One cannot blame any citizen of Red Sox nation for wanting to obliterate any trace of Boston’s nightmare 2012 season from their memory banks. That of course is impossible because the one-year-reign of Bobby Valentine as Boston’s skipper produced as many negative and bizarre headlines as it did entries on the right side of the team’s won-lost record. If there were any bright spots, however, the performance of today’s Beantown Birthday Celebrant would be considered one of them.
Mike Aviles was born in New York City in 1981 and evolved into the seventh-round draft choice of the Kansas City Royals 22 years later. It took him five seasons of minor league ball to make the Royals’ big league roster but when he did in 2008, he was more than ready. He won the starting shortstop’s job that year and in 102 games he averaged .325 with 10 home runs, 51 RBIs and finished fourth in the 2008 AL Rookie of the Year voting.
He was then invited to play for Puerto Rico in the 2009 World Baseball Championship. While doing so he injured his arm and was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery, pretty much wiping out his sophomore season with the Royals. He did bounce back the following year, hitting .305, but when he got off to a slow start in 2011, he was traded to Boston for a couple of prospects. He then became one of the few Sox players who performed well during the final months of that Sox-plosion season, hitting .317 as the team’s primary utility infielder. Valentine then selected Aviles to replace Marco Scutaro as the team’s starting shortstop in 2012 and he set career high’s in home runs (13) and RBIs (60).
Though he was no longer on the roster when Boston turned it all around and won the World Series a year later, Aviles did make a huge contribution to that championship. He was the guy Boston traded to Toronto during the 2013 postseason for Blue Jays’ manager John Farrell. Toronto then turned right around and traded him to Cleveland where Aviles helped former Boston manager Tino Francona get the Indians back to the playoffs in 2013.
Aviles is the nephew of one-time big league infielder Ramon Aviles.