|Jarrod Saltalamacchia on M&M: ‘I was upset’ about Red Sox’ lack of interest||12.10.13 at 2:30 pm ET|
Former Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia joined Mut & Merloni on Tuesday morning to discuss his offseason negotiations with Boston, his decision to sign with the Marlins, and the reports that he had a falling out with Sox manager John Farrell this offseason.
Despite showing an interest in returning to Boston in 2014, Saltalamacchia ultimately signed a three-year, $21 million contract with the Marlins on Dec. 3.
“It’s real tough. You don’t want to just go to different teams, regardless of if its free agency, trades, it doesn’t matter,” Saltalamacchia said. “You don’t want to continue to move around, especially if you’ve got a wife and kids. … I was upset. I was trying to get something done with [Boston] for a couple of years now. I was open to negotiations during the season [and] spring training. It didn’t matter.
“But, they just wanted to wait, and I kind of had no choice but to test the free agent market, and unfortunately I’m not coming back, but I get a chance to go and be with a lot of young, good pitchers that are really just starting to begin their careers, and it’s going to be exciting to be a part of it.”
A sticking point in the negotiations reportedly was the length of the contract, as Boston has shown to be hesitant in signing catchers to long-term deals with prospects such as Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart in the minor leagues.
I was open to two years as well, but obviously, as a player, you want to have that stability,” Saltalamacchia said, adding: “Three years is big. You don’t want to have to go back into the free agent market after two years. … It had something to do with it, but ultimately it was a decision that me and my family had to make.”
There was a report that Saltalamacchia developed a strained relationship with manager John Farrell, who chose to give David Ross more action in the World Series. Saltalamacchia said it’s not true that he had not been in touch with Farrell after the season.
“I don’t think so,” Saltalamacchia said. “He texted me probably two weeks or a week into the offseason. … I don’t feel like we did any less talking than we did during the season or during the offseason last year. I don’t think that’s too accurate.”
A.J. Pierzynski is expected to take over behind the plate for the Red Sox in 2014 after signing a one-year deal last week. Pierzynski, who turns 37 later this month, hit .270 with 17 home runs in 134 games with the Rangers in 2013.
“I respect the heck out of A.J. That’s a guy who, on the other side, you hate him obviously because he’s such a competitor and you’re like, ‘Man, that guy just gets on your nerves or whatever,’ but up until I actually met him for the first time, it’s like a lot of players you watch on the other side, you don’t feel the same way until you meet the guy, and then you’re like, ‘Wow, I was completely wrong,’ and that’s how A.J. is to me,” Saltalamacchia said.
Added Saltalamacchia: “No matter what you say about the guy, he’s out there playing his 130-140 games every year. … The guy goes out there and plays and gives it everything he’s got.”
|World Series media roundup: New York paper tabs David Ortiz ‘the current Mr. October’||10.31.13 at 10:46 am ET|
It would be an understatement to say that David Ortiz has been an integral piece of the Red Sox’ dominance over the last decade.
Ever since he was signed by Boston on Jan. 22, 2003, Ortiz has been part of a franchise that has collected three World Series championships. Ortiz also has collected his fair share of individual accolades, as he’s been named to the All Star Game nine times with Boston while also earning the 2004 ALCS MVP and, Wednesday night, the 2013 World Series MVP.
While Ortiz has earned the admiration of millions of Sox fans, even the New York media is beginning to give the Boston designated hitter the respect he deserves in the aftermath of Boston’s improbable run to the franchise’s eighth World Series title.
The New York Post’s Ken Davidoff penned a piece describing Ortiz as “the current Mr. October.”
Ortiz finished off his third Fall Classic with an incredible line of .688/.760/1.188. In his World Series career, Ortiz is hitting an astounding .454 (20-for-44), the best batting average for a player with over 5o plate appearances in the series.
• The New York Times’ Tyler Kepner kept up the New York sportswriters’ appreciation of the Sox organization, as he wrote an article praising the team’s quick turnaround from last place in the division in 2012 to World Series champions just a year later.
Kepner praised general manager Ben Cherington‘s moves after clearing the Sox clubhouse of players such as Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford in a 2012 deal with the Dodgers. With over $270 million saved with that blockbuster move, Cherington used the team’s financial flexibility to sign players such as Jonny Gomes, Shane Victorino, David Ross, Mike Napoli and Koji Uehara, each of whom made major contributions to the team this season.
