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Poll: Did the Red Sox make the right choice in hiring John Farrell? 10.21.12 at 9:31 am ET
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Sources have confirmed to WEEI.com that the Red Sox have hired John Farrell to become their next manager, signing the 50 year-old to a three-year deal. As compensation for Farrell, who had one year left on his deal to manage the Blue Jays, the Red Sox will send Mike Aviles to Toronto. What are your thoughts …

Was John Farrell the right choice?

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Was Mike Aviles too much to give up?

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Bobby Valentine says Red Sox coaches undermined him, talks John Farrell in final Big Show appearance 10.03.12 at 4:05 pm ET
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Making his last appearance of the season on The Big Show, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said Wednesday that he was undermined by his coaching staff throughout the season.

Asked by Glenn Ordway if he felt the Red Sox’ coaching staff and those around him have been loyal to him during the course of the season, Valentine responded, “No.”

Asked why, Valentine said, “You asked me what I feel. That’s what I feel.”

Ordway then followed up by asking if he felt he was undermined by them, to which Valentine responded “Yes.” Asked why, Valentine again said, “[It’s] just what I feel.”

Valentine didn’t blame the organization for the picking of his coaches, saying, “I had a say. I interviewed everyone.” Asked what went wrong along the way, Valentine said, “Just bad decisions” and that it was his job to try to “work through it” and “make it all functional.”

Asked if he would want different coaches if he were to return next year, Valentine responded, “Some, yeah.”

Valentine, who has one more year remaining on his contract, said he does not know whether the Sox will bring him back for next season.

“I really don’t,” Valentine said. “It all depends what they’re looking for. People have to make decisions, and God bless them. It’s not going to be an easy job no matter who’s at the helm.”

Blue Jays manager John Farrell has long been rumored to replace Valentine, though the former Boston pitching coach is still under contract with Toronto. Rumored friction between Farrell and Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos has led to speculation that the manager could be attainable.

“John Farrell. Wow, I thought he already had a job,” Valentine said when Farrell was brought up. “Maybe there will be a trade, is that what you mean?”

Asked by Michael Holley what he feels he has done well in his season with the Red Sox, Valentine sarcastically responded “Zero, nothing obviously. Brutal. I’ve done nothing good.” Asked again, Valentine admitted the season has been a struggle but said, “I protected my players as well as anyone could have imagined.”

Valentine was asked how he’s gotten along with Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington.

“It’s been a work in progress all year,” Valentine said of his relationship with the first-year general manager. “I think Ben’s had as tough a year dealing with all of this roster situation as any general manager ever has.”

Added Valentine: “I’ve never raised my voice to him. .. We haven’t had any arguments. He’s my boss and he’s pointed some things out to me along the way that I think he might have disagreed with and I respected his opinion. I don’t know how you judge these things. I think it’s been very functional.”

Read More: Bobby Valentine, John Farrell,
Bobby Valentine defends decision to pinch-hit for Jose Iglesias on The Big Show 09.19.12 at 3:45 pm ET
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Bobby Valentine made his weekly appearance on The Big Show Wednesday, with his decision to pinch-hit for Jose Iglesias in the middle of an at-bat the biggest topic discussed. The interview ended with Valentine hanging up during a discussion about Joe Maddon‘s punctuality, with Valentine insisting that Maddon shows up to road games later than he does for home games.

Asked whether he gave any thought to pinch-hitting for Iglesias before he went to the plate on Sunday, Valentine responded, “Good question, Glenn! I really wish rather than everyone playing all the time, ‘I gotcha’ here in the media, for them to actually ask an intelligent follow-up question so something like that could be answered.

“Was there thought given to pinch-hitting for him when he went up to the plate? Let me explain the situation,” he continued. “There’s two out and [Pedro] Ciriaco‘s on first base. [Daniel] Nava’s my only left-handed pinch-hitter. Daniel Nava came down and I said, ‘Daniel, here’s what we’re going to do: If Pedro steals second base, you’re going to be the hitter.’ OK, let me explain that one through. If I send Nava up to hit and Pedro gets thrown out trying to steal, what I just did is used my defensive shortstop who doesn’t go out in a tie game to play shortstop, and I used my only pinch-hitter. He’s used out because the third out of the inning is used at second base. So the answer is no, I did not think about pinch-hitting for him at the beginning of that at-bat.”

