Consider the contributions of John Olerud this season and what an outstanding addition he's been for the Sox. After missing almost the first two months of the season, Olerud came on strong and has maintained a steady presence in both the field and the batting order, getting clutch hits when his team needed him to. And he didn't even cost them a player or cash considerations. Just a reasonable contract.
In 80 games and 157 at bats, Johnny O has knocked in 34 runs while banging 7 homers. For comparisons sake, Kevin Millar has played in 130 games and had 438 at bats, producing 50 RBI and 9 homers. The output seems fairly similar yet it isn't even close because Olerud has produced his numbers with 64% fewer at bats. Incredible. And when it comes to hitting, Olerud still comes out ahead. While Millar has 120 hits and sports and a .274 average , Olerud has 48 hits and a .306 average. Olerud has 40% fewer hits in 64% fewer at bats. Again, very impressive.
Millar turned 34 today, and Olerud is 37 and will remain that age through next season. Whereas Millar has likely played his final season in Boston, let's hope that Olerud is willing to come back as a backup first baseman, and that the Sox make him an offer to do so. He is an experienced veteran who remains productive and still plays excellent defense.
If this were a contest of personalities, well then Millar would win hands down. He's kept things loose in the clubhouse and the dugout during his time in Boston, and has remained a very popular figure among his teammates. And until this season, he'd always been quite poplar with the fans as well. But for some reason, Millar has slumped miserably this year, and the Sox have John Olerud to thank for bailing him, and the rest of the team, out during a time of need with few other options.
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