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Week after hurting knee, Eduardo Rodriguez still believes he will be ready for 1st start

03.05.16 at 9:54 am ET
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Eduardo Rodriguez (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Eduardo Rodriguez hopes to return to the mound soon. (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

FORT MYERS, Fla. — He walks around with a huge wrap on his right leg, but, according to Eduardo Rodriguez, that shouldn’t tell his story.

After a week of relative inactivity following the subluxation of the patellar tendon in his right knee, Rodriguez still believes he will be ready to pitch when his first scheduled regular season outing arrives.

“Yeah. Sure,” Rodriguez said Saturday morning when asked if he was still optimistic he would be able to make a start, either in Cleveland on April 7, or in one of first two games in the following series in Toronto. “We have to see what happens, but that’s how I feel, yeah.

“It’s day by day. I feel better now, and I can walk. So we just keep throwing every day to save the shoulder and then get back on the mound.”

The only baseball activity Rodriguez has undergone since going to the ground during workouts on Field 6 at Fenway South last Saturday is some simple throwing.

After six bullpen sessions, he was able to join the rest of the starters in throwing batting practice prior to being sidelined.

“When that thing happened and I was on the ground I was just thinking I was going to lose a lot of months, Rodriguez said. “But after I got up and walked around, I knew it wasn’t that bad.

“I just want to get back, get going again. That’s all I want.”

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Comcast Red Sox reporter Jessica Moran resigns amid questions about relationship with manager John Farrell

03.04.16 at 6:33 pm ET
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Jessica Moran

Jessica Moran

Comcast SportsNet’s Jessica Moran resigned from the network on Friday, multiple sources told WEEI.com, after questions surfaced about her relationship with Red Sox manager John Farrell.

Moran confirmed her departure in a text message to the Boston Globe, which broke the news.

“I have stepped away from Comcast SportsNet as I thought it was in my best personal and professional interest to do so,” Moran wrote in a text to the Globe. “They have been extremely supportive during my tenure at the network — and with this decision — and I am very appreciative of that.”

At issue is Moran’s relationship with manager John Farrell, who confirmed to the Globe that he is in the process of getting a divorce from his wife, Sue, of 30 years. Farrell declined to comment to the paper on the nature of his relationship with Moran. “My private life is private,” he told the paper.

Moran is a native of Ludlow, Mass. who was raised in Cumberland, R.I. She had worked at Comcast since 2009, serving as the station’s Red Sox reporter in recent years.

Read More: Comcast Sports Net, Jessica Moran, John Farrell, relationship

Takeways from Grapefruit League game No. 3: Jackie Bradley Jr. goes deep

03.04.16 at 5:25 pm ET
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Jackie Bradley Jr.

Jackie Bradley Jr.

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Is Jackie Bradley Jr. setting himself up for yet another standout spring training?

In 2013, the outfielder made the Opening Day roster out of nowhere, hitting .419 with a 1.120 OPS. Last year, he quietly tore up the Grapefruit League again, claiming a .378 batting average and .906 OPS.

So, far, in his two official spring training games, Bradley is at it again.

The Red Sox center fielder highlighted his team’s offensive output in its 7-2 win over the Rays at JetBlue Park Friday. Bradley launched his third career spring training homer over the right field in the third inning, jumping all over a Kyle McPherson first-pitch fastball.

After claiming a single in his only other at-bat, Bradley now is 4-for-4, while executing a revamped approach.

“Absolutely,” he said when asked if it was a conscious effort to be aggressive early in the count. “That way it kind of gives me more opportunities to put the ball in play. That’s my main goal, to make more solid contact. Hopefully that turns into swinging at good pitches I can handle, and hopefully hit.

“I know the strike zone so … You don’t want to be so pinpoint where you don’t get you’re exact pitch, your exact location. Sometimes you might not get that. I, personally, want to be more aggressive in the strike zone, that way if I happen to miss early I can at least get more opportunities later in the at-bat instead of taking pitches down the middle.

“Get a good pitch to hit, that’s the key. If you see something good, I definitely don’t want to let it get by so I’m going to make sure I’m ready to hit every single pitch.”

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Live Blog: Red Sox take on Rays at JetBlue Park

03.04.16 at 1:20 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — With Joe Kelly starting for the Red Sox, and Chris Archer on the mound for the Rays, Game 2 of the Sox’ Grapefruit League season unfolds at JetBlue Park under a ton of sun, Friday morning. Follow all the action (and tweets) …

Live Blog Red Sox vs. Rays, live blog
 

David Ortiz explains his complicated relationship with spring training

03.04.16 at 7:51 am ET
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David Ortiz

David Ortiz

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Friday will be the first time for the last time.

