Lowell in limbo, but not worried

Erstwhile Red Sox starting third baseman Mike Lowell reported to camp on Tuesday with, well, the Red Sox.

Adrian Beltre is obviously the team’s starting third baseman, leaving Lowell in a strange spot. But Lowell is as practical as any player in the Majors, and has no bitterness about his situation. As pictured below by photographer Brita Meng Outzen, Lowell is taking his situation in stride.
lowellgetsit.JPG
Is it a “dicey” situation, asked intrepid radio reporter Jonny Miller of WBZ Radio? “

“Dicey as your articles want to be, I guess. It’s strange in the sense that I thought I was going to Texas, yeah that was a little different. I think I’ve been in some rumors before and I think when you’re going on a plane going to Texas it’s a little closer than most times. I realize I really can’t control that so I really haven’t sweated it that much. I was really concentrating on the health aspect. I’m looking at this spring basically like I’ve done the last 14 years. I hang my hat on [the fact] that I’m healthier at this point in the spring than I was last year and I felt I did a pretty good job when I was in there. I felt last year was the struggle. I think trying to overcome a lot when I basically hadn’t even jogged one time by the time I reported last year. Yeah, it’s definitely weird when you might be going somewhere else and all of that doesn’t pan out, but I guess that’s the way it goes.”

His approach overall: “I’m getting ready for a season. I think I’m pretty intelligent in the sense that there’s no real playing time for me here barring a major injury and I’m not really in the business of hoping somebody gets hurt just so I can get at-bats. For me I’m feeling like I’m more prepared and ready for a full season more than I was last year so why shouldn’t I play more than I did last year whether it’s here or somewhere else. I really can’t control that. I have to separate two things, I think there’s the baseball aspect of it and I think there’s the real-life aspect of it. I’m very comfortable in where I am in my real life. I feel like I’m in a tremendously privileged situation. Nobody needs to feel sorry for me in life. Is my baseball situation not ideal? Yeah, it’s not ideal. I don’t want to diminish the baseball fact, but you never know what can happen. When I left the Marlins I was disappointed and it turned out to be a really good transition for me. We’ll see. You never know what’s going to happen.”

Expect to be traded? “To some degree, absolutely. If I was on the trading block before I can’t imagine that all of a sudden I’m not now. I think my health is obviously something I need to show not only the Red Sox but every other team. If that opens the door to something else, I’ll go wherever I go or stay wherever I stay.”

The intrepid Miller asks Lowell to give a retrospective on his time in Boston: “I’m not dead Jonny. I have a lot of good memories but that doesn’t mean it’s over.”
lowellsenseofhumor.JPG
Meeting with Theo at camp?  “It was very status quo. We basically could have gone without the meeting and I think I pretty much knew where I stood and knew the way I feel.”

Bench role? “I’ve never been approached to say that’s in their plans. Like I said, if I’m definitely healthier at this point than I was last year I don’t see why I should have less at-bats.”

Open to playing first? “I don’t think it hurts to show the fact I can play another position. I don’t think that ever hurts. Whether that means I’m more versatile here in Boston or somewhere else … I can’t say Hey, I want to stay, Hey I want to play, or Hey, I want to go. None of those three things are really a factor so I leave it to those people who make those decisions and you guys will question if it’s a good decision or not.”

Disappointed team doesn’t want him back as starting 3B? “I don’t think it matters what I feel about that. I know they’re trying to go in a direction where they think the team is better. The player always take a back seat to those decisions. I don’t really feel like I win out in any way saying, what a great decision that was, or this was a poor decision. I’m highly motivated to show that I can play. Where that takes me, I don’t know. I really don’t. we’ll see. There’s some type of curiosity that I have – I’m anxious to see what happens.”

Regret not going to the Phillies for a four year deal after ’08? “No, no. I might have signed with Philadelphia and gone on a spelunking trip and gotten hurt and that’s against our contracts, so they might have voided the last three years. You never know. They have great caves in Philly so, no, I don’t. I enjoyed Boston. At that point, I was delighted to sign back. We had a competitive team and came within a game of going to the World Series the next year. How could you say that was a bad decision?” — BTW, that was classic Lowell about the spelunking. This guy just gets it.

