|FCC chairman Julius Genachowski backs David Ortiz profanity||04.21.13 at 7:17 am ET|
In a tweet from the verified account of the US Federal Communications Commission, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski — whose agency was left to deal with the fallout when a profanity used by David Ortiz during a moving pregame ceremony at Fenway Park aired on both local and national television networks — expressed support for the slugger.
David Ortiz spoke from the heart at today’s Red Sox game. I stand with Big Papi and the people of Boston – Julius
— The FCC (@FCC) April 20, 2013
In his brief remarks prior to Saturday’s game against the Royals, Ortiz said, “All right. All right Boston. This jersey that we wear today, it doesn’t say Red Sox. It says Boston. We want to thank you Mayor [Thomas] Menino, Governor [Deval] Patrick, the whole police department for the great job they did this past week. This is our [expletive] city and nobody is going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong.”
After the game, Ortiz said that his remarks were not premeditated, and apologized if anyone took offense to his heartfelt expression.
“It just came out. It just came out, man. It just came out,” he said. “If I offended anybody, I apologize, but I feel like this town needs to be pumped. It seems like that was it.”
|Red Sox minor league roundup: Anthony Ranaudo keeps rolling, Jose Iglesias goes deep||04.21.13 at 6:44 am ET|
A brief look at what took place on Saturday throughout the Red Sox farm system:
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 5-4 LOSS AT ROCHESTER (TWINS)
– Shortstop Jose Iglesias went 1-for-4 with a homer, his second longball of the year. The two homers (through just seven games) marks a personal best in any of his four minor league seasons (though it’s worth noting that, last year, after hitting one homer in 90 minor league games, he also went deep once in 25 big league contests). In his first seven games since getting sent back down to Triple-A, Iglesias is hitting .222 with a .300 OBP and a surprising .481 slugging mark.
PROGRAMMING NOTE: Iglesias and PawSox manager Gary DiSarcina will join Down on the Farm on Sunday morning from 8:30-9 am on WEEI to discuss the phenomenon of prospects who get sent down to the minors following a compelling run of major league success.
– In his first game in Triple-A, Jackie Bradley Jr. went 1-for-5 with a single and a stolen base while batting leadoff.
– First baseman Brandon Snyder continued his scorching start, going 3-for-4 with a double. Snyder has reached base in all 13 of the games he’s started, collecting hits in 12 of them. For the season, the 26-year-old is hitting .391 with a .472 OBP, .739 slugging mark and 10 extra-base hits in 14 games.
– Knuckleballer Charlie Haeger, who missed all of 2012 after undergoing Tommy John surgery, logged five innings in which he allowed three runs (all unearned) on six hits (all singles) while walking two and striking out two.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 7-1 WIN VS. NEW BRITAIN (TWINS)
– For the first time this season, Anthony Ranaudo worked into the sixth inning, permitting one run on four hits in 5 2/3 frames. His struggled with his control more than in any other outing this year (a season-high three walks while throwing just 59 percent — 50 of 85 — of his pitches for strikes), but he minimized the damage, continuing an early season run of impressive run that has seen him forge a 1.15 ERA with 17 strikeouts and five walks in his return to Double-A. He’s given up just nine hits and no homers, with opponents hitting .184 against him. Read the rest of this entry »
|Neil Diamond, Andrew Bailey offer a few musical surprises at Fenway||04.21.13 at 12:20 am ET|
Neil Diamond was the first musical surprise at Fenway Park Saturday afternoon, for even the Red Sox.
The 72-year-old hit-maker decided that he and his wife, Katie, heard the news that the final suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings had been apprehended and decided to make a trip across the country to pay his respects.
Diamond boarded a plane in Los Angeles early Saturday morning headed for Boston, where the couple landed close to noontime. Once off the plane, the singer called the Fenway Park switchboard with the intention of passing along one, simple request.
He wanted to sing his song, “Sweet Caroline,” in person, at Fenway, during the eighth inning. A recording wouldn’t do on this day, one which was largely devoted to recovering from the bombings.
The answer, of course, was “absolutely,” leading Diamond to his performance in right field. (To listen to the moment, click here.)
One half inning, there came another surprise musical interlude.
As Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey ran in from the bullpen, the Fenway speakers started blasting “Shipping Up To Boston,” which, of course, was the well-known intro music of former Red Sox game-ender Jonathan Papelbon.
Normally, such an act would be relief pitching sacrilege. But not in this case. Papelbon would surely understand.
