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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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Red Sox assistant GM Mike Hazen talks Grady Sizemore decision

03.28.14 at 7:33 am ET
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Mike Hazen

Mike Hazen

With the Grady Sizemore decision dominating conversation as the Red Sox finish off their spring training, one person who has a unique perspective on the outfielder is assistant general manager Mike Hazen.

Hazen is not only in the middle of the decision-making making process when it comes to formulating this year’€™s Red Sox roster, but he also watched Sizemore regularly while working in the Indians organization.

Appearing on the Red Sox radio broadcast with Alex Speier and Joe Castiglione Thursday night, Hazen had plenty to say about Sizemore and fellow Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr.

On first being introduced to Sizemore: “He was an exciting prospect, but I don’t think we knew exactly what we were going to get when we got him. He was a little skinnier. He was a little more wiry even than he was now. Didn’t show the power that he has come to possess. On-base guy. Good hitter. More of a line-drive stroke. He really moved into his power in his Double-A, Triple-A seasons, and that was when we really started to see the full measure of the kind of player he was going to be offensively and defensively. He was one of the best players in the game for those first few years he was in the big leagues. He does play the game extremely hard. The injuries certainly took a toll. This was a really good player. If we get him back to even some percentage of what he was, we’re going to have a pretty good player on our hands.”

On the smoothness of Sizemore’s swing: “Those are going to be some of the swings that you’re going to want to see when he starts getting locked in. He has the pull power and he’s more of a pull/line drive approach right now with that swing, but when he was a really good player, he was able to do that — go to left field, go to left-center, as well as yank the ball to right. I don’t think you’re going to see a lot of home runs to left field. You’re going to see balls get driven through the left-center field gap. You’re going to see most of his home runs going from right-center to the right-field line. But when he’s locked in and you see some swings like that, that’s going to be encouraging.”

On Sizemore’s ability to pick up his swing after his long layoff: “It has been something that has been very surprising. To not even have a live AB — minor league or major league — in the last couple of years, to be able to step right in, from the timing standpoint, he’s seen velocity. he’s handled some velocity. Certainly there’s been some breaking stuff and velocity that’s gotten him, but you would expect that.”

On Sizemore’s pitch recognition: “Those are probably still some things he’s going to have to work through. They’re not pitching to an advance report yet. If the breaking ball down and in is something he’ll be susceptible to, they haven’t started pounding and picking at it yet, which they will. Now, you’re still getting guys throwing fastballs who are trying to work on their stuff. You may not get the exact attack plan that he’ll get during the season. He’ll have to readjust back to that. But what we’ve seen so far, he’s hit breaking balls, he’s hit fastballs and the timing’s been there and that’s probably been the biggest thing.”

On the team’s expectations for Sizemore: “I don’t think we had that level of expectations. What we thought was, we’re trying to build depth, we’re trying to add depth at a reasonable cost. We know there’s going to be some uncertainty given his track from an injury standpoint, but we felt like when he left the game, from an injury standpoint, the talent was so extreme, the bar was so high that we know there’s probably going to be a tick back from that. He’s a little bit older. He hasn’t played.”

On what else Sizemore needs to prove: “I don’t think from a talent or a performance standpoint. It’s more just the physical questions that we need to answer. And who knows when we’re going to have those 100 percent answers? What we’ve seen so far has been extremely encouraging.”

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Former Red Sox first-rounder Kolbrin Vitek retires

03.28.14 at 12:46 am ET
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Kolbrin Vitek (right), pictured here in his pro debut with the Lowell Spinners in 2010, retired. (John Corneau/Lowell Spinners)

Kolbrin Vitek (right), pictured here in his pro debut with the Lowell Spinners and teammates Bryce Brentz (left) and Anthony Ranaudo (center) in 2010, retired. (John Corneau/Lowell Spinners)

FORT MYERS, Fla. — According to industry sources, Kolbrin Vitek — taken by the Red Sox with their first-round pick in the 2010 draft — filed his retirement papers in mid-March, ending a playing career that never lived up to the lofty expectations that followed him into professional ball.

Vitek had a solid if unspectacular first full pro season in 2011, hitting .281 with a .350 OBP and .372 slugging mark. But he struggled with significant injuries in both 2012 (when he hit .242/.284/.339 in Double-A Portland while limited by an intercostal injury) and 2013 (.204/.260/.254 over 58 games back in Portland, with his season largely wiped out by neck issues and a concussion).

Vitek, who was drafted as a third baseman but moved to left field in Portland last year, reported to spring training this year hoping that his health woes were behind him. However, when he experienced a recurrence of the neck issues and lingering effects of the concussion while trying to play, he decided that it was time to move on from his baseball career.

When the Sox drafted Vitek in the first round (No. 20 overall) out of Ball State University, they believed that he represented a player with exceptional athleticism and the sort of tremendous bat speed that offered the potential to yield high averages and OBPs with the possibility of perhaps 15-20 homers and a comparable number of steals while playing third base — a diverse skill set that offered the potential for a well above-average big league regular. But even in his lone full healthy season of 2011, his passive approach at the plate led to a relative absence of impacting the ball (he hit just three homers).

Still, the Sox viewed that year as a potential foundation for future success, particularly given his promising work at third base. But in 2012, against Double-A competition, Vitek’s performance lagged behind his tools, a development that became pronounced as a result of his injuries. By last season, his organizational future seemed in question.

While Vitek did not pan out, the Red Sox‘ 2010 draft, at least from a distance of four years, currently looks like a successful one. Four of the team’s next five picks after Vitek — supplemental first-rounders Bryce Brentz and Anthony Ranaudo, second-rounder Brandon Workman and fourth-rounder Garin Cecchini — have advanced to Triple-A or higher with the possibility of making a big league impact this year. (Workman, of course, has already shown the ability to make an impact at the highest level of competition.)

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Sox place Craig Breslow, Steven Wright on disabled list to start season

03.27.14 at 11:11 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox made a pair of roster moves following their 4-1 victory over the Twins at JetBlue Park on Thursday night, placing both Craig Breslow (mild left shoulder strain) and Steven Wright (recovery from sports hernia surgery) on the disabled list. Wright has just been cleared to ramp up his throwing program and will open the year in extended spring training in Fort Myers. Breslow, by contrast, likely will be activated in the early days of the season.

Breslow’s disabled list trip is retroactive to March 21, meaning that he can be activated as early as April 5. He has pitched in two minor league spring training games, tossing 15 pitches (10 strikes) in an inning of work with a fastball at about 87 mph and a swing-and-miss changeup on Thursday. Breslow felt like the DL stint was unnecessary and told the Sox as much, but the team feels that he will benefit from building arm strength with perhaps two or three minor league outings before he joins the roster.

“[Breslow] felt like with three appearances that were outlined [during spring training], he felt like he’d be ready for the start of the season. We just felt like similar to last year, with a couple extra outings in that first week of the season just to continue to build his foundation,” said manager John Farrell, alluding to the fact that Breslow spent the initial weeks of last year on the DL. “I thought today, watching him in the minor league game, there was a clear step-up in stuff without overexerting. We expect this stay to be minimal.”

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