Added Valentine: “It’s a baseball play, for those listeners out there who give a damn about baseball.”

Valentine strongly disagreed with the notion that the move shattered the young shortstop’s confidence.

“I understand that [there are] armchair psychologists who are thinking, ‘Oh God, the poor kid’s going to be crushed,'” he said. “I know Jose from spring training. I know what he’s doing. I know he’s struggling with his at-bats. The proof is always in the pudding. When he came back and played the last two nights, he played the best he’s been since he’s been up. He’s had his best at-bats and he’s run the bases the best. I would guess in a very small sample the question of whether his confidence was ruined would be no. I don’t know how to judge that.

“What we were dealing with was a very unique situation. Understand this: Jon Lester has pitched for us all season long. He’s pitched his heart out. He’s never missed a start. He’s two games under .500 going into that game, and I know what he wants to do and what I want him to do and what the fans want [him] to do, is for him to pitch his heart out for the rest of the way. If we can get him a couple more wins so he finishes at .500, there would be a way he goes home in the winter feeling OK about the battle that he conducted this year.”

Minihane replied that he didn’t think fans cared what Lester’s record was this year, which got a rise out of the manager.

“So I’m only supposed to think about what Jose’s feeling and not think about what Jon Lester, who from Day 1 has given everything he could to this team and this organization?” he asked. “I should just say, ‘I don’t really give a damn what happens to you. I’m only concerned with this kid who just came up, because I’m supposed to build his confidence.’ Is that what my job is?”

Added Valentine: “You think [Iglesias’] psyche is going to be broken because he was pinch-hit for in the middle of an at-bat? Give me a break.”

Valentine added that he was once pit-hit for in the middle of an at-bat with the bases loaded and a full count and that he learned from it.

“It made me more determined the next time I went up to prove to him that I was good enough not to get pinch-hit for,” he said. “That’s what this is. That’s what life is. That’s what you do.”

On the subject of Maddon, Minihane and Valentine were discussing the punctuality of managers when Minihane noted that while he was fine with the manager arriving later to the ballpark than usual for a game in Oakland, Valentine was the one who introduced Maddon’s punctuality to the argument.

“Thank you guys, good talking to you. Bye bye,” Valentine said before hanging up.

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Photos: Joe Castiglione Night at Fenway Park 09.13.12 at 4:34 pm ET
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WEEI’s Joe Castiglione was honored at Fenway Park before the Red Sox-Yankees game on Wednesday. This season marks his 30th year of broadcasting Red Sox baseball on the radio.

Click the image below or right here to see a slideshow of the pregame festivities.

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John Henry says Red Sox aren’t for sale, reveals Larry Lucchino has signed extension 09.13.12 at 3:32 pm ET
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Red Sox principal owner John Henry called in to Mut & Merloni on Thursday to refute Fox Business reporter Charlie Gasparino‘s report that he and the Red Sox ownership group have held discussions about selling the team.

“I’m disputing his sources,” Henry said. “Whatever his sources are telling him, I’m completely disputing anything they’re saying along those lines.”

The biggest piece of news to emerge from the conversation is that president and CEO Larry Lucchino will return to the team next season after signing an extension.

Here are some bullet-points of the conversation, which could be heard here:

‘€¢ Henry said that Gasparino’s source, which Gasparino said minutes earlier in an interview with Mut & Merloni has “direct knowledge” of the situation, is incorrect.

“I guess one response I have is that sometimes journalists have sources that just are completely off-base and don’t know what they’re talking about,” Henry said. “I guess that’s what I would have to say having listened to the interview, that whoever he’s talking with, especially when he mentions that there’s been talk with a buyer and so forth, it’s just so far apart or out of the horizon of things that have been going on, as are a number of things. For instance, that all of our time is spent on Liverpool, and that we spend our time at Fenway with Red Sox people talking about Liverpool. It’s just not true.”

‘€¢ Henry adamantly disputed that there were internal discussions about selling the team.

