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Tom Werner recounts his brush with death during Sept. 11 attacks: ‘A painful day for me’

09.11.14 at 9:07 am ET
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Red Sox chairman Tom Werner, during his Thursday morning appearance on Dennis & Callahan, recounted his brush with death on the 13th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

“Today is sort of a painful day for me,” Werner said. “I was on Flight 11 [the Los Angeles-bound plane that was hijacked and crashed into the World Trade Center] for almost until the last minute — I changed my flight plan the night before. And I knew people who passed away in the World Trade Center. Every September 11th I kind of wake up in the morning and just think about that horrible, horrible day.”

Werner explained that his then-girlfriend, popular television morning-show host Katie Couric, played a key role in his decision to alter his travel plans.

“She asked me to come down to New York the night before,” Werner recalled. “I actually was up here [in Boston] negotiating to acquire the Red Sox with a group of other people, and our negotiating session ended on September 10th early. So I asked her to meet me in New York, and I flew out on the first flight on September 11th [from New York].

“I was just talking to my daughter this morning — they didn’t know I was in New York that night, so they thought I was on that first flight out of Boston on the 11th. It was just a horrible, horrible day. I think they thought I passed away on that terrible tragedy, the first few hours.”

Check the Full Count blog later for more from the Werner interview.

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Red Sox minor league roundup: Brian Johnson’s big league future draws closer

09.11.14 at 12:30 am ET
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Left-hander Brian Johnson, in his Triple-A debut on Wednesday, gave up no more than two earned runs for the 23rd time in 24 starts. (365DigitalPhotography.com / Portland Sea Dogs)

Left-hander Brian Johnson, in his Triple-A debut on Wednesday, gave up no more than two earned runs for the 23rd time in 24 starts. (365DigitalPhotography.com/Portland Sea Dogs)

A brief look at the one game in the Red Sox minor league system on Wednesday:

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 4-3 LOSS (11 INNINGS) VS. DURHAM (RAYS); TIED IN BEST-OF-FIVE GOVERNOR’S CUP FINALS, 1-1

(BOX)

It was a year-end nod to a season of startling, consistent excellence. With Double-A Portland eliminated from the postseason, the quality of execution that left-hander Brian Johnson had shown virtually every time he took the mound this year suggested there wasn’t a compelling reason *not* to promote him to Triple-A Pawtucket for one last start in the Governor’s Cup Finals.

Johnson showed the kind of sharp execution that suggested not only why he earned the opportunity in Triple-A, but why he has a chance to get to the big leagues quickly, and why he could leapfrog other Red Sox starting pitching prospects like Anthony Ranaudo and Brandon Workman and Matt Barnes and even Henry Owens to secure a place in the big league rotation.

Johnson pitches. He employs a wide array of pitches — fastball, curve (a putaway pitch that he executes to both sides of the plate in a fashion that elicits bad contact and swings and misses), slider, changeup — in a fashion that permits him to attack both sides of the plate, permitting him to compete against both right-handed and left-handed hitters. He shows an advanced ability to alter the shape and speed of his offerings in unpredictable sequences in a fashion that permits him to disrupt hitters’ timing.

Because his fastball mostly runs from 88-92 mph, when he misses his spot, he can be vulnerable to loud contact (as when he permitted a line-drive two-run homer to left-center on Wednesday); that pedestrian velocity also limits his potential ceiling. But the mistakes proved rare enough this year to paint a picture of a pitcher who understands his craft in a fashion that could permit him success in the near-term. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dustin Pedroia to undergo procedure Thursday

09.10.14 at 5:56 pm ET
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Red Sox manager John Farrell said after Wednesday’€™s game that second baseman Dustin Pedroia will undergo a procedure Thursday by hand surgeon Dr. Matthew Leibman.

This news comes a day after Farrell had said that Pedroia “€œcould be” shut down for the season due to inflammation in his left hand/wrist.

“€œHe’€™s going to have a procedure done here tomorrow by Dr. Leibman in Boston that will address what he’€™s dealing with right now,”€ Farrell said Wednesday. “€œI don’€™t know any more specifics than that, but there will certainly be a follow-up after that’€™s completed tomorrow.”

Jemile Weeks remained at second base for the Sox on Wednesday. Farrell had previously said that Brock Holt was likely to be the team’€™s second baseman upon his recovery from a recent illness and stiff neck.

For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.

Why you should have cared about Wednesday’s Red Sox game: They kind of made it interesting (and lost)

09.10.14 at 4:59 pm ET
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The Red Sox lost. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

The Red Sox lost again on Wednesday, and it wasn’t pretty. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

The Red Sox were in danger of being no-hit in a blowout Wednesday. Thanks to a five-run ninth, it just looked like a plain old normal 10-6 loss by the end of the game.

Dan Butler ended Wei-Yin Chen’€™s perfect game bid at 16 batters by belting a one-out double in the sixth inning. Xander Bogaerts followed the next inning with a solo homer to make it 8-1, but it was the Sox’€™ busy ninth after giving up two more runs that made things interesting. Daniel Nava drove in two with a double and Carlos Rivero followed with a three-run homer.

Wednesday marked the second straight day in which Bogaerts homered, bringing his total on the season to 11 dingers.

“I’m just trying to end the season strong and end on a positive note,” Bogaerts said after the game.

Butler doubled again in the bottom of the eighth inning, but as was the case with his previous hit, he was left stranded as the Sox failed to score in the inning.

Now for the bad stuff. Brandon Workman was shelled for the second time in his last three starts as he surrendered six hits and six runs, five of which were earned, over just three innings. He walked three batters and struck out three in tossing 62 pitches in the outing.