State of the hip? “Yeah, there’s some discomfort when I run. I don’t feel any pain when I take those first few steps. I think defensively I would feel very comfortable moving around. I felt like I lost a little explosion on the first step, especially going to my left. That’s kind of where I push off with my right hip. But again, I think last offseason, I didn’t have any time to get strength. I think I basically played the whole year in a weakened state, because of the surgery obviously, I think I’ve gone to a point beyond that where that’s not an issue for me right now. is it like I was in ’07? No, there’s still some discomfort running. I’m not Jacoby. I don’t think the running aspect has really been a major issue to any baseball evaluator.”
lowellweighsoptions.JPG
When will he be game ready? “Our first game is March 3, which is about a week away – I think if I had to play in that game, I could do it easily. But I think we’ll probably take it slow. So that’s why I say I might be four or five days behind. There was a struggle to swing the bat, when the doc said, hey, just start feeling it. I could feel the tightness and still the swelling in my thumb, and I don’t feel that now. So I think now it’s just increasing the strength a little bit to be able to handle the impact of a ball hitting it. I’ve only done tee work so It’ll be a progression of the toss, and then it’ll be batting practice outside, and once you can do batting practice outside, I don’t view the game as a major step. I actually almost want to get jammed to test it out, but I don’t know how you practice that.”

How disppointed was he when the Texas deal didn’t go down? “I looked at the Texas thing, honestly when I was on the plane flying to Texas as a pretty good challenge. I thought that team did a lot of good things last year. they were in it basically until the end. It was more, the way at least I viewed it, is I would probably DH a lot and play first a lot and if Michael Young needed a DH, I would probably play third for just a hand full of games so I didn’t have a problem with that. I didn’t see that as a bad situation. I thought that was a place where I could fit in the lineup there and I thought I could put up some numbers on a team I thought was going to be competitive so I wasn’t ashamed of going over there. I wasn’t disappointed that might be a possibility of where I landed. It didn’t go through, I was like, alright, it didn’t go through. I want to stress that I wasn’t stressed. I
really wasn’t. I think I get the grand scheme of things for me, like what I value and what I don’t. not that I don’t value baseball but I’m pretty confident I’m going to be in the big leagues this year somewhere and I still view that as a privilege to me. Like I said, no one needs to feel sorry for me for the situation of my life right now.”

Does Lowell expect to be with the Red Sox on Opening Day? “I have no idea. I really don’t.”

Has he thought about other teams that might need him?  “Absolutely. I think that’s only human nature. Am I going to share that with you? Probably not.” 

14 Comments

YOU GO, MIKE!
Classic Mike Lowell. Talk about a guy who has his head screwed on straight! I hope he can stay with us, esp. at DH. I still believe he will be traded. Go Mike Lowell! GO SOX!

I hope you (and WBZ) are right, Julia, but I am not so sure. I still believe, as I just mentioned, that he will be traded.

WBZ News in Boston is reporting that the Red Sox will not trade Mike Lowell!!! http://wbztv.com/sports/redsox/mike.lowell.trade.2.1513895.html

WHOOO HOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

LOVE how off the times are Greg! I hope WBZ is correct!! I’ll keep you all updated as news comes in!!

I say keep Mikey!! Personally, I want this season to end with Mike Lowell on the Red Sox. And WBZ better be right about the Sox not trading Lowell.
-Holly
http://irishsoxkid19.mlblogs.com

If anyone had any doubts about what a stand-up guy Mike Lowell is, this ought to have dispelled them. Best thing the Sox can do would be to make him a DH. (Yes, even if they have Ortiz … the days of Papi’s batting greatness are clearly numbered.)

Well said, NutmegStateSF! GO SOX!

Stay classy Mike Lowell! It seems almost every year Lowell has been with the Red Sox his name is coming up in trade talk but still finds himself to this day with the Red Sox. A few winters back he was supposed to end up in Colorado and here he is still with the Red Sox. How this situation works out is anyone’s guess. Will he be dealt away??? I don’t think anyone has an answer to that. If I had to take a guess, I say he gets traded and I’ll say he ends up with the Rangers! I hope I am dead wrong because Lowell is one of my favorite players. Lowell is a gamer!

Ya gotta love Mike Lowell. He is able to be diplomatic and straightforward at the same time. And don’t you love it when he asks us not to feel sorry for him? That’s so refreshing in today’s world of “victim-hood”. I hope Mike can stay with the Sox all year and get a chance to produce.

If any of you haven’t read Mike Lowells book, you really should. There is a lot about his upbringing in there and I think that it relates directly to the way he has always handled his career and his personal life. He is the epitome of a professional in all senses of the word.
CLASS ACT.
and if Boston is smart they keep him and platoon him both on the field and at DH.