“I think that if there have been any discussions, they certainly haven’t included Tom [Werner] or Larry or I, so I don’t know who’s discussing it. Certainly not minority partners, because we’ve had changes in ownership among minority partners even this year. As you probably know, The New York Times was a significant owner at one point. They owned 17 or 18 percent, and they now own zero. That’s been going on, and others have changed the ownership interest, but there’s certainly been no discussion. We have quarterly partner meetings, and there’s been no discussion among partners, even in executive sessions about a sale of any kind. I don’t think there’s anyone in the partnership who’s interested in selling any of the aspects of Fenway Sports Group.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: adrian gonzalez, carl crawford, Dustin Pedroia, John Henry
Red Sox to continue celebration of Johnny Pesky with Fenway Park event 09.12.12 at 9:36 am ET
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The Red Sox are planning to continue the celebration of Johnny Pesky‘€™s life, holding a ceremony at Fenway Park following the team’€™s Sept. 23 game against the Orioles.

The Red Sox issued the following statement:

The Boston Red Sox will present a ‘€œCelebration of Life’€ tribute to Johnny Pesky after their Sunday afternoon game on September 23.  Ceremonies to honor the beloved icon, who passed away August 13 at age 93, are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.  They are open to fans who attend that day’€™s game and to the general public.  There is no charge.

Fans with tickets to the game may stay at the ballpark after the game (or depart and return), and fans without tickets are welcome shortly after the completion of the game, which begins at 1:35 p.m. against the Baltimore Orioles.  While the formal portion of the ceremony is set to take place between 6-7 p.m., fans are welcome to stay until the park closes at 9 p.m. Both current and former Red Sox players will be in attendance.

In addition to hearing stories about Pesky’€™s 70-year career, fans will have the opportunity to walk on the warning track and see displays that illustrate his life as a player, coach, manager, broadcaster, ambassador, patriot, husband, father, and friend.  Fans will also have the opportunity to write personal messages that will be given to his family and become part of the Nation’€™s Archives at Fenway Park.

Poll: What should Red Sox give up for John Farrell? 09.07.12 at 9:37 am ET
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With John Farrell and his Blue Jays coming to town this weekend, the talk and speculation about the former Red Sox pitching coach taking over as Sox manager for 2013 is gaining steam. But, as pointed out in Rob Bradford’s recent column, the path to securing Farrell’s services might be a tricky one.

Farrell is under contract through the ’13 season, and with the Blue Jays maintaining a policy that doesn’t allow lateral moves to another organization, it would appear the only chance of the 50-year-old switching teams would be via a trade.

The following is an opportunity to voice your opinion regarding exactly how much you believe Farrell to be worth to the Red Sox.

Whom would you trade for John Farrell?

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Transcript of Bobby Valentine on The Big Show: ‘If I were there, I’d punch you right in the mouth’ 09.05.12 at 4:01 pm ET
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Making his weekly appearance on The Big Show on Wednesday afternoon, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine turned in an interview that could go down as one of the most heated exchanges a Boston coach has ever had.

Valentine said he wanted to punch host Glenn Ordway “right in the mouth,” but noted that he would like to return to manage the Red Sox in 2013, even after a 2012 season that he characterized as a personally “miserable” one.

“This is what I chose to do. I think it’s been miserable, but it’s also been part of my life’s journey,” said Valentine. “You learn from misery.”

Asked if he was concerned about the ownership not commenting on whether he’d return next season, Valentine replied, “No, would it concern you?”

He added that he would like to manage the Sox next season.

“Of course,” he said. “If that’s what I’m asked to do, that’s what I’m going to get paid to do.”

Valentine took particular issue to two questions. The first occurred when he was asked if he had “checked out” on a season in which the Red Sox have fallen 11 games under .500.

“What an embarrassing thing to say. If I were there right now, I’d punch you right in the mouth. Ha, ha. How’s that sound? Is that like I checked out? What an embarrassing thing,” said Valentine. “Why would somebody even, that’s stuff that a comic strip person would write. If someone’s here, watching me go out at 2 o’clock in the afternoon, watching me put in the right relief pitchers to get a win, putting on a hit-and-run when it was necessary, talking to the guys after the game in the food room — how could someone in real life say that?”

Below is a complete transcript of the conversation:

Have you checked out?

