Lugo: I can take it
|06.06.09 at 4:40 pm ET|
Julio Lugo admitted that he doesn’t like being on the bench like he is for tonight’s game against the Texas Rangers at Fenway Park.
But before the game, the embattled Red Sox shortstop said what bothers him more is the booing and public criticism that he or popular players like David Ortiz get when they struggle.
“It’s tough,” Lugo said. “Nobody wants to be booed. Not me, not anybody. Sometimes, the only person who knows what’s going on or why you miss a ball is you because you’re the only one out there. You know what happened.
“Those fans, they just want you to make the play. They don’t understand sometimes that you make an effort. But you know what? At the same time, I’m not making excuses. Not at all,” he said.
Lugo didn’t get to two balls while playing shortstop on Friday night in Boston’s 5-1 loss to the Rangers. He heard loud boos from the Fenway faithful. Nick Green is getting the start at short for Saturday’s game.
Lugo told reporters that he does keep his lines of communication open with Red Sox manager Terry Francona. And Francona acknowledged that those conversations are important to his shortstop.
“It’s important to him,” Francona said. “I don’t think he always likes what I tell him.”
The Lugo situation could become even more interesting as Jed Lowrie returns from wrist surgery. Lowrie had a full session of batting practice on Friday and Francona said on Saturday that Lowrie is, “doing good.”
As he continued, it was apparent that Lugo’s feelings were directed far more at the critics in the media than the fans.
“It’s not fair to anyone, not me or anybody,” Lugo said. “If you try to make a play like that and you get destroyed by you guys (media) the next day, it’s not fair. You guys can say whatever you want, I can take, I can (expletive) take it. I’m a human being, I have feelings but I can take it.
“I go out there and work my (tail) off. I don’t care how many errors or how many strikeouts I’ve got, if I’m 0-for-20, I’m not going to feel sorry for myself. I can go to sleep everyday good because I do my best,” Lugo said.
As for motivation, Lugo said he doesn’t need any.
“You don’t get fired (up) by you people,” Lugo said. “You get fired up when you’re successful and people clap. You feel good. You feel bad when things bad happen. You have to have fire to make it to the big leagues. I have the fire every day. I have the best job in the world. Who’s the shortstop here, I am. I get paid a lot of money. You’ve got everything you want, money, fame, a bunch of girls looking at you, what else can you have?”
Asked if he is happy splitting the shortstop job with Nick Green, Lugo asked a question of his own.
“Are you ok if somebody comes one day and another day you’re not working? Then that’s how I feel,” he said.
But Lugo made it clear he has no desire to leave town, unlike Manny Ramirez 12 months ago.
“I love Boston. I love it,” Lugo said. “There’s nowhere else you want to play. I’ll tell you the truth, I think fans have been fair to me. I signed here because they want to see the Julio Lugo hitting the ball, going crazy, making plays. Sometimes you deserved to be booed, sometimes you don’t, but I love it here. This is a first-class organization. Good teammates. Everything is good. I have a lot of lot of respect for our G.M. He’s a real honest guy.”
Lugo also took time to defend another embattled Red Sox star, David Ortiz.
“He’s good, he’s still good,” Lugo said. “He’s just in a slump and you know, he’s going to find it. All those people talking bad about him, they’re going to keep clapping. 2004 World Series, wouldn’t be here without Big Papi. 2007 World Series, wouldn’t be without Big Papi. Now, everybody is killing him, it’s not fair, man. All those people on TV talking bad about him, that’s bull-beep.”
In other news, Francona said that J.D. Drew is sitting out Saturday’s game for precautionary reasons with a sore shoulder.
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