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Bradfo Show: Five things learned talking Hall of Fame with Mike Lowell

01.05.16 at 9:33 am ET
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Mike Lowell is hoping for at least a couple of Hall of Fame votes Wednesday. (J. Meric/Getty Images)

Mike Lowell is hoping for at least a couple of Hall of Fame votes Wednesday. (J. Meric/Getty Images)

Mike Lowell is a first-timer to the Hall of Fame ballot. Spoiler alert: The former Red Sox third baseman, and current MLB Network analyst, won’t get in.

But there are victories to be had when the results are announced late Wednesday afternoon, as Lowell explained when appearing the Bradfo Show podcast.

“My goal is two or three. If I get two or three votes, I consider that a major victory,” he said. “I remember Jacques Jones, Aaron Boone, they got like one or two votes, so I would love to have bragging rights over those guys.”

Here are four other takeaways from the interview (not including Lowell closing things out by offering to trade peanut butter for a t-shirt):


“I think you have to look at the number of candidates,” Lowell said. “I think you can fill out up to 10 people. If you think four are worthy and you want to throw a bone at somebody … Nothing against Jacque Jones, I think he had a real nice major league career, but I think everyone would agree he wasn’€™t a Hall of Fame player. Maybe he was real nice to someone in Minnesota and a writer was going to vote for just four and he was going to leave six empty spots, if he wants to use one for Jacque Jones, I don’€™t have a problem with that. What I do have a problem with is if a writer would use a spot knowingly that their numbers don’€™t come close and it takes away from a Tim Raines or an Edgar Martinez.”

(Click here for this year’s candidates.)


“My career, in my mind, if it went as planned was me getting to the big leagues. The Hall of Fame was so far-fetched that I took it as small steps, or major victories. My first All-Star Game was a major victory because I was able to produce numbers along the lines everybody thought were the best in the game. Now, when you talk Hall of Fame that’€™s the best careers.”


“Fred McGriff? He’€™s eight home runs shy of 500, so you’€™re telling me that if he hit eight more home runs he’€™s in. That’€™s where I’€™m like sometimes the numbers go a little deep, and it’€™s paralysis by analysis.

“The Tim Raines thing really baffles me. I don’€™t think anybody would argue that Rickey Henderson isn’€™t a Hall of Famer. He’€™s absolultely a Hall of Famer, first ballot. I look at what Tim Raines did for a good 8-10 years in the National League and he’€™s basically Rickey Henderson.

“Schll’€™s another one. If you did something extraordinary in the postseason, you get bonus time. For me Curt was so outstanding, and had some moments, especially in ‘€™04 with the sock. I think those should push you over the edge. It’€™s not like he did it just once. He’€™s a guy who is lower than he should be. Edgar Martinez is another guy who should get more consideration.”


“I do believe he will be the DH in. The numbers are there and the postseason numbers are there. I think he gets in. Will some people say he’€™s a DH and not make him first ballot? OK, but ultimately don’€™t you just want to get in.”


“I am in the Coral Gables Senior High Hall of Fame, so I have that going for me. I’€™m technically in the Hall of Fame already. You call it the Baseball Hall of Fame, I call it Coral Gables Senior High. (Woody Woodward, Eli Marrero and Frank Gore are also inductees.) My dad in Puerto Rico Hall of Fame. I don’€™t know how much that helps me, but it can’€™t hurt.”

Rusney Castillo triples in first winter league game

01.04.16 at 10:32 pm ET
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Playing in his first winter league game of the offseason, Rusney Castillo made his mark Monday night.

The Red Sox outfielder managed a two-run triple while playing for Caguas in the Puerto Rico Winter League playoffs, helping propel Alex Cora‘s team to a 7-4 win over Santurce.

Also contributing to the Caguas victory (its second in as many playoff games in the three-team, 12-game round robin) were Red Sox farmhands Henry Ramos (4-for-4, 2 doubles) and Bryce Brentz (1-for-3, run, walk).

Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez entered the game for Santurce as a pinch-hitter, going 0-for-1.

