Sunday, October 7, 2007

September rest equals October blasts

For those of you who think wins in April have very little meaning I offer you these two words: Manny Ramirez.

The Boston Red Sox’s strong start to the season built enough of a lead that manager Terry Francona was able to rest his star left fielder for 24 games in September while Ramirez recovered from a strained left oblique.

Even with the division lead dwindling by the day and the New York Yankees coming on strong, Francona was able to resist the temptation of playing a less-than-100 percent Ramirez.

Yes, the play of rookie Jacoby Ellsbury allowed Francona the luxury of resting Ramirez. Still, you had to wonder what would have happened the Yankees actually caught the Red Sox. Would Francona have continued to keep Ramirez out of the lineup or would the pressure to win outweighed common sense?

Didn’t matter, because the Red Sox lead never dipped below 1.5 games, thanks to all those early season wins.

And look at how well Ramirez played against the Angels in the ALDS.

Looks healthy.

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