|Lugo: ‘Nobody’s going to be happy on the bench’||02.16.09 at 9:08 am ET|
Red Sox shortstop Julio Lugo, who has arrived in camp in what he describes as the best shape of his career, suggested that he welcomes a competition for the job of starting shortstop with Jed Lowrie, but that he would not be happy if he loses that role and lands on the bench.
“You want to be where people want you … Nobody’s going to be happy on the bench. I’m not going to be happy,” said Lugo. “I don’t worry about that. I just come here, do what I do, play baseball the best I can. I can’t make those decisions. They know what they’re going to get from me. It’s not my first rodeo.”
Lugo declined to answer whether he would request a trade if he were not the starter, though his non-answer was revealing enough.
“We’re going to have to see, we’re going to have to wait to see what happens,” said Lugo. “We’re going to see at the end of (spring training).”
Lugo is now entering the third year of a four-year, $36 million pact signed after the 2006 season. His offensive and defensive struggles have been well chronicled. He has hit .247 with a .314 OBP as a member of the Sox, with a .657 OPS (sixth worst among big-league shortstops with at least 200 games played over the last two years) while committing 35 errors.
Lowrie, who hit .258 with a .739 OPS in 81 error-free games as a rookie last year, has also declared his candid assertion that he wants the starting shortstop role. Lugo understands that there is a legitimate competition for the job.
“You see two guys in and out, you think it’s a competition,” said Lugo, who admitted that he followed the trade rumors (most notably, one that had him getting dangled to the Tigers) involving him this winter. “People see it like that. It’s good. I don’t mind that.”
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