Caguas was able to seal the victory thanks to a four-run eighth inning, with former Red Sox reliever Jose De La Torre picking up the save.

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Showdown in Puerto Rico Monday night: Rusney Castillo vs. Christian Vazquez

01.04.16 at 12:35 pm ET
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Christian Vazquez

Christian Vazquez

You might want to pay attention to what transpires at Hiram Bithorn Stadium Monday night.

It is at that venue in Puerto Rico where Alex Cora‘s Caguas Puerto Rican Winter League team takes on a club managed by a another former Red Sox infielder, Ramon Vazqez, Santurce. (Vazquez and Cora were traded for one another in 2006.)

Why Red Sox followers might want to take note of the second game of the three-team, 12-game round robin postseason tournament is due to who will be in each club’s respective lineup.

Playing his first game this season for Caguas will be outfielder Rusney Castillo, who will serve as the designated hitter while hitting sixth. Also participating for Cora’s team will be Red Sox minor leaguer Bryce Brentz, who is slated to hit cleanup while manning right field.

On the other side, Sox catcher Christian Vazquez will start as Santurce’s DH.

According to El Nuevodia.com, Vazquez will only be playing through Saturday, with the catcher scheduled to continue his rehab from Tommy John surgery at the Red Sox spring training complex in Fort Myers, Fla.

Vazuqez, who has only been a DH while playing in the winter league, told the media outlet he has long-tossed out to 120 feet but has yet to throw game speed to second base. (To read the entire translated article, click here.)

Read More: Alex Cora, christian vazquez, Ramon Vazquez, Red Sox

Unlike Rusney Castillo, Hanley Ramirez still won’t be playing Winter Ball

01.01.16 at 1:13 pm ET
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It came as somewhat of a surprise Thursday that Rusney Castillo was going to participate in offseason baseball. So it only made sense to check in to see if Hanley Ramirez would deliver another unexpected turn.

Not going to happen.

According to a team source, Ramirez will not participate in the Dominican Winter League playoffs, which extend through the first few weeks of January.

The Red Sox first baseman had initially suggested he would be playing with Licey at some point, but backtracked on that plan when talking at the David Ortiz Celebrity Golf Classic.

“Like I always do, every year I try to play,” he said. “If they don’€™€™t let me, they don’€™€™t let me. I always try to play. That’€™€™s it.” (To read more of Ramirez’s comments on his offseason, click here.)

Castillo, who played in the Arizona Fall League last offseason, along with 10 games with Caguas in the Puerto Rican Winter League, will rejoin Alex Cora’s team in Puerto Rico, starting Jan. 4.

Also participating for Caguas will be Red Sox minor league outfielder Bryce Brentz, who has played in eight games, going 7-for-27 (.259) with a pair of home runs. Reliever Pat Light also played with the team — striking out 10, walking eight, while allowing two runs on nine hits in 11 1/3 innings. The right-hander’s contract with Caguas, however, expired in late December.

Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez has continued to play in the league, participating as a designated hitter for Santurce. Vazquez, who continues to come back from Tommy John surgery and isn’t scheduled to catch until spring training, is hitting .280 in 25 games, carrying a .672 OPS.

Appearing on the ‘Butch and Bradfo Show’ recently, Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo talked about Ramirez’s offseason/spring training progression in terms of becoming a first baseman.

“I think Hanley understands what it takes to be an infielder,” Lovullo said. (For all of the coach’s comments on Ramirez, listen to the podcast starting at the 15:25 mark.)

Read More: hanley ramirez, Red Sox, Rusney Castillo,

Rusney Castillo to play in Puerto Rican League playoffs

12.31.15 at 1:56 pm ET
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Rusney Castillo

Rusney Castillo

Red Sox outfielder Rusney Castillo, who wasn’t expected to play any winter ball this offseason, will join Criollos de Caguas in the Puerto Rican League playoffs, according to WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford.

Caguas, managed by former Red Sox infielder Alex Cora, will play 12 games as part of a round-robin tournament. The playoffs begin on Jan. 2, and Castillo is expected to debut on Jan. 4.

