|09.29.15 at 10:47 pm ET|
According to multiple sources, the Padres will announce the hiring of Don Orsillo either Wednesday or Thursday.
Orsillo will be participating in both the team’s radio and television broadcasts for the 2016 season. He will then transition to strictly TV for the remainder of his contract.
The plan to integrate the current NESN Red Sox play-by-play announcer into radio stems from Dick Enberg’s commitment to still do approximately 60 television games in ’16, along with a desire to allow for a consistent presence from Orsillo in his new market.
The 46-year-old Orsillo had been the Pawtucket Red Sox radio announcer prior to joining NESN in 2001.
He joins a Padres organization that is led by executives with Boston roots, with former Red Sox COO Mike Dee currently serving as San Diego’s CEO, and Padres chief marketing officer Wayne Partello having worked for Entercom Boston prior to following Dee to the Dolphins.
|09.29.15 at 10:08 pm ET|
The future continues to look bright for the Red Sox.
The 2015 season isn’t going to go down as one to remember, but these final two months have given Red Sox fans a reason to hope.
On Tuesday night in New York, the Red Sox rode two home runs from catcher Blake Swihart and one from outfielder Mookie Betts to a 10-4 victory that moved them a half-game ahead of the rained-out Orioles for sole possession of third place in the American League East for the first time since May 20.
The Red Sox also won five straight for the first time all season.
Both teams did the bulk of their damage in the first inning. The Red Sox put up six runs before the Yankees even stepped to the plate. Betts led off with his 42nd double as six of the first seven hitters reached. David Ortiz missed a home run by inches off the top of the right field fence, but Swihart got just enough of his Pineda offering to reach the first few rows of the right field seats for a three-run shot that gave Rick Porcello a commanding lead.
Unfortunately, Porcello gave two-thirds of the lead right back, Jacoby Ellsbury leading off with a double of his own to kickstart a four-run frame. Dustin Ackley belted the big shot, a two-run homer with two outs.
The two starters settled down from there, with Porcello gutting out eight effective innings. He allowed six hits and four runs, striking out eight.
Betts added a solo homer, his 16th, leading off the fifth. Swihart completed his five-RBI night with a two-run blast to right in the eighth.
|09.29.15 at 6:36 pm ET|
NEW YORK — It was one of the more unique, and potentially important, pieces of the Red Sox puzzle over the last two months: Jerry Dipoto evaluating the organization’s minor league talent as a hired consultant.
The importance of Dipoto arguably became more vital to the Red Sox once Dave Dombrowski came on as the team’s president of baseball operations, with Dombrowski having to spend the majority of his time and efforts with the big league club.
“I wish he would have been able to stay,” Dombrowski said. “I figured once Seattle started interview him it was probably a long shot. But, sure, I wish he would have been able to stay.”
Even thought it was a relatively short tenure with the Red Sox, Dipoto did leave his mark with the organization. It’s an influence that may very well have a significant impact on how the Sox approach this offseason.
“His basic task was to review our personnel in the organization and then report on them, which he did. He would have continued to watch us in the Instructional League, but that’s obviously over now,” Dombrowski said. “So he did all of that. He did a great job, had a very thorough assessment of our talent, and gave me the information. He also, when he was around, contributed to other ways in talking about general baseball. But we never got a chance to pursue any of that because of the circumstances.
“It was great. He supplemented the information I already had from people in the organization, so the combination of getting that from within, but while also getting it from an outside observer, was great. It was very good and really good information. And now I obviously have all that information for future reference.”
The 47-year-old Dipoto was introduced as the Seattle GM Tuesday morning, replacing Jack Zduriencik, who held the job from 2009 until this season. Dipoto had been the Angels general manager before resigning July 1.
|09.29.15 at 10:09 am ET|
After claiming the series opener against the Yankees, 5-1, on Monday night, the Red Sox, who have allowed just one run in the past 38 innings, will look to continue to play spoiler against a Yankees team that is looking to clinch a postseason berth (which would require the Astros and Angels losing their games as well) and its 10,000th career victory. To do that, the Sox will rely on Rick Porcello as he counters Michael Pineda.
Porcello (8-14, 5.04 ERA) is coming off his 14th loss of the season last Wednesday, a 6-2 setback vs. the Rays. With the loss, Porcello surpassed a career worst for losses in a season. He went seven innings in the outing, allowing three runs (two earned) on 11 hits and one walk with eight strikeouts.
“He gave up his first run in the seventh,” interim manager Torey Lovullo said about the start. “He did a really good job giving us a chance to win. Our offense just couldn’t get any momentum.”
Porcello returned from the disabled list Aug. 26 after missing 27 days with a strained right triceps. Since then, the 26-year-old right-hander is 3-3 with a 2.98 ERA over six starts and 42 1/3 innings.
“I’ve been happy with the way it’s been going since I got off the disabled list,” Porcello said following Wednesday’s start. “I feel like I’ve done well since I came off the DL.”
He’s seen the Yankees just once this season, taking the loss on Sept. 1 despite a remarkable eight-inning outing in which he allowed one earned run (three overall) on five hits and a walk while striking out a career-best 13 batters.
