Ft. Myers, Florida
Red Sox shortstop situation. Sore subject in The Nation.. Nomar Garciaparra traded. OK, we got Orlando Cabrera.. but the Sox let him get away.. For Edgar Renteria.. Big bust.. Enter Julio Lugo.. Julio is a career .271 hitter, a career average dragged down by a .237 batting average last year.. His first year in Boston. As you can imagine, that didn't sit well with the Fenway faithful. It was a rough first year in America's baseball hotbed for Lugo. He expects things to settle down this year.
"Well, I expect this is going to be a more relaxing season for me. I want to come here and try to do the best I can...try to do better than last year."
What was the toughest thing about last year "
"Just getting used to the city. Getting used to the team. New teammates and stuff like that. It's always hard.... Coming from one team to another."
After a a woeful .198 average in the first half of the season, Lugo came out of the all-star break and for a while you just couldn't get him out.. He hit .280 the rest of the way.
What was the difference in that stretch ?
"....Getting used to it here. The way the organization does things. Now I feel comfortable. It was a different Julio Lugo. More relaxed....that's part of it. Just relax and play the way you know how to play."
He finished with 33 stolen bases and 73 RBIs. Post season.. He became an offensive asset. Hitting .300 in the AL Division series and .385 in the World Series. But Lugo's biggest asset has been in the field. He was 7th in defense among AL shortstops and teamed up with rookie of the year Dustin Pedroia to form a solid nucleus up the middle.
"Yeah, we clicked right from the beginning. He's a young guy who likes to work. He's a good listener. Also a good player. It wasn't hard for us to click and make it a good combination right away. "
PO Box 4508