|Dave Dombrowski on Kirk & Callahan: John Farrell’s job was never in jeopardy last season||02.23.17 at 9:38 am ET|
Dave Dombrowski joins us now live from JetBlue Park! pic.twitter.com/a3SM6vtjDd
— Kirk and Callahan (@KirkAndCallahan) February 23, 2017
At various points last season, there were questions about whether Red Sox manager John Farrell was on the brink of losing his job. But president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said on Kirk & Callahan Thursday the thought didn’t cross his mind.
“I don’t think we were ever in that spot. We had a good consistent season,” he said from JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Fla. “I don’t think we lost more than three games in a row at any point last year. I think last year our club played well, we played solidly, we won 93 games. So no, not at all.”
When Dombrowski announced last October Farrell would return to the club in 2017, he said in-game strategy isn’t the most important job for a manager. He reiterated that claim in his conversation with K&C.
“I think an example of the most important part is your ability –– and I always tell mangers this, I’ve talked to Leyland, La Russa –– [your] ability to get your players to play up to their capabilities on a consistent basis is the most important part for a manager,” Dombrowski said. “Now, you just can’t be motivational also. You have to be a lot of other things, but your players coming in and playing hard on a consistent basis, having the respect of the players is extremely important for a manager. Having control of the clubhouse, communication skills. There’s just so many things that make up a good manager to me in today’s world.”
Even though Dombrowski doesn’t put in-game managing at the top of his list, it doesn’t mean he thinks Farrell is incapable of making sound strategic decisions. He says he has full confidence in Farrell’s abilities.
“I think he is a good in-game manager,” Dombrowski said. “It’s interesting people talk about that. I always say, point to examples. But the realty is, you start with the pitching staff. He handles the pitching staff very well. He’s, I think, very well-regarded in the industry at handling the pitchers. He’s got a good pulse of his bullpen, how guys should be used, when they should not be used. From an offensive perspective, I think in our league, the reality is that you don’t do a lot of maneuvering during games very often. You’re really in a spot with the DH where you keep your guys out there most of the time. It’s really a determination most of the time when somebody needs rest or somebody needs a day off. And then if you point to, well, somebody –– I hear often, well, somebody is a good in-game manager from an offensive perspective. We led the league in runs scored by 101 last year. I’m not saying he’s the reason behind that, because the hitters are very involved and the main reason. But I think the reality is, he does a fine job.”
|Chris Sale on Kirk & Callahan: Media distractions are ‘just a bunch of crap’||02.22.17 at 9:14 am ET|
— Kirk and Callahan (@KirkAndCallahan) February 22, 2017
It’s apparent that Chris Sale has the right attitude to not just play in Boston, but flourish.
In an interview with Kirk & Callahan Wednesday from Red Sox spring training in Fort Myers, Florida., the southpaw said he’s unfazed by the pressure that comes with stepping inside Fenway Park on a nightly basis.
“It’s just a bunch of crap,” Sale said. “Working hard, being a good teammate and leaving it all out there when I’m out there. Those are the important things. It’s not this [or] that stat, this year [or] that year, or anything else. It’s about winning games and being a good teammate.”
While it’s been a drama-free camp so far for the Red Sox, Sale caused quite a stir with the White Sox last year. He was involved in a number of controversies, including an incident in which he cut up the team’s throwback jerseys prior to a game in July. Sale also feuded with White Sox management over whether Adam LaRoche’s teenage son would be permitted to hang around the team on a daily basis.
Though those issues may have expedited Sale’s departure from Chicago –– there are two years left on his contract –– he says the media exaggerated them.
“That’s another thing that I think gets blown out of proportion a little bit. I was there for, what, seven years, and there were maybe two or three incidents,” he said. “I think people make it out like we were at the Royal Rumble and boxing gloves were the next step. It was nothing like that, it couldn’t have been further from that. It’s just one of those things when you’re passionate about something and you have drive and you care a lot, stuff like that is going to happen.”
The Red Sox traded two of their top prospects, infielder Yoan Moncada and flamethrower Michael Kopech, to acquire Sale this offseason. He says the steep price the Red Sox paid to bring him aboard only further motives him to produce on the field.
“When someone makes a move like that, and they put all of their marbles out there, it’s exciting,” Sale said. “They put a lot on the line to get me here, and I’m very appreciative of that. I want to try to do everything I can to help this team get to the championship, get to the postseason, get to the World Series and win it. I’ve said it before: this was one of the best teams in the league without me. So I’m just here to help them push through and get over that hump.”
