Red Sox non-star team (since 1975)

BaseballJones

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Ok so a little fun as the season winds down. Not looking for guys who were stars, but second-tier guys (yes you are welcome to be the judge of that). Making the best team of non-stars from 1975-present.

Position players
C - Jason Varitek. Three-time all-star, but not really a *star* player.
1b - Bill Buckner. Only an all-star once, but had a very very solid career. Millar was a solid option too. Could have gone with Youkilis too, but I think he might qualify as more of a "star".
2b - Jody Reed. From 1987-1990 his line was .290/.375/.388/.763, 111 ops+. It's hard because Pedroia WAS a star and he's been here a long time.
3b - Bill Mueller. Only three seasons, but man he was terrific for Boston.
SS - John Valentin. Moved to 3b, but played 5+ years for Boston at SS. 110 ops+ while a Red Sox player. 1992-96 he was the main SS and put up this line: .293/.376/.473/.849, 118 ops+
LF - Mike Greenwell. Two-time all-star, but not really ever a "star", I don't think. Always under the radar. Should have won an MVP.
CF - Ellis Burks. Very similar to Greenwell in that he was very good, made a couple of all-star teams, but was never considered a "star", that I remember anyway.
RF - Trot Nixon. Very solid for many years for Boston. Never an all-star, but had three seasons of 123+ ops+.

Bench players
C - Rich Gedman. Pretty solid catcher.
IF - Kevin Millar.
IF - Jerry Remy. Good speed, base running, and defense.
OF - Tony Armas. His 1984-1985 seasons with Boston were terrific: .824 ops, 118 ops+
OF - JD Drew. .824 ops, 114 ops+ with the Sox.
U - Marty Barrett.

Starting pitchers
SP - Bruce Hurst. Only an all-star once, should have been WS MVP in 1986, just a solid pitcher for the Sox.
SP - Derek Lowe. He could qualify as a reliever as well. A few excellent years as a SP for Boston.
SP - Tim Wakefield. Longevity, always took the ball, and gave the Red Sox a lot over the years.
SP - Bill Lee. Legendary "spaceman", but never really a "star". As a SP with Boston: 3.68 era, 111 era+.
SP - Clay Buchholz. Up and down seasons, but as a SP with the Sox: 3.96 era, 109 era+. Pretty solid when all is said and done.

Relief pitchers
RP - Hideki Okajima. With Boston: 3.11 era, 149 era+. Terrific and reliable.
RP - Dick Drago. In 5 years with Boston: 3.55 era, 117 era+.
RP - Tom Burgmeier. 5 years with Boston: 2.72 era, 157 era+. Nice complement to Drago.
RP - Bob Stanley. Never liked him for some reason, but he was solid for many years. Pitched a ton of innings as a reliever.
RP - Mike Timlin. Dependable, in some ways the backbone of the 2004 bullpen. 3.76 era, 125 era+ with Boston.
RP - Junichi Tazawa. 3.58 era, 119 era+ for the Sox in 7 years.
 

Scott Cooper

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I vote Troy O'Leary as a Reserve in the OF.

And why do I have no recollection of the 2010 Starting OF of JD Drew, Bill Hall, and Darnell McDonald.

As Eck might say....YUCK.
 
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Ale Xander

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"Should have won an MVP" but not really a star?

i don't understand this thread.

And where is Youk?
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
Which year do you think Greenwell should have won an MVP for? I can't even find a year when he was the best player on his own team, let alone the league.

OTOH, Valentin really was the best player in the AL in 1995, but ridiculously finished 9th in the MVP voting and was passed over in favor of his teammate Mo.
 

DrewDawg

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Which year do you think Greenwell should have won an MVP for? I can't even find a year when he was the best player on his own team, let alone the league.
Just a guess, but I'm assuming he's referencing the year he finished 2nd in the MVP race to Canseco. And yes, he was behind Boggs in WAR that year (8.3 to 7.5), but he had a really good year and it wouldn't have been a travesty--he was 4th in AL and had higher WAR than the MVP.
 

