SPIKE HUNG IN THERE

Outfielder Sean Danielson has had a season he’d just as soon forget.  Not because he couldn’t produce on the field.  Because he couldn’t get on the field.  Danielson was activated from the organizational disabled list and was in the starting lineup for the game September 1 against Lehigh Valley.  He’d been on the DL since June 8 with a “strained calf.”  Since then he appeared in three games, going 1-1.  “Spike” as he was nicknamed by manager Ron Johnson, was very productive in 2008.  He stole a combined 25 bases playing at Portland and Pawtucket.  The rifle-armed outfielder ranked third in the I.L. in assists with 13, despite appearing in just 83 games.  This season, his high point came on May 11 at Columbus, as he went 5-6 with a double and a home run.  Since then the highlights have been few and far between.  The Texas native who came to the Red Sox in the deal for Joel Pineiro from St. Louis on Halloween, 2007 has remained upbeat. “It’s very exciting to be activated.  It’s been a long time.  The nerves are kicking in, but I’m ready to play.”  Danielson said he tried to be prepared in the event of an opportunity.  “That was the only thing I could control.  Be ready, stay sharp.  It did get a little old coaching first base, but you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.”  Spike admits that there were some difficult moments watching the team this season- “I’d say the hardest thing was watching the team struggle and knowing that I could help.  It’s hard to watch sometimes, but it was something I couldn’t control.”  Danielson says that there were positives gained from his long layoff.  ” I considered myself a student of the game.  I tried to learn by watching moves.  Seeing what mistakes people made and learn from them.  Just watch how the game is played.  Make sure I don’t put myself in similar position when I get the chance to play again.”  Keeping in tune physically, was a challenge for Spike.  “That was the toughest part, staying in shape.  Sprinting, throwing, batting.  Strength coach Mike Jones has been keeping on me to stay in shape, so that’s helped.  I just tried to stay strong.”  Infielder Jeff Natale, Danielsons’ roommate has also been on the DL and Sean admits the two talked a lot, both inside and out of the dugout. “It’s very up and down.  You’ve got to do your best to back up your teammates and stay positive.  Sometimes it’s hard, but you do your best.”  Sean added “We’re roommates, we’re together all the time, so there’s a lot of picking on each other and picking each other up, too.”  With a week to go, Danielson is realistic-  “I just want to go out there and leave it all on the field.  Have fun and maybe raise my batting average a few points.”   Defensively, he’d love to gun down some opposing baserunners.  “Nobody’s ready for me or my arm.  I’ll be the secret weapon and sneak attack them.  Ambush ‘em!”

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