A few minutes ago, I grew misty-eyed watching a highlight reel from the first half of the Red Sox 2011 season on NESN. As a fan, I recalled all the hours I've spent, the beers I've knocked back, the f-bombs I've detonated over the first half of the season and, well, I got choked up. Of course, and this is great thing about being a Red Sox fan, it is always one losing streak away from planting my foot through the television screen.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia: B-. Again, I realize I devoted an entire post to "The Salty Sack of Suck" and obsessed over the fact that he married his high school gym teacher, but he really hasn't been too bad. The bat has come around a bit, and defensively, he's competent. Victor Martinez, he is not; however, he's batting .251 and, for a catcher, you'll take it.
Jason Varitek: C+. Oh, Captain, my Captain. If I could grade intangibles, he'd be off the charts, but Varitek is getting old (sadly, he around my age) and he doesn't have the bat speed he once had. But I still love the guy.
Adrian Gonzalez: A+. I was telling my father the other day that Adrian Gonzalez may be the best all-around ballplayer I can remember playing for the Red Sox in my lifetime. He is my man-crush, our Savior, simply brilliant. In fact, I'm going to stop writing about him and dedicate a song instead.
Dustin Pedroia: B+. Pedroia started slow, but he was so pissed at himself for not making the All-Star team that he's come back with his patterned "laser shows" lately. I love his grit, his post-game interviews, and his awkwardness in Sullivan Tire commercials.
Marco Scutaro: C. I feel about Scutaro the same way I feel about lettuce: not much. However, seeing Jed Lowrie hurts himself each time he takes a shit, and Jose Iglesias isn't quite there yet, it's Scutaro for now. Bleh.
Kevin Youkilis: B+. Is this man arguably the biggest whiner in professional sports (in the running with the creepy Sedin twins)? Yes. Am I glad he's on the Red Sox? Affirmative. Now, since a gynecological injury kept Gay-Rod out, Youk is going to the All-Star game. Nice.
Carl Crawford: C. He's overpaid. Everyone knows this. And he's been hurt for the last month. While I'd be remiss to not acknowledge his knack for the walk-off so far, unlike Gonzalez (I swoon mentioning his name), this is not the package that was promised.
Jacoby Ellsbury: A. After last year's debacle, where I told my wife she couldn't wear her Ellsbury t-shirt anymore, he's come back and sent a resounding message to doubters like me. However, don't be shocked to see his name thrown around at the trading deadline.
JD Drew: F. Mr. Blutarsky...
Josh Reddick: A. Here is a glimpse at the future rightfielder, and there was much rejoicing. The kid can play. So far, he's batting a cool .414 in the big leagues. I just wish he'd get rid of the douche bag chin-strap beard.
The Designated Hitter.
David Ortiz: A. People will say to me, "Papi is back on the juice." And I'll say, "So what." He's putting up incredible numbers and is, once again, a formidable force from the left side of the plate. In other words, he's Big Papi, again.
The Best Thing to Happen This Season.
Here. The dude grabs his girlfriend's boob on television. Mad props for this play, but Remy and Orsillo's responses are even better.