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Shane Victorino will have MRI after hamstring injury

03.29.14 at 5:57 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — Shane Victorino’s right hamstring has allowed for some uncertainty heading into Monday’s Opening Day.

The Sox’ outfielder was forced to leave the Red Sox‘ final spring training game, Saturday against the Twins, due to a sore leg. The hamstring ailment is something he was forced to deal with during the 2013 season, although Victorino consistently throughout his time in Florida the issue hadn’t resurfaced.

“In Shane’s second at-bat, rounding first base, he felt his right hamstring grab him,” Farrell told reporters. “Until we have further information after an MRI, we’ll have an announcement at that point.”

Victorino will have the MRI performed in Boston before meeting the Red Sox in Baltimore. His only comments to reporters upon leaving the clubhouse were, “I’ll be fine. I’ll be ready to go.”

If the right fielder does need to go on the 15-day disabled list, Jackie Bradley Jr. would likely get the call to replace him on the 25-man roster.

“He’s on call, certainly,” Farrell said of Bradley Jr., citing the need to wait for the results of Victorino’s exam.

Victorino has dealt with a variety of injuries throughout camp, playing in just nine Grapefruit League games. He first was sidelined with a lingering back issue, and then was briefly forced from the lineup due to some discomfort in his surgically-repaired right thumb. He also was dealing with a calf injury recently, which didn’t appear serious.

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Jon Lester: Talks ‘very, very positive … our door is always open’

03.29.14 at 12:29 pm ET
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Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester (WEEI.com)

Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester (WEEI.com)

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester discussed the “pause” that the Red Sox and he agreed to take in negotiations of a potential contract extension, suggesting that he found the talks “very encouraging,” that he still wants to remain with the Sox beyond the expiration of his current contract at the end of this year but that the two sides felt that, with Opening Day upon them, it made sense to resume talks at a subsequent time. Lester, who’d said talks would have continued into the season had they reached “the 5-yard line,” said that they had not reached the “red zone,” thus resulting in the decision.

Still, the pitcher said that the “door is always open” to talks during the season, but that he’d be less directly involved in them in deference to his in-season responsibilities. He characterized the dialogue as “amicable,” and showed no evidence of pessimism about the potential for a deal ultimately getting done.

Here is a transcript of some of his remarks:

On reaching the decision to ‘pause’ talks:

“We talked yesterday about it. That was a collective kind of statement from both sides. At the point where I felt like if we continued it would be a distraction. Just felt like for right now, that’s probably the best decision for both sides.”

Is there any disappointment that, given your interest in getting a deal done, you haven’t accomplished that yet?

“I don’t know if disappointing is the right word. I think any time you go into a position like this, you have to prepare yourself for something to not happen. Like I’ve said from the beginning, both sides, it was very encouraging, the stuff that was going on, but like I said and like Ben said, where we’re at right now isn’t a good time to continue. Just put it on pause for now and see where we go from there.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Ben Cherington: Red Sox, Jon Lester to ‘hit the pause button’ in extension talks

03.29.14 at 11:12 am ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Red Sox and left-hander Jon Lester have agreed to table discussions about a potential contract extension beyond the 2014 season. Lester, who will start Opening Day for the fourth straight year on Monday, at least will begin the 2014 campaign uncertain of whether it will be his last in Boston after the two sides could not find common ground.

“I think that we’re going to hit the pause button,” GM Ben Cherington said of talks with the 30-year-old pitcher. “We’ve had a lot of good dialogue, shared information. Jon and [agent Seth Levinson] have made good arguments for their position. We understand their position. We feel like we have good arguments for our position and our desire remains to keep him here past 2014. We weren’t able to find something that worked for everyone during this spring training. So, just in the interests of allowing him to get ready for Monday, let the team get ready for Monday, we’ll kind of hit the pause button and hope that we can pick up the conversation again at some point.”

Cherington suggested that there remains a shared interest in seeing whether an agreement can be reached to keep Lester with the only organization for whom he’s pitched professionally. Lester was taken by the Red Sox in the second round of the 2002 draft, and both he and the club have repeatedly stated a desire to continue that relationship beyond Lester’s eligibility for free agency following this season, the $13 million option year on what was initially a five-year, $30 million deal that he signed after the 2008 campaign.

The Red Sox GM did not rule out the possibility of revisiting talks during the season, even as he allowed that the two sides may wait until after the year to resume conversations.

“We’re going to focus on the season right now and he’s going to focus on the season. We’ll get into it and see where we go from there,” said Cherington. “I don’t want to rule anything out because I think, I don’t think it’s necessary to rule anything out. We, it could be that we wait until the end of the season and pick it up then. I think there’s a shared desire to continue to talk at some point. We just don’t know when that’s going to be.”