This will be Castillo’s second stint with the team. He hit .405 with a homer for it last year in 10 games after an abbreviated eight-game stint in the Arizona Fall League that had been cut short by a thumb injury.

This is a big season for the 28-year-old, who enters spring training as the team’s starting left fielder and is looking to deliver on the seven-year, $72.5 million contract he signed late in the 2014 season.

Castillo is a lifetime .262 hitter with a .680 OPS in 329 big league plate appearances.

Red Sox Hall of Famer Frank Malzone dead at 85

12.30.15 at 6:45 am ET
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Frank Malzone, one of the inaugural members of the Red Sox Hall of Fame and a member of the organization for 68 years, died Tuesday at his home in Needham, the team announced. He was 85.

Malzone played third base for the Sox from 1955-65 and was an eight-time All-Star, two-time team MVP and three-time Gold Glover. After playing one season for the Angels in 1966, he retired with a career line of .274/.315/.399 with 133 home runs and 728 RBIs. The Bronx native then returned to Boston and served as a scout, instructor and executive for the next 57 years.

“We mourn the loss of a man we all came to know as ‘Malzie,’ who was venerated by Red Sox fans not only for his great glove at third base but for his blue-collar dedication to his craft,” Red Sox chairman Tom Werner said in a statement.

“He played 150 games or more in seven consecutive seasons, and missed just a total of two games in his first four seasons. He brought that same commitment to the many years in which he served the club as a special assistant, and always was a welcome presence at Fenway Park. He will be missed, and we extend our condolences to his family.”

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Yankees acquire closer Aroldis Chapman from Reds, build dominant bullpen

12.28.15 at 5:01 pm ET
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Aroldis Chapman

Aroldis Chapman

The Yankees just added some serious firepower to their loaded bullpen.

Already possessing two of the game’s most overpowering late-innings arms in left-hander Andrew Miller and righty Dellin Betances, the Yankees shocked baseball on Monday by acquiring embattled closer Aroldis Chapman from the Reds for a quartet of prospects.

The news, first reported by Jack Curry of the YES Network, radically alters the landscape of the American League East and gives the Yankees a bullpen unrivaled in the current game, if not ever.

Chapman, 27, owns the highest strikeout rate in history (41.7 percent, just ahead of Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel). The four-time All-Star owns a lifetime ERA of 2.17 and 146 saves, and is coming off a 4-4, 1.63 season with the Reds. He has struck out more than 100 batters in each of the last four seasons.

He’s also considered damaged goods, thanks to domestic abuse allegations that surfaced earlier this month to scuttle a trade to the Dodgers and reportedly scared the Red Sox off his trail in November.

What’s indisputable is the impact the Yankees bullpen should have on games. Chapman (46.3 percent), Miller (41.6) and Betances (39.5) owned the three highest strikeout rates in baseball last year, according to MLB.com’s Andrew Simon. They give manager Joe Girardi three overpowering options, with Chapman closing and Miller and Betances moving into setup roles.

The Yankees managed to complete the deal without surrendering any of their top prospects (Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Jorge Mateo, Greg Bird), instead acquiring the left-hander with the 100 mph fastball for right-hander Rookie Davis, third baseman Eric Jagielo, second baseman Tony Renda, and right-hander Caleb Cotham.


Former Red Sox postseason hero Dave Henderson passes away

12.27.15 at 12:44 pm ET
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Dave Henderson — the man who owns one of the most clutch hits in Red Sox history — has passed away at the age of 57 Sunday, according to multiple reports.

It was not immediately known the cause of death for Henderson, who most recently served as a member of the Seattle Mariners television broadcast. He had received a kidney transplant about a month ago.

Henderson spent 14 years in the major leagues, playing for the Mariners, Red Sox, Giants, A’s and Royals from 1981-94. While only finishing with a career .258 batting average, the former outfielder saved his best performances for the postseason, totaling a .946 OPS in 35 playoff games.

