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Francona on D&H: ‘The game should be played a certain way’

05.19.10 at 2:40 pm ET
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Terry Francona

Red Sox manager Terry Francona joined the Dale & Holley show Wednesday and talked about what transpired the previous two days in New York, where his team split a two-game series and dealt with some on- and off-field issues.

Francona addressed David Ortiz’ failure to hustle out of the batter’s box on a key play in the eighth inning Tuesday night, and the manager talked about the Hanley Ramirez situation in Florida as well.

Francona also addressed comments from Mike Lowell Tuesday afternoon that the veteran might be better off elsewhere as he becomes more frustrated with his lack of playing time. Francona said he sympathized with Lowell — and Tim Wakefield as well — but won’t discuss it in depth publicly.

A transcript follows. To hear the interview, click on the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

[Umpire] Joe West might have been right. Those [Red Sox-Yankees] games seem to take forever.

I actually didn’t think about it. There was so much going on in that game, that I [couldn't] have cared less. The first time I looked [at the time] was when we were getting showered and [travling secretary] Jack McCormick told me what time the bus was, and I said, “You’ve got to be kidding me. We’ve been here that long?” I didn’t care. All I wanted to do was win. I didn’t care what time it was.

How about the Yankees playing the game under protest [after Josh Beckett left with an injury and Manny Delcarmen was given extra warmups]? If you had been in their situation, would you have chosen to do the same thing?

I don’t know. Everybody’s different. John Farrell went out to the mound. And it was pretty obvious, when Johnny got there, from the conversation with Beckett, that there was a problem. So he turned to the umpire, Angel Campos, and said, “We’ve got to get a pitcher in here. He’s hurt.” And Angel said, “Yeah.” So Johnny waved [for a new pitcher].

From there, then there was a few conversations from their side. And I ended up talking both to the crew chief, Larry Vanover, and Angel. And I said, “Where’s the problem? You were standing there and you heard him say he’s hurt.” And he goes, “We really don’t really have a problem.” I said, “Well, then what’s going on?” He said, “Well, they have the right to do whatever they want.” I said, “OK.” So, it wasn’t that big a deal. Read the rest of this entry »

Ortiz to appear on The Big Show Thursday

05.19.10 at 1:06 pm ET
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David Ortiz

Red Sox slugger David Ortiz will be a guest on The Big Show Thursday at 3:30 p.m. Ortiz has rebounded from his slow start this season and came up with a number of key hits in the two-game series vs. the Yankees, although he has come under some criticism for failing to hustle on his game-tying hit to the right-center field wall in the eighth inning of Tuesday night’s Red Sox win. Ortiz was thrown out at second base and later admitted he did not run hard out of the batter’s box because he thought he had hit a home run. If you miss the interview Thursday on WEEI, check The Big Show audio on demand page to hear it, and visit the Full Count blog for a recap.

Ortiz is hosting an Eat n’ Greet event to benefit the David Ortiz Children’s Fund on May 27 at Big Papi’s Grille in Framingham. Click here for more information.

Red Sox vs. Twins matchups, 5/19

05.19.10 at 10:24 am ET
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Clay Buchholz

After having to scratch and claw their way to split their two-game series with the Yankees, the Red Sox won’t have things much easier at home Wednesday night as they face the AL Central-leading Twins. Minnesota is coming off its own two-game split with the Blue Jays north of the border.

Boston’s pitching has not been at its best as of late, allowing at least five runs in each of the last four games. Manager Terry Francona will send Clay Buchholz to the mound in the hopes of bucking that recent trend. Buchholz enters Wednesday night’s contest with a 4-3 record and a 3.46 ERA that surprisingly is the lowest amongst the team’s starters. In his last start on May 14 in Detroit, Buchholz allowed just one earned run on three hits over 6-1/3 innings to earn his fourth win of the season. However, he walked five batters for the second outing in a row after not having walked more than four in any appearance before that.

