A poster on Sons of Sam Horn excerpted a piece of an interview Theo Epstein gave on WBCN, Boston's new all-sports radio station. Of special note is that one of the radio cohosts is Tony Massarotti, whose position on J.D. Drew has been unenlightened, at best.
Epstein was unusually confrontational in defending Drew, basically saying that the Boston sports media is well behind the times in how it looks at ballplayers. Of course, we know this. But how often does a general manager say it?
"Sometimes you get stuck evaluating players through home runs and RBIs, and it's not the way I think most clubs do it these days."
Then, when one of the cohosts (sorry, I don't know whether it was Felger or Mazz) brings up Drew's runs and RBI totals and suggests Drew's high OPS "doesn't always lead to run production":
"That's not true. In RBIs, yes. Based on his skill set, he's always going to have underwhelming RBI totals. I couldn't care less. When you're putting together a winning team, that honestly doesn't matter. … Runs scored, you couldn't be more wrong. … J.D. scores a ton of runs, and the reason he scores a ton of runs is because he does the single most important thing you can do as in baseball as an offensive player — and that's not make outs. …
"You guys can talk about RBIs if you want. We ignore them in the front office."
By the way, Epstein wasn't quite right about Drew having the highest second-half OPS among all outfielders in baseball, as he states at the beginning of the interview – his .948 mark is best among right fielders but "just" third among all outfielders, behind Matt Holliday and Jason Bay.
Drew also has the third-highest OPS among right fielders for the entire season and eighth-highest among all qualified outfielders. Meanwhile his UZR/150 is second-highest among all right fielders in baseball. With Justin Upton, Drew has a strong case for being baseball's best right fielder for the second year in a row.