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Curt Schilling on D&C: ‘I was kind of blindsided’ by criticism about view on transgender issue; due for discussion with ESPN bosses

04.20.16 at 10:37 am ET
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Curt Schilling

Curt Schilling

Curt Schilling once again finds himself in the middle of a controversy for opining about a highly charged political issue, but he told Dennis & Callahan with Minihane on Wednesday that he doesn’t understand what he did to draw people’s ire in this latest incident. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

On Tuesday, Schilling reposted a graphic that pictured a burly man dressed in suggestive women’s clothing with the words: Let him in! To the restroom with your daughter or else you’re a narrow minded, judgmental, unloving, racist bigot who needs to die!!!

He followed that by writing in a separate post: A man is a man no matter what they call themselves. I don’t care what they are, who they sleep with, men’s room was designed for the penis, women’s not so much. Now you need laws telling us differently? Pathetic.

The posts are a response to the controversy in North Carolina, where a law was passed directing individuals to use bathrooms based on their biological sex. Companies and entertainers have responded by boycotting the state or threatening to pull their business.

Schilling downplayed his comments, insisting he did not mean to stir up trouble.

“That wasn’t my post,” he said of the graphic. “I commented on that. … I replied to the post. I didn’t post that. I made a comment paraphrasing it would be people that go to the bathroom standing up use one, and people that go the bathroom sitting down use the other. That’s turned into somehow I’m transphobic. I don’t know.”

Schilling has been suspended by ESPN for past comments, but he said when he got a phone call Tuesday it caught him by surprise.

“I got a call late yesterday. I don’t know how you guys saw this thing. I was kind of blindsided by this one. When I got the call I was like, ‘I don’t get this. How did this become that?’ I assume I’ll be talking with some people today.”

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Wednesday’s Red Sox-Rays matchups: Rick Porcello vs. Chris Archer

04.20.16 at 8:31 am ET
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Rick Porcello

Rick Porcello

The Red Sox will send Rick Porcello to the mound on Wednesday night at Fenway Park in the middle game of a three-game series against the Rays. He will face off against Chris Archer in a battle of righties.

Porcello will look to continue his winning ways, as he has come out with a victory in each of his first two starts this season. In his last outing on Friday against the Blue Jays, Porcello went 6 1/3 innings, allowing three earned runs on just two hits (both home runs). He walked one and struck out eight in a game the Red Sox would win 5-3.

“It was a good win for us,” Porcello said after the game. “Good way to open up the series. Keeping guys off base, trying to eliminate big innings and multiple runners on the bases. I can’t say enough about the job Christian [Vazquez] did back there blocking balls, calling the game — he was tremendous.”

Said Red Sox manager John Farrell of Porcello’s outing: “He did a really nice job of throwing his fastball to both sides of the plate. Against a powerful right-handed hitting lineup, I thought he pitched in effectively. He used enough secondary pitches to set up his fastball. He and [Vazquez] hooked up well and the execution on Rick’s part was very, very good here tonight.”

In 11 starts against the Rays, Porcello has a career record of 5-4 with a 3.01 ERA. He has 13 walks to go with 57 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.179 in 74 2/3 innings.

Archer has struggled out of the gate for the Rays, losing all three of his starts this season. In his last outing against the Indians last Thursday, he went 5 1/3 innings, allowing three runs (two earned). He walked three and struck out six, as the Rays could not find any success at the plate and went on to lose 6-0. One area of concern for Archer has been his inability to get deep into games. His 5 1/3 innings against the Indians was actually his longest outing of the season.

“The one thing that I want to do, beyond give up two runs, is pitch a little deeper into the game,” Archer said after the loss. “If you look at what the other starter did vs. what I did, there’s not much difference, and I’m sure they’re over there talking about how great of a start he had.”

In 11 starts against the Red Sox, Archer is 1-6 with a 5.14 ERA and a 1.643 WHIP. He has 68 strikeouts and 35 walks in 56 innings of work.

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Travis Shaw gives idea what Joe Kelly might be dealing with

04.19.16 at 11:59 pm ET
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Travis Shaw

Travis Shaw

Travis Shaw prefaced his remarks by admitting he didn’t know the particulars of Joe Kelly’s injury. But the Red Sox third baseman certainly is familiar with the diagnosis the team has tagged the pitcher.