• The Huffington Post chose to cover the celebrations going on outside of Fenway Park, as thousands of excited fans immediately rushed to the Boston Marathon finish line on Boylston Street to revel in the Sox victory.
More fans likely will line Boylston in the coming days, as the Red Sox’ “rolling rally” parade will take place on Saturday.
|World Series media roundup: Criticism centered on Mike Matheny, Cardinals lineup||10.29.13 at 2:15 pm ET|
After being handed two decisive losses at the hands of the Red Sox in Busch Stadium, the Cardinals are facing a hefty amount of criticism from both local and national media. With the Cards on the brink of elimination and tasked with trying to win two straight games at Fenway Park, St. Louis’ outlook certainly doesn’t look very favorable .
The last time a visiting team was down 3-2 in the Fall Classic and won the final two contests at an opposing ballpark was back in 1979, when the Pirates defeated the Orioles for their fifth World Series title.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has drawn the ire of the media over the last few days for some of his questionable moves regarding the handling of the St. Louis lineup and bullpen.
NBCSports.com’s Matthew Pouliot expressed these thoughts about Matheny in one of his latest articles, as he criticized the second-year manager for batting Shane Robinson second in the order in Game 5 while leaving the talented but hobbled Allen Craig batting sixth.
Pouliot also took issue with Matheny deciding to leave Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright in during the seventh inning Monday night. Despite the fact that Wainwright was already approaching 100 pitches, Matheny did not have anyone warmed up in the St. Louis bullpen.
By the time Matheny finally elected to go with Carlos Martinez, the damage had already been done, as the tiring Wainwright surrendered two runs to give the Sox a 3-1 lead that they would never relinquish.
• The Cardinals lineup, which finished first in the NL this season with 783 run scored, has received flak from the St. Louis media, as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Joe Strauss wrote a piece addressing the team’s anemic offense this postseason.
|David Ortiz wasn’t expecting another World Series sweep||10.25.13 at 1:41 pm ET|
Following the first loss of his career in 10 World Series games, David Ortiz was not shocked or surprised.
The slugger, who belted his 16th postseason home run and second of this World Series, did not come into this series expecting another World Series sweep.
In 2004, the Red Sox never trailed in beating the Cardinals in four straight. In 2007, they trailed for just the first three inning of Game 2 before sweeping away the Rockies.
And after an 8-1 laugher in Game 1, a victory that ran Boston’s World Series win streak to nine, some might have thought that another Series sweep might be in order. This thinking was only reinforced when the Cardinals looked intimidated on the big stage of Fenway Wednesday night.
Ortiz belted a two-run homer off Michael Wacha in the sixth for a 2-1 lead. “Changeup that stayed up,” Ortiz explained. “You’ve got to try and not miss it because you’ll probably not see another one. You go through the motion of the game and my at-bat before, he got me 3-0 and then he threw me changeups back-to-back so I got the idea he wasn’t trying to give in. Just go from there.”
If the Red Sox could be the 22-year-old wunderkind, they would be halfway home to another sweep.
But the Red Sox were the ones committing the miscues in the very next inning as the Cards scored three times. Then, the St. Louis bullpen of Carlos Martinez and Trevor Rosenthal shut the door in a 4-2 Cardinals win.
“Series is still going on. 1-1, even-Steven,” Ortiz said. “We have to go out there and play better than we did [Thursday]. There’s nothing you can do about it. The only time you can come in and do something about it is Saturday.
“It’s not a secret for anyone that they have great pitching,” Ortiz said. “When you are able to score some runs off these guys, you try to keep up with it.”
The way Ortiz looked at it after Game 2 is one loss is just one loss, even in the World Series.
“It’s part of the game, man,” he said. “Nobody can dictate that you’re going to win four straight games every time you go out there in the World Series. This is baseball. You’re playing against the best team in the National League so anything is expected.”
|Adam Wainwright: ‘I didn’t show [Red Sox] anything’||10.24.13 at 12:10 pm ET|
Adam Wainwright believes in looking for positives after he and his Cardinals teammates were shellshocked in an 8-1 loss to the Red Sox in Game 1 of the World Series.
