On Feb. 7, in a column ostensibly about the Super Bowl, The CHB wrote: "Shaun Alexander's 95 yards on 20 carries earn him the Dominique Wilkins/Elvin Hayes/Wade Boggs Award for compiling a fairly impressive stat line while having no impact on the outcome."
My initial response was:
Not sure why he threw Boggs in there. As Bill James and others can attest, Boggs' was not only the most valuable Red Sox player for much of his tenure there, an argument could be made that for a stretch he was the most valuable player in the majors (see James' essay on this in the 1988 Baseball Abstract). The entire Red Sox philosophy during the (highly successful) Theo years has been built on the concept of OBP. Or maybe Dan has forgotten about that World Series title in 2004.What I might have done, however, was look back just one year earlier, to Jan. 5, 2005, when Dan's opinion of Boggs was a bit more boffo: "He was anything but boring, a hitting machine who tortured the opposition ..." ... "His on-base percentage was off the charts. He scored runs." ... "He took hundreds of grounders every day and made himself a Gold Glove fielder."
Or I could have reviewed Dan's July 31, 2005, column, where he wrote:
We sometimes forgot to marvel at what [Boggs] was doing. Let's take 1987, for example. In that season, Boggs hit .363 while also hitting 24 homers. There were times it looked as if he were throwing the ball from the batter's box, aiming line shots over the shortstop's head and into left-center. He was a lefthanded batter with an inside-out swing made for Fenway Park. Lacking speed, quickness, and raw power, he had sensational vision and hand-eye coordination. Always on base, refusing to swing at the first pitch, rarely chasing a ball out of the strike zone, he was actually born too soon.Never let the facts get in the way of a good smear.