|Video: Red Sox executives take ice bucket challenge||08.22.14 at 7:41 am ET|
COO Sam Kennedy, speaking on behalf of the group, nominated the Pawtucket Red Sox, Liverpool FC and The Boston Globe to take the challenge.
David Ortiz was on hand to help douse the executives and other personnel with buckets of ice water.
|Curt Schilling to D&C on battle with cancer: ‘I’ve never said ‘Why me?’ and I never will’||08.20.14 at 8:52 am ET|
Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, who is in remission after receiving treatment earlier this year for squamous cell carcinoma, joined the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon on Wednesday morning to tell his story publicly for the first time and warn against using chewing tobacco, which he blames for his situation. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Schilling, who had weighed slightly over 200 pounds prior to his diagnosis, lost 75 pounds during his treatment, mainly because he could not swallow. He also has lost his ability to taste and smell.
“This all came about from a dog bite,” he explained on his visit to the Dennis & Callahan show. “I got bitten by a dog and I had some damage to my finger and I went to see a doctor. And the day I went to see the doctor, I was driving and I went to rub my neck and I felt a lump on the left side of my neck. I knew immediately it wasn’t normal. There happened to be an ENT [ear, nose and throat specialist] right next door to the hand doctor. I thought, ‘What the heck, let me just stop in and see.’ So I waited in the office, went in there and he did a biopsy. Two days later, he diagnosed me with squamous cell carcinoma.”
Schilling, who still is recovering from his business troubles following the well-publicized collapse of his video game company, recalled the immediate aftermath of his diagnosis as a moment of self-awareness.
“You know what the amazing thing was, and I was just dumfounded by it: You’ve just been told you have cancer, and you walk out into the public, and the world’s still going on. It was really a challenge to wrap my head around that,” said Schilling, who relies heavily on his religious faith. “My second thought was, ‘Wow, really? You think I can handle this, too, huh?’ ”
Schilling was in the hospital for about six months, in part because he developed additional problems, including a staph infection.
“I got chemo and radiation for [seven] weeks, and I came back to the room and my family was sitting there and I thought, ‘You know what, this could be so much worse. This could be one of my kids,” he said. “I’m the one guy in this family that can handle this. From that perspective, I’ve never said ‘Why me?’ and I never will.”
During his playing days, Schilling was known for his efforts to connect with young cancer patients. Now he’s seen it from the other side, and he has a greater appreciation for what they go through.
“When you walk around that facility you see these amazing doctors doing amazing things,” Schilling said. “And then you turn the corner and see a 5-, 6-, 7-year-old kid. I can’t fathom — if this happened again, I’m not sure if I would go through the treatment again, it was that painful. I can’t imagine a 5-, 6-year-old kid having that. It s just mind-boggling.”
Schilling used chewing tobacco for three decades, something he now greatly regrets.
“I’ll go to my grave believing that was why I got what I got,” he said. “Absolutely. No question in my mind about that. … I do believe without a doubt, unquestionably, that chewing is what gave me cancer.”
|Red Sox reportedly part of bloc of owners supporting Tom Werner, opposed to Rob Manfred as next commissioner||08.07.14 at 11:29 am ET|
When initial reports broke that Red Sox chairman Tom Werner was one of three finalists for the job as Major League Baseball commissioner, there was widespread speculation that he was not a candidate to be taken too seriously.
Rob Manfred remains the favorite to take over the job from his boss, the retiring Bud Selig, but there apparently is a group of owners that opposes Manfred’s hiring. That group is said to include Red Sox principal owner John Henry, White Sox boss Jerry Reinsdorf and Angels owner Arte Moreno. According to The New York Times, that group chose Werner to be an alternative and is attempting to recruit other owners (specifically those from the Nationals, Athletics, Diamondbacks and Reds) in an attempt to get enough votes to block Manfred’s election.
MLB executive Tim Brosnan is the third candidate, be he appears to have far less support.
The vote is slated to take place at the quarterly owners meetings next Thursday in Baltimore. A candidate needs support from 23 of the 30 owners to be elected.
The Times report indicates that Reinsdorf and Selig, longtime friends, have had a falling out because of the issue of Selig’s successor. Reinsdorf has told other owners that Selig has not been transparent enough as commissioner, and Manfred would continue that trend.