Right shoulder impingement.

It’s what has put Kelly on the disabled list, it is also what prevented Shaw from playing in the Puerto Rican Winter League this past offseason.

“It’s definitely not fun,” said Shaw after his team’s 3-0, extra-inning loss to the Rays, Tuesday night. “I could tell something was wrong. Every time he threw a fastball you could tell something was up. Hopefully it’s not as severe or serious as mine was this offseason.”

As for how long this injury might take to recover from, he can offer some insight.

“For me personally it was probably four, five, six weeks. At least a month. Even after that, it still took a while to build back that arm strength,” Shaw said.

The infielder added, “It was weird because I didn’t really realize I did it. It didn’t feel like anything at first and then for some reason you just can’t throw. At least that’s how mine was. I took a swing and it kind of felt weird. The next day it was like my arm completely shut down. I don’t know what exactly happened to Joe or what his diagnosis is, but mine was pretty painful to throw the ball.”

For more on Kelly’s injury, click here.

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Joe Kelly headed to disabled list: ‘I wasn’t feeling right out there’

04.19.16 at 11:43 pm ET
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Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly said the right shoulder impingement that drove him from Tuesday night’s game wasn’t the same sensation as the shoulder issue that ended his season last September.

He noted the injury was something he felt somewhat during the days leading up to his start against the Rays, and definitely in the bullpen warming up.

And as for the prognosis as to where Kelly might go from here, he is only trying to come to grips about his immediate existence after the 23-pitch outing.

At the end of the day, it was clear Kelly’s main thoughts after the Red Sox’ 3-0 loss to the Rays is that whatever momentum he had from the end of 2015 has officially been derailed.

“It’s really, really frustrating,” said Kelly, whom Red Sox manager John Farrell confirmed will be headed to the 15-day disabled list. “It’s something after I came out of the game … After I came out, I sat on my chair and not only upset that the bullpen has been working their tails off and pitching big innings, but it was something going through my head, pondering about what the next step is. I was ultimately frustrated. I had a good spring training and felt good last year. The first start wasn’t what I wanted, but started to feel like I was going in the right direction and then to have something like this is very disappointing.”

Kelly, couldn’t get much on any of his fastballs, said that the issue that ultimately drove him from the game truly offered anxiety when he took the mound in the first inning.

“I wasn’t feeling right out there,” he said. “Warming up I thought I would be able to get through it, and getting through that first inning I just couldn’t get loose out there. Obviously I could tell with the velocity and I wasn’t throwing right. Anytime I would try and reach back and get a little more on anything nothing was coming out right and it just felt a little bit awkward. That’s about it.

“I was feeling it a little bit. Just a little bit any time I tried to rotate back with the fastball, any time I would torque my arm back, it wasn’t feeling right. Obviously, the ball wasn’t coming out the way it normally does.”

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Looking at potential Joe Kelly replacements for Red Sox starting rotation

04.19.16 at 11:40 pm ET
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It appears Henry Owens is the favorite to be called up to replace Joe Kelly. (Jonathan Dyer/USA Today Sports)

It appears Henry Owens is the favorite to be called up to replace Joe Kelly. (Jonathan Dyer/USA Today Sports)

After leaving Tuesday’s start after 23 pitches and four batters with right shoulder impingement, Joe Kelly will miss some time. Immediately after the game, manager John Farrell announced Kelly will be going on the disabled list.

Tuesday was the third time since August of 2014 that Kelly has needed to leave a game early because of injury.

With Kelly missing time, and Eduardo Rodriguez not quite ready to return from his knee injury, the Red Sox will need to call up a starter from Triple-A for at least likely two turns through the rotation. Here are a look at three possibilities:

Henry Owens

Owens has got off to a great start in three games with Pawtucket. The tall, lanky left-hander has a 1-1 record, but has a 1.00 ERA as he’s allowed just two earned runs over 18 innings in three starts. He’s also struck out 23 batters. The one thing to watch with Owens, and has always been an issue with him, is the number of walks. He’s walked 10 batters in 18 innings so far in 2016.

