Continuing in the tradition recently established here by Jimmy, I have decided to dedicate my latest rank. After some research, I have come to the conclusion that #17 goes to Cecil Cooper.
Cecil Cooper was nicknamed “Coop”, so immediately I wondered if the fans chanted “Coooooooooooop” like they chant today for “Youuuuuuk”, or maybe even how the Yankees cheer for “Moose”. Cooper has statistics similar to Jim Rice (the average at least), and played for 17 seasons, six of which were with the Red Sox, the others with the Milwaukee Brewers. He has a career average of .298 with 2,192 hits and 1,125 RBIs. He was a five time All-Star, and went on a run from 1977-1983 in which he hit .300 or higher. His career year was 1980 in which he batted .352. In fact, Youkilis is even more similar to him because the both of them are Gold Glover first baseman. He has also won the Roberto Clemente award, was inducted into the Brewers Walk of Fame, and has been the manager of the Astros for the past two years.
I added that ‘Statistic Counter’ to my blog, unfortunately I set it to start at zero so I have absolutely no idea how many “hits” I really have.
Daily Dosage of Baseball
Today’s dose of baseball came in my second period American History class. We are currently learning about the 1920’s and we were talking about pop culture icons. We all know that baseball was popular in the 1920’s and so the icon that we talked about was none other than, George Herman Ruth, better known as Babe Ruth. As soon as I saw his picture come up on the powerpoint, I cringed.
Dr. King [teacher]: And there was Babe Ruth, the baseball icon. Elizabeth, would you like to talk about him? [I wonder how he knew that I would know about him….]
Me: No… I mean… Well, he was the home run king for a while… But, he actually came from no where really. He lived at an orphanage for a while, he was both a pitcher and a hitter… He’s probably the greatest player all time.
Well, as soon as Babe’s picture came up on the powerpoint, the guys in my class jumped on the opportunity to bring up the most infamous trade in baseball history. Their snickering and mockery began! Here are some of the low-lights that they centered on:
Babe Ruth used to play for the Red Sox didn’t he? Oh wait, what happened? Oh yeah! He was sold to the Yankees so your manager could finance a play right?
Me: Get over it!
I would go see that play, wouldn’t you?
It went on and on to the World Series titles, and then back to Babe Ruth with many hushes, shushes, ‘get over its’, ‘don’t start with me’s’ and more. I know that he is probably the greatest baseball player of all time, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t cringe every time that I hear his name.
Apparently, Mark Kotsay is having back surgery. Our backup first baseman is having back surgery less than a month before Spring Training is beginning. The Red Sox re-signed him a couple of weeks ago to a $1 million dollar contract, and he’s getting back surgery?? Did we know about this upon signing him?
Still, the Red Sox don’t expect him to be missing much time. This explains the recent signing of Brad Wilkerson, another veteran first baseman who happens to also be a left handed hitter. It was a minor league deal for a “base salary” at $400,000 with incentives (my favorite!!) up to $2.5 million.
What about Jeff Bailey? What about Lars Anderson? Those are two very capable first basemen. I know Anderson needs some more time to develop down in the minors, but Bailey did relatively well with the Red Sox. Couldn’t Bailey be the back up first baseman?
Jeff posted a comment on my recent Prime 9 blog about Julio Lugo and Jed Lowrie. He asked if Lugo even deserves an opportunity to “battle” it out for shortstop. Here is what I think:
I know that Jed Lowrie proved himself, I know that he can field well, and that he can hit in the clutch. I got tired of Julio bobbling the ball and over throwing first base, I got tired of him striking out on the low and outside pitches every single time! I liked that young face of Jed Lowrie, plus, he was my project! However, if the Red Sox made a pretty big investment with Lugo. It didn’t really turn out they way that he wanted it to, but if we were to put him on the bench, wouldn’t that be kind of wasteful?
If Lowrie does prove himself in Spring Training, then by all means, he deserves a starting spot, regardless of Lugo’s contract.
Thanks again for helping me come in at 17!