|Neil Diamond, Andrew Bailey offer a few musical surprises at Fenway||04.21.13 at 12:20 am ET|
Neil Diamond was the first musical surprise at Fenway Park Saturday afternoon, for even the Red Sox.
The 72-year-old hit-maker decided that he and his wife, Katie, heard the news that the final suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings had been apprehended and decided to make a trip across the country to pay his respects.
Diamond boarded a plane in Los Angeles early Saturday morning headed for Boston, where the couple landed close to noontime. Once off the plane, the singer called the Fenway Park switchboard with the intention of passing along one, simple request.
He wanted to sing his song, “Sweet Caroline,” in person, at Fenway, during the eighth inning. A recording wouldn’t do on this day, one which was largely devoted to recovering from the bombings.
The answer, of course, was “absolutely,” leading Diamond to his performance in right field. (To listen to the moment, click here.)
One half inning, there came another surprise musical interlude.
As Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey ran in from the bullpen, the Fenway speakers started blasting “Shipping Up To Boston,” which, of course, was the well-known intro music of former Red Sox game-ender Jonathan Papelbon.
Normally, such an act would be relief pitching sacrilege. But not in this case. Papelbon would surely understand.
“That was something [Jarrod Saltalamacchia] and I discussed this morning,” Bailey said. “I said, ‘Let’s do it.’ That ninth inning was a part of the game the fans really enjoyed for a long time. It was just something we decided to do and the way they erupted was unbelievable. It was just a good day.”
The reliever (who wasn’t sure if he would continue with the intro music) added, “I don’t know what it was for or anything, but for the fans for that minute it was a little extra …. It was definitely for the city. It was a staple for so many years here, I just wanted to do it.”
|Hot Stove: Red Sox open to dealing Andrew Bailey?||11.27.12 at 3:03 pm ET|
According to a tweet from ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Red Sox are open to dealing reliever Andrew Bailey, but likely won’t because of how low his trade value is after an injury-plagued 2012 season.
Tweeted Olney: “Rival teams say that Red Sox open to dealing Andrew Bailey–but because his value is currently low, odds of them trading him are pretty low.”
The Red Sox traded for Bailey last offseason, sending outfielder Josh Reddick, third baseman Miles Head and right-hander Raul Alcantara to the Athletics in exchange for Bailey and outfielder Ryan Sweeney.
|Andrew Bailey: ‘This game is what’s going to push me forward to next year’||10.03.12 at 12:36 am ET|
NEW YORK — The job description for Andrew Bailey is fairly basic: Finish off victories when the Red Sox have a ninth-inning lead. But over the last five weeks, with the Sox’ season amidst a free fall, the opportunities for the pitcher to carry out that task have been few.
That, in turn, amplifies the dismay attendant upon his recent failures. His blown saves down the stretch have served as double-whammies: Not only do they rob the Sox of the rare moments of dignity provided by victories, but also leave a bilious residue that he now must carry into the offseason.
On Tuesday night in the Bronx, Bailey stepped to the mound for just his third save opportunity in the last two weeks. But for the second time in those three chances, he blew it.
Given a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the ninth inning in Yankee Stadium, Bailey gave up a leadoff single to Curtis Granderson and then left a 93 mph fastball on a 1-2 count down the middle to Raul Ibanez. The pitch was launched for a game-tying to deep right field. After a groundout, Bailey gave up a double to Derek Jeter, intentionally walked Nick Swisher and then walked Alex Rodriguez to load the bases with one out.
He was pulled in favor of Mark Melancon, who managed to escape the jam without further harm. Still, Melancon’s Houdini merely delayed the outcome — a 4-3 Red Sox loss to the Yankees — that was set in motion by Bailey’s struggles.
“I let the team down,” said Bailey. “There’s nothing fun about going out there, letting guys run around the bases and do all that. Unfortunately, we’ll have a long offseason, I’ll have a long offseason to think about that. You’ve got guys like [Dustin] Pedroia going out there, playing with broken hands, broken fingers, whatever he has, getting that big double, Jonny [Lester] throwing a hell of a ballgame, bullpen coming in and doing their job. I didn’t.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Red Sox Minor League Roundup: Andrew Bailey is ready; Mark Prior struggles||08.13.12 at 11:24 am ET|
The Red Sox bullpen looks like it soon will feature a long-anticipated reinforcement . . .
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 9-3 LOSS AT BUFFALO (METS)
– Andrew Bailey crossed another item off his rehab checklist, pitching 1 1/3 innings and retiring all four batters he faced, one on a strikeout. In three appearances in Triple-A, he’s allowed just one baserunner (on an opposite-field single) and no runs while striking out four. In six total rehab appearances, he’s given up one run in 6 1/3 innings with 10 strikeouts, one walk and six hits allowed. Barring a setback, the Red Sox expect to activate him from the DL on Tuesday in Baltimore.
– Mauro Gomez went 2-for-4 with a double and a homer, his 23rd of the year. He also played third base for the eighth time in his last 15 minor league games, committing his first error at the position in the minors this year. The 27-year-old’s versatility as a right-handed masher is intriguing, particularly given that he still has two options left after this season. If he can make strides at third base while continuing to show the ability to mash, Gomez could thus be an important depth consideration at first, third and DH for the Sox for a couple of seasons to come.
– Ryan Kalish went 0-for-5 and is now 0-for-9 in two contests since being sent back down to the minors.
