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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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Trade Deadline: Francisco Liriano goes from Twins to White Sox 07.28.12 at 11:22 pm ET
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The White Sox announced (via twitter) that they acquired left-hander Francisco Liriano from the Twins in exchange for versatile 23-year-old Eduardo Escobar and 23-year-old left-hander Pedro Hernandez.

Liriano, 28, is 3-10 with a 5.31 ERA for the Twins, but he possesses electric stuff that makes him an interesting wild card as a pickup. He has 109 strikeouts in 100 innings, ranking third in the AL with 9.8 strikeouts per nine, but he’s also issued 55 walks (5.0 per nine). He had an eye-opening three-start run earlier this month, going 1-2 but with 31 strikeouts and 10 walks in 20 2/3 innings and forging a 2.61 ERA over that span, but then yielded seven runs in just 2 2/3 innings in his most recent start on July 23.

Escobar is hitting .195/.275/.244/.519 in 35 games this year for Chicago, having played second, third, short and left field. Hernandez was hammered by the Red Sox for eight runs in four innings. He is 8-2 with a 2.54 ERA in 85 2/3 combined innings in Double-A and Triple-A this year.

Read More: 2012 Trade Deadline, eduardo escobar, Francisco Liriano, Pedro Hernandez
Trade Deadline: Zack Greinke traded to Angels 07.27.12 at 8:12 pm ET
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According to FoxSports.com, Brewers ace pitcher Zack Greinke has been traded to the Angels for top infield prospect Jean Segura and two Double-A pitchers, Ariel Pena and John Hellweg.

The 28-year-old Greinke, who will be eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season, was 9-3 with a 3.44 ERA in 21 starts with the Brewers. He is coming off a 2011 season in which the righty went 16-6 with a 3.83 ERA. Greinke had joined Milwaukee prior to the ’11 season, moving over from Kansas City in exchange for Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar, Jake Odorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress.

Greinke is in the midst of a four-year, $38 million deal that is paying him $13.5 million for the ’12 season.

The 22-year-old Segura, a shortstop, was ranked by Baseball America as baseball’s 55th-ranked prospect. He was hitting .294 with a .749 OPS and 33 stolen bases for the Double-A Arkansas Travelers.

MLB Trade Rumors writes regarding the two pitchers:

Pena, 23, has a 3.37 ERA, an 8.9 K/9 rate and a 2.2 K/BB rate in 111 games (103 of them starts) over six seasons in the Angels’ system. Hellweg, also 23, was a 16th-round pick for the Angels in the 2008 amateur draft. He has a 3.66 ERA and a 9.6 K/9 rate in 127 minor league games (38 starts) though control has been an issue, as Hellweg has a career 6.4 BB/9 rate.

Read More: 2012 Trade Deadline, Angels, Brewers,
Trade Deadline: Former Red Sox Marco Scutaro most likely Rockies player to be dealt 07.26.12 at 4:53 pm ET
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According to the Denver Post, former Red Sox shortstop Marco Scutaro is the most likely member of the Rockies to be dealt at the trade deadline by Colorado.

The report states that the Nationals — who recently lost Ian Desmond for a month — and the Rays were among the teams in attendance at Chase Field scouting Scutaro. The 36-year-old  infielder has $2.3 million remaining on his current deal, which runs out at the end of this season.

Scutaro has primarily played at second base for the Rockies (71 games), while manning shortstop for 27 games. He is hitting .271 with a .684 OPS, also totaling four homers and seven stolen bases. The infielder’s best month came in June, when he hit .337.

The Red Sox dealt Scutaro last offseason for pitcher Clayton Mortensen, in part to free up money to sign free agent outfielder Cody Ross.

Read More: 2012 Trade Deadline, Ian Desmond, marco scutaro, Red Sox
Trade Deadline: Hideki Matsui designated for assignment by Rays 07.25.12 at 1:18 pm ET
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The Rays have designated Hideki Matsui for assignment to make room for newly acquired Ryan Roberts.

Matsui, who signed a minor league contract with Tampa Bay in April, hit .147 with two home runs and .438 OPS in 34 games with the Rays.

For Red Sox fans, one of the most notable moments in the 38-year-old’s brief Rays career came on July 14 when Bobby Valentine chose to walk the pinch-hitter to load the bases with out and the Red Sox carrying a one-run lead. The result was a Jose Lobaton bases-loaded walk followed by Elliot Johnson‘s go-ahead sacrifice fly.

Matsui, 38, has spent 10 years in the majors since coming over from Japan. He’s a career .282 hitter with a .360 on-base percentage and .462 slugging percentage. He’s hit 175 home runs and recorded 760 RBIs.

Following seven years as a member of the Yankees, Matsui played one year with the Angels and last season with the Athletics.

Read More: 2012 Trade Deadline, Hideki Matsui, Ryan Roberts,
Closing time: Red Sox beat Rays in Jacoby Ellsbury’s return 07.13.12 at 11:14 pm ET
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The Red Sox returned from the All-Star break by taking a step in the right direction with a 3-1 win over the Rays at Tropicana Field Friday night.

