|10.04.15 at 6:19 pm ET|
The final out of the Red Sox season will go in the books as a ground out to second base off the bat of Mookie Betts, punctuating a 3-1 loss to the Indians in Cleveland.
The final tribute came just few moments later.
With the Red Sox having just punctuated their season with a 78-84 mark, the entire team and coaching staff stepped in front of the visitors dugout and signaled toward the NESN broadcast booth toward Don Orsillo. It was Orsillo’s last game with the Red Sox television broadcast after serving in the capacity for 15 years.
“I wave to the Red Sox for the final time. Thank you boys,” the announcer said. “Orsillo rounding third and heading home.”
‘ Ryan Hannable (@RyanHannable) October 4, 2015
Last 30 seconds of Don Orsillo’s farewell on NESN pic.twitter.com/Z0LPMy4kYP
‘ Ryan Hannable (@RyanHannable) October 4, 2015
“He’s just fun man,” Brock Holt told reporters when asked about Orsillo. “He doesn’t take his job too seriously but he’s really good at it. He loves what he does and he’s really good at it. Just being around him he’s a good person. We’re going to miss him and everyone that watches him on TV is going to miss his voice calling the games for sure.”
|10.04.15 at 4:18 pm ET|
A season ago, he had been the one charged with the responsibility getting a stubborn Yoenis Cespedes to buy into either accepting a role in right field, or work at becoming a better Fenway Park left fielder. Beyeler wasn’t met with much cooperation.
And then this season, Beyeler was the one asked to mold Hanley Ramirez into an outfielder. But when the player’s athleticism, and effort level, weren’t working out as the team had planned, the task became another unenviable endeavor.
But the 51-year-old wasn’t going to suggest Dave Dombrowski‘s decision was anything more than the kind of move that’s made when a new regime comes in to fix a last-place team.
“They called me in last night after the game and told me last night,” Beyeler told reporters prior to Sunday afternoon’s game. “Yeah, I was disappointed without a doubt, but that said, I have nothing but good things to say about these guys ‘ ownership and these guys over here. I’ve been here nine years. It’s been a good ride, a lot of fun, good people over here. I thank them for everything they’ve done. It was a great opportunity. [Mike Hazen] Haze and Ben [Cherington] and all them that got me over here, it worked out great for me. To get a chance from John [Farrell] and Ben and Haze to bring me up here on the big league staff was kind of a dream come true. I had a nice ride out of that, maybe peaked too early as far as that goes with the World Series and everything in my first year. But it was a lot of fun. I got to be around some good guys, good people, learn a lot, great coaching staff. I have nothing but good things to say about these guys. They’ve given me an opportunity. They brought me over here. It’s been a lot of fun.”
Beyeler, who was hired prior to the 2013 season, added, “[Dombrowski] just said they needed to make a change. They were going to make a change is I guess what he said, and my spot was the one that they decided to change. What am I going to say? That was it. It was pretty cut-and-dry. I asked him if there were any opportunities in the organization. He said he didn’t think there would be. I said, ‘OK, thank you for letting me know in a timely fashion.’ Hopefully something will come down the road again. It’s happened before. I’ve been in this situation before and something good came out of it. I ended up over here and got an opportunity here after a few years. I’m a big believer in things happening for a reason. Great group of people here, great coaching staff, I’ve learned a lot since I’ve been here, and it was a lot of fun. I’ve got a pretty good thing on my resume now. I can say I’ve been in the big leagues. I’ve gotten four World Series rings along the way with the Yankee ones and then two over here. Just all the people here in the organization over the years, it was a great group, a lot of great people, and a lot of great friends. I’m going to miss them.”
Beyeler was one of four Red Sox coaches in the final year of their contracts, with third base coach Brian Butterfield, assistant hitting coach Victor Rodriguez and bullpen coach Dana LeVangie all getting new deals. Strength and conditioning coach Pat Sandora was the only other member of the staff not to see his deal renewed.
Asked if he believed there anything to the notion that Ramirez’s shortcomings in the outfield led to the move, Beyeler said, “I don’t think so. I think, I would hope I would have been told that if that was the case. I don’t think so. I just kind of got the sense that they want a change. Maybe [Dombrowski] wants somebody who he’s familiar with from on the staff here, I don’t know. Being kind of a low guy on the totem pole here, it’s kind of my spot. That’s kind of what I was told. I want to read anything into it or anything else. I’d hope I would have been told that if that was the case but I don’t get that feeling at all, no.”
Under Beyeler’s tutelage some of the current group of promising outfielders evolved nicely, with the trio of Jackie Bradley Jr., Rusney Castillo and Mookie Betts making significant progress in terms of becoming above-average defenders.
