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Jerry weighs in on a possible All-Star game candidate, the Patriots, the Celtics and the Bruins.

OK, so “super” might be a bit strong, but there are a great many inhabitants of “Red Sox Nation”, who firmly believe that outfielder Daniel Nava deserves a spot on this year’s American League All-Star team. Although his numbers may not be eye-popping, they are pretty solid and stand up nicely when compared to many of the players who are currently in the top 15 (and thereby ahead of him) in the All-Star voting for outfielders.

The story of the 5’11”, 200 pound switch hitting outfielder has been well covered. Nava was that guy who was cut by his college baseball team, who then had to play junior college ball, and then in the independent league, before getting noticed for his hitting by the Red Sox. He added to his legend by hitting a grand slam in his very first major league at bat, only to essentially disappear from view for about two seasons, failing to even be invited to spring training in ’12. The issue, it seems, was that he wasn’t much of an outfielder with an arm that was too weak, even for Fenway’s left field. But he apparently did not waste his time in the minors, sharpening his defensive skills, strengthening his arm, and adding to his versatility by mastering first base, thus returning a more complete all-around player.

Nava has quickly become a fan favorite in 2013. (Elsa/Getty Images)
Nava has quickly become a fan favorite in 2013. (Elsa/Getty Images)

To get back to those Nava numbers; at the time of this writing, he is  hitting .286, with 10 homeruns, and 45 RBIs. Compare those to say, Mike Trout (.308-15-51), or Nick Markakis (.292-7-38), or Torii Hunter (.294-3-27), or even Adam Jones (.301-15-51), the current top three or four in the voting, and you too will say, “Not too, shabby!” If you want to carry it a bit further, how about some big names (and contracts)  like Albert Pujlos (.266-12-44), or Josh Hamilton (.217-10-24), or Prince Fielder (.289-12-54). I’m not sure what Nava signed for, but you have to think, at this point at least,  he’s real bargin.

I’m sure no matter what happens over the next month or so, and regardless of what manager Jim Leyland decides, I expect that the Sox will be well represented at the All-Star game. David Ortiz is leading the voting for DH, and I would expect that Dustin Pedoria will be named as well. In addition to that, the strong start (despite his injury issue) of Clay Buchholz, will likely also get him named to the squad. With all that going on, you can see why I won’t be surprised if Nava is left off. One way or another, he remains a pleasure to root for, and my vote for the feel good story of the year.


About that double headed Tight End monster... (ESPN)
About that two-headed Tight End monster… (ESPN)

It’s been a tough week on tight ends in New England. Rob Gronkowski had his long awaited back surgery, at just about the same time Aaron Hernandez was named a non-suspect in a murder investigation. (Now that’s got to be reassuring to the Pats…) If Tim Tebow is as smart as he is suppose to be, I imagine he is brushing up on his blocking and pass catching skills…

I don’t blame Doc Rivers for wanting to get out of town. It’s difficult to figure out what the Celtics’ plan is for next year, which leads me to believe we are in for some messy “rebuilding”. (I think that’s code for not being quite bad enough to be in the lottery.)…

Although it’s clearly too early to reserve the Duck Boats, it’s difficult not to be proud of the way the Bruins have played in the Stanley Cup Finals. Good old fashion defense, with hard but clean hits, is way it’s suppose to be. My only concern is if the series isn’t wrapped up soon, they’ll need the boats to get from one side of the rink to the other.  If they don’t crank up the A/C at the Garden, it could get pretty messy. Hockey is a Winter sport, right?

Stay tuned…

About Jerry Ballgame

The personification of "old school", Jerry Ballgame was born in the shadow of Dr. Naismith's peach basket, and baptized in that "Dirty Water." Designated by his "Uncle" Ted, to keep an eye on things, he's here to tell everyone what his view is like from the Hub of the Universe.