Lowell the latest alum to lend helping hand
Third baseman visits Red Sox's camp to pass along tips to Middlebrooks
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Just when you thought that Pedro Martinez, Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield would complete the trio of recently retired players helping out at the Red Sox's camp, Mike Lowell emerged as a surprise guest instructor on Tuesday.
The 2007 World Series hero was here to help third baseman Will Middlebrooks work on his defense. The idea came from one of Lowell's best friends -- Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia.
Lowell was wearing his familiar No. 25 Red Sox jersey.
"Pedroia wanted me to visit him. That was part one. I think Pedey talked to Will and said we communicated and worked well together turning double plays and said he wouldn't mind doing some stuff," said Lowell.
During Lowell's career, he was a National League Gold Glove Award winner, a four-time All-Star and World Series MVP.
"I don't think it's anything [Middlebrooks] does wrong," Lowell said. "I love guys who might want to hear something else, because you never know what can trigger something good."
In a way, Lowell's life has come full circle. He used to be the young player learning from World Series winners.
"I remember Scott Brosius and Luis Sojo and Graig Nettles, they told me things they probably meant in passing, but it sticks with you when you're young," said Lowell. "We're not going to reinvent the wheel. We're just going to talk about stuff and hopefully it helps."
Always considered a thinking man's player, Lowell should have no problem imparting some wisdom to Middlebrooks.
"I felt like my physical talent wasn't top of the line, so I had to have an edge any way I could," Lowell said.
Once the Red Sox completed their formal workout on Tuesday, Lowell headed to one of the practice fields with Middlebrooks for a tutorial. Pedroia also participated, catching throws from Middlebrooks.
"We're just working on my angles at third," Middlebrooks said. "You have to play it at like 45-degree angles, and a lot of times I get too flat and you get a lot of in-between hops and you don't get to as many balls, so I'm just working on my angles and staying down on the ball."
Middlebrooks got to know Lowell a little in 2010 -- his final season with the team.
"I would come up and play the ninth inning in a lot of these [Spring Training] games, and he was always around and he would always tell me, 'Use me. I've been around. I want to help out.'"
Middlebrooks considers it a privilege to work with Lowell.
"Oh, it's huge for me. That's the guy who has won World Series; he's won [a] Gold Glove. That's what I want to do, that's what I'm here for," Middlebrooks said. "Any time I can get information from a guy with that experience, it can help."