“That was something [Jarrod Saltalamacchia] and I discussed this morning,” Bailey said. “I said, ‘Let’s do it.’ That ninth inning was a part of the game the fans really enjoyed for a long time. It was just something we decided to do and the way they erupted was unbelievable. It was just a good day.”
The reliever (who wasn’t sure if he would continue with the intro music) added, “I don’t know what it was for or anything, but for the fans for that minute it was a little extra …. It was definitely for the city. It was a staple for so many years here, I just wanted to do it.”
|Saturday’s Red Sox hero Daniel Nava almost retired … twice||04.20.13 at 11:20 pm ET|
Daniel Nava could have mailed it in Saturday.
The outfielder first got hit in four of the five toes on his right foot with an Aaron Crow slider in the seventh inning. In the same frame, he contributed to killing a rally when he was picked off second base by Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez. That could have been the end of the story.
But as we’ve discovered with Nava, quitting isn’t part of the story.
On a day that was drenched with emotion — primarily due to the continued healing process following the Boston Marathon bombings – Nava offered the a storybook punctuation for what turned into a 4-3 Red Sox win over the Royals. It was his three-run homer into the Sox’ bullpen that allowed for one of the most notable Fenway Park moments certainly ever uncovered so early in a season.
But after the game, Nava admitted that was very close to being one of the fans instead of the on-field hero. The 30-year-old almost retired … twice.
“Yeah, I did,” Nava said when asked if he contemplated calling it quits, “a couple of times.”
Without the proper context, it might be hard to fathom that the switch-hitter would have ever contemplated retiring at such a relatively young age.
This is a guy who has legitimately established himself as an everyday outfielder who is (far and away) leading the Red Sox’ offense with a 1.144 OPS, .342 batting average to go along with four home runs and 14 RBI.
He carries a 1.084 OPS and .323 batting average against right-handers, and a 1.413 OPS and .429 batting average versus lefties. Nava also is hitting .417 with a 1.417 OPS with runners in scoring position.
Yet it was just more than a year ago the California native was on the verge of quitting.
He showed up to Fort Myers in early February prior to the 2012 spring training only to discover that he wouldn’t be working out with the major leaguers despite a good portion of the 2010 season in the big leagues, and all of ’11 in Triple-A.
He had contemplated retirement before, when after college and before signing on to play Independent League ball, nobody seemed to want him.
“I think I did the first time because I was faced with the option of maybe never playing again, so I had to be realistic,” Nava said. “Nobody picked me up for a whole year, so I considered stop playing because I was playing Church League softball, and that’s all I had. And then last spring training when I wasn’t sure if I was going to make any team out of spring training, I definitely was thinking I realistically could be done.
“I got there early and when I realized I wasn’t going to big league camp but everybody else was. It was then I felt I needed to be realistic and that I might be done here. If you’ve got guys below you going to big league camp and you’re not going to big league camp, you have to look at things and be realistic. They might not have any plans for me in the future.”
The Red Sox Player Development staff encouraged Nava to be patient throughout those days in spring training when he was starting his day just as the major leaguers he had played with the previous two years were finishing their workouts.
After some extensive contemplation, Nava decided to stick it out. As the first 16 games of the ’13 season suggests, it was a fortunate decision for the Red Sox … and everybody who came to watch them Saturday afternoon.
“I knew it might not have been realistic (to make a team) and I might be done,” said Nava of ’12 spring training. “I had to sit down and think if I wanted to play Independent League ball again. I didn’t know if I wanted to do that. Fortunately it worked out.”
|Allen Webster will make major league debut Sunday||04.20.13 at 6:29 pm ET|
Red Sox manager John Farrell announced after his team’s 4-3 win over Kansas City Saturday that Allen Webster will get the start in the second game of the doubleheader between the Sox and Royals Sunday.
Webster, who made a favorable impression on the big league club throughout spring training, has allowed just one run in his 10 innings with Triple-A Pawtucket this season. The righty has struck out 12 and walked three in 10 innings.
Webster, who came over from the Dodgers along with Rubby De La Rosa, Jerry Sands and Ivan DeJesus in their August trade with the Red Sox last season, is coming off a five-inning outing Monday in which he allowed a run on five hits while fanning seven.
Prior to this season, the 23-year-old hadn’t pitched above Double-A. Webster pitched in 11 innings this spring training, striking out 14 and walking one while allowing three runs (2 earned) on nine hits.
