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Red Sox COO Sam Kennedy on D&C: ‘We all need a little bit of patience’ as team struggles through April 04.17.14 at 9:44 am ET
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Sam Kennedy

Sam Kennedy

Red Sox COO Sam Kennedy checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Thursday morning and said owner John Henry called manager John Farrell on Wednesday to offer his support during the team’s early season struggles. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The Red Sox, bringing up the rear in the American League East, improved to 6-9 with Wednesday’s 6-4, 14-inning victory over the White Sox.

“I think repeating [as champions] is probably one of the hardest things to do in professional sports, and we are off to an awful start. While there have been some positives, it’s been really bad,” Kennedy said. “April, you really like to get off to a good start, so it’s been disappointing. People say, ‘Is there a hangover, is there a letdown?’ Whatever it is, you can really point to the basics. We’re not hitting. I think we’re hitting about a buck-fifty with runners in scoring position. We were 1-4 going into last night’s game in one-run games. That’s not going to last. [Dustin] Pedroia, [Will] Middlebrooks, now [Mike] Napoli, [Shane] Victorino missing time, Koji [Uehara]. It’s a lot of factors to point to. I think we need to have some perspective.

“I know for a fact that John Henry reached out to John Farrell and Ben Cherington yesterday just to say, ‘Hey, guys, it’s early, hang in there, things are going to be OK.’ Because you could tell how frustrated those guys are. And we all are. But we do have to have a little bit of perspective. This is our 13th year here together in Boston. Things will get better. Guys will start to hit. Again, the pitching’s been there. So, we all need a little bit of patience. And I know that’s hard for most of us.”

The other big Red Sox news over the last week relates to the negotiations for a new contract with left-hander Jon Lester. A recent report indicated the Red Sox made a lowball offer of about $70 million for four years.

“You have to remember, we’re starting from a place where the Red Sox, from John Henry on down to Jon Lester, want to make a deal. That’s the starting place. I think everybody feels good about that,” Kennedy said. “The problem with negotiations and details from baseball negotiations getting into the public domain when you have a leak like we did this past week related to this deal is one data point gets into the media, gets out there, gets dissected. I can tell you there are lots of other data points related to this negotiation that are not in the public spotlight, in the media. All I’ll say is that Ben Cherington, Jon Lester, Larry Lucchino, our ownership group will continue to work on this. And it’s clearly best when baseball discussions are kept private, and then baseball decisions are made public. That’s been our philosophy.

“Do we want to see Jon Lester in a Red Sox uniform for a long, long time? Absolutely, yes. As a fan, I hope that he is with us for a long, long time. We’ll see where things go over the coming weeks and months. But I’m hopeful that we do end up getting something done there.”

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Buster Olney on M&M: Dustin Pedroia’s wrist injury ‘a concern’ 04.16.14 at 1:17 pm ET
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Buster Olney

Buster Olney

ESPN’s Buster Olney made his weekly appearance on Mut & Merloni to talk about the Red Sox‘ slow start and other MLB news. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

The Red Sox are 5-9 after dropping three straight games, including Tuesday’s 2-1 loss to the White Sox in frigid Chicago. Coming off last year’s World Series title, the Red Sox have been hurt by injuries and their inability to make key plays.

“I think it’s a combination of both,” Olney said. “When you start with [Dustin] Pedroia‘s situation, you go from there. That’s obviously a concern. I talked to David Ortiz over the weekend and he talked about the effort to get his timing back. The offense, which was so dominant last year, just hasn’t gotten on a roll yet, obviously. One of the Red Sox players mentioned to me over the weekend, ‘We’re still trying to find our identity.’

“The good thing is that the rest of the division is pretty much in the exact same boat. So if you’re in the Red Sox clubhouse, you might not necessarily be feeling great about what’s happening now. But you look at the Yankees, their infield situation is a complete mess. Tampa Bay’s rotation is in tatters. The Orioles have rotation issues. Toronto, as you know, a lot of questions about their rotation. Given the range of problems you might have, at least if you’re the Red Sox, you’re probably feeling better overall about your situation than some of the other teams are.”

The Red Sox have lost their last two games by one run (3-2 to the Yankees and 2-1 to Chicago), putting a spotlight on their offensive woes.

