Mike Lowell’s Red Sox Legacy Goes Beyond Hitting, Throwing and Catching a Baseball

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Mike Lowell's Red Sox Legacy Goes Beyond Hitting, Throwing and Catching a Baseball Even more impressive than Mike Lowell‘s MVP performance in the 2007 World Series is the charitable work he does away from the baseball diamond.

The baseball season is long, hard and unforgiving, so that’s why it’s incredible to see an athlete giving back on their off days — something Lowell does even in the preseason. To watch a player like Lowell use his time off to give back to the community is truly inspiring. 

Lowell has put together an amazing career with the Red Sox. His efforts on the field will be greatly missed in Boston, and his presence will be tough to replace in the clubhouse. But there’s another reason Lowell is so beloved by the Fenway faithful. It has to do with Mike Lowell the human being.

What is your favorite Mike Lowell memory ?
 — Tracey, Lynn, Mass.

Off the field, being a part of his charitable efforts during spring training in 2009 and hosting his Dancing with the Stars event in Bonita Springs, Fla., is my favorite Mike Lowell memory. It gave me a great appreciation for his passion in helping the community and his awareness of those who need help.

On the field, his contributions in the 2007 World Series, where he was honored with the MVP award, was also a memorable moment.

Lastly and more recently, his return to the lineup after the trade deadline. The home run that Lowell hit in his first at-bat — after all that had occurred over the past few years — may have been the moment of the year at Fenway Park. One thing we know about Mike is that he is a pro’s pro, exuding class and respect. His presence alone will be missed.

With the struggles for Jonathan Papelbon, will Daniel Bard be the Red Sox closer in 2011 ? 
–Barry, Nashua, N.H.

That?s a tough one. I know the results of this season have been very questionable for Papelbon. I am surprised they have been mixed and that he has blown eight saves to date. I thought last year he threw far too many fastballs and batters did not have to worry about any other pitch.

This year, he has used his secondary pitches well — a result from hard work in spring training. His slider and splitter at times have been great pitches, but he has not had as much success as Red Sox fans are used to.

On the other hand, Bard continues to have the look of a guy who is ready to take over that closer role. Last offseason, Bard talked about how he observed Billy Wagner and Papelbon and how they went about their business as closers. Bard was left wondering if he had the mentality the position demands. We will find out this offseason what the Red Sox administration thinks.

Will this be a huge offseason for the Red Sox, and do you expect many changes?
— Pat, Everett, Mass.

I think there will be, but most will depend on the signing or not signing of Adrian Beltre and Victor Martinez. Also, will they pick up the $12 million option on David Ortiz or restructure it to add a few years? I think David has proven he is not done by a long shot and can be what he was at least for a few more years. I see very little changing in the starting rotation. Those guys are signed for awhile and should all be back. If they could move Daisuke Matsuzaka, that might be the one exception. The free- agent class is not extensive, but it would be fun to see Carl Crawford in a Red Sox uniform. The offseason will not be boring. That?s for sure.

Do you think Jarrod Saltalamacchia will be catching for the Red Sox in 2011?
— Cheryl, Old Lyme, Conn.

I am not sure the Red Sox know right now. I am also pretty sure they did not see enough of him to make that determination. Terry Francona was asked about him on Monday, and the response was a positive one, as Francona explained that Saltalamacchia appears to call a good game and that they were looking forward to him working more with Gary Tuck this offseason. But you could tell the sample size may not have been enough to fully answer your question.

Again, I think whether or not Martinez returns will play a large role in Saltalamacchia’s future with the Red Sox. I think Jason Varitek will be back again and, when healthy, showed that he could flourish offensively in the backup role.     

Will DeMarlo Hale be on the coaching staff in 2011, or will he be another coach Terry Francona loses to manage another team?
— Gregg, York, Maine

I think DeMarlo will have his opportunities this offseason to be managing somewhere in the majors, and if he does not, then something is wrong. He is an outstanding candidate and is very ready to be a manager. After successfully coaching in the majors, in addition to managing in the minors, he could not be more prepared. He is a great communicator and would represent any team well. He appears to work well with rookies and veterans and has paid his dues.

There appear to be many managing changes coming during the offseason, and I am hopeful someone gives him the chance. They will not be disappointed.

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