Lester went 15-8 with a 3.75 ERA last year before turning in a dominant postseason performance (4-1 with a 1.56 ERA in five October starts) in anchoring the Sox rotation in its World Series run. Though the pitcher had suggested he wasn’t looking to maximize his earnings in extension talks with the Sox, he also made clear that he had limits in terms of the lengths to which he’d go in order to re-up with the team. And through the spring, the two sides could not close the gap to find common ground, though the potential to revisit that position remains.

“Jon has put himself in a good position,” said Cherington. “He’s a very good starting pitcher who’s been consistent and durable and he’s now a season away from free agency. He’s put himself in a good position. We understand that, respect that. Again, our desire remains to keep him here. We’ll continue to have an open mind on ways to do that but we just couldn’t get to anything during this spring training.”

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Neighbor/witness Kristina Hill on M&M: ‘No decency at all given to me’ by Jerry Remy

03.28.14 at 1:05 pm ET
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Kristina Hill, the former next-door neighbor and close friend of the late Jennifer Martel, joined Mut & Merloni on Friday afternoon to respond to a dismissal of her previous comments by Jerry Remy, whose son stands accused of killing Martel in a fit of rage. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

Remy appeared on Dennis & Callahan earlier in the day and insisted that he and his wife did all they could to protect Martel after she was initially attacked by Jared Remy last August and he was arrested. Hill, in an appearance on Mut & Merloni earlier this week, said the Remys encouraged Martel not to extend the restraining order, indicating they had taken away the apartment key from Jared. Remy termed Hill’s recollection “nonsense.”

Hill called Remy’s comments “a disappointment” and noted that it follows a pattern of disrespectful behavior from him toward her.

“I don’t really feel like I need to defense myself against Jerry Remy,” Hill said. “He has a team of lawyers. I have no ulterior motives. I’m not looking for money, I’m not looking for a witch hunt. I just want the truth to come out. From my experience, everything I told you and that I’ve said in other interviews is the truth from my experience and what I witnessed and what I saw with Jennifer.

“The Remys’ son took almost everything away from me that night. They took away my best friend. I don’t think anybody would wish upon their worst enemy having someone watch their best friend die in front of them and be screaming on a 911 call covered in her blood, watching her die. I don’t think that’s something that anyone would wish on their worst enemy.

“And that’s what Jared took away from me that night. He took away my best friend. He took away somebody who I would call my surrogate daughter. He took away mine and my husband’s life. We can’t go back to living the way we did before. I suffer from night terrors, I can’t sleep at night, I can’t move on with my life because I’m going to be a witness at a trial. My whole life has been turned upside down.

“Like I said, I have no ulterior motive in any of this. Unfortunately what Jerry said today just kind of shows the sort of decency that he has given me since the murder.”

Added Hill: “I don’t know how the Remys are suffering. I suffer every day. And I can’t tell you, it’s a very personal thing for them to be going through, and I couldn’t imagine. But I just don’t feel I’m hearing the accountability. And again, like I mentioned, there was no decency at all given to me. It would have been nice after the murder had they reached out at all and offered condolences or apologized for their son’s behavior on behalf of him or whatever. Or offered some sort of empathy. And none of that was given. That again was reflected in the interview. … I think that this is another instance where there’s been no decency shown toward me or my family. That’s what I think is disappointing.”

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It’s official: Grady Sizemore makes Red Sox Opening Day roster

03.28.14 at 11:18 am ET
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Grady Sizemore (AP)

Grady Sizemore will start for the Red Sox in center field on Opening Day in Baltimore on Monday. (AP)

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Prior to his team’s second-to-last spring training game, Friday morning, Red Sox manager John Farrell announced that Grady Sizemore will be the Opening Day starter in center field.

The 31-year-old Sizemore — who hasn’t played a major league game since Sept. 22, 2011 – beat out Jackie Bradley Jr., who will begin the 2014 season with Triple-A Pawtucket.

Sizemore is coming off a stretch in which he played three straight games for the first time this spring training, entering Friday with a .333 batting average and .842 OPS in 42 Grapefruit League plate appearances.

The outfielder has consistently noted how he hadn’t experienced any setbacks throughout his comeback, crediting the plan (and treatment) presented by Red Sox physical therapist Dan Dyrek.

Farrell said early on in the season Sizemore wouldn’t be counted on to hit leadoff, despite manning the spot for the majority of his career. The reasoning for the drop in the order, according the manager, is to help limit the physical toll on Sizemore as he eases back into major league shape.

Bradley Jr. struggled for much of the spring, heading into Friday’s game with a Grapefruit League batting average of .158, striking out 17 times and drawing just three walks.