What an embarrassing thing to say. If I were there, I’d punch you right in the mouth. Ha, ha. How’s that sound? Is that like I checked out? What an embarrassing thing. Why would somebody even, that’s stuff that a comic strip person would write. If someone’s here, watching me go out at 2 o’clock in the afternoon working with the young players, watching me put in the right relief pitchers to get a win, putting on a hit-and-run when it was necessary, talking to the guys after the game in the food room — how could someone in real life say that?

You were late at a ballgame last week.

I shouldn’t have to explain that. That pisses me off. Whoever wrote that knew what happened. They knew that my son was coming to see me for the first time in this lousy season and that I got to see him on the road, and that his flight was late, and that I was waiting at the airport in San Francisco for his flight to come in, and that came in, I sent the lineup in and reported to my coaches that I was going to be a little late. For someone to say that I was late is an absolute disgrace to their integrity, if they have any. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Bobby Valentine,
Closing Time: Offense explodes, Jon Lester dominant in rout of Indians 08.12.12 at 4:25 pm ET
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The Red Sox salvaged a split of their four-game series with the Indians at Progressive Field in an absolute laugher on Sunday, pounding out 16 hits and scoring eight runs in the fifth inning of a much-needed 14-1 win.

Adrian Gonzalez homered, doubled and drove in four runs, Carl Crawford had three doubles, three RBI and scored a pair of runs and Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia scored three runs to lead the offense in its second-most prolific output of the season. The 14 runs fell just short a season high, a 15-run performance against the Twins on June 20.

Jon Lester won for the first time since June 16, allowing a run on three hits in six innings. He struck out a season-best 12 (one short of his career best) while walking two to pick up his sixth victory of the season.

It was the fourth victory in 12 August games for the Red Sox, who have an off day Monday before their 10-game road trip resumes at Baltimore on Tuesday.

Here is what went right (and wrong) for the Red Sox.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

‘€¢ Gonzalez entered the game with a batting average of .385 and a slugging percentage of .635 in the second half and continued his tear on Sunday, hitting his 13th home run of the season in the first inning off of Cleveland starter Corey Kluber (who lasted just 3.1 innings, allowing six runs on seven hits) and scoring Pedroia and Crawford with a fifth-inning double off of Josh Tomlin, highlighting an eight-run frame that put the game away for the Red Sox. Gonzalez has 35 RBI since the All-Star Break, tops among all major-league players.

‘€¢ Crawford matched his career-high with three doubles (9/7/10), producing a double in the three-run first, two-run second and eight-run fifth innings. His double in the second scored Mike Aviles and Ellsbury and gave the Red Sox a 5-1 lead. Crawford — who was hitless in eight at-bats in the first three games of the series — watched his slugging percentage jump from .461 to .505 for the season on Sunday.

‘€¢ The first four hitters in the lineup — Ellsbury, Crawford, Pedroia and Gonzalez — had 10 hits in 15 at-bats Sunday, scoring nine runs and producing 10 RBIs.

‘€¢ Lester was terrific in a game where mediocre would have been enough, striking out a season-high 12 batters. He struggled in the first inning — allowing a run while throwing 27 pitches — but settled in with a huge lead. Lester was particularly strong at the end of his start, striking out five of his last six batters, including the final two he faced (Carlos Santana, Shelley Duncan) in the sixth inning.

WHAT WENT WRONG

‘€¢ Danny Valencia — making his first start with the Red Sox — was the only starter not to get a hit. He did make a diving catch off a Jack Hannahan line drive in the second inning.

Poll: What should the Red Sox do with Bobby Valentine? 08.07.12 at 8:39 am ET
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As controversy swirled around the future of Bobby Valentine with the Red Sox on Monday, team owner John Henry said that his team is “not making a change in manager,” noting that an organization is “more than a field manager,” while GM Ben Cherington amplified the point, saying, “Bobby’s our manager and we’re not considering anyone else.”

Are the Red Sox right to proceed in this fashion? Should Valentine (now in the first year of a two-year deal) remain the manager of the Red Sox? And if not, when is the right time to make a change? Vote below and then say your peace in the comments section.

How do you think the Red Sox should proceed with Bobby Valentine?

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