“The next eight days will be about Bud versus Jerry,” a senior baseball official told the Times. “Bud is dismayed.”
Manfred supporters told the Times that the Red Sox oppose Manfred because they want a larger share of profit from their local television contract. They also said that Werner has been promising positions to other owners in a bid to gain votes.
|Ben Cherington on D&C: John Lackey ‘did a lot for the Red Sox, and I think he’s happy where he is now’||08.07.14 at 9:51 am ET|
Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington joined Dennis & Callahan on Thursday morning to discuss the state of the team and the fallout from the trade deadline fire sale. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
There has been some speculation that John Lackey pushed for a trade because he was not happy in Boston, upset with his contract that calls for him to be paid the major league minimum next year. The pitcher was sent the Cardinals last Thursday.
“Mostly what led to [the trade] is that he’s a really good pitcher and he’s on a unique contract, and that made him valuable to a team like the Cardinals, who understand that value, understand that having a guy who’s capable of pitching like that and making the minimum next year is a valuable guy to have,” Cherington said. “So they were willing to give up — we wouldn’t have traded both [Jon] Lester and Lackey without getting a) major league talent back and b) at least one major league starter back. That was sort of the standard.
“We’re all getting new information, and you get new information every day. I think John is happy where he is, and we wish him well. He did great things for us, certainly towards the end of the deal. He was on the mound for the clinching World Series game. I certainly hope that Red Sox fans and everyone around Boston’s sort of lasting memory of John Lackey is helping us win a World Series. That will be what mine is.”
Asked directly if Lackey wanted to leave, Cherington replied: “Look, I’m not going to get into every conversation I had with John Lackey. He did a lot for the Red Sox, and I think he’s happy where he is now.”
|Pedro Martinez on MFB: ‘Red Sox are under no pressure’ because of last year’s title||08.04.14 at 12:07 pm ET|
Martinez, whose departure after the 2004 season has been compared to Jon Lester‘s situation, weighed in on the Red Sox’ trade of Lester to the Athletics.
“I wasn’t really surprised,” Martinez said. “After seeing that nothing worked out in spring training, and a little bit of disappointment on both sides, specially on Lester’s side, I could sense that something was going to happen. But at the same time, I was extremely sad and worried about him leaving because, to be honest, I don’t think he’s replaceable right now by any means.”
The Red Sox have made it clear they would prefer to avoid handing out long-term contracts to players in their 30s, but Martinez said the team will miss Lester’s leadership.
“Well, the first thing that we all have to realize is that the Red Sox are under no pressure. We won last year when nobody expected that we were going to win. Whatever we decided to do this year, we have plenty of time to put together a plan to build another team that can be in the winning column within the next three years. They have the luxury to do that because winning last year unexpectedly I think gave everybody space to breathe,” Martinez said.
“Now, I think for the good of the young arms that we have in the minor leagues, I think they needed someone to guide them. I didn’t see it so well that Lester would leave, because that’s a great guy to have in the clubhouse, a role model, worker. When you go into the clubhouse and you see Lester, the ace of the team, working, you have no choice but to go to work. When you see his mental approach about the game, the respect for the game and his respect for his teammates, I think it’s someone so valuable in so many different ways, it doesn’t have to really be performing. But it’s the influence that he brings over to the young arms that are coming up and probably hoping to develop into an ace later on.”
|Red Sox confirm Jon Lester trade||07.31.14 at 12:57 pm ET|
The Red Sox sent out a press release shortly after noontime Thursday confirming that they have traded Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes to the Athletics for Yoenis Cespedes and a draft pick (as first reported by WEEI’s Alex Speier). The Red Sox also are sending cash to Oakland.
Following is the team’s release.
The Boston Red Sox today acquired outfielder Yoenis CÃ©spedes and a 2015 competitive balance draft pick from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for left-handed pitcher Jon Lester, outfielder Jonny Gomes, and cash considerations. Both CÃ©spedes and Lester were All-Stars in 2014.
Executive Vice President/General Manager Ben Cherington made the announcement.