Related Grady Sizemore content:

Bradford: How Grady Sizemore finally landed with Red Sox

Bradford: Grady Sizemore kicks off quest to make history

Bradford: Now Red Sox need to find out how good Grady Sizemore can be

Audio: Grady Sizemore joins Dale and Holley

Speier: How is he doing this? Taking stock of Grady Sizemore’s spring revelation

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Francisco Cordero mulling possibility of minor league assignment with Red Sox

03.28.14 at 10:35 am ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — Right-hander Francisco Cordero, who signed a minor league deal with the Red Sox after sitting out the 2013 season, said that he is currently considering the Red Sox’ offer of a bullpen spot in Triple-A Pawtucket after being informed that he will not make the big league team out of spring training. The 38-year-old threw eight scoreless innings in camp, allowing five hits while striking out eight and walking one. Cordero said that he’s trying to connect with his agent, Fernando Cuza, to decide whether to accept the Sox’ offer or whether other major league opportunities might exist for him.

“I’m just waiting. They told me that if I wanted to, there’s a spot open in Triple-A if I want to go. Like I said, I told them I’ve got to think about it,” said Cordero. “I’ll talk to my agent. Once I talk to my agent, we’ll talk and get on the same page and we’ll decide what we’re going to do. I’ve just got to wait until he calls me and we talk.”

Though he did not make the team, Cordero expressed satisfaction with his decision to pursue another shot at the big leagues. The 14-year big league veteran, who has 329 career saves, said that he has been pleased with how he’s thrown after using his time away from the game to shed considerable weight — something meant to permit him to be healthy both for a shot at pitching but also to enjoy life once he does walk away from the game.

“You want to be healthy. You want to be able to enjoy life when you finish. You have a good career, you make good money, you want to be able to enjoy life with your family, kids and grandkids and you can talk about what you did. What I did [to get healthy], I did it because I wanted to come back and I did it for my health,” said Cordero. “Unfortunately, things didn’t go the way I was expecting or the way I wanted them to go. I didn’t make the team here, but like I said, I’m pretty happy and I really appreciate Boston for giving me the opportunity to come back in spring training and do what I love,” said Cordero. “I  showed myself that I can still pitch and still get people out. I’m pretty happy with what I did after being off for a year without pitching last year, to come back in spring training and pitch the way I pitched, throwing strikes and getting people out, I’m happy with what I did. It was real tight here, tight being in this spot here and they have a good bullpen setup.

“[But] I think I showed some teams that I can still get people out, that I’ve got my pitches working and that I’m healthy. I’m in better shape than I was back in 2012. It was good for me to come here, work and show people that I can still get people out. Now we’ll maybe just see what’s going on after this. We’ll see what’s going on, what happens.”

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Jerry Remy on D&C: ‘We always felt that it was a disaster waiting to happen’

03.28.14 at 10:02 am ET
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NESN Red Sox analyst Jerry Remy checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Friday morning amid calls for him to leave the booth following accusations that he repeatedly enabled his troubled son, who now sits in jail charged with the murder of his live-in girlfriend, Jennifer Martel. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Remy confirmed Friday that he plans to be in the booth at Opening Day in Baltimore on Monday and going forward.

“I can understand the people that are upset with it. I certainly understand that, and I expected that,” he said. “I knew for a long time that there was a story that was going to come out that was not going to be kind to us by any means. But that all was taken into consideration before I made my decision back in, I guess it was February, that I was going to come back.

“I did come back for spring training, I felt very comfortable doing the games. That was important to me to be able to be in the booth and have some peace and doing the games. There was never any question that I was going to go into the season. People made a big deal about coming home for a week. Well, there were reasons for that, that was prearranged. I’m just ready to go on to Baltimore now and begin the season.

“I don’t know what else could possibly come our way, I have no idea. I don’t see how it could get worse than it’s been this week. But with the support of the Red Sox and NESN, my decision has been made to go on. Hopefully in time, those who don’t like the idea will come around. But if not, I certainly understand how people feel.”

Added Remy: “I understand the other side, I certainly get it. It’s what I expected when I made my decision before. I just feel that I have to go on with my life in some form. And this is what I still enjoy doing.”

A story in Sunday’s Boston Globe detailed Jared Remy‘s long history of run-ins with the law — mainly domestic abuse allegations — which somehow only resulted in one short jail term as the high-priced lawyer hired by the Remys was able to keep him on the streets.

Remy explained that he and his wife, Phoebe, tried in vain to get their son treatment for his mental issues.

“I told you in the past, the last time we talked, yes, of course we did [enable him],” Remy said. “What are we guilty of? We’re guilty of getting him lawyers when he was in trouble. We were well aware of what was going on with Jared. And we tried our best to do everything along the way to get him as much help as we possibly could. And then for a stretch it seemed like he had his life in order. And then of course everything caved in.

“Did we enable him? Yes. We paid for lawyers, we paid for psychiatrists, we paid for the help that we thought he needed. I think a lot of families would have done the same thing. Others would not have, others would have thrown him out on the street. But that just wasn’t our way. Now when you look back on it, what was the right thing to do? I don’t have an answer for that. I really don’t have an answer for that.”

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