It's games like Friday night's 14-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays that remind Red Sox Nation why it's so great to be a Boston fan. When the players get behind one another to grind out a win, every element of the game comes together to display what great baseball is all about.
There's always one guy, though, who gets the juices flowing in the clubhouse. Back in the early-2000s, it was Pedro Martinez. During the 2004 World Series season, it was Kevin Millar. Whether they're on the field or in the dugout, these guys always provided the team with energy and character, the guy who held everything together. In two words, they were "the glue."
So who provides that cohesive element to the Red Sox this season? Who has gone above and beyond to keep the Sox together through injury and adversity, which has never seemed to leave Boston in 2010? There are a number of candidates up for this one.
Without a doubt the offensive leader of the Red Sox this year is Adrian Beltre. But does his leadership at the plate carry over to the clubhouse? With Beltre, it's a silent leadership, but the All Star definitely knows how to command the game and lead the team to victory. Just as long as you don't touch his head, everything is cool.
Then we have David Ortiz, who has been a dugout dandy since his first day in Boston. This guy knows how to pump up the crowd, and who can resist that smile? Because he was a part of the squad with Pedro and Millar, Ortiz knows the true meaning of camaraderie, and that's really what the game is all about. It also doesn't hurt that he "hits bombs."
Even though he's on crutches, we can't leave out Dustin Pedroia. I don't think this guy has missed a day in the dugout or on the diamond since that ball ricocheted off his foot in San Francisco. It's obvious that Pedroia lives for this game and for this team, and his injury hasn't hindered his clubhouse presence. The Sox are definitely missing his tenacity on the field, and he was their key performer leading up to his injury. Is he the glue that holds them together, even when he's on the DL?
Another silent but steady leader for Boston is their ace, Jon Lester. The guy rarely makes a mistake from the mound, and has been the team's only true constant in the rotation throughout the 2010 season. The Red Sox offense want to get behind their pitchers to relieve some of the pressure of a battered rotation, and it's clear there's no one they would rather help out than Lester. The guy is a fighter and an inspiration to the squad – both key qualities when it comes to bringing a team together.
When it comes down to it, it takes a team to win games. But when you think about great Red Sox teams from the past, there's always been one guy keeping the team together. So who do you think is the glue for the 2010 squad?
Share your thoughts below. The best comments will be read on NESN’s Red Sox GameDay Live or Red Sox Final.
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