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Statement From Daisuke Matsuzaka

07.30.09 at 3:52 pm ET
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BOSTON, MA’€”Red Sox right-handed pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka issued the following statement today:

‘€œI spoke to Tito on the phone yesterday, and I’m very glad that we had a productive conversation.

As for the reports from the past several days, I want to correct some misunderstandings.  I did not go public with any complaints and I regret that some of my private conversations were made public without my knowledge or consent.

Also, I never said in public or in private conversation that: ‘€˜If I’m forced to continue to train in this environment, I may no longer be able to pitch like I did in Japan.’€™

I had no intention of criticizing the team and we are, in fact, working together to communicate, to exchange ideas, and to try to understand one another’s baseball culture as we move forward.

The team and I have had many meetings and conversations, and after shaking hands with the general manager, manager, and coaches on the 24th, I was able to resume my training in a good state of mind.

My goal is to put myself into a position where I can contribute to this team.

I look forward to rejoining my teammates and playing in front of the fans at Fenway Park.’€

Read More: Daisuke Matsuzaka, Dice-K, Red Sox,

Rumor Mill: Sox deny Indians Buchholz

07.30.09 at 3:52 pm ET
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A “little hiccup” in trade discussions between Boston and Cleveland for cather Victor Martinez have  lead the Sox back to Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez according to SI.com’s Jon Heyman. Heyman believes the Indians were denied Sox starter Clay Buchholz as part of the package for Martinez causing Boston to turn its attention towards Gonzalez. The Padres have said they do not want to part with Gonzalez but are “at least engaged in discussions”.

If the Sox denied Cleveland of Buchholz are they saving him for Toronto?

Read More: mlbrumormill2009,

Rumor Mill: Bard talks about his ‘untouchable’ status

07.30.09 at 3:27 pm ET
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Sox reliever Daniel Bard spoke to WEEI.com’s Alex Speier before today’s game about his apparent status as an ‘untouchable’ as the trading deadline approaches.  Sean McAdam of the Boston Herald reported yesterday that Bard along with 2008 Sox draft picks pitcher/shortstop Casey Kelly and outfielder Ryan Westmoreland are off limits as trade bait. Here’s what Bard had to say:

“I didn’t hear that but I think you feel some security as far as, ‘Yea, I’m a part of this team.’ I feel like I’m helping the team win some games but I think that’s probably how a lot of players feel right before they get traded probably too. At the same time that’s how I’m going to feel until something actually happens. I’m not going to sit here and worry about it, what’s there one day left [until the trading deadline]? I’m going to go about my business the same way and honestly the only time I’ve thought about the trade deadlines is when reporters come up and ask me about, it so it hasn’t been too much of an issue.”

Read More: mlbrumormill2009,

Rumor Mill: Sherrill traded to Dodgers

07.30.09 at 3:18 pm ET
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Ed Price is tweeting that the Dodgers have traded for Baltimore closer George Sherrill. It’s unclear which other players are involved in the deal. Check back for follow-up.

UPDATE: Ken Gurnick says the prospects headed to Baltimore are third baseman Josh Bell and right-handed pitcher Steve Johnson.

Read More: mlbrumormill2009,

Rumor Mill: Add the Tigers to the list of teams scared away

07.30.09 at 2:23 pm ET
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Lynn Henning of the Detroit News reports that the Tigers inquired about Roy Halladay but walked away upon hearing Toronto’s demands of Rick Porcello, Ryan Perry, and top prospect Casey Crosby. The Blue Jays have until tomorrow’s 4 p.m. deadline to trade their ace but have been rebuffed by several teams due to their high asking price.

Read More: mlbrumormill2009,

Rumor Mill: Halladay staying in Toronto?

07.30.09 at 1:42 pm ET
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Peter Gammons, appearing on ESPN recently, said the Red Sox have spoken to the Blue Jays today, but that it is unlikely Roy Halladay will be traded given the inability on the part of other teams to match what the Phillies were offering Toronto prior to their deal with the Indians.  Stay tuned for more on Halladay and the deadline.

Read More: mlbrumormill2009,

Rumor Mill: Dodgers in the lead for Doc?

07.30.09 at 1:27 pm ET
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According to Joe McDonald of the Providence Journal, the Red Sox are no longer considered favorites to land Roy Halladay and have taken a back seat to the Dodgers. Specifics on what each team is offering were not provided, but McDonald states that “talks with the Red Sox have calmed down — for now.”

UPDATE: FoxSports names Josh Bell, Devaris Gordon, Josh Lindblom, Ethan Martin and Nathan Eovaldi as prospects that could could be sent to Toronto for Halladay.

Read More: mlbrumormill2009,

Rumor Mill: Gonzalez talks back on?