The Twins will counter with Scott Baker, who has struggled in the early going to return to the form that won him 15 games last year. His ERA is a half-run higher than it was last season, and he has allowed four or more earned runs in four of his eight starts this season. This will be his first start after being hit in the leg by a Derek Jeter line drive last Friday. Baker gave up five earned runs to the Yankees on 10 hits over 6-plus innings before being lifted in that contest.

If anything though, this short two-game series at Fenway could be decided by the offenses, both of which rank in the top 10 in the majors in runs scored. The Sox rank fourth with 210 while the Twins are tied for ninth with 190. By driving in nine and seven runs in the two games against New York, the Sox offense has shown that perhaps it is not as much of a weak link as many thought coming into the season. On the Minnesota side, with former MVPs Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau headlining the lineup, the Twins always are capable of strewing together runs and could be dangerous against Buchholz.

Red Sox vs. Scott Baker

Victor Martinez (29 career plate appearances against Baker): .250 average/.276 OBP/.286 slugging, 1 double, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts

Adrian Beltre (23): .318/.348/.591, 3 doubles, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Bill Hall (12): .250/.250/.833, 1 double, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 4 strikeouts

Kevin Youkilis (7): .167/.286/.667, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

J.D. Drew (6): .667/.667/1.000 4 hits, 2 doubles, 1 strikeout

Mike Lowell (6): .600/.667/1.600 3 hits, 2 doubles, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Dustin Pedroia (6): .167/.167/.167, 1 strikeout

Jason Varitek (4): .250/.250/1.000 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

David Ortiz is 1-3 against Baker, and Marco Scutaro is 0-1 with a walk. Jeremy Hermida, Darnell McDonald and Jonathan Van Every have not faced Baker in their careers.

Twins vs. Clay Buchholz

Jim Thome (5 career plate appearances against Buchholz): .250 average/.400 OBP/1.000 slugging, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Michael Cuddyer (3): .667/.667/.667, 1 RBI

Brendan Harris (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 strikeout

Joe Mauer (3): 1.000/1.000/1.000, 2 walks

Justin Morneau (3): .667/.667/.667, 1 RBI

Delmon Young (3): .333/.333/.333, 2 RBI, 1 strikeout

Drew Butera, Alexi Casilla, Orlando Hudson, Jason Kubel, Nick Punto and Denard Span all have not faced Buchholz.

Read More: Clay Buchholz, Red Sox, Scott Baker, Twins

Ortiz on benching Hanley: Not right thing to do

05.19.10 at 9:43 am ET
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David Ortiz believes the Marlins should have handled Hanley Ramirez' situation in a more private manner. (AP)

NEW YORK — Speaking prior to the Red Sox’ 7-6 win over the Yankees, Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium, David Ortiz weighed in on the controversy surrounding his former teammate, Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez was benched by Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez after loafing after a ball Monday. The All-Star then proceeded to show little remorse, saying Tuesday, “We got a lot of people dogging after ground balls.”

“This is not about embarrassing the player that he is,” said Ortiz, who befriended Ramirez — a fellow native of the Dominican Republic — prior to the Red Sox trading the shortstop following the 2005 season. “Sometimes we might need to be reminded about things we do that we think is the right thing but it’s not. There are more eyes watching. But embarrassing you, or your embarrassing your manager or your teammates is not the right way to go.

“You say, ‘Son, let’s talk. What happened?’ That’s all it is. You’ve got people watching you. It’s not the right thing to do. Don’t do it. Slap on the hand.”

Ortiz, who said he will be calling Ramirez, doesn’t believe the 26-year-old’s actions should be ignored, but just handled in a more private manner.

“He’s a young kid who is very talented. Sometimes you sit down players who make a mistake and then people start pointing a finger at you. That doesn’t help,” Ortiz said. “He’s a great player. He might have done something wrong but you’re talking about the franchise kid. Why embarrass him? ‘Let’s talk. I don’t think what you did is right. You’re a grown-ass man. You’ve got to do your thing out there, so make sure that doesn’t happen anymore.’ ”

Ironically, Ortiz dealt with a similar situation Tuesday night when he failed to run hard out of the batter’s box after hitting a long fly ball to center field in the eighth inning. The ball dropped in for a hit, allowing the game-tying run to score, but Ortiz was thrown out at second base after attempting to stretch the hit into a double. After the game Ortiz admitted that he thought he had hit a home run.