David Ortiz is getting his first at-bat of the 2016 spring training. It will mark his 23rd exhibition season. That’s a lot of fake baseball. And nobody knows how the rhythm of what transpires after that initial trip the plate better than this 40-year-old.

“I’m the wrong guy to ask about spring training,” Ortiz said with a chuckle.

Nope. He’s the perfect one.

Ortiz is the shining example of what can be accomplished with some smarts, preparation, experience, and little to none of the kind of spring training at-bats he’s slated to get against the Rays Friday afternoon.

Ortiz will be the first to tell you, he is one of the worst spring training hitters you will see. But, as he noted a few years back, they don’t put these stats on the back of baseball cards. Good thing.

Since 2006, he has a combined .225 batting average and .700 OPS. Two years ago, he went 2-for-37 (.054), and last year his average was .222 (8-for-36). The results? A respectable .819 OPS and five-home run April in ’14, and last year’s first month production of .782 OPS and four homers.

“The thing a guy like me gets away with things is because of experience,” he said. “I know what I need and what it takes for me to be ready for the season. The younger guys, the approach is different because they have no experience and they don’t know the process. Eight or 10 years ago, mentally I wasn’t prepared to do what I do now.”

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Takeaways from Grapefruit League game No. 2: Travis Shaw continues to impress

03.03.16 at 11:25 pm ET
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Travis Shaw

Travis Shaw

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Travis Shaw made a healthy impression on the Red Sox in the last two months of the 2015 season, and kept on impressing straight on through Thursday night.

Playing third base, Shaw collected two hits in his spring training debut, notching a single and double. This after totaling an .839 OPS and 13 home runs in the 56 games he totaled in the big leagues in August and Sept.

“Felt pretty good,” Shaw said after the Red Sox’ 6-5 win over the Twins at Hammond Stadium. “Early on I was just trying to put together good at-bats, kind of feel where I need to be. Just hit as many balls hard as I can and put myself in good position to hit in each at-bat. Tonight through those three at-bats I saw all kind of pitches, breaking balls, heaters in, out, so I felt pretty good.

“I don’t think anybody really feels where they need to be in spring training, especially this early. This is the first game I’ve played. Obviously it felt good to get two hits, but results-wise, I’m not looking for results right now. I’m just looking for feel. Tonight was a good first start.”

Shaw would seem to be trending toward making the Opening Day roster as a backup plan at first, third and even in the outfield.

With his production last season (carrying a .967 OPS at Fenway Park), the idea of finding Shaw some playing time is intriguing, especially to those frustrated with the starters at third (Pablo Sandoval) and first (Hanley Ramirez).

But for Shaw, the priority now is to master what figures to be his new role — part-time utilityman.

“Last year was kind of my first exposure to that kind of role,” said the 25-year-old, who played eight games at third base, one in left field and the rest at first. “Obviously it’s new to me. But I feel like I know what I am as a hitter and what my checkpoints are, at least swing-wise.

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Read More: Red Sox, rick porcello, travis shaw,

Former Navy SEAL motivates Red Sox, then media

03.03.16 at 6:58 pm ET
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David Rutherford. (WEEI.com photo)

David Rutherford made quite an impression on the Red Sox. (WEEI.com)

FORT MYERS, Fla. — It wasn’t hard to get an understanding of how former Navy SEAL David Rutherford’s 1 1/2-hour motivational talk impacted the Red Sox Thursday afternoon.

“Powerful. Unique,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell, who was among the group at the Red Sox’ organizational meetings last month who first heard the presentation. “Anytime you have exposure from someone who has the life experience of a navy seal who has had so many life-threatening experiences, there were some points that were stressed that resonate to all. And it goes to show you, or at least the example you get from it, is that there are those who are trained to pay the ultimate sacrifice. And when you hear stories to emphasize certain points that surround those people, yeah, it resonates deep.”

“It was good. You know, he sent a great message that you would believe it’s just for you to prepare to play baseball but those messages are for life in general,” said David Ortiz. “We take a lot of things for granted. He sent a huge message with everything he said. I was happy to be there. You know why? When he was talking, I was thinking about a lot of things and man, you know, it’s crazy. I’m happy that I was there.”

So when Rutherford met with the media, there was an anticipation of what might be coming. But it became even more clear during the five-minute get-together was kind of intensity the speaker was bringing.