BaseballJones

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Which year do you think Greenwell should have won an MVP for? I can't even find a year when he was the best player on his own team, let alone the league.

OTOH, Valentin really was the best player in the AL in 1995, but ridiculously finished 9th in the MVP voting and was passed over in favor of his teammate Mo.
Greenwell in 1988 finished 2nd in the MVP voting. Finished ahead of Canseco (the guy who won) with 7.5 bWAR to 7.3 bWAR. Plus we now know Canseco was on steroids at the time. That's the season I was thinking of anyway. But yes even then, Boggs was probably better that year, which is to your point.
 

azsoxpatsfan

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"Should have won an MVP" but not really a star?

i don't understand this thread.

And where is Youk?
Being a star requires more than one great season. And he said Youk was too much of a star which is debatable but that’s why he’s not listed
 

BaseballJones

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"Should have won an MVP" but not really a star?

i don't understand this thread.

And where is Youk?
When was Greenwell ever considered a "star"? I know he was thought of as a really good player, but I never got the sense that people considered him to be a star player.
 

Ale Xander

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Being a star requires more than one great season. And he said Youk was too much of a star which is debatable but that’s why he’s not listed
He had 3, back to back to back. Well maybe 2.5. Still a joke he got beat by Matt Nokes for 3rd in ROY
 

shaggydog2000

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Greenwell in 1988 finished 2nd in the MVP voting. Finished ahead of Canseco (the guy who won) with 7.5 bWAR to 7.3 bWAR. Plus we now know Canseco was on steroids at the time. That's the season I was thinking of anyway. But yes even then, Boggs was probably better that year, which is to your point.
WAR isn't intended to be used down to the decimal point to say who is better anyway.

And Canseco gets extra points for inspiring the Bash Brother Experience.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfKJxowxBb4
 

DrewDawg

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Youkilis and Greenwell are pretty close, offensively at least. Greenwell had the best single season by OPS+ and more seasons with OPS+ over 120. However, Youks Sox numbers check in a little higher and he had 2 seasons in the top 6 of the MVP voting, whereas Greenwell's best 2 seasons were his first 2 and then he was solid for a few more.

Youks won a Gold Glove, and I don't really recall many plaudits about Greenwell's defense.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
Just a guess, but I'm assuming he's referencing the year he finished 2nd in the MVP race to Canseco. And yes, he was behind Boggs in WAR that year (8.3 to 7.5), but he had a really good year and it wouldn't have been a travesty--he was 4th in AL and had higher WAR than the MVP.
OK, fair enough -- it was a really good year, even if Boggs was better. "Wouldn't have been a travesty" may even be understating the case. I withdraw my quibble.

When was Greenwell ever considered a "star"? I know he was thought of as a really good player, but I never got the sense that people considered him to be a star player.
But isn't this true of Youk as well? I mean, he got a little more attention because of the Moneyball/Greek God angle, but I never got the sense that people outside of Boston (or maybe even inside Boston) fully appreciated how good he was in his brief prime, or thought of him as a top-10 player in MLB, even though for three years there (2008-10) he was arguably just that.
 

BaseballJones

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OK, fair enough -- it was a really good year, even if Boggs was better. "Wouldn't have been a travesty" may even be understating the case. I withdraw my quibble.



But isn't this true of Youk as well? I mean, he got a little more attention because of the Moneyball/Greek God angle, but I never got the sense that people outside of Boston (or maybe even inside Boston) fully appreciated how good he was in his brief prime, or thought of him as a top-10 player in MLB, even though for three years there (2008-10) he was arguably just that.
I thought people viewed Youk as a star. Big reputation. Greek God angle. Funky stance. Was a total fan favorite, outside Boston as well. But clearly if it's universally agreed upon here that he was NOT considered a star, he absolutely would make this team.
 

nattysez

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Different eras, but I'd replace Buchholz with Oil Can. Four good-to-great seasons from 1983-1986 and always kept things interesting.
 

Scott Cooper's Grand Slam

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Respectfully, BaseballJones, your premise is flawed.

