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Sports

August 24, 2010

Give Do-it-all Bill Hall the 10th player award

BOSTON — Forget about Manny Ramirez, Jason Bay, Hanley Ramirez, Bobby Abreu, J.D. Drew and Carl Crawford.

None of those star players have hit as many home runs as Red Sox utility man Bill Hall, who has blasted 17 in limited playing time this summer.

In the process, Hall has played every single position besides catcher and first base.

Yes, he has even pitched. He tossed a perfect inning of relief May 28 when the Red Sox lost 12-5 to the Kansas City Royals.

Call him Do-it-all Billy Hall. He deserves this team's 10th player award.

Hall, who was not in the starting lineup yesterday against Seattle, is hitting .240 with 17 homers and 40 RBIs.

For Hall, this season has been a satisfying one because he has been able to rediscover his swing — the swing he used back in 2006 when he smashed 35 home runs, drove in 85 runs and hit for a .270 batting average. He said a serious ankle sprain in 2007 caused him to develop some bad offensive habits, some of which he is just correcting now.

"It's been a fun year," Hall said. "I'm enjoying it. Obviously, I'm just continuing to try to help this team win and hopefully I can maintain what I am doing.

"And I love playing baseball here," Hall added. "This is a great city. This is a baseball city and everybody loves it and obviously it's a great team."

Hall has cranked a homer in five of his past 12 games and nine times in the past 23 games in which he has recorded an at-bat.

"We've kind of had him sitting down toward the bottom of the order and when you (a pitcher) makes a mistake, he hits it a long way," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "If you make your pitches, you might get him, but if you make a mistake, he has a way of (hitting) ... some big home runs for us."

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