CÃ©spedes, who will wear No. 52 for the Red Sox, is batting .256 (102-for-399) with 26 doubles, three triples, 17 home runs, 67 RBI, and 28 walks in 101 games this year, his first All-Star season. Among American League leaders, the 28-year-old ranks tied for sixth in extra-base hits (46) and tied for ninth in RBI. Since the All-Star break, he has hit .326 (15-for-46) with five doubles, three home runs, and 11 RBI.
In three seasons since joining the major leagues from Cuba in 2012, the right-handed batter has hit .262 (371-for-1,415) with 72 doubles, 12 triples, 66 home runs, and 229 RBI. Beginning in 2012, he places among the top 15 American Leaguers in both homers and RBI. In his three seasons with the team, Oakland went 228-131 (.635) with CÃ©spedes in the starting lineup compared to 28-44 (.389) when he did not start.
As a major leaguer, he has hit .296 with a .366 on-base percentage, and a .494 slugging percentage with runners in scoring position. In 142 career big league games after the All-Star break, is a .293 hitter with an .859 OPS.
Among players who debuted in 1987 or later, the only others with at least 20 home runs and 80 RBI in each of their first two major league seasons are Evan Longoria, Ryan Braun, Dan Uggla, Mark Teixeira, and Albert Pujols.
CÃ©spedes hit safely in all 10 of Oakland’s postseason games over the last two years, batting .350 (14-for-40) with two doubles, one triple, one home run, and six RBI.
Last season, he hit 26 home runs in 135 games. He finished second among American League Rookie of the Year voting in 2012 after batting .292 with 23 home runs, 82 RBI, and 16 stolen bases in 129 games.
|Jonny Gomes on MFB: Tough to leave Red Sox, but ‘I’m not angry at anyone’ for being traded||07.31.14 at 12:08 pm ET|
Outfielder Jonny Gomes, who was traded from the Red Sox along with Jon Lester to the Athletics on Thursday morning for Yoenis Cespedes, joined Middays with MFB to discuss the move and his time in Boston. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
Gomes returns to Oakland, where he played in 2012 before joining the Red Sox as a free agent and helping Boston win the 2013 World Series.
“I’m in a situation right now where I’m getting packaged up with the best pitcher in the game, heading over to the team with the best record in the game. So I’m a little bit excited there,” Gomes said. “At the same time, you talk about a soft spot in my heart and a soft spot with some of the relationships I’ve made in Boston. This chapter, for the time being, has come to an end.”
Added Gomes: “I definitely didn’t want to go anywhere. I just can’t fathom a baseball player saying he’d ever want to get out of Boston, to tell you the truth. I came here on a whim. I came here when this team finished in last place and I wanted to join this club when it was in last place. Rode a pretty magical wave last year. This year things haven’t gone as well. We were hoping.
“But at the same time, this is the Boston Red Sox, at the end of the day. To be able to toe into that batter’s box where some of the greats have, and just to wear that uniform and at the same time share relationships, hit in the same BP group as David Ortiz and [Mike] Napoli and Dustin Pedroia. Jim Rice and Luis Tiant walking around, all the greats from the pictures up there. That’s the stuff that I don’t take for granted, by any means.”
Gomes had high praise for the player with whom he’s leaving Boston, noting that Lester refused to be distracted by constant talk of contract negotiations.
“This guy’s as professional as it gets,” Gomes said. “This guy worries about one thing, and that’s every fifth day, going on the rubber, throwing that ball downhill. He’s such a positive guy. He doesn’t have that in his bag of tricks. He doesn’t have that in his characteristic, to throw people under the bus and to get mad, not treat it the right way. He doesn’t even have that in his bag of tricks. Since the day I got to Fort Myers, and I guess we’re leaving together, but I’ve never seen this guy be negative. He just puts all his energy, all his thoughts, all his work ethic into helping the ball club win every five days. Even in between, he’s doing what he can with the young kids.
“I never saw him pouting around the clubhouse, I never saw him come to the yard late, I never saw him leave early because the negotiations weren’t going well or whatever. You can’t control what you can’t control. He lived his life like that.”
Added Gomes: “We talked this morning. This guy wasn’t throwing pots and pans. This guy was just worried about his next start and asking about the rubber and the clay — like I’d have any idea. But it just shows where his mind is. He’s already looking to get guys out for the A’s.”
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