There is no defensible rationale for Youk = star, but Varitek = not a star. It's hard to imagine that Jason Varitek could've had a higher profile in Boston. He was the Captain. He let Arod know that "we don't throw at .250 hitters." His teammates waxed poetically about his clutch hitting, game-calling acumen, and rapport with other players. There's no way that you can be a high-profile player on some of the highest profile teams in all of baseball (certainly the 2003, 2004 and 2007 Red Sox squads fit that bill) and not be a star.

By that logic, Derek Lowe is also ineligible for this exercise. Derek Lowe was a star when he was relegated to the bullpen for the '04 playoff run. He was a star when he recorded the last out in the '04 ALCS. I'd argue that he was a star when he won 21 games and threw a no hitter in 2002. "Pedro, Lowe, and Pray for Snow" was a thing.

Boras made J.D. Drew a star when he was drafted. J.D. Drew was a star before and during his time in Boston, and he was a star when he hit the Grand Slam in the 2007 ALCS.

There's a not-ludicrous argument that Jerry Remy is the biggest star in all of Red Sox-dom, surpassing Pedro and Ortiz and the champions from '04, 07, '13, and '18. I'd argue that the only people in Red Sox Nation that are bigger stars than Remy are Eck (better player, engaging and prolific announcer), Fisk (his homer is iconic as Gibson's, which of course features Eck) and Teddy Ballgame (who is an American Myth and American Hero in a way that modern ballplayers simply cannot be).

Granted, we couldn't know that Remy in 1978 would become arguably the most beloved figure in Red Sox Nation, but he did and there's no going back.
 

Strike4

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When was Greenwell ever considered a "star"? I know he was thought of as a really good player, but I never got the sense that people considered him to be a star player.
Remember when kids had posters of "stars" on their walls? There was the Bash Brothers one, I had a Charles Barkley one (not sure why), etc. There was indeed a Mike Greenwell one because my friend Brian had it on his wall.
 

E5 Yaz

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Ok so a little fun as the season winds down. Not looking for guys who were stars, but second-tier guys (yes you are welcome to be the judge of that). Making the best team of non-stars from 1975-present.

Position players
C - Jason Varitek. Three-time all-star, but not really a *star* player.
I stopped reading at this point
 

Light-Tower-Power

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Varitek was a fan favorite but he was never a star player. Just at his position Piazza, Posada, Pudge Rodriguez, and maybe even Pierzynski were bigger stars than Tek.
 

DrewDawg

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Varitek was a fan favorite but he was never a star player. Just at his position Piazza, Posada, Pudge Rodriguez, and maybe even Pierzynski were bigger stars than Tek.
Come on. There's no universe where AJ Pierzynski is a bigger star than Varitek. None.
 

The Gray Eagle

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This thread will be nothing but arguments, insults, and nitpickery unless some sort of criteria is established for eligibility.
Eligible players should be guys who never made an all-star team, or better yet, players who are eligible for the Red Sox Hall of Fame but aren't in.

If you establish the criteria for exactly who is eligible and who is not, then this thread will only be about 50% arguments, insults and nitpickery. Which will be a lower percentage than most threads.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Okay, then I take Ortiz for my team. He was NOT a star, he was non-tendered by the Twins, barely played the field, and wasn't even a starter when he joined the Red Sox.
 

Plympton91

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I decided to make this harder on myself and limit it to specific 10th player types, who never established themselves as true starters, but made significant contributions over multiple seasons.

C Scott Hatteburg
1B Mike Stanley
2B Lou Merloni
SS Brock Holt
3B Tim Naehring
LF Bernie Carbo
CF Rick Miller
RF Daniel Nava
DH Reggie Jefferson

Could also be termed the All-Platoon Team.
 

DrewDawg

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I decided to make this harder on myself and limit it to specific 10th player types, who never established themselves as true starters, but made significant contributions over multiple seasons.

C Scott Hatteburg
1B Mike Stanley
2B Lou Merloni
SS Brock Holt
3B Tim Naehring
LF Bernie Carbo
CF Rick Miller
RF Daniel Nava
DH Reggie Jefferson

Could also be termed the All-Platoon Team.

Reggie Jefferson is a great pick. He had an .868 OPS in Boston.
 