Porcello is 0-2 with a 5.29 ERA over three career starts at Yankee Stadium. He’s 4-4 with a 3.55 ERA over 10 career starts against the Yankees.
|09.28.15 at 10:06 pm ET|
NEW YORK — As first impressions go, there have been some pretty good ones for the Red Sox this season.
Eduardo Rodriguez closed out his first big league season in style, holding the Yankees to just one run over the final six innings of his 2015 season.
Thanks in large part to home runs from Travis Shaw and Jackie Bradley Jr., the lefty’s effort resulted in his 10th win of the season, with the Red Sox claiming a 5-1 win over New York Monday night at Yankee Stadium. Rodriguez becomes just the second Red Sox lefty to win as many games in his rookie season going back to 1950.
“For me, it was the was the best year I’ve had all the time I’ve been playing baseball,” Rodriguez said. “Coming to this organization last year and then this year they called me to the big leagues and gave me a chance to stay here and finish the season here, too, so I think this is the best year I’ve got in my life.”
Rodriguez, who has been shut down due to a career-high innings total of 170 (between both minors and majors, finishes with an ERA of 3.85. His win total is the most by a Red Sox rookie since Daisuke Matzuaka put up 15 in 2007. It was the first time a Sox pitcher as young as 22 won as many as 10 games since Mike Nagy’s 12-win campaign in 1969.
“Very impressive,” said Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo regarding Rodriguez. “He’s been on a great run. It’s his 10th win. He had some tough innings early and managed to give us six strong innings. He was right at the amount of innings we wanted him to throw this season. It was tough to take him out, he was really starting to click, but it’s been an impressive run since the end of May. To have 10 wins and have this type of year, he’s a pretty special guy.”
Coming into the series opener, Bradley Jr. was riding a 6-for-58 slump (.103) over his last 18 games, with 24 of the outs coming via strikeouts. But after walking in his first at-bat, the outfielder (playing left this time around) broke open the game with a two-run blast over the left field wall with two outs in the seventh inning.
The homer came one inning after Shaw initially gave the Sox the lead with his 12th homer of the season off Yankees starter Ivan Nova. The first baseman finished with three hits, boosting his average to .280 with an .852 OPS. He has the third-most homers of any major league first baseman since Aug. 1.
Deven Marrero offered some insurance in the ninth inning with his first career homer run.
|09.28.15 at 7:17 pm ET|
NESN has attempted to add some clarity to its approach toward not airing the Don Orsillo tribute video shown on the Fenway Park Jumbotron during the eighth inning of Sunday’s home finale.
The network sent out the following release:
“Yesterday’s Don Orsillo tribute by the Red Sox was designed to be an in-ballpark celebration for the fans in attendance.
“NESN already had separate plans underway to recognize Don during our last telecast of the season this Sunday (Oct 4).
“We look forward to celebrating Don’s career at NESN throughout that game.”
|09.28.15 at 6:09 pm ET|
NEW YORK — Hanley Ramirez‘ offseason has begun early.
The Red Sox first baseman has returned to his Miami-area home, leaving the Red Sox for the remainder of the regular season. It had already been announced last week that Ramirez was being shut down due to continued soreness in his right shoulder.
Red Sox physical therapist Dan Dyrek will meet with Ramirez in South Florida Tuesday to begin to the rehab schedule for the 31-year-old.
Ramirez, who hasn’t played in a game since Aug. 26, finishes his first season with the Red Sox having played in 105 games, totaling a .249 batting average and .717 OPS with 19 home runs.
“I think he has his physical therapist he’s going to be with for the next several months,” said Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo after his team’s 5-1 win over the Yankees Monday night. “We want to get him with those guys right now. Dan Dyrek is going to fly down there to be with him for several days to see that program off. … I’m sensing you guys feel like he’s kind of forgotten about and we’re shooing him out of the door, that’s not the case at all.”
The other big Red Sox free agent signee from last offseason, Pablo Sandoval, has remained in Boston while battling pneumonia. While there is a slight chance the third baseman could join the team for its final series in Cleveland over the weekend, such a reunion isn’t likely.
— Another Red Sox player shut down for the season, closer Koji Uehara, took a positive step in his comeback from a broken right wrist.
Uehara played catch for the first time since suffering his season-ending injury Aug. 7 Sunday, and then repeated the activity at Yankee Stadium Monday.
Uehara remains optimistic he will be able to hit the ground running when next season’s spring training rolls around after continuing his training in Tokyo during the final few months of the offseason.
The 40-year-old is signed for one more year beyond 2015.
— Lovullo said prior to Monday night’s game that Rusney Castillo is dealing with a sore right quadriceps muscle, but could be back in the lineup Tuesday.
|09.28.15 at 8:40 am ET|
Following an impressive weekend series in which they did not allow a single run in three games against the Orioles, the Red Sox will look to continue their success in a four-game set against the Yankees. The Sox will send rookie Eduardo Rodriguez to oppose Ivan Nova in the series opener Monday night.
