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Red Sox’ decision on Shane Victorino won’t come until Monday

03.30.14 at 1:05 pm ET
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BALTIMORE — Speaking prior to the Red Sox‘ workout inside Camden Yards, manager John Farrell explained that Shane Victorino would be returning to Boston Sunday in order to have an MRI on his right hamstring before being examined early Monday.

Farrell said that if Victorino’s hamstring checked out OK, the outfielder would be able to return to Baltimore in time to participate in Opening Day (a 3 p.m. start), if needed.

“No word on Shane. He’s en route back to Boston right now,” Farrell said. “He’ll go through an MRI this afternoon and then a full work-up and exam tomorrow morning. So there’s no roster decision. There’s no update to give you at this point.”

Due to Major League Baseball regulations, the Red Sox aren’t allowed to have a non-roster player on the premises as a back-up plan. Teams’ 25-man rosters were due at 3 p.m. Sunday. “We can’t have someone hanging around,” Farrell noted.

It is assumed that if Victorino would need to go on the 15-day disabled list, Jackie Bradley Jr. would serve as his replacment.

Victorino aggravated his hamstring during the Red Sox’ final spring training game, Saturday. He has also dealt with thumb, back, calf and side issues throughout camp.

“Shane’s situation is going to be one of the challenges and things thrown our way that we don’t know what is going to come up against us, or the challenges that we face,” Farrell said. “As long as we remain resilient, as we did a year ago, and face those challenges as a team I feel we’ll be in a very good place and position as we go through this journey of 2014.”

Read More: John Farrell, Red Sox, Shane Victorino,

Getting ready for Red Sox’ opener with some Opening Day notes

03.30.14 at 10:46 am ET
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BALTIMORE ‘€“ To get you ready for Opening Day, here are some pertinent notes courtesy the crack Red Sox media relations staff:

- With his fourth Opening Day start, Jon Lester will become the first Red Sox lefty to total more than three, surpassing Babe Ruth and Mel Parnell.

- Only Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens (7), and Dennis Eckersley and Cy Young (5) have more consecutive Opening Day starts than Lester.

- Lester 15-3 in 25 starts for his career against Baltimore. His 2.94 ERA vs. the Orioles is the best of any active pitcher (with min. of 115 innings) vs. the O’€™s. He is 8-1 with a 2.99 ERA at Camden Yards, the best ERA for any opposing pitcher in the history of the stadium.

- The Red Sox have lost their last three Opening Day matchups against the Orioles, with the most recent tilt coming in 2004 when Martinez got the loss.

- The Red Sox are 55-57-1 in openers, having claimed victories in four of their last six. It is also the fourth year in a row they have opened on the road. In fact, the Sox have begun their regular season away from Fenway Park in 16 of the last 19 seasons.

- This will be David Ortiz‘€™ 10th Opening Day start for the Red Sox, tying him with Wade Boggs and Dom DiMaggio for eighth on the team’€™s all-time list. He will also match the most Opening Day starts with one team by a designated hitter in baseball history, tying Hal McRae and Edgar Martinez. The 12 starts in openers for his career also allows Ortiz to equal Don Baylor’€™s record.

- Dustin Pedroia has hit safely in each of his seven openers, tying a team record. In the last 100 years, no Red Sox has hit safely in eight straight Opening Day games.

Read More: Jon Lester, Opening Day, Orioles, Red Sox

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.

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 »

Read More: contract extension, Jon Lester, spring training 2014,

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.”

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.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Jerry Remy, Kristina Hill,

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

Read More: grady sizemore, John Farrell,
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