BaseballJones

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It doesn't have to be. We can just play with it in the intended spirit it was proposed.
Well that was my hope, that it would be just a fun thing to engage in, but I forgot that this is SoSH, where even fun, innocent banter turns into posters taking out their knives. I suppose I should have known better.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Well that was my hope, that it would be just a fun thing to engage in, but I forgot that this is SoSH, where even fun, innocent banter turns into posters taking out their knives. I suppose I should have known better.
Wait, the latter and the former aren't the same thing? I thought this was SoSH.
 

DrewDawg

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Well that was my hope, that it would be just a fun thing to engage in, but I forgot that this is SoSH, where even fun, innocent banter turns into posters taking out their knives. I suppose I should have known better.
In fairness, your opening post invites folks to be the judge of second-tier guys. If they didn't do a back and forth on that this would just be a bunch of lists and that's no fun.
 

Was (Not Wasdin)

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Which year do you think Greenwell should have won an MVP for? I can't even find a year when he was the best player on his own team, let alone the league.

OTOH, Valentin really was the best player in the AL in 1995, but ridiculously finished 9th in the MVP voting and was passed over in favor of his teammate Mo.

Valentin was so good that year both with the glove and the bat. He really got robbed.
 

BaseballJones

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In fairness, your opening post invites folks to be the judge of second-tier guys. If they didn't do a back and forth on that this would just be a bunch of lists and that's no fun.
No that's no problem. I invite that. No need for people to be jerks though.
 

SydneySox

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Okay, then I take Ortiz for my team. He was NOT a star, he was non-tendered by the Twins, barely played the field, and wasn't even a starter when he joined the Red Sox.
Hey if that's the criteria you want to use, go nuts. Or, alternatively, instead of trying to thread police or troll this thread, you could also just stay out of it?
 

Danny_Darwin

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I'll make an actual team with the "no All-Stars" criteria. I'm going to add that I'm biased towards players I actually remember watching - I didn't really get too into baseball until I was in middle school in the early 90s, so 1980s baseball is mostly a blind spot to me.

C - Jarrod Saltalamacchia, whom Fangraphs seems to think I vastly underappreciated while he was in Boston. I still remember the guy who was benched during the 2013 World Series for Old Man Ross, but maybe I was wrong.
1B - Mike Stanley, whom I remember as the primary first baseman on the 1999 Sox, a team that still seems kind of improbable to me.
2B - SoSH favorite Mark Bellhorn, who was amazing in 2004 and run out of town in 2005 in favor of... was it Tony Graffanino?
SS - There are a lot of good choices here, more than I realized. Valentin never made the All-Star team, so I guess it could be him. But I'm going to take Marco Scutaro.
3B - Again, Bill Mueller never made an All-Star team, but I feel like Tim Naehring is more in the spirit of the concept.
LF - Troy O'Leary
CF - Darren Bragg
RF - Tough one. Trot never made an all-star team, but he was pretty well-known, no? I guess I'll take Josh Reddick, but that feels like cheating.
DH - Reggie Jefferson

SPs are tough because anyone who's actually good probably made an All-Star team at some point.
 

brs3

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IMO Valentin and Jody Reed might be the only actual non stars that are listed in the first post. Bob Stanley? Ellis Burks? Kevin Millar? They're Boston heroes. I guess maybe they wouldn't pass a name check amongst non-fans, but many of these guys are Red Sox legends. Mark Bellhorn? One of the most epic postseason performances of all time? My non-star list is heavily towards the 90's and 00's because that's when my fandom took off.