When asked the reasoning behind starting Webster (who will follow Ryan Dempster), Farrell said, “Why? He’s a really good-looking young pitcher. And he’s rested and he’s ready to go.”
|Closing Time: Daniel Nava the latest Fenway Park hero in Red Sox win||04.20.13 at 4:33 pm ET|
Daniel Nava’s day started kind of lousy. It ended up really well.
After derailing a seventh-inning rally by being picked off second by Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez, the outfielder came back and sent a Kelvin Herrera changeup into the Red Sox’ bullpen with two outs in the eighth inning. The blow — which came with the Sox trailing by a run — resulted in a three-run home run, paving the way for a Sox’ 4-3 win over the Royals, Saturday at Fenway Park.
It was the Red Sox’ seventh win in a row.
Also helping the Red Sox win 12 of their first 16 games for the first time since 2002, was starter Clay Buchholz.
Buchholz extended the Sox’ starting pitchers’ streak of allowing three runs or less to 16 straight games. It almost wasn’t enough as James Shields helped lead Kansas City to a 2-1 win over the Red Sox, Saturday at Fenway Park.
Buchholz’ ERA remained under 1.00 (0.90) after allowing just two runs on eight hits over eight innings. The righty struck out six and walked one while throwing 104 pitches.
Shields allowed just one run on four hits over six innings. The righty struck out eight and walked three while throwing 106 pitches. Shields came into the game having gone 2-9 with a 5.86 ERA in his previous 11 starts at Fenway Park.
Here is what went right (and wrong) on an emotional day at Fenway:
WHAT WENT RIGHT
- In first game of the season, David Ortiz made an impression out of the gate. After flying out to left in his first at-bat, the DH then singled to right in the fourth before driving in the Red Sox’ first run with a two-out, run-scoring base-hit to center. The RBI scored Jacoby Ellsbury, who had led off the frame with a single before moving to second on Shane Victorino’s sacrifice bunt. Ortiz did, however, hit into a no-out, double play with runners on first and second in the eighth on a ground ball back up the middle.
- Neil Diamond performed ‘Sweet Caroline’ in person during the eighth inning.
WHAT WENT WRONG
- After the Red Sox tied the game with a run in the sixth, the Royals came right back and reclaimed their lead in the seventh. Kansas City notched the run when, with two outs, Perez rifled a line-drive into the right field corner, scoring Lorenzo Cain. Cain had doubled to lead off the inning, finishing with four hits.
- The Royals got on the board first when, in the fifth inning, Jeff Francoeur singled in Cain. Cain had also led off that frame with a double.
- Stephen Drew continued his struggles, still stuck on two hits in what is now 26 at-bats to start the season after an 0-for-3 afternoon.
- Victorino left the game with back tightness, being pinch-hit for in the eighth by Jonny Gomes. Gomes doubled high off the left field wall in his only at-bat.
- Closer Andrew Bailey allowed the Royals to cut the lead to one in the ninth with a Cain solo homer.
|The script for what was a pregame cermony few will forget||04.20.13 at 3:12 pm ET|
The following is the script executed by Fenway Park public address announcer Henry Mahegan for what was a memorable pregame ceremony, remembering the tragic events that unfolded at the Boston Marathon, and the heroic actions executed in the days that followed:
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to Fenway Park.
This past week has been unlike any other in the history of Boston. We have experienced trauma and tragedy, devastation and despair, physical injuries and emotional wounds.
Our week has had its share of suffering, sorrow, and sadness.
This week has also brought out the best in Boston. Volunteers rushing into the smoke. Marathoners running even further—to hospitals to give blood. Doctors and nurses showing why they are the best in the entire world.
And our law enforcement officers…pursuing every lead, scouring every tape, and working relentlessly, fearlessly, and triumphantly, to seek, find, and bring those responsible to justice.
And our Governor, our Mayor, and our police officers thank you, for the way citizens responded, for the contributions they made to the apprehension, and to the way we demonstrated such fierce unity.
Today, we gather as one. And we affirm to ourselves and to each other that we are one—one community, one nation, one world, full of love, full of compassion, and full of generosity. Those feelings, powerful all of them, fuel us with passion. To never quit. To persevere. To prevail.
We will run another marathon—one bigger and better than ever. We are one. We are Boston. We are strong. We are Boston Strong. (pause) As we come together today, we first remember those whom we have lost..
We hope these families feel our sympathies.
We also want to reciprocate the sentiments that have come to us from across the country and around the world by extending our hearts to our brothers and sisters suffering in the City of West, Texas, and to the thousands impacted by today’s earthquake in China.