“Oh, yeah, no question,” Ortiz said. “It was Mother Nature taking away pop from my bat.”

Asked if he was mad at himself for not running hard out of the batters box, Ortiz said, “Oh, yeah. What can you do. Turn the page.”

Red Sox manager Terry Francona chose to not comment on what was, or will be, said to Ortiz regarding the incident. “That’s kind of our business,” he said. “I don’t think that will happen anymore. It was a good swing.”

Read More: David Ortiz, hanley ramirez, Marlins, Red Sox

Closing Time: Red Sox 7, Yankees 6

05.19.10 at 12:14 am ET
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David Ortiz tied the game in the eighth with an RBI single. (AP)

NEW YORK — When in doubt, turn to Jeremy Hermida.

The backup outfielder came through in the clutch again, this time completing the Red Sox’ comeback with a two-out, two-run double off of New York closer Mariano Rivera, giving the Red Sox a 7-6 win in the series finale, Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium. The hit to deep left field scored both Marco Scutaro and Darnell McDonald, and completely wiped out the five-run hole the Sox found themselves in through the first five innings.

Hermida, who entered the game in the eighth inning for an injured J.D. Drew, built on his already impressive numbers with two outs and runners in scoring position (6-for-16 entering the game).

The Red Sox did have to sweat it out in the ninth inning, when the Yanks closed the gap to a run while putting runners on second and third with two outs against Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon. But on a 3-2 count, Papelbon got Randy Winn to swing and miss at strike three to end the 4-hour, 9-minute, rain-delayed extravaganza.

(Note: The game was played under protest when the Yankees complained that the Red Sox indicate that starter Josh Beckett was being visited at the mound — and subsequently taken out — by pitching coach John Farrell due to a back injury. The Commissioner’s Office will review the protest and if it agrees with the claim than the game would be picked up where the teams left off at the time of the protest.)


- Beckett’s return to the mound didn’t go quite as the Sox had hoped. While Beckett’s line certainly wasn’t helped by a botched grounder — which should have been an easy double play — with nobody out in the second inning by Marco Scutaro, leading to a pair of runs, the starter wasn’t as dominant as he needed to be in going up against New York’s ace, CC Sabathia. Before leaving the game with tightness in his lower back, Beckett allowed five runs over 4 2/3 innings, throwing 101 pitches.

- Scutaro’s error didn’t get the Red Sox going in the right direction. It was just the shortstop’s second error in the last month (28 games), but proved costly. Instead of cruising through the second inning with two outs and nobody on, Beckett proceeded to allow the Yanks to jump ahead with a 2-0 lead while the Sox starter had to throw 25 pitches to get out of the second. Scutaro would make another miscue, allowing Alex Rodriguez’ grounder to go under his glove to lead off the ninth, leading to another run when Robinson Cano singled off Papelbon.

- The Red Sox weren’t able to build off of their offensive momentum from the night before, not getting more than one hit from anybody in their lineup against New York starter CC Sabathia. Victor Martinez, who was getting the start after his two-home run performance Monday night, went hitless, as did the bottom three hitters in the Sox’ lineup (Adrian Beltre, Bill Hall, Darnell McDonald). Of course it didn’t help they had to go vs. Sabathia, who turned in his typical solid performance, going seven innings, giving up four hits and just one Youkilis solo homer.


- For the second straight game the Sox showed some resiliency, once again coming back from a 5-0 deficit. Just like Monday, the comeback came against the Yankees’ bullpen, with Joba Chamberlain the victim this time around. Marco Scutaro led off by reaching via an error on third baseman Alex Rodriguez, and was moved up on Dustin Pedroia’s first hit of the game. J.D. Drew, who was just 2-for-19 against Chamberlain coming into the game, then plated both with an RBI double. A soft single from Kevin Youklis plated two more, setting the stage (two batters later) for David Ortiz’ blast to deep right-center. While the Sox’ DH was gunned down at second (pausing at the plate after he believed the ball was going to clear the fence), it still knotted the game at 5-5, with Youkilis scoring.