“I can look in the mirror walking out of here and don’t think I’m not disappointed,” he told reporters. “But I did the best I could do while I was here and I think you guys see and the people see what into that and we see the results with some of those guys and the bottom line up here is that players got to play and it’s kind of that way everywhere, even in the minor leagues where I came from. Sooner or later, you can be the best coach in the world or the best guy around but the players have to play and they have to get better and they’ve got to produce. When you finish in last-place, things can change, guys get moved, people get fired. Again, that’s the nature of the business.
“I think those guys continue to work hard. I’m proud of all those guys. They work hard every day. I think you guys see them getting better and see them improving but that’s a tribute to what those guys do and they go out there and work hard every day and they continue to get better, whether I’m here or not.”
|10.04.15 at 3:37 pm ET|
Baird is the latest in a growing list of members of former general manager Ben Cherington’s regime to be retained by new president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski.
Baird, who served as Cherington’s chief talent evaluator, will remain in the same role he has previously filled with the Red Sox. He will report directly to Dombrowski.
The former Kansas City Royals general manager had previously played a major role in some of the more high-profile international signings, as well, serving as the point person in the team’s acquisition of Rusney Castillo.
Baird is a native of Rochester, New Hampshire, having played baseball at Spaulding High. He joined the Red Sox in 2006 as an assistant to the general manager after his exit from Kansas City, where he had been the GM for seven seasons.
Baird joins newly-named general manager Mike Hazen, director of professional scouting Gus Quattlebaum, and assistant director of amateur scouting Jared Banner, along with manager John Farrell and the majority of his coaching staff as those being brought back by Dombrowski.
To date, the only outside hire in the Red Sox front office during Dombrowski’s brief tenure has been senior vice president of baseball operations Frank Wren.
|10.04.15 at 12:10 pm ET|
Lovullo has signed a new two-year contract with the team that stretches through the 2017 season, agreeing to bypass the opportunity to pursue any major league managerial openings during the upcoming offseason. Lovullo was signed through the ’16 season, but that deal has been reworked.
Farrell signed a two-year coach extension this past offseason, taking him through the ’17 season with a team option for ’18.
Third base coach Brian Butterfield, assistant hitting coach Victor Rodriguez and bullpen coach Dana LeVangie will return, having all been in the final year of their contracts. First base coach Arnie Beyeler and strength and conditioning coach Pat Sandora, both of whom were also in last year of their deals, will not be returning.
Pitching coach Carl Willis and hitting coach Chili Davis will also be returning for the ’16 season, with their contracts already extending beyond the ’15 season. Interim bullpen coach Bob Kipper will return to his post as the pitching coach for Triple-A Pawtucket.
|10.03.15 at 10:26 pm ET|
The Red Sox have now played 161 games after their 2-0 loss to the Indians Saturday night in Cleveland. It puts the Sox record at 78-83, one game in back of fourth-place Tampa Bay in the quest not to finish in the American League East basement.
It clinches at least a tie for last-place in the division for the Red Sox, marking the third time in the last four seasons they will have finished in the bottom spot.
The Red Sox‘ third loss in a row was primarily a product of being baffled by Cleveland starter Corey Kluber, who shutout the visitors while allowing just three hits and striking out nine over eight innings.
The 2014 Cy Young Award-winning Kluber, who lowered his ERA to 3.49, finished his 2015 season going 9-16, having pitched 222 innings.
Sandy Leon claimed two of the Red Sox three hits, with Travis Shaw also managing a single. The only Sox baserunner to reach second base was Mookie Betts, who walked and stole second in the second inning.
Xander Bogaerts, who came into the game needing five hits to reach 200 for the season, went 0-for-4.
Taking the loss was starter Craig Breslow, who allowed a pair of solo home runs over his career-high 5 1/3-inning outing. Breslow would finish his second start of the season giving up five hits. The lefty’s previous longest appearance came against the Orioles when he pitched four innings during the Sox’ Sept. 26 win.
The game took 2 hours, 41 minutes to play after a rain delay.
|10.03.15 at 3:59 pm ET|
With one game to go, Ortiz is sitting with a .910 OPS and 107 RBIs in 145 games.
Mookie Betts RF
Josh Rutledge 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
Travis Shaw 1B
Rusney Castillo LF
Brock Holt DH
Deven Marrero 3B
Sandy Leon C
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
|10.03.15 at 12:54 pm ET|
Ensured of a losing season following Friday’s loss in Cleveland, and back in a tie for last place in the American League East, the 78-82 Red Sox take the field for the penultimate game of 2015 on Saturday night with Craig Breslow on the mound against Corey Kluber, who has been unable to duplicate last year’s AL Cy Young season.