And, as we think of our 176 adults and children who were injured, including MBTA Officer Richard Donohue, won’t you join us as we observe a moment of silence, contemplation, and prayer, and in particular, for the 58 who are still hospitalized.
(Pause 10 seconds) Thank you. We wish each of you a speedy recovery. (pause)
Throughout this week, in the aftermath of tragedy, one truth has emerged: we are resilient. Thursday, our President, our Governor, and our Mayor urged us to rely on that resilience. For the past 38 hours in particular, that resilience has been on grand display. Law enforcement officers have battled through the dark of night and in the face of danger. Embodying the spirit of our Beloved Boston…they have prevailed.
And now, it is our honor to shine the sunlight and the spotlight on some friends and neighbors who represent the spirit, the toughness, and the resilience of Boston.
First, a host of ordinary citizens who are anything other than ordinary. They were pressed into duty in a life-changing and life-saving way just five days ago. Today, they will protect the symbol of our freedom, the American Flag, and they will be “back on Boylston” in 2014. From the Boston Athletic Association, the Boston Marathon volunteers!
And now, some stories that reflect the love and human compassion that we witnessed on Monday…
We were enjoying a picture-perfect Patriot’s Day. Inside Abe and Louie’s restaurant on Boylston sat a firefighter from Lynn. He was enjoying a Marathon Day lunch with his friends— an annual tradition. Besides serving as a firefighter, he is also a paramedic—and an Army veteran of the war in Afghanistan.
He heard the boom. He jumped to his feet. He sent diners to the kitchen while he headed to the street.
He saw a little boy. A belt became a tourniquet. He carried the child to medical personnel—and simply saved his life.
And that was only one of the lives he saved, right up the street, just five days ago.
Representing firefighters, paramedics, veterans, and everyday citizens who amid sudden danger, chose to rescue others: welcome Matt Patterson.
So many of the wounded are within a few miles of Fenway Park right now. They’re at outstanding hospitals such as Mass General, Boston Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s, Children’s Hospital, Tuft’s New England Medical Center, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where our next guest was treated. And, we’re happy to say, from where he has now been released.
On Monday, he was with his two best friends and their sisters, standing on Boylston, when they heard the first explosion. He was shielding the sisters when, suddenly, the second explosion threw him over a fence, lit his clothes on fire, and sent shrapnel into his face and neck. He was rushed to Beth Israel Deaconess. There, a trauma surgeon performed emergency surgery— and again, simply saved his life. And, while he still has a ways to go, he’s on the road to recovery, he’s with us today, and he’s representing not only his two friends, each of whom lost a leg, but all who are on that road. Welcome Lowell native and a Lowell High grad, Steven Byrne.
And now, a symbol of resilience if ever there was one…the father who, for 31 years, has pushed his son’s wheelchair across that Boylston Street Finish Line–—and who, together, are determined to “carry on” and be “back on Boylston” in 2014. Representing all the runners, welcome father and son, Dick and Rick Hoyt!
Coming to thank them personally is the Governor of our Commonwealth, whose leadership, along with the extraordinary leadership and stamina of Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, has never been more crucial than this week. Joining him are members of Mayor Menino and Governor Patrick’s courageous law enforcement effort, as well as those from near and far, and how fortunate we are to be able to express our thanks to them on this day. Among them are Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis, the Boston Police Command Staff, Massachusetts State Police Lieutenant Colonel Frank Matthews, Watertown Police Chief Ed Deveau, FBI Special Agent in Charge, Richard DesLauriers, MBTA Transit Police Chief Paul MacMillan, as well as Senator Mo Cowan, and officers representing hundreds from Boston, Watertown, and throughout Massachusetts, to whom we are so grateful.
And now, please rise, to continue a new Boston tradition born in the Garden just three days ago. Our organist, Josh Kantor, will get you started, but you take it from there, as together, we lift our voices to new heights and sing the “Star-Spangled Banner,” the anthem that affirms our faith, in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
(Flag drops Organ starts)
And now, we’ll hand the ball to Matt Patterson, to Steven Byrne, and to Dick and Rick Hoyt, symbols of our Beloved Boston, and of our strength, our toughness, and our resilience.
Catching the Ceremonial First Pitch are Will Middlebrooks, Dustin Pedroia, and welcome back Big Papi, David Ortiz!
(brief pause) Ok, Matt, Steven, and the Hoyts, it’s time for our Ceremonial First Pitch! (They throw, they catch, they hug, then Ortiz takes the mic:)
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