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10 Boston Red Sox
Peter Gammons
April 06, 1987
One day in spring training, Oil Can Boyd exploded at a sportswriter who asked him about some overdue videos borrowed for the Can's Film Festival last spring. The next morning, Roger Clemens walked out of camp in a contract dispute. Then, in rapid succession, Boyd took a cortisone shot for a sore shoulder. Bill Buckner broke down limping, and Bruce Hurst reinjured the groin pull that sidelined him for six weeks last season. "Typical post-Series spring," said Cardinal manager Whitey Herzog with a shrug, and he should know.
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April 06, 1987

10 Boston Red Sox

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PLAYER
KEY STATS

P

H

COMMENTS

W. BOGGS
.357, 105 BBs, 71 RBIs

3B

L

Leading batters after 1900: Cobb, .367; Hornsby, .358; Joe Jackson, .356; Boggs, .352.

M. BARRETT
.286, 60 RBIs, 15 SBs

2B

R

No lefthander has ever struck him out twice in one game.

B. BUCKNER
.267, 18 HRs, 102 RBIs

1B

L

Career rate of one strikeout every 22.8 plate appearances best among active players.

J. RICE
.324, 20 HRs, 110 RBIs

LF

R

Only player with 20 HRs and 100 RBIs in each of last four seasons.

D. BAYLOR
.238, 31 HRs, 94 RBIs

DH

R

Has batted .398 (41 for 103) with bases loaded over the last eight seasons.

D. EVANS
.259, 26 HRs, 97 RBIs

RF

R

Loves to face Ernie Camacho (.714, 5 for 7, 2 HRs); hates to face Bill Swaggerty (0 for 8).

D. HENDERSON
.265, 15 HRs, 47 RBIs

CF

R

A HR rate of one per 27.18 at bats, which is better than Dave Parker's (27.23).

M. SULLIVAN
.193, 1 HR, 14 RBIs

C

R

Insufficient data.

S. OWEN
.231, 45 RBIs, 4 SBs

SS

S

On Aug. 21, joined Mel Ott, Johnny Pesky and Frank Torre when he scored six runs in a game.

R. CLEMENS
24-4, 2.48 ERA

SP

R

Best ERA in AL (2.48) plus best run support in majors (6.09 runs per game) equals 24-4 record.

B. HURST
13-8, 2.99 ERA

SP

L

First lefty since Lefty Grove (1936) to pitch four shutouts at Fenway in one season.

O. C. BOYD
16-10, 3.78 ERA

SP

R

You want consistency? Opponents' annual batting since 1983: .269, .269, .261, .265.

B. STANLEY
16 SVs, 4.37 ERA

SP

R

A career average of one wild pitch per 105.2 innings.

W. GARDNER
1 inning

RP

R

Insufficient data.

C. SCHIRALDI
9 SVs, 1.41 ERA

RP

R

Opponents' BA dropped from .368 in '85 to .201 last season.

One day in spring training, Oil Can Boyd exploded at a sportswriter who asked him about some overdue videos borrowed for the Can's Film Festival last spring. The next morning, Roger Clemens walked out of camp in a contract dispute. Then, in rapid succession, Boyd took a cortisone shot for a sore shoulder. Bill Buckner broke down limping, and Bruce Hurst reinjured the groin pull that sidelined him for six weeks last season. "Typical post-Series spring," said Cardinal manager Whitey Herzog with a shrug, and he should know.

This has hardly been an idyllic spring for the AL champions. But manager John McNamara believes the Red Sox will again contend, "if we get Clemens back in time and if we get [free-agent catcher] Rich Gedman back on May 1." The latter seems certain and the former inevitable.

The Red Sox won because they had the best pitching in the division. In Clemens, Hurst and Boyd, Boston has a Big Three capable of 50 to 55 wins. If Bob Stanley can ignore the fans, he should make an easy transition to starter.

Consistent scoring, though, is another matter. Boston was fifth in the division in runs and sixth in homers last season. Buckner may not be able to make it through the year, and outfielders Jim Rice, Dwight Evans and David Henderson have all had recent knee operations. Wade Boggs, who won his third batting title, would like to bat third, but he's Boston's only leadoff man. It's tough to repeat, and the Sox just don't seem tough enough.

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

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