C: Scott Hatteberg - I remember being upset the Sox let him go to flourish in OAK, not knowing the reality of his throwing arm was the reason for the 1B shift.
1B: Brian Daubach - where I learned what a streaky hitter looked like. Underrated mini-slugger in his day.
2B: Jeff Frye - Brock Holtian minus the BROCKSTAR and much fewer dingers
3B: John Valentin - the Trot Nixon of the infield, so maybe doesn't belong on the non star list. Remember Nomar's Spring Training when Valentin wasn't going to shift to 3rd?
3B bonus: Tim Naehring - my first experience of a fan favorite cut down early by injury, so maybe also doesn't belong on this list since he was a fan favorite.
SS: Jody Reed - my hero. I played SS in LL and was terrible because I was afraid of the ball. Good times.
RF: Troy O'Leary - postseason hero on a losing season. Looking at his Sox numbers, he really wasn't too bad.
CF: Darren Lewis - his one claim to fame when he arrived was that he held the record for most consecutive games without an error. With his bat, that makes sense.
LF: Daniel Nava - joined Red Sox catcher legend Creighton Gubanich as Red Sox players with Grand Slams as their first major league hit.
DH: Reggie Jefferson - His career seemed to abruptly end at age 30 without any real explanation
SP: John Burkett, yes he was a 2X All Star before Boston, but he was a real life Eddie Harris by the time he was in Boston...but won 25 games over '02/'03!
SP: Bret Saberhagen, another Eddie Harris type for the '98/'99 Sox, won 25 games over 2 seasons. I'd kill someone for a useful Burkett/Saberhagen!
RP: Rod Beck, all day!
CP: Heathcliff Slocumb. Not for being any good, but for what the Sox acquired for him. Always love me some Slocumb.
MGR: Jimy Williams - dude did not GAF
 

Ale Xander

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C Mike Stanley, 118 Red Sox OPS+
1B Nick Esasky, 133 Red Sox OPS+
2B Jody Reed, 101 Red Sox OPS+
SS John Valentin, 110 Red Sox OPS+ (Renteria was a star in my book)
3B Bill Mueller, 119 Red Sox OPS+ (Beltre was a superstar, Cooper a B2B AllStar)
LF Brandon Moss, 106 Red Sox OPS+
CF Tony Armas, 104 Red Sox OPS+
RF Trot Nixon, 116 Red Sox OPS+
DH Reggie Jefferson, 119 Red Sox OPS+
 

Bergs

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There's a not-ludicrous argument that Jerry Remy is the biggest star in all of Red Sox-dom, surpassing Pedro and Ortiz and the champions from '04, 07, '13, and '18. I'd argue that the only people in Red Sox Nation that are bigger stars than Remy are Eck (better player, engaging and prolific announcer), Fisk (his homer is iconic as Gibson's, which of course features Eck) and Teddy Ballgame (who is an American Myth and American Hero in a way that modern ballplayers simply cannot be).
I've seen some batshit crazy posts in this forum, but holy shit.
 

bigq

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Tom Brunansky in RF and Nick Esasky at 1B deserve consideration.
 

BaseballJones

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Tom Brunansky in RF and Nick Esasky at 1B deserve consideration.
I definitely considered Brunansky. Went with Trot instead, but Brunansky was a solid non-star player. Didn't even think of Esasky, to be honest.
 

bob burda

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I decided to make this harder on myself and limit it to specific 10th player types, who never established themselves as true starters, but made significant contributions over multiple seasons.

C Scott Hatteburg
1B Mike Stanley
2B Lou Merloni
SS Brock Holt
3B Tim Naehring
LF Bernie Carbo
CF Rick Miller
RF Daniel Nava
DH Reggie Jefferson

Could also be termed the All-Platoon Team.
I like this list a lot - I would replace Stanley with Cecil Cooper, who was not a star in Boston, but was a regular platoon guy for 3 yrs (OK..one was '74, before the cut off). If you then considered Stanley as the RH/DH to go with Jefferson as LH /DH, that keeps Stanley on the team. I would take Reid Nichols over Nava. For 2B I would maybe take Jeff Frye over Loomerloni. Naehring can qualify as a guy who never could not establish himself as a starter if we allow in established starters who couldn't stay in the line-up due to health...and I don't know who else would go at 3rd.

I will take a shot at adding pitchers (starters are guys who seemed to pitch well but were not consistently in the rotation - injuries as a factor permitted):
Starters - Roger Moret, Andy Hassler, Joe Hesketh, Chuck Rainey
Relief - Rheal Cormier, Jim Willoughby, Tom Burgmeier, Rich "El Guapo" Garces