Breslow (0-3, 4.22 ERA) made his first career start last Saturday against the Orioles, allowing just two hits in four innings as the Sox cruised to an 8-0 victory.
“Now that it’s done and it went pretty well, it was a lot of fun,” the 35-year-old left-hander said. “I don’t know how many guys make 500-some odd career relief appearances and then get a chance to start their first big league game.”
Breslow, who again will be limited to 50-60 pitches Saturday, has not faced the Indians this season. In his career vs. Cleveland, spanning 26 games and 26 innings, he is 1-3 with a 2.42 ERA.
|10.02.15 at 10:12 pm ET|
David Ortiz just keeps making history.
The Red Sox designated hitter isn’t letting age slow him, not by a long shot. On Friday night against the Indians, Ortiz blasted his 37th home run of the season, a two-run shot in the fourth that accounted for all of the Red Sox scoring in an 8-2 loss in Cleveland.
Ortiz had already become just the second player ever to hit 30 homers and drive in at least 100 runs at age 39 or later. Barry Bonds, who went 45-101 in 2004, is the other.
He simply added to those totals on Friday, with his season numbers now standing at 37 homers and 107 driven in. If Ortiz can hit three more home runs over the final two games of the season — a tall order, to be sure — he’ll join Bonds and Hank Aaron as the only 39-year-olds to hit 40 homers. He also needs six RBIs to tie Paul Molitor’s record for most RBIs (113) for a player 39 or older.
Ortiz wasn’t even necessarily supposed to play on Friday. A night earlier, interim manager Torey Lovullo had suggested that Ortiz wouldn’t play again this season. He certainly had nothing left to prove. But Ortiz had other ideas.
“It really wasn’t anything pressing, to be honest with you,” Lovullo told reporters in Cleveland before the game. “I just asked him how he felt, he said, ‘I’m ready to go.’ That was really it. Maybe I gave you guys the wrong impression, which I apologize for. All along, we were going to re-evaluate where he was at today and just talk it over and see how he felt.
“Obviously, he wants to play. The best part about David are the things nobody knows about. He wants to play for all the right reasons. He wants to play to win a game. He wants to play to do well. He wants to play to show his younger teammates that this is what a championship-style player does. It speaks volumes about his character, that he is here to play.”
The rest of the game didn’t go so well for the Red Sox or rookie left-hander Henry Owens, who got knocked around before being knocked out in the fifth. Owens allowed 10 hits and seven runs in 4 1/3 innings, walking four, striking out four, and struggling with his command.
Owens finishes his rookie campaign with a 4-4 record and 4.57 ERA.
The Indians put this one away with four in the third and three in the fifth. Carlos Santana struck the big blow, a three-run double with one out in the third.
With the loss, the Red Sox (78-82) are guaranteed to finish the season with a losing record.
|10.02.15 at 4:27 pm ET|
Owens (4-3, 3.84) is coming off a tremendous outing against the Orioles on Sunday, going 7 2/3 scoreless innings while allowing just three hits and one walk with five strikeouts in an outing worthy of an ovation as he exited the game in the 2-0 victory.
“Another solid outing,” interim manager Torey Lovullo said. “He just had one little hiccup — it was a 29-pitch sixth inning — but outside of that, it was an outstanding effort. He held a very good team in check and preserved a lead. Command of his fastball was very good, the secondary stuff even better.”
Added catcher Blake Swihart: “He’s just attacking guys. He’s got a four-pitch arsenal and he’s just going after guys and getting outs.”
The 23-year-old left-hander is 2-1 in his last three starts with a 1.59 ERA, while holding opposing batters to just a .198 ERA. Of the five runs (four earned) that he’s allowed during that stretch, all of them came in his Sept. 22 outing against the Rays.
Friday will be Owens’ first career start against the Indians. He is 2-1 on the road with a 1.99 ERA over four starts.
|10.02.15 at 3:09 pm ET|
According to a source, Yoan Moncada is dealing with a bruised hand after being hit by a pitch in the Fall Instructional League on Thursday. He came out of the game as a precaution and didn’t play Friday.
The source said the second baseman is day-to-day, but it didn’t appear to be serious.
Moncada is coming off his first professional season in the Red Sox organization where he batted .278 with eight home runs and 38 RBIs in 81 games with Single-A Greenville, while also stealing 49 bases. He was named the Red Sox minor league base runner of the year and was honored last weekend at Fenway Park.
The Cuban was also recently tabbed Baseball America’s best prospect in the South Atlantic League.
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