Wainwright, who was dominant in two wins over the Pirates in the NLDS, allowed five runs – three earned over five innings Wednesday night at Fenway. But it was how shaky the ace looked on the Fenway mound that left the most jarring impression among the millions watching.
Nothing symbolized the night Wainright had then when he let Stephen Drew‘s pop up fall in front of him in the second inning after calling off his catcher, Yadier Molina.
“That’s my ball. I called it,” Wainwright said. “Then I waited for someone else to take charge and that’s not the way you play baseball, completely my error.”
From the walk he issued to Jacoby Ellsbury, the first batter he faced, the right-hander knew he didn’t have it. It set the stage for a nightmarish first inning, featuring the first of two errors from Pete Kozma.
“It was difficult from the first pitch on, unfortunately,” Wainwright said. “My delivery was completely out of sync from the start. Very uncharacteristically I was unable to make an adjustment on the fly. Next time will be different. I’m very confident in this team to get me back the ball again. The good thing about the start is I didn’t show them anything I had. Everything I threw was pretty garbage. They didn’t really see much out of me.
“Felt very out of sync tonight, unfortunately. It’s something that usually I can make adjustments on the fly a lot quicker than I did tonight. It’s pretty disappointing to do that on this stage.”
While acknowledging just how good the Red Sox are at working counts, Wainwright was downright disgusted that he didn’t make life harder on the Boston lineup. He promised that things will be different again the next time, a next time he’s confident will come for him in this World Series.
“I pointed out quite of few things in my delivery that were close to being horrible and I’ll make some adjustments and be ready for the next start,” Wainwright said.
“I didn’t make it real tough on them, to be honest with you. I threw a lot of balls out of the zone, no contest pitches and a lot of pitches up in the zone for them to hit. It’s kind of a perfect storm of pitching right there. Leave balls up and throw balls wildly out of the zone where they can’t offer or leave balls over the middle, you’re going to get hit.”
Wainwright’s confidence going forward is based in the Game 2 starter, rookie Michael Wacha, who is 3-0 with a 0.43 ERA in three postseason starts this month.
“I’m very confident in Mikey. We all believe in his ability. We all know and trust what he can do out there. He’s done it all postseason long. He doesn’t need to do anything different. He’s been great thus far just being himself and that’s what we expect [Thursday].”
|Mary J. Blige, flyover get 2013 World Series off to roaring start at Fenway Park||10.23.13 at 8:46 pm ET|
|Ben Cherington on D&C: Everyone in Red Sox clubhouse ‘understands that this is about something bigger than themselves’||09.12.13 at 11:27 am ET|
Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington joined Dennis & Callahan on Thursday morning and discussed his team’s clubhouse atmosphere, Mike Carp‘s role on the team, and how the team’s medical staff handled Clay Buchholz‘s injury.
The Red Sox, who hold a 9½-game lead over the Rays in the AL East, have had been boosted all season by a strong clubhouse atmosphere, which Cherington said is due to all of the Boston players focusing on one goal: a chance at a World Series title.
“I think it has a little something to do with the guys, certainly, something to do with doing well, and obviously a lot of the moves that John [Farrell] has made have worked, that helps. And then something to do with the time of year we’re in,” Cherington said. “I think it’s just, right now, everyone in that clubhouse understands that this is about something bigger than themselves. It’s about team. There are other times where it would be appropriate to sort of think more about personal goals and priorities, but right now, that’s just not the time. And everyone knows that.”
One player who has fit into this team-first mentality has been Carp, who has hit .314 with nine home runs and 37 RBIs despite being limited to a backup role, playing in only 74 games.
“I think anybody that is a good hitter and a good player in the big leagues wants to play. These are competitive guys and they want to be in there. But I think on this team, Mike walked into this team in spring training … and I think he recognized the role that he was going to be in on this particular team and he’s accepted it and to his credit, has done really, really well,” Cherington said. “It doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to play more. I’m sure, down the road, that’s something that he wants to do. But right now he’s just been ideal in that role.”
Cherington also talked about closer Koji Uehara and how important he’s been to the team this season, especially with injuries to relievers such as Andrew Bailey and Joel Hanrahan.
“Thankfully, we were able to sign Koji,” Cherington said. “There were some people in the organization that were really really pushing to sign Koji, even though at the time it didn’t seem like maybe it was the biggest need on the team. We just felt like he was such a good fit and had such a sort of unique skill that it made sense.”
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