“Going into their game on Sunday night, their offense, which outscored every other team in baseball last year by 57 runs, ranked 17th in runs scored,” Olney said. “That, day in and day out, gives them so much margin for error. It did last year. They have to get that going.”

Even if Pedroia does not miss any more time with his wrist injury, it could be a serious blow to the Red Sox’ hopes if he has to play through a problem.

“I’m going to be really curious to see how he does going forward. I’ve talked to so many players through the years — how troublesome wrist injuries can be for a hitter. And sometimes they just don’t go away during the year. Because what it really needs in a lot of cases is out-and-out, flat-out rest. And he’s not going to have an opportunity to do that.”

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Kevin Millar on M&M: Michael Pineda pine tar controversy ‘not a big deal’ 04.11.14 at 12:50 pm ET
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Kevin Millar

Kevin Millar

MLB Network analyst Kevin Millar made his weekly appearance with Mut & Merloni on Friday to talk about Red Sox news, focusing on Thursday’s loss to the Yankees and the controversy surrounding pitcher Michael Pineda. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

In Thursday’s game, Pineda appeared to have pine tar on his wrist and arm as he kept the Red Sox bats in check during New York’s 4-1 victory.

“This goes on, first of all, let’s get that out there,” Millar said. “This goes on in every single clubhouse, every single staff. ‘€¦ It goes on. Has it ever bothered me? Never. It’s part of what goes on. The problem I have with it now if I’m the league, how do you address this. Because I don’t mind it going on, but you can’t carry a pine tar rag in the back pocket. Don’t throw it in my face.

“So, that’s my biggest thing. If I’m the league, how do I address this. Because we’ve seen this from Jon Lester in the postseason last year, we’ve seen it from [Clay] Buchholz in Toronto, we’ve seen it from now Pineda, we’ve seen it with Kenny Rogers in the World Series. And it’s not a bad thing, it doesn’t mean, oh, you’re a bad guy. But don’t throw it in my face now.”

Millar said it benefits everyone if the pitchers have a strong grip on the ball.

“It’s not cheating,” he insisted. “You’ve never thrown a baseball in 37-degree weather. You need some grip. And it goes on with hair mousse, it goes on with hair gel when it dries up, players that go to their hat off, whether it’s rosin — I’ve seen players put rosin in their hair. That’s why we use rosin on the mound. That’s why there’s pine tar and Stickum on our bats. Because if you have a little bit of grip the bat’s not going to go flying out of your hands into the stands and hit somebody in the head.

“It’s the same thing with a baseball. As hitters, I don’t mind a guy having a grip. Because I’d rather him have a grip and throw the ball where he wants to throw the ball than throw it at my neck by accident. So that’s why it’s not a big deal from the players’ standpoint. It’s fun for media to talk about. It’s fun to go, ‘Oh my God, what was it?’ It’s fun to hear Pineda say it’s dirt. Right. Did you just go No. 2 in the bathroom stall? Brother, that ain’t dirt. That’s all the fun stuff. The bottom line is it’s not a big deal.”

For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.

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Jared Remy brags to investigator about attacking fellow inmate 04.08.14 at 2:17 pm ET
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According to a criminal complaint released Tuesday, Jared Remy attacked a fellow inmate last Thursday at the Cambridge Jail by throwing hot coffee in his face and then striking him several times with a plastic chair and punching him.

The investigator’s report indicates that video surveillance shows Remy, son of NESN Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy, throwing hot coffee at Jemery Hodges, then throwing a bar of soap at him before striking him with a chair six times and punching him.

“I was watching TV and minding my own business when Remy threw hot coffee in my face,” Hodges told the investigator. “I never had any words with Remy, and I don’t know who he is.”

Remy made it clear he had no regret about the attack.

“I did what I had to do,” he told a jail employee. “I got a child molester. I hit him [with] a chair and threw hot coffee on him.”

Remy later told the investigator that he “picked on the biggest guy there” to make a statement to other inmates, and because he thought Hodges was a child molester who was “parading around like a homo.”

Said Remy: “I had a plan and I did it. I took hot water, boiling hot water and threw it in the guy’s face. I took a piece of soap and threw it at his face and hit him with a chair. Once I slipped I punched him in the face.”

