Denver Mike Lowell is much more than some throw-in on a Red Sox trade. He's the World Series MVP.
The steady third baseman capped an outstanding October with a big performance Sunday night, earning MVP honors as Boston finished a four-game sweep with a 4-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies.
Earlier in the Series, Lowell called himself "the throw-in" on the 2005 deal with Florida that brought ace Josh Beckett to Boston. Nobody looks at Lowell that way anymore.
"Pretty good throw-in, I guess," Lowell said, drenched in champagne as he clutched his glistening trophy in the raucous Red Sox clubhouse. "Icing on the cake. This is just extra special."
Lowell homered, doubled and scored twice in the Game 4 clincher at Coors Field, dirtying his uniform with a headfirst slide at the plate that typified his whatever-it-takes attitude. He hit .400 (6-for-15) in the Series with four RBIs, three walks and a team-high six runs.
"I'm on Cloud 9. It's unbelievable," said Lowell, a survivor of testicular cancer. "We've got a lot of people to give credit to."
When the Red Sox swept St. Louis in 2004 for their first championship in 86 years, Lowell was still in Florida. This time, he's got an invitation to the party.
A key cog in Boston's powerful lineup, Lowell bats fifth behind David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez. Lowell's job is to protect those big boppers by driving in enough runs to make opponents think twice about walking them.
Few could have done it better this year.
Lowell set career bests by batting .324 with a team-leading 120 RBIs. Pretty good numbers to show potential suitors in the offseason, when he can become a free agent.
His best sales pitch, however, might be his production under pressure.
Lowell, who also won a World Series ring with the Marlins in 2003, hit .348 this postseason with two homers and 13 RBIs. He did it quietly, like almost everything. But that doesn't mean it went unnoticed.
About 15 minutes after the final out, a huge horde of red-clad Boston fans behind the third base dugout chanted "MVP! MVP!" for Lowell and "Re-sign Lowell! Re-sign Lowell!"
"Free agency to me is very new, so I'm going to take it step by step. But I've never hid the fact that I enjoy playing here in Boston," Lowell said. "I have great teammates, a great manager, great coaches, so we'll see what happens. But I'm more focused on celebrating right now."