The Red Sox are north of the border, beginning a 10-day road trip in Toronto. The good people of Ontario were not too pleased with the Sox. You see, Boston brought a very good club to town, but the organization came here without one of Canada’s favorite sons.
Adam Stern, the hero of Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic upset of Team USA, was sent down to AAA Pawtucket Thursday morning. He did his part filling in for the injured Coco Crisp, making a pair of spectacular catches against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
Still, there were no false pretenses in the Boston front office.
Stern, a Red Sox Rule 5 pickup prior to last season, needed to stay with the Major League club through the first 17 days of this season. (Rule 5 players must be kept on the big-league roster by the team selecting the player in the Rule 5 draft.
Stern’s obligations carried into this season due to the extended amount of time he spent on the disabled list last season.
When the clock struck midnight Wednesday, the Red Sox were free to do what they wished with Stern. And they did, immediately sending him down I-95 for some seasoning.
This was the man that was plastered across front pages from Newfoundland to British Columbia in March when he hit an inside-the-park home run and made a remarkable full-sprint catch to lead team Maple Leaf to an 8-6 shocker over the Red, White, and Blue.
Stern showed us more of his impressive speed in center field this week. He made a game-ending (game-saving?) catch Tuesday night.
It was a great catch, Stern diving and holding onto the snow-cone to end a long, 34-pitch battle for Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth inning.
Stern showed impressive speed in making the catch. He also may have shown a bit too much youthful exuberance.
“We’re playing no doubles there,” said Terry Francona. “We want it to take two hits to to have that guy score from first. If (Stern) doesn’t make that catch – if the ball slides by him – he scores on one hit.
“I think he learned a lesson, and thankfully it didn’t cost us a ballgame.”
That’s exactly why the Red Sox believe Stern needed to be sent down.
He’s 26 years old, and only played in 56 total games last year (36 in Boston and 20 rehab games in Pawtucket.) He spent 2004 in Double A, and clearly needs to play every day.
Having said all that, it’s been fun to watch Stern in the field. He’s got great speed, a great attitude, and a great future.
Now that his Rule 5 obligations are over, it’s safe to say that future is with the Red Sox.
Lewiston native Tom Caron covers the Red Sox for NESN.