From a scheduling perspective, Owens last pitched on Monday so he would be able to slide into Kelly’s spot in the rotation on one extra day of rest. The 23-year-old has limited major league experience, as he appeared in 11 games at the end of last season. In those 11 games, he went 4-4 with a 4.57 ERA. It seems likely Owens will be the player making the journey up I-95 and joining the Red Sox’ rotation.

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Read More: brian johnson, henry owens, Joe Kelly, Roenis Elias

Closing Time: Red Sox bats go silent in extra-inning loss to Rays

04.19.16 at 10:36 pm ET
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Joe Kelly's night was a short one thanks to a shoulder injury. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports0

Joe Kelly’s night was a short one thanks to a shoulder injury. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

When you’re starting pitcher lasts just four batters, the likelihood of not giving up a run for nine innings seem less than slim. But that’s exactly what the Red Sox did.

The problem came in the 10th.

The Red Sox’ fifth pitcher of the night, Matt Barnes, saw his curveball get sent deep into the Fenway Park right field stands by Tampa Bay’s Kevin Kiermaier with nobody out in the first extra inning.

It would be all the Rays needed to claim a 3-0 win over the Sox, who finished their night with just one hit, with their last 23 batters going down in order.

Desmond Jennings ground-rule, two-out, bases-loaded double in the 10th would add some insurance for Tampa Bay. (It was an at-bat made possible by Travis Shaw’s error on a Brandon Guyer grounder.)

“It was down in the zone still,” Barnes said of the curveball to Kiermaier. “I think it just kind of broke into his bat path. Given the count and given what we trying to do, knowing the speed that he has. I know that putting him on first base is not what I want to do. I want to attack him, force them to put the ball in play — 2-2 curveball, bottom of the zone, just kind of broke into his bat. Maybe we should’ve gone heater in after he had seen two curveballs, three curveballs already and a changeup kind of slowed him down, he was already on his front foot a little bit. Maybe we should’ve gone heater, but if I execute that pitch a little better we’re probably OK.”

Tampa Bay starter Drew Smyly absolutely baffled the Red Sox, retiring his last 17 batters on the way to eight, shutout innings. The lefty now has gone 20 1/3 innings without giving up a run to the Sox, who have been shut out by Smyly in their last three meetings.

It seemed a tall task for the Red Sox to keep up with such a performance considering their starter lasted just 24 pitches. But after Joe Kelly exited with a right shoulder impingement in the first inning, the Red Sox relieving corps — consisting of Heath Hembree, Robbie Ross Jr., Junichi Tazawa, Craig Kimbrel and Barnes stepped up … up until Kiermaier’s home run.

It didn’t hurt, of course, that the Sox were facing what has been the worst offense in the major leagues, with Tampa Bay coming having scored 34 runs (25 fewer than the Red Sox).

Closing Time note

This was only the second time in the last 100 years the Red Sox were held to one hit or fewer in an an extra-inning game, with the last such occasion coming on Sept. 18, 1934. It also snapped a streak of 63 home games without being shut out.

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Exploring working relationship between John Farrell, Dave Dombrowski

04.19.16 at 9:00 pm ET
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Dave Dombrowski

Dave Dombrowski

Let’s get this out of the way: According to John Farrell, Dave Dombrowski does not tell his manager which players to play, or when to play them.

In fact, Farrell said he has never had a boss mandate such things. Not with Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos in Toronto. Not with Ben Cherington here in Boston. And not with Dombrowski.

“The experience has been in all three situations that has been left up to what we see the best approach is against a given starter,” Farrell told WEEI.com before Tuesday night’s game against the Rays. “Ultimately the players are going to tell you where they are going to hit. Granted, we have all the information that is accessible to us with what’s the right match-ups might be, or when is the right spot to give someone a down day. That’s all part of the daily conversation.

“It’s always about your team. it’s always about trying to stay ahead of areas of your clubs that may need addressing. They’re all different people with different personalities, but the topic is still the roster and team performance and ways to get the most out of everyone.”

As Farrell noted, Anthopoulos, Cherington and Dombrowski are not really like one another at all, evidently their approach to letting the manager craft each day’s lineup has been consistent.

But there is one bit of separation between Dombrowski and the others, thanks in large part to the Red Sox president of baseball operations travel schedule.