Here is a transcript of Rutherford (excluding his encouragement before parting ways for the media to have to live the “Team Life”):

On his first time talking to a big league baseball team: “This is my first Major League Baseball team, yes, but I’ve worked with every different kind of athlete from football to UFC fighters to race-car drivers, pretty much across the board, college lacrosse teams. University of Pennsylvania football team I worked with in the spring and then right before went back before their season and they were Ivy League champs and Ivy League Coach of the year so they did pretty well so I was real proud of those guys this year.”

On how it went: “Outstanding. I talked about a concept that I developed, my company is called froglogic and froglogic concepts and it’s Navy SEAL motivational training. What I’ve done is spent the last 24 years researching how to take our core concepts on the SEAL teams and transplant them into civilian mindset, so today’s concept was one of the four. It was the team life idea in that we have to be 100 percent focused on a team-oriented lifestyle. With that focus, all the things that we’re looking for to create those bonds and that camaraderie and that energy to want to serve your teammates. That’s where it comes out. I have these four concepts called commitment, training, communication and leadership, so that’s what we talked about.”

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Do Red Sox boast baseball’s best hockey player?

03.03.16 at 12:06 pm ET
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Ryan LaMarre

Ryan LaMarre

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Ryan LaMarre walks throughout the Red Sox clubhouse at JetBlue Park often unnoticed. He is a 27-year-old outfielder with 21 games of major league experience.

LaMarre’s chance at making the Red Sox would seem to be a long shot, living life as a minor league free agent signing after spending his entire professional career in the Reds organization.

The 2010 second-round pick is organizational depth. He is also the organization’s best hockey player.

LaMarre was an All-State center while playing for Jackson (Mich.) Lumen Christi High, dispensing with the opportunity to leave home and play in the United States Hockey League to play for his dad in high school.

“It was my passion,” said LaMarre of hockey. “I loved baseball, too. But my dad played hockey, and you always want to be like your dad. I just loved it growing up.

“I wasn’t ready to give up baseball or football yet, and my dad was the coach of my high school hockey team so he wanted me to play there a couple of years. Then baseball just kind of took off, so it was something I couldn’t walk away from.”

LaMarre ended up attending the University of Michigan along with his high school hockey teammate, former Bruin Steven Kampfer. And while he started separating himself with his play on the diamond, the 6-foot-1 outfielder still hung out with hockey guys, like Kampfer and current Canadien Max Pacioretty, while in Ann Arbor. (“We had a lot of fun times,” he said of the crew.)

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Curt Schilling on D&C explains recent Hillary Clinton comments

03.03.16 at 11:13 am ET
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Curt Schilling

Curt Schilling

ESPN baseball analyst Curt Schilling, a staunch conservative who has gotten into trouble before for his unfiltered comments, went Kansas City’s 610 Sports Radio earlier in the week and said Hillary Clinton “should be buried under a jail somewhere” if it is proven that she did not protect classified information due to her use of a private email server while serving as Secretary of State.

“If she’s allowed to get to the general election before she’s in prison, I’ll be stunned and I’ll be upset,” Schilling said. “Because I think she’s shown her true colors all along the way. I’ll ask you this: Do you see her being anything even remotely different than what we’ve had?”

ESPN reportedly is looking into the comments.

Thursday morning, Schilling joined Dennis & Callahan with Minihane and discussed the comments.

“ESPN had sent out a memo talking about on-air talent talking politics. … Right hand to God, I didn’t get that until about two weeks ago because it was in my span folder,” Schilling said “But that is not an excuse.”

“My assumption was they didn’t want us talking politics in an ESPN setting,” he added. “I’m assuming that ended up probably not being right, but I haven’t heard from anybody, I haven’t heard anything. The challenge for me was it was an hour. I was talking with Rex Hudler, a former teammate of mine Kansas City Royals and all that, we talked for 55 minutes about everything — baseball, teammates, stories. And this came at the end and this is the thing [everyone is talking about].”

Added Schilling: “People assume I am saying things to rile other people up. I say what I believe and I am passionate about the things I believe in. That doesn’t make me right, it makes me me.”

Below is the complete audio from Schilling’s in-studio appearance.

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Keith Foulke back with Red Sox

03.03.16 at 10:08 am ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — The man who punctuated the Red Sox 2004 world championship is back with the organization.

The Sox announced Thursday that Keith Foulke would be joining the organization as a player development consultant. The former closer will be working with some of the Red Sox’ young pitchers.

Foulke, now 43 years old, played with the Red Sox from 2004 until 2006, notching 32 saves and a 2.17 ERA in his first year with the organization. He ended up playing 11 years in the major leagues, with his last professional stop coming with the Independent League Newark Bears in 2009.

Foulke has participated in some Red Sox-sponsored events in the past few years, including Christmas at Fenway and team-sponsored cruises.

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