Morning all – sad news for Patriot Fans – Mosi Tatupu has died at the age of 54…. http://www.starbulletin.com/news/bulletin/85178292.html

He will be missed. I remember his playing days with the NE Patriots well!

Rest in peace, Mosi Tatupu. Prayers to his family!
Mike’s book is indeed very good, Ellen. Thanks for recommending it early on, Ellen and Julia! His quotes during the interview are exactly the same down-to earth, matter-of-fact tone he takes in the book. Very good read!

I love Mike Lowell, but this comment is a big red flag for me, as it confirms what I feared about Mike’s hip injury – it’s chronic: “State of the hip? ‘Yeah, there’s some discomfort when I run. I don’t feel any pain when I take those first few steps. I think defensively I would feel very comfortable moving around. I felt like I lost a little explosion on the first step, especially going to my left.’ ” That’s what they call “honest to a fault”. That comment will perhaps diminish interest in Mike by other MLB teams. My worst memory of last season was watching Mike struggle to move quickly to his left on routine grounders and just watching balls shoot past him that he ALWAYS gets to when he’s healthy. It looked at times like his shoelaces were tied together. I don’t believe that he can play a complete 162-game season any more, and obviously the Red Sox don’t think so either. I really don’t believe that Mike Lowell believes it either, but for obvious reasons he won’t admit it publicly. It’s a damned shame but none of us are getting any younger, are we?

I, too would like to see Mike spell Beltre at 3d and Ortiz at DH, and possibly Youk at 1st. If Beltre can move over to short on Scutaro’s days off, then between those 3 positions Lowell could get quite a few games in this season, and by not starting at 3d every day, he might even make it through an entire season for the first time in 3 years.

But that comment about his hip convinces me that he simply has to give up the idea of being a full-time player for the rest of his career, and focus on being the clutch bat coming off the bench and/or full-time DH.

I look forward to seeing him back on the Sox team this year and I know he’ll be giving 100 per cent of whatever he has to give just like he always does, and that’s more than enough for me.

Great interview. Isn’t it nice, Ian, when the other reporters ask the sensitive questions for you? Do you guys pick a rookie reporter every year and initiate him into the sportswriter fraternity by making him ask all the obnoxious questions for the rest of the writers? I think you should do that – builds character, don’t you know?

By the way, I should take this opportunity to say that I enjoy your writing every year, Ian, and I am glad that you are back working the Red Sox beat once again in 2010. Thanks for all the hard work!

I love Mike Lowell, but this comment is a big red flag for me, as it confirms what I feared about Mike’s hip injury – it’s chronic: “State of the hip? ‘Yeah, there’s some discomfort when I run. I don’t feel any pain when I take those first few steps. I think defensively I would feel very comfortable moving around. I felt like I lost a little explosion on the first step, especially going to my left.’ ” That’s what they call “honest to a fault”. That comment will perhaps diminish interest in Mike by other MLB teams. My worst memory of last season was watching Mike struggle to move quickly to his left on routine grounders and just watching balls shoot past him that he ALWAYS gets to when he’s healthy. It looked at times like his shoelaces were tied together. I don’t believe that he can play a complete 162-game season any more, and obviously the Red Sox don’t think so either. I really don’t believe that Mike Lowell believes it either, but for obvious reasons he won’t admit it publicly. It’s a damned shame but none of us are getting any younger, are we?

I, too would like to see Mike spell Beltre at 3d and Ortiz at DH, and possibly Youk at 1st. If Beltre can move over to short on Scutaro’s days off, then between those 3 positions Lowell could get quite a few games in this season, and by not starting at 3d every day, he might even make it through an entire season for the first time in 3 years.

But that comment about his hip convinces me that he simply has to give up the idea of being a full-time player for the rest of his career, and focus on being the clutch bat coming off the bench and/or full-time DH.

I look forward to seeing him back on the Sox team this year and I know he’ll be giving 100 per cent of whatever he has to give just like he always does, and that’s more than enough for me.

Great interview. Isn’t it nice, Ian, when the other reporters ask the sensitive questions for you? Do you guys pick a rookie reporter every year and initiate him into the sportswriter fraternity by making him ask all the obnoxious questions for the rest of the writers? I think you should do that – builds character, don’t you know?

By the way, I should take this opportunity to say that I enjoy your writing every year, Ian, and I am glad that you are back working the Red Sox beat once again in 2010. Thanks for all the hard work!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 77 other followers

%d bloggers like this: