With Jason Bay’s recent game tying 2 run HR against Mariano Rivera on Friday night and with his go-ahead 3 run HR last night against Kerry Wood, Jason Bay has graduated from the Paul Molitor HOF of “Players if they played in New York, Boston or LA they would be superstars” to the Vladimir Guerrero HOF of “Players who played in a small market then moved to New York, Boston or LA and became a superstar.”
Bay came to the Red Sox last year on the July 31st trading deadline in that famous 3 team trade that involved Manny Ramirez and most people laughed at the Red Sox and their fans saying they couldn’t believe that all the Red Sox got for Ramirez was Bay. Bay played in baseball purgatory in Pittsburgh so nobody really knew how good Bay could be. Is Bay Manny Ramirez? No, few are. But Jason Bay is the real deal. He has been everything the Sox had hoped for and more. He is gritty, he has been clutch (.341/3/9 in 08 postseason), he has played good defense and he plays the game the right way. Most importantly Bay appears to have “it.” The “it” that makes Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia so good. There is a certain toughness that those players have and Bay looks to have that as well.
Through 19 games this year Bay has hit .344/5/19 with 20 walks and a .506 OBP. Not bad for a guy who was traded for Brandon Moss and Craig Hansen. Speaking of trades, Bay has also been traded from the Expos for Lou Collier, from the Mets for Jason Middlebrook and Steve Reed and from the Padres for Brian Giles. Ouch!!! How does a guy who has a 162 game average of .283/31/104 slip through the cracks like that and gets traded for mostly garbage? Puzzling.
Jason Bay is going to be a star in Boston and is a legitimate MVP candidate this year. Nobody is laughing now.