Julio Lugo, on Red Sox fans booing him for not making enough plays defensively:
If you try to make a play like that and you get destroyed by you
[media] guys the next day, it’s not fair. You guys can say whatever you
want. I can take it. I can [expletive] take it. I’m a human being, I’ve
got feelings, but I can take it. It’s tough. Nobody wants to be booed.
Not me, not anybody. At the same time, I’m not making excuses. I’ll
tell you the truth. I think the fans have been fair to me.
Sometimes you deserve the boos. Sometimes you don’t, but I love it
here. I work my ass off. I go to sleep feeling good every night that
I’m trying my best. I’ve got that best job in the world. I get paid a
lot of money. You’ve got everything you want–money, fame, a bunch of
girls looking at you. What more can you want? I love Boston, man.
There’s nowhere else you’d want to play. I love it.
Since signing a four-year, $36 million contract in the winter of 2006,
Lugo has hit .248/.316/.343 while sitting out one-third of the Red
Sox’s games. And his defense at shortstop, which is drawing most of the
fans’ ire of late, has rated 3.2 runs below average during that time
according to Ultimate Zone Rating.
Add it all up and Lugo has been about 13 runs better than a
replacement-level shortstop while being paid about $20 million (thus
far), so suffice it to say that his love affair with Boston isn’t
exactly mutual. On the other hand, he makes a pretty good point with
the whole “money, fame, and a bunch of girls looking at you” thing.
The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.
Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”
Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”
The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.