- Youkilis continues to be perhaps the Red Sox only All-Star. After hitting a clutch, eighth-inning homer Monday night, Youkilis followed up with another standout performance. With the homer, two-run single and two more walks, the first baseman has gotten on base at least twice in each of the five games on the Sox’ road trip. For Youkilis, it also didn’t hurt that he managed to notch his bloop two-bagger, scoring two in the eighth, against arch nemesis, Chamberlain.

- Drew to represent the Red Sox most consistent offensive threat throughout the month of May. Since the beginning of the month Drew has had just two games (out of 15) in which he hasn’t had at least one hit, and now is hitting .400 for May (24-60). Unfortunately for the right fielder, he was forced to leave the game with an injury while running out his eighth-inning double.

Ortiz on Lowell’s situation: ‘It bothers me’

05.18.10 at 8:56 pm ET
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David Ortiz

NEW YORK — David Ortiz, who was in the lineup as the Red Sox designated hitter against Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia, talked prior to the series finale at Yankee Stadium about how difficult is has been to witness Mike Lowell having to deal with diminished playing time

“As good as a player as he is, there’s not a guy like him personally. He’s a great player, and the fact that he’s stuck here right now not playing, it bothers me,” Ortiz said. “I’m not used to seeing Mikey not playing. You can’t waste a player like that. But what you going to do?”

Just moments earlier from Ortiz expressing his opinion on his teammate of five seasons, Lowell had relayed his displeasure with his situation, telling reporters that it might be better for the Red Sox if he wasn’t on the roster. (Click here for the transcript of Lowell’s conversation.)

Ortiz has caught fire of late, leading the majors with the most home runs in the month of May (6) while hitting .348 during the stretch. It has led to Red Sox manager Terry Francona going away from the DH platoon that had been instituted for much of the season, with Ortiz’ start against Sabathia the latest example.

“Me and Mikey go way back. We’ve been teammates for years. What I was going through it’s not because of him, and what he’s going through is not because of me,” Ortiz said. “We are employees here and we do what we’re told. On the other hand, what he’s going through now, it’s not a comfortable thing. It’s almost not fair for a guy who has busted his balls here. … I don’t want to see him go, either. It’s just crazy.

“It’s unbelievable. It’s just unbelievable.”

Read More: David Ortiz, mike lowell, Red Sox,

Ellsbury goes 0-for-3 with a run in Portland

05.18.10 at 8:46 pm ET
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Jacoby Ellsbury

Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, after going 1-for-3 with a walk and two runs as the designated hitter for Triple-A Pawtucket on Monday, went 0-for-3 with a walk and run while leading off and playing center field for the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs on Tuesday in the second game of his rehab assignment.

Ellsbury led off the game for Portland by walking, advancing to second on a single and scoring on a throwing error. In his next three plate appearances, he grounded out to third base in the third inning, flied to right in the fifth and fouled out to the catcher in the eighth. He was replaced in center for the ninth.

Defensively, Ellsbury saw little action except in the eighth inning, when he recorded his only putout on a fly ball and fielded three straight singles.

Ellsbury is scheduled to rejoin the Sox in Boston on Wednesday for a medical evaluation that will determine the next step of his rehab from a hairline fracture of four ribs, incurred in a collision with Adrian Beltre on April 11.

The Sox outfielder was somewhat upstaged in the contest between Portland and New Britain (the Twins’ Double-A affiliate). Pitcher Felix Doubront matched a Double-A best by tossing seven shutout innings, allowing seven hits, walking one and striking out six in Portland’s 2-1 win. Doubront now has a 1.48 ERA and 22 strikeouts in his last four starts, spanning 24-1/3 innings.

Read More: felix doubront, Jacoby Ellsbury,
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