Yesterday in the top of the ninth, another infielder out of the Red Sox farm system made his Major League debut. This time, though, it might have been the shortstop of the future. Given the shortstop-sized hole in our hearts I've referred to ad nauseam since the departure of Nomar, and given this prospect's apparent worth, this was a really big deal.
Jose Iglesias was being talked up before he even donned the uniform, impressed in Spring Training, and has raced through the minor league system, moving from Lowell to Portland in 2010 and then to Pawtucket and finally Boston this year. With the exception of Nomar himself or Iglesias' big-league mentor, Dustin Pedroia, I can't recall a more hotly anticipated debut.
All Iglesias did was field a grounder, for him a simple play, but it was for the final out of a much-needed 9-5 Sox win. His play cued "Dirty Water", and he received a pat on the back from Pedroia as well as wild applause from the stands.
Of course, we have yet to see him in home whites on a regular basis. Maybe he'll be the one to finally drive a wedge into the rapidly spinning revolving door at shortstop for the Red Sox, and complete our set of homegrown infielders. Or maybe he'll blink in the bright lights of Boston, fold just a little bit under the multifaceted pressures and learning curves of his new life.
So far, though, that hasn't happened. So far, Iglesias has taken on relentless ribbing from big-league teammates and the pressure of being a Sox prospect with equal aplomb. And when you hear his life story, as expertly drawn out by Peter Gammons -- in Iglesias' first English-speaking interview, no less -- all these things suddenly seem very small.
We're all rooting for you, kid. We all can't wait.