Hodges was taken to the medical unit with burn marks on his face and multiple superficial cuts on his left hand.

Remy, who faces murder charges for allegedly stabbing his girlfriend to death last August, will face nine assault charges, including eight felony counts of assault and battery with a deadly weapon, in the new incident when he is arraigned April 24.

“There is a constellation of circumstances that may be at the bottom of this incident, and I expect to investigate the matter fully and prepare an adequate defense,” Remy’s attorney, Edward P. Ryan Jr., told the media.

Also according to the criminal complaint, Remy was attacked March 31 by another inmate but refused to press charges, saying: “I’d rather take a punch in the face every day living on the tiers earning respect than living in protective custody.”

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Mike Napoli on M&M: Barack Obama ‘has a lot more things to worry about than my last name’ 04.08.14 at 1:46 pm ET
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Mike Napoli's 3-run homer in the third put the Red Sox back in the game Saturday against Milwaukee. (AP)

Mike Napoli is off to a strong start offensively this season. (AP)

Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli checked in with Mut & Merloni on Tuesday as the Red Sox prepare to play the Rangers in the second game of a three-game series at Fenway Park. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

The Red Sox had a rough weekend series against the Brewers, dropping three straight to match their longest losing streak of 2013. There has been some talk that Friday’s lengthy ring ceremony — coming three days after a visit to the White House to celebrate the 2013 World Series championship — might have taken some of the team’s focus and energy away from the games.

“Me personally, I wasn’t tired or anything. I don’t think we played really good baseball,” Napoli said. “It’s been a long week, but hopefully we get our feet under us and start playing some good baseball.”

With the ceremonies done, the Sox are ready to have their attention solely on the 2014 campaign.

“We talked about it once, we talked about, ‘Let last year be last year,’ and focused on this year. I think we’ve done a good job with it,” he said. “We had Opening Day here, we got our rings, and that was kind of the final straw of it. We’re focused on this year and we’re ready to go.”

Napoli has had some early success at the plate (.321/.406/.571), including a couple of opposite-field hits with two strikes.

“I’m just trying to put the ball in play, especially with two strikes,” he said. “Trying to shorten up, shorten up my leg kick a little bit and just really see the ball to contact. I’m going to strike out, I’ve done it my whole career. I’m trying to minimize it a little bit but also have an aggressive swing to try to put the ball in play somewhere.”

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John Henry: ‘I had no input whatsoever’ regarding Boston Globe editorial critical of Jerry Remy 04.04.14 at 12:56 pm ET
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Red Sox owner John Henry checked in with Mut & Merloni on Friday, shortly before the start of Opening Day at Fenway Park, and touched on the Jerry Remy controversy while clarifying his relationship with The Boston Globe staff after his purchase of the newspaper last year.

Henry has voiced support for the longtime NESN Red Sox broadcaster whose son sits in jail accused of murdering his girlfriend. Remy has acknowledged enabling his son, who has a long history of domestic abuse accusations.

A week after the Globe published a lengthy, detailed story about Jared Remy‘s sordid history and his father’s attempts to protect him, the paper posted an editorial calling for Remy to delay his return to the NESN booth. This created confusion among Red Sox Nation, as it was believed that Henry would have to approve of his paper’s editorial.

Henry explained that that was not the case, insisting: “I had no input whatsoever, and I disagreed with it.”

“If it’s my paper, they’re second-guessing me,” Henry said. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s not my paper with regard to the Red Sox. They asked me if I wanted to see that article. There’s no way that I’m going to tamper with or even see in advance an article on the Red Sox. There has to be a wall there.”

Added Henry: “They have to be independent of me. If they can’t act independently, then it’s not The Boston Globe that we’ve all known over these years.”

Henry declined to reiterate his support for Remy, noting that he has done so already. However, asked if he thinks Remy will make it through the season, Henry replied: “I do.”

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Versatile David Ross stars in ‘Major League’ 25th anniversary tribute 04.03.14 at 1:16 pm ET
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Red Sox catcher David Ross is a man of many skills. In addition to being a reliable backstops, Ross can do impersonations and act, as he shows in this one-man tribute to the iconic movie “Major League,” which hit theaters 25 years ago.

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