He will go down in Red Sox lore as the man chiefly responsible for allowing the team to play in the 1986 World Series.

Trailing the Angels three games to one in the best-of-seven American League Championship Series, the Red Sox found themselves down by three runs entering the ninth inning in Game 5. A Don Baylor home run brought the Sox back with a run with two outs in the frame, with Henderson representing the potential series-ending out.

But with two strikes, Henderson launched a Donnie Moore pitch over the left field wall to send the game into extra-innings. The Red Sox would ultimately with Game 5 in the 11th-inning on a Henderson sacrifice fly, propelling John McNamara’s club to wins in Game 6 and 7 at Fenway Park, and a World Series berth.

Henderson, who joined the Red Sox on Aug. 19, 1986 in a trade with Seattle that also brought over shortstop Spike Owen, went on to also excel in the World Series against the Mets. Playing center field, Henderson hit .400 with a 1.208 OPS and two homers in the seven-game series.

Henderson spent one more season with the Red Sox before being dealt on Sept. 1, 1987 to the Giants for a player to be named later (who would ultimately be utilityman Randy Kutcher). Following the ’87 season, he would sign with the A’s, playing a key role in Oakland’s ’89 world championship.

Read More: A's, Dave Henderson, Red Sox,

Former Red Sox first base coach Arnie Beyeler lands as Marlins’ Triple-A manager

12.22.15 at 4:29 pm ET
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Arnie Beyeler

Arnie Beyeler

Arnie Beyeler is returning to the manager’s seat.

After not having his contract renewed by the Red Sox following the 2015 season, Beyeler has signed on to manage the Miami Marlins’ Triple-A team in New Orleans, per a major league source.

The 51-year-old Beyeler had been in the Red Sox organization since 2007, managing both Double-A Portland (’07-’10) and Triple-A Pawtucket (’11-’12). He also previously spent time in the Sox system from 2000-02, serving as skipper for Single-A teams in Lowell and Augusta.

In 12 years as a minor league manager Beyeler compiled a record of 802-756.

Beyeler will be reunited with former Pawtucket Red Sox minority owner and CEO Lou Schwechheimer, who was recently announced as the new principal owner for the Triple-A Zephyrs.

Besides serving as the Red Sox’ first base coach for the past three seasons, Beyeler also acted as the team’s outfield coach.

Ruben Amaro has replaced Beyeler as the team’s first base coach for the 2016 season.

Wade Boggs on OM&F: Getting number retired ‘greatest honor an athlete can have’

12.22.15 at 1:06 pm ET
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Wade Boggs

Wade Boggs

Hall of Famer Wade Boggs joined Ordway, Merloni & Fauria on Tuesday to talk about getting his number retired by the Red Sox and what his career was like in Boston. To hear the interview, go to the OM&F audio on demand page.

The Red Sox announced Boggs’ No. 26 would be retired on Monday afternoon, but Boggs got the call last week from Red Sox president Sam Kennedy and Red Sox chairman Tom Werner.

“I couldn’t say thank you enough,” Boggs said. “It was something that the eyes filled up with tears and just thinking back to my induction to the Hall of Fame that my dad would have really liked to look up there and see my number next to Ted [Williams]. That was the thing that ran through my mind. On May 26, him and my mom will have the best seat in the house. They will be looking down and it will be a very proud day for my family.”

Boggs’ .338 batting average with the Red Sox is second only to Williams, and no one has ever played more games at third base in team history. He was an eight-time All-Star during his 11 seasons as Boston’€™s third baseman from 1982-92. During his Red Sox career, he led all major leaguers in batting average (.338), hits (2,098), doubles (422), on-base percentage (.428), and times reaching base safely (3,124), and also topped the American League in walks (1,004) and OPS (.890).

“It was out of the blue,” Boggs said of getting the call that his number would be retired. “The thing about having your number retired, it’s not something that comes along everyday. It’s not really required, even if you make the Hall of Fame. It’s up to an organization and like I said countless times, that it’s the greatest honor an athlete can have is to have his number retired. That way you get to live on in immortality.”

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