The victory improved the Sox to 44-43 on the season, moving them one game behind the Rays (45-42) as they look to work their way up the AL East and Wild Card standings.

Boston took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when David Ortiz launched a 3-1 offering from Jeremy Hellickson to right field. They added two more in the second inning when a Pedro Ciriaco single scored Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ryan Sweeney.

The Rays got on the board in the bottom of the sixth inning thanks to a throwing error from Mike Aviles and an RBI double from Sean Rodriguez.

Franklin Morales improved to 2-2 with the win Friday. He threw five scoreless innings for the Sox, allowing two hits and walking three while picking up five strikeouts on 95 pitches. His fastball stayed around 94 miles an hour throughout the night, though he was able to dial it up to 96 mph as his outing went on.

Alfredo Aceves threw a scoreless ninth inning to earn his 20th save of the season.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX

– Sweeney came up with some defensive heroics in the bottom of the eighth inning, sliding to catch a B.J. Upton line drive and getting the ball in quickly to Aviles with Ben Zobrist trying to advance from second to third. Aviles’ throw to Nick Punto was accurate enough to get Zobrist, whose base-running decision with one out was rather questionable.

– Ciriaco had big night in the ninth spot for the Red Sox, going 3-for-3 with two RBI and a stolen base. His biggest hit of the game came in the form of his second-inning single to drive in a pair of runs. In addition to his contributions with the bat, Ciriaco stole third base in the top of the seventh inn in on a hit-and-run that saw Daniel Nava strike out swinging. Ciriaco bunted Aviles over to third in the top of the ninth inning, but had to slide head-first into first base to avoid colliding with Jeff Keppinger.

Jacoby Ellsbury made his long-awaited return to the lineup after being out with a right shoulder injury since April 13. He went 1-for-5 with a pair of strikeouts, and the addition of a healthy Ellsbury will undoubtedly add some stability and star power to an outfield that has seen some musical chairs throughout the season.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX

– Morales cruised through the first three innings but ran into some series control issues in the fourth. After handing out free passes to B.J. Upton and Keppinger with two out, Morales balked on a 3-0 count to Rodriguez. Morales tried to throw to first on a pickoff attempt, but Mauro Gomez seemed unaware that a play was on, causing Morales to hold the ball during his delivery before finally tossing it to first. The balk advanced both Upton and Keppinger, and Morales ended up walking Rodriguez anyway, good for his third consecutive walk of the inning.

Morales would end up getting out of the jam in dramatic fashion, getting Luke Scott to strike out on a 2-2 fastball up in the zone that clocked in at 96 miles per hour.

– For whatever reason, Mauro Gomez dropped a throw from Will Middlebrooks in the bottom of the first inning. The throw to first got there in enough time to beat Upton, but there seemed to be some sort of webbing issue with Gomez’ glove that prevented him from holding on. Gomez was a late replacement for Adrian Gonzalez in the lineup.

– Gomez’ glove malfunction wasn’t the only error of the Sox on the night. Zobrist grounded to Aviles to lead off the sixth inning, and Aviles’ throw was well over the head of Gomez. Zobrist advanced to second on the play, giving the Rays a man in scoring position with nobody down and it cost the Sox when Rodriguez hit a Scott Atchison offering down the third base line to score the run.

– Ortiz’ first-inning bomb earned him some respect when he came to the plate later in the game, and it hurt the Sox. The Rays elected to give him two free passes in order to face Gomez in jams, and it worked out in Tampa’s favor both times. With two out in the fifth and Nava (walk) at first, Hellickson and the Rays elected to give Ortiz a free pass, and Gomez grounded to third to end the inning. Ortiz was intentionally walked again in the top of the seventh with two men on and one out, and Gomez grounded into an inning-ending double play.

David Ortiz ‘humiliated’ by way Red Sox treated him in offseason 07.05.12 at 8:15 am ET
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David Ortiz has another problem.

The Red Sox‘ designated hitter and only All-Star this season voiced some of his issues with the Sox and their upper management, a point made clear in a piece written by USA Today’s Jorge L. Ortiz. In the story, the slugger suggested that he will not necessarily have an allegiance to the Sox on the open market.

Ortiz, a free agent after the season, made it clear in the piece that he has an issue with the Sox spending big on free agents but not on their longest-tenured player.

“If you go crazy and give contracts to whoever comes along despite not knowing how they’re going to do, then you don’t give me my due consideration, even though I do my thing every year, [expletive] that,” Ortiz said. “I’m going to be open to anything. My mentality is not going to be, ‘I like it here.’ It’s going to be, ‘Bring it to the table, and we’ll see what happens.'”

Last offseason, Ortiz wanted a two-year deal but eventually took a one-year, $14.575 million pact shortly before he would have gone to arbitration.

“It was humiliating. There’s no reason a guy like me should go through that,” Ortiz said. “All I was looking for was two years, at the same salary [$12.5 million].

“They ended up giving me [$2.025 million] more than that , and look at my numbers this year. Tell me if they wouldn’t have been better off. And yet they don’t hesitate to sign other guys. It was embarrassing.”

This season, Ortiz is hitting .302/.391/.607 with a team-leading 22 homers and 55 RBI.

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