and more it appears that Julio Lugo will go down as one of, if the, worst of all of Theo Epstein's moves as Red Sox GM. A four year deal worth $36 million. He's an albatross around the neck of the Red Sox right now. He's untradeable, as no one will take a SS with almost no range and very little stick (what happened to this guy's power as well?), who is owed $9 million next season.
When Jed Lowrie does come back later this month, it will be interesting to see what the Red Sox will do with their SS situation. The answer seems obvious: get rid of Lugo. It's a lot of money to eat, but I don't see where the Sox have any other choice.
Nothing funny about the Lugo situation, but here's something to laugh at (and it explains the title of this post):