Rodriguez (9-6, 3.97 ERA) last started a week ago against the Rays. He went six innings and allowed three runs (all of which came in the first inning) on six hits and two walks with four strikeouts as the Sox won 8-7 thanks to an eighth-inning grand slam from Xander Bogaerts. After the erratic first inning, Rodriguez settled in and threw five straight scoreless innings.
“For me, in the first inning, all my pitches were in the middle of the plate,” Rodriguez said after the game. “I tried to go outside, and they’d go to the middle. Same with the inside corner. After that, all my pitches were working pretty good to both sides of the plate.”
The 22-year-old left-hander likely will be making his final start of the season, as interim manager Torey Lovullo stated prior to last week’s start that Rodriguez would pitch 10-14 more innings in 2015.
Rodriguez has faced the Yankees three times this season, putting together a 2-1 record with a 2.45 ERA over 18 1/3 innings with a .265 opponents batting average. Rodriguez earned the win the last time he saw the Yankees, going five innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on seven hits and three walks with four strikeouts in Boston’s 4-3 victory on Aug. 31.
Rodriguez will be making his second career start at Yankee Stadium, where he owns an 0-1 record with a 2.57 ERA.
|09.28.15 at 6:50 am ET|
It was one seemingly innocuous at-bat. A simple first-inning fly ball to left field in Game No. 155.
But for David Ortiz it certainly held some significance.
The plate appearance was the 39-year-old’s 600th for his season, triggering the final stage of his option for 2016. By stepping to the plate for that first time Sunday afternoon against Baltimore starter Ubaldo Jimenez, Ortiz guaranteed himself that he would be making $16 million the following year.
“I earned my [expletive],” he said when notified of the milestone.
While making an extra million bucks in one day is nice — with his vesting option for ’16 having clicked in at 425 plate appearances and progressively going up at five checkpoints — what the moment symbolized meant just as much.
“When I signed my last contract I wanted the team to be happy. But the most important thing was that for all the people who talked [expletive] about me talking about a contract, I wanted them to shut the hell up, too. I did something so I could earn it,” he said. “Some people say the team always gives me things and I don’t earn it. I’ve heard people say I sound greedy when I talk about contracts. But it’s not greedy, it’s just the way it is.
“When you get older it’s not like you want to ask for anything crazy. Once you get to my age, it’s at a point where a player needs to earn things. You don’t know how your performance is going to be. So me and the team, we both did something we feel comfortable with.”
|09.27.15 at 6:26 pm ET|
Orsillo, whose contract will not be renewed, was shown on the scoreboard after the seventh inning. The team ran a highlights package of some of his most memorable calls, and then focused on him in the NESN booth as Orsillo pointed and waved to the crowd and the Red Sox dugout.
“I was glad to see the response and the reception he had,” said interim manager Torey Lovullo. “Personally speaking, I know Don is a caring and kind man who is connected to his city. He’s been in a lot of living rooms for a long time. And I know this city is going to miss him. It was nice to see everyone acknowledge him and he’s going to be missed.”
Orsillo remained largely expressionless throughout the tribute and hasn’t commented on his ouster since it was announced in late August, though fans have responded angrily, circulating a petition that has topped 60,000 signatures. He’ll be replaced by WEEI radio play-by-play man Dave O’Brien.
Orsillo told the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo after the game that he appreciated the gesture.
“Thanked the fans from the bottom of my heart,” Orsillo told the Globe. “I appreciate all of their support. I’ve heard them all in the last month. Having grown up here as a Red Sox fan, to have that happen here as a Red Sox fan, I’ll take that with me to my grave.”
Red Sox players addressed what he has meant to the organization.
“Every time we watch a highlight, we hear his voice,” said reliever Craig Breslow. “He’s always had a great relationship with the players, they respect him. They recognize that obviously he has a job to do, but it seems as though he’s on our side, and that’s important.”
Second baseman Dustin Pedroia saluted Orsillo’s presence.
“He’s been first-class, man,” he said. “We’re going to miss him. We wish nothing but the best for him. We’re around him all the time. He’s been great to all of us.”
Right-hander Clay Buchholz, who has known Orsillo as long as just about anyone in the clubhouse, said players have always appreciated the self-deprecating way he’ll joke with guys like former manager Terry Francona.
“He’s been here longer than just about everybody in this clubhouse,” Buchholz said. “To see someone go, that you recognize their voice without even having to see them on TV, he’s been through thick and thin with this organization, and he’s very good at his job. It’s not going to be very hard for him to find another situation that’s going to treat him as well as this one did. It’s going to be a little different, but the montage, the video and everything was pretty cool to see.”
The fans gave Orsillo a prolonged ovation that reverberated through the park even after play resumed.
“Seemed like it was a really indicative and kind gesture by the fans, and it seems like he was sincerely and genuinely touched,” Breslow said. “It’s a relationship that’s gone on for many years here, and he’s been a part of some of the greatest moments in the franchise’s history. He’ll always be remembered for some of those calls. As you can see from the outpouring of support from fans, they’re definitely sad to see him go.”
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