“I don’t think it’s drastically different because you’re always having constant conversations and ongoing dialogue, whether it’s about roster changes, or what we all see as the current strengths of our team,” Farrell said. “I don’t know if there is a different style, other than Dave’s presence is more regular than others in the past. If there is any difference, that’s probably the only thing.

“If there’s any difference in the conversation is that we’re having them in person rather than on the phone.”

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Joe Kelly leaves game after 4 batters with right shoulder impingement

04.19.16 at 7:32 pm ET
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Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly

Manager John Farrell talked before the game about needing less innings out of his bullpen, but that won’t be the case Tuesday night.

Starter Joe Kelly was removed from the game after four batters and 23 pitches due to injury. The right-hander allowed two of the four batters to reach via walk and never reached more than 93 MPH on the radar gun.

The trainer and Farrell went to the mound after the fourth batter and after a few warm up pitches he was removed from the game. Kelly appeared to be feeling some discomfort in his shoulders/back.

[UPDATE: 8:30 p.m.: The Red Sox say Kelly left the game with right shoulder impingement.]

Over his first two starts of the season Kelly was 1-0 with a 10.13 ERA.

For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.

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Red Sox notes: John Farrell admits he’s ‘pushed’ Koji Uehara early in season

04.19.16 at 5:26 pm ET
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John Farrell said he's leaned on Koji Uehara early in the season. (Mark L. Baer/USA Today Sports)

John Farrell said he’s leaned on Koji Uehara early in the season. (Mark L. Baer/USA Today Sports)

Through the first 12 games of the season, the Red Sox bullpen has logged 39 1/3 innings, which is 13th-most in the majors and fifth in the American League. It is also worth noting many other teams have played one or two games more than the Red Sox.

One of the Red Sox relievers who has been worked a lot is 41-year-old Koji Uehara. He has appeared in eight of the 12 games, logging 7 1/3 innings. His worst outing was Monday when he allowed four runs in just 1/3 of an inning to take the loss against the Blue Jays. He entered in the inning with the Red Sox leading 1-0.

Manager John Farrell was asked about his usage and if he would like to stay away from him for a few days?

“Ideally like to stay away from him yeah, give him a couple of days down,” Farrell said. “I’ve leaned on him, there’s no doubt about it. I’ve pushed him. Coming out as we just talked about bullpen usage, you get into situations where you have a lead, you have three guys you’re looking to go to in that seventh, eighth and ninth innings and I have pushed him early.”

As for the bullpen’s usage as a whole, Farrell expects that to go down in time with the starters being able to go deeper in games than they have been of late.

“Ideally that corrects itself,” he said. “That means we have to have starters that go through the order three times and hopefully get 21 outs as more of a regularity. That is always a positive. The fact is we’re also in every game. Whether we’ve been down early, we’ve shown tremendous fight to get ourselves back in it and then you get into where you’re leading and on most pitching staffs you have guys you’re going to go to when you’re up. We need, as I’ve mentioned earlier, more innings out of our rotation. I don’t know that you ever come away feeling that they can’t pitch more. That is not to say we have 12 guys we’re going to rely on, but the more innings your starters pitch, then your bullpen probably is coming in with appropriate rest.”

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Read More: Carson Smith, eduardo rodriguez, John Farrell, Koji Uehara

Pablo Sandoval (shoulder) shows ‘improvement,’ but still ‘staying the course’

04.19.16 at 4:52 pm ET
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Pablo Sandoval

Pablo Sandoval

There was little update Tuesday on Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval.

On Monday, Sandoval saw Dr. James Andrews to get a second opinion on his injured shoulder following a MRI late last week. A full exam couldn’t be done because of how sore he was.

Instead, he got a cortisone shot and he will be re-examined in a few weeks.

Manager John Farrell was asked if there was an increase of soreness between the MRI last week and his meeting with Dr. Andrews on Monday.

“You know, that I can’t speak to,” he said. “I know that the day he came in and first reported the discomfort that the felt, our medical staff had a difficult time putting him in different positions to get an idea. So when he visits Dr. Andrews yesterday, the same condition exists.

“He feels a little bit more improved today. There is no where’s near full range of motion, but there is improvement. There wasn’t another event between those two exams and we’re staying the course with what has been recommended — the injection, return for an exam here in the near future.”

For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.

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