– Mark Prior allowed two runs on two hits while walking two and striking out two in 1 2/3 innings. He’s struggled with his command all year, but those struggles have been somewhat more glaring since his return from an oblique strain due to a diminished strikeout rate — even though his actual strikeout rate has gone down. He had 20.3 strikeouts and 9.6 walks per nine innings in the first half (along with a 2.89 ERA), compared to rates of 10.0 strikeouts and 7.6 walks per nine (with a 4.70 ERA) in the second half. He’s allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings over his last three appearances.
“He’s striking out a couple guys an inning which is very good. But the walks, a lot of them are a situation here in the second half. The first half we threw a lot of strikes. The second half, we haven’t thrown that many of them,” said PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler. “Guys come out of the bullpen, walk the leadoff guy, four-pitch walk up in the zone, working behind in the count, that’s kind of what we’ve seen. But he’s got stuff to come back. It’s a swing-and-miss fastball at 90-92, which tells me he’s really hiding the ball and he’s locating the ball really well. He’s got a little breaking ball that he throws in there that’s effective and he can locate it. He knows how to pitch. He knows what he’s doing. He knows how to get hitters out.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Red Sox Minor League Roundup: Daisuke dismayed; Bailey’s next step; new knuckleballer unveiled; Bogaerts locked in||08.06.12 at 11:05 am ET|
A snapshot of the action in the Red Sox farm system on Sunday, when a pair of big league pitchers made rehab appearances in the upper levels, a new knuckleballer was unveiled, Salem shortstop Xander Bogaerts continued an amazing stretch and outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker continued his terrific performance of the past two and a half months . . .
TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 6-5 WIN (10 INNINGS) VS. LEHIGH VALLEY (PHILLIES)
– Daisuke Matsuzaka worked three innings while allowing four runs (one earned) on five hits (four singles and a double) while striking out three and walking one. He also hit a batter. Matsuzaka threw 49 of 75 pitches (65 percent) for strikes.
The frustrated pitcher declined direct comment, instead relying on translator Jeff Cutler to pass along his analysis of the outing.
“The result tells it all,” Matsuzaka told reporters, in a comment issued through Cutler. “I’m hopeful that I can pitch more and go deeper in the game next time.”
That said, in a three-run second inning, the rally started on a groundball past third (where Mauro Gomez, still trying to re-learn the position, was playing) and into left field and an error on a potential force out by Jose Iglesias.
– Jose Iglesias went 1-for-5 with a double for his first extra-base hit in 19 games, dating to July 14. He is hitting .247/.294/.280/.574 for the year (as compared to his 2011 line of .235/.285/.269/.554).
– Juan Carlos Linares went 2-for-5 with a homer, his fifth in 37 games in Triple-A. It was his first homer in 14 games, as the outfielder had been in a slump since late last month, hitting .161/.156/.226 over his previous nine games.
– Josh Fields worked around a pair of hits, striking out a pair of batters in a scoreless 10th inning to earn the victory in his first appearance with Pawtucket, following a promotion on Friday.
DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 11-2 WIN VS. ERIE (TIGERS) Read the rest of this entry »
|Andrew Bailey on bullpen role: ‘I don’t give a [expletive], frankly’||08.04.12 at 7:46 pm ET|
Andrew Bailey is set to make a rehab appearance on Sunday. But when it comes time for Bailey to finally join the big-league club, will he replace Alfredo Aceves as the team’s closer?
“I don’t give a [expletive], frankly. I just want to play and get to the playoffs,” Bailey said. “Whatever role they see fit, that’s what I’m going to do. If it’s setting up, if it’s doing whatever, that’s fine by me and we’ll address it next spring.”
The Red Sox bullpen already leads the American League in holds. Adding Bailey, who was the key return in the trade that sent Josh Reddick to the Athletics, will likely only make the team’s bullpen better.
“[Aceves] and the whole bullpen has been doing great this whole year and whatever role they see fit, that’s what I’m going to do,” Bailey said. “If it is setting up or if it is doing whatever that is fine by me and we will address it next spring.”
In 50 appearances so far this season, Aceves has 22 saves with a 3.83 ERA. Bailey posted slightly better numbers last season with the Athletics, recording 24 saves with a 3.24 ERA in 42 appearances.
Bailey, who made two scoreless one-inning appearances in the Rookie Level Gulf Coast League before returning to Boston from Fort Myers, said he feels good now and is ready to rejoin the team after having thumb surgery in April. He struck out four in his two innings of work, permitting two hits. He featured his fastball while also mixing in both cutters and curveballs, and the right-hander detected progress in his off-speed pitches from his first appearance to his second. Read the rest of this entry »
|As he nears return, Andrew Bailey ‘[doesn't] really care’ about role||07.28.12 at 1:23 pm ET|
NEW YORK — Pitcher Andrew Bailey, who took the trip with the Red Sox to New York, said it doesn’t matter what his pitching role is with the Red Sox once he returns from injury. With Alfredo Aceves having recovered from a rocky start to become a highly effective closer (he’s converted 19 of his last 21 save opportunities with a 2.51 ERA in his last 41 appearances dating to April 23), Bailey said that he will contribute out of the bullpen however the Red Sox see fit to use him.
“I don’t really care. I just want to pitch,” Bailey said. “At this point I’ve missed enough time to know that, he’s done a hell of a job this year and the bullpen’s been great all year. I just kind of want to find my role, whatever that is and finish this year and get to the playoffs. That’s what our goal is.
“I’ve said that from day one, even in Oakland. I don’t really care what I’m doing as long as I’m pitching in the big leagues and we’re winning. That’s all I care about. Individual stats aren’t really a big thing for me.” Read the rest of this entry »
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