07.30.09 at 1:17 pm ET
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Buster Olney is reporting that the Red Sox and Padres have been talking “at length” about a deal that would send Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox. The talks took place yesterday and are expected to continue today. Olney suggests that Clay Buchholz, Junichi Tazawa, and Lars Anderson might be a possible package sent to San Diego in return for the slugger. On the season, Gonzalez has 28 homers. He is hitting just .252, but has a .394 on-base percentage that might lessen concerns the Sox could have with his low average.

Read More: mlbrumormill2009,

Report: David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez on PED List

07.30.09 at 12:53 pm ET
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The New York Times is reporting that both David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez were on the list of 104 Major League Baseball players who tested positive for performance-enhancing substances in 2003. The report cites lawyers familiar with the results of the tests.

The tests were administered as part of an agreement with the Players’ Association with the provision that positive tests by at least 5 percent of the players would trigger a testing program with penalties. The results were supposed to be kept confidential and subsequently destroyed as part of the agreement with the Players’ Association. But they were not, and the federal government seized the results.

Ramirez was suspended 50 games earlier this year for testing positive for a female fertility drug that can be used as a masking agent for steroids. At the time, he said that he had passed several tests over the previous five years during the time of mandatory drug tests (though perhaps conveniently omitting any 2003 tests).

Ortiz has never been suspended for the use of performance-enhancing substances. A Times reporter asked Ortiz about the report today.

“Ortiz shrugged,” the article said. ‘€œ’I’€™m not talking about that anymore…I have no comment.”€

The Red Sox clubhouse was closed prior to the game by the time the report was published.

Ortiz has said repeatedly that his success has been achieved ‘€œthe right way,’€ especially when he set a Red Sox team home run record in 2006 with 54 longballs.  Indeed, unprompted, he commented on that very thing on Sept. 21, 2006, the night that he hit his 51st homer to set a new Sox record.

“This is something that might change people’s minds and let them know that there are still a lot of good athletes still playing the game and still working hard and preparing themselves to play the game the way it’s supposed to be,” he said. “A lot of people out there, a lot of players, that have a lot of respect for the game. I know there are some guys that have been caught using illegal things, but people should know that not everyone is like that.

“Somebody does whatever they do for a reason, but the most important thing is knowing that there are guys out there capable of hitting homers and doing everything in the right way.”

This spring, his association with Dominican trainer Angel Presinal came under scrutiny. Presinal had worked with Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees after being banned from MLB clubhouses for his association with steroids.

At the time, Ortiz stated that Presinal is a trainer at the facility where he and several other baseball players work out in the Dominican Republic, and that while the trainer offers guidance about exercises and conditioning, that Presinal has never pushed him towards steroids.

‘€œNo, no, no. Not at all,’€ Ortiz said when asked whether Presinal had steered him towards PEDs. ‘€œI’€™ve known him for a long time. He teaches how to keep our body ready, working out, teaching you how to do the right exercises, things like that. He’€™s not just teaching baseball players. He’€™s got guys that run in marathons, volleyball players, basketball players, everybody’€¦.We all work with him, a group of guys that wants to be ready in spring training. That’€™s about it.’€

As Ian Browne of MLBlogs pointed out on his excellent Brownie Points blog, Ortiz also spoke out strongly this spring on the need to penalize PED users in an effort to clean up the game.

“I would suggest that everybody get tested, and not randomly,” Ortiz said on Feb. 16. “You go team by team and you test everybody, three, four times a year, and that’s about it. You do what you’ve got to do … ban them for the whole year [if they test positive]. You’re going to get respect from the players when they know they’re going to get tested. Let’s test the whole team, three or four times a year. I know they can do that. Believe me, if someone was using steroids, it would show up. Because the way they test you, it’s not a joke.”

Yet while he came out strongly against the use of PEDs, Ortiz also spoke during that spring training media session about the need to move on from the past.

“There’s been a lot of players who have been in federal court and being judged like they just killed somebody or they robbed somebody,” Ortiz also said on Feb. 16. “I don’t think all that is supposed to be happening. If you admitted that you’ve used stuff [in the past], boom, don’t use it anymore. It’s not good for you. You know it’s not good for the game. Let’s move on, you know what I mean? All the drama of bringing guys to court and acting like they are serious criminals, it doesn’t look good for the game. What is happening right now is about something that happened in the past. It’s not something that is happening right now. Everything was banned in, what, 2004?”

We will have more from Fenway Park as information becomes available.

Read More: David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, peds, steroids

Report: Ortiz and Ramirez Said to Be on Doping List

07.30.09 at 12:49 pm ET
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According to a report in the New York Times, both David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez tested positive for performance-enhancing substances in 2003, according to lawyers familiar with the results.

Here is the story:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/31/sports/baseball/31doping.html?_r=1&hp

According to the story, both players were among the list of 104 players who tested positive that season.
Ortiz has said repeatedly that his success has been achieved ‘€œthe right way,’€ especially when he set a Red Sox team home run record in 2006 with 54 longballs. The results from the 2003 drug tests were supposed to remain confidential before being destroyed. Neither happened, and federal agents seized the results.

Read More: David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Red Sox,
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