Craig Breslow didn’€™t fare much better, as he allowed two earned runs over his two innings of relief work. Tommy Layne showed up both pitchers in the sixth inning by being the first Boston pitcher of the day to not allow a run, and Alex Wilson followed in the seventh by turning in the first 1-2-3 inning by a Sox pitcher.

Junichi Tazawa tossed a clean eighth inning, with Edward Mujica surrendering four hits and two runs in the ninth inning.

Chen ended up going seven innings, allowing three hits, one earned run, striking out four and walking none on 93 pitches.

Red Sox minor league roundup: Travis Shaw steamrolling through playoffs

09.10.14 at 2:29 pm ET
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Travis Shaw

Travis Shaw

The PawSox took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five Triple-A International League Governor’s Cup Championship Series on Tuesday, claiming a 3-2 victory (box). A brief look at the prospect performances from the game:

– For a stretch in April and May, Travis Shaw was the hottest hitter in the Red Sox organization. He is wrapping up his season in similar fashion. Shaw continued his dominant playoff stretch by going 1-for-3 with an RBI single up the middle and a walk. In four postseason games, he’s 6-for-11 with five walks, two doubles and a homer, good for a line of .462/.611/.846. While Shaw doesn’t have the enormous power that might characterize a top prospect — particularly at first base, where the power expectations are immense — he still shows in stretches an excellent approach that make him a meaningful part of the Sox’ first base depth conversation. He stays back on pitches, he’s walked at a high rate throughout his career (until, at least, he got to Pawtucket this year — but his season-ending run suggests that he may be adjusting to Triple-A arsenals), he has the ability to drive the ball with authority to left-center in a fashion that suggests an ability to thrive in an offensive environment like Fenway Park. His performance in the postseason underscores the view of him as a potentially important depth option who stands a good chance of landing on the Sox’ 40-man roster this winter.

– Left-hander Edwin Escobar allowed two runs over seven innings, limiting the damage from six hits by walking none and striking out five. In two playoff starts, the 22-year-old has a 1.72 ERA with 12 strikeouts and no walks in 15 2/3 innings. Read the rest of this entry »

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Red Sox Pre-Game Notes: Dustin Pedroia ‘moving towards’ surgery, but ‘nothing definitive’

09.10.14 at 12:38 pm ET
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Red Sox manager John Farrell said while there were no firm plans to do so yet, surgery to address the ongoing inflammation he’s experienced throughout this season represents a likely outcome. For now, Farrell suggested, the surgery has yet to be scheduled, but that appears the likely conclusion of this process after Tuesday’s MRI revealed the worsening inflammation.

Dustin Pedroia is likely to undergo season-ending surgery. (Getty Images)

Dustin Pedroia is likely to undergo season-ending surgery. (Getty Images)

“Nothing definitive. He and we are still gathering information. It’s moving towards probably a procedure, but nothing definitive is scheduled right now,” said Farrell.

Of course, the idea of fixing what currently ails Pedroia is one thing. Going forward, the Sox face the question of whether there’s any way to diminish the frequency of injuries that have become an annual staple for Pedroia as a result of his perpetually dirt-covered style of play.

“We’ve asked him not to slide head-first anymore, which he’s doing. You go back to Opening Day in 2013 [when Pedroia tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb on a head-first slide], that’s where a lot of this originated,” said Farrell. “He’s aggravated the left hand again by being taken out at second base on double plays, earlier in the year and then mid-year. So, we’re really not going to ask him to change — with the exception of deciding to slide head-first. Dustin plays the game as he’s wired. That’s what makes him the great player that he is.

“If there’s thought to playing more under control, does that thought put a guy in position physically for potential injury? That’s debatable. But he’s going to play by his instincts,” Farrell added. “We would not ask Dustin to even think about changing those. Then I think you’re disrupting the natural abilities of a player. That might be more detrimental than just playing all out.”

Given that the team won’t ask Pedroia to alter his red-line style of play, there is an alternative that the team is considering: Having Pedroia play less. He played a career-high 160 games in 2013 and had played in 97 percent of the team’s games until he suffered a concussion in Tampa Bay at the end of last month. The team may seek to regulate the number of games he plays more actively going forward. Read the rest of this entry »

John Farrell on MFB: ‘Probably likely’ Dustin Pedroia inactive for remainder of season

09.10.14 at 11:01 am ET
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Red Sox manager John Farrell, making his weekly WEEI appearance Wednesday, told Middays with MFB that Dustin Pedroia is “probably likely” to miss the rest of the season due to an injury to his left hand/wrist. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Pedroia, in the midst of a subpar offensive season (.278/.337/.376), had an MRI on Tuesday that revealed inflammation in the wrist. The 30-year-old was scheduled to meet with team representatives Wednesday to determine a course of action.

“Nothing has been arranged as far as surgery,” Farrell said. “Information is still being gathered. There’s not been a final, like I said, target date or decision in this way. It’s pointing towards him having the procedure done. So, whether or not he remains inactive — it’s probably likely he is inactive the rest of the way.

This injury is the latest in a series of issues with Pedroia’s hands. He had surgery on his left thumb last offseason.

“Let’s face it, he’s had a number of collisions, headfirst slides, a number of things that have affected the hands, and he’s dealing with it in the left hand right now,” Farrell said. “We look at it like, if this procedure is needed, which, the initial reports — and let’s face it, surgery is always something you have to be concerned with, but … the severity of it is not like a high-risk situation with him.

“So, we look at it like if there’s a chance to get an additional two weeks of recovery time so he can get into some strength training throughout the winter and go through a normal offseason workout program as he gets into later November and beyond, that’s probably the avenue chosen here.

“What Dustin means to us is obvious. This is the heartbeat of our team, and we’ve got to get him back to 100 percent as soon as we can.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Clay Buchholz, Dustin Pedroia, John Farrell, Koji Uehara
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