Last night, at a crucial juncture of the game against Toronto, the rock-solid Lowell his his 18th home run of the season and drove in his 98th, 99th, and 100th runs of 2007. Lowell now finds himself hitting a whopping .331, and is currently in the midst of a stellar 16 game hitting streak.
What exactly are Boston waiting for? Give the guy what he wants, a two year extension for about 9-10 million dollars.
The reasons to go ahead and sign the fella are overwhelming. Need to be convinced? Read this list and get overwhelmed.
- Lowell is quite literally tearing apart AL pitching in 2007. Batting .331 at this late stage of the season? That's superb. He leads the Red Sox in several offensive categories. He is, basically, crushing the ball right now.
- Lowell is only 33, that's not 'old' for third base. If the Red Sox sign him to a two year extension he will only be 35 when that runs out.
- Lowell is an extremely strong willed individual who beat cancer in 1999. You can't have enough of those type of individuals in the clubhouse. He is even mannered, has the respect of both team mates and manager alike and even speaks fluent Spanish, always a bonus in the ethnically mixed Sox playpen. Lowell carries himself extremely well on and off the field. Put it this way, it is highly unlikely he would be photographed sneaking into a hotel with a blonde bimbo behind his wifes back, unlike other potential third base replacements.
- Other teams and front offices are all aware of Lowell's value and would snap him up in a heart beat if Boston foolishly let him walk. Take Toronto's manager Gibbons for example; "Personally, against our team he wears us out anyway. He's one of those guys - I don't know how it is around here - who doesn't get the credit he deserves. Every year he's a run-producer, as clutch a hitter as you're gonna find, and he plays great defense."
- The above comment brings us on to the next 'plus point', Lowell's defence is second to none in the AL at third base. He had a tricky start to the season but has settled down to play his usual brand of tight, flawless third base defence. He is Gold Glove standard. That doesn't come cheap in free agency.
- Lowell came to Boston in '06 and put up very respectable numbers. 20 long balls and 80 rbis was fine with the Sox. By his own admission, though, Lowell needed a season to adjust to the AL, and adjust he has. He said himself that he's not experiencing any second-half fade this season because of his increased knowledge of American League pitching. Makes sense, no?