Despite finishing in the top 10 in Cy Young voting in each of the last five years, Sale has never pitched in the postseason. His performance on the mound will ultimately dictate whether the Red Sox play in October, but right now, he’s saying all of the right things.
|David Ortiz might join Red Sox broadcast team this season||02.21.17 at 12:12 pm ET|
There are two ways to interpret David Ortiz’s beach selfie from over the weekend: Either the slugger is enjoying his retirement, or he misses baseball dearly and wants affirmation that he made the right decision to walk away. Regardless, Ortiz will be around Fenway Park this season –– and may announce some of the action on the field as well.
In an interview with Boston Herald Radio Tuesday, Red Sox president Sam Kennedy said there’s a chance Ortiz will show up in the broadcast booth sometime in 2017.
“It’ll be fun to watch the next stage of his career,” Kennedy said. “He’s got a lot of different interests. Broadcasting is certainly one. It’d be interesting to see if he goes into national broadcasting. We’d certainly love to have him part of our local broadcast team on a limited basis. He wanted to dip his toe into that water.”
Ortiz has been a part of Fox’s postseason broadcasts in the past, most recently during the 2014 World Series. His former teammates, Pedro Martinez and Kevin Millar, have carved out lucrative television careers with the MLB Network and TBS, respectively. Earlier this year, Ortiz reportedly met with the Red Sox to discuss joining the NESN team.
The Red Sox will retire Ortiz’s No. 34 on June 23.
|David Ortiz bids a tearful, emotional farewell on Fenway Park mound after Game 3||10.10.16 at 10:52 pm ET|
With the crowd calling for one final encore after the Red Sox were eliminated by the Indians, 4-3, in Game 3 Monday night at Fenway Park, David Ortiz made his way up the dugout steps and spent two minutes waving goodbye to his adoring fans.
Most fans who turned out on the chilly October night at Fenway chanted “Papi, Papi, Papi” in an effort to get him to come out after Travis Shaw flew out to end the game and the career of the legendary Red Sox slugger.
Ortiz didn’t disappoint as he waved and eventually became teary-eyed, doffing his cap to the crowd. He had the chance to speak to the crowd but instead allowed his appearance and his gesture speak for itself.
David Ortiz leaves the game with three World Series titles and one World Series MVP (2013).
|Report: MLB investigating whether Padres shared all medicals with Red Sox during Drew Pomeranz trade||08.05.16 at 7:29 pm ET|
Major League Baseball is investigating whether the San Diego Padres shared all relevant medical information on Drew Pomeranz with the Red Sox before dealing him to Boston for top pitching prospect Anderson Espinoza, according to a report on ESPN.com.
The story says MLB is taking a look at that deal, as well as another made with the Marlins that resulted in injured starter Colin Rea being returned to San Diego after just four innings in Miami because of an injury.
The story goes on to say the Red Sox do not plan to seek any reparations from the Padres, nor do they plan to try to reverse the deal for Pomeranz, who is winless in four starts with Boston. On Thursday, he took a no-decision in a 3-2 win over the Mariners, walking a career-high six batters.
The report also says the Red Sox have become aware of “medical information with Pomeranz” that was not properly disclosed before the trade.
|Trade deadline roundup: Reds OF Jay Bruce appears likely to be traded; Brewers C Jonathan Lucroy remains on market||08.01.16 at 9:57 am ET|
Here are some of the top rumors around MLB as Monday afternoon’s trade deadline approaches.
— It looks like Reds outfielder Jay Bruce will be moved before the deadline. According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Reds have made an agreement with a National League team to trade the three-time All-Star. The Giants and Mets seem to be the top teams making a push for Bruce, with the Indians, Dodgers and Rangers showing interest as well. Nightengale, however, says the Dodgers are not the team that the Reds have an agreement with.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) August 1, 2016
Bruce, 29, has spent all nine of his major league seasons with the Reds. He is slashing .265/.316/.559 in 97 games this season.
— Besides pushing for Bruce, the Giants also have expressed interest in Tampa Bay pitcher Matt Moore, according to several reports. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports indicated that it is unknown whether San Francisco has the right prospects to make a deal. Moore, 27, is 7-7 with a 4.08 ERA in 21 starts.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 1, 2016
— After vetoing a trade to the Indians, Brewers All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy remains on the market. He likely will be traded before the deadline, most probably to the Rangers, according to Rosenthal. Texas infielder Joey Gallo could be part of a package to acquire Lucroy, who is batting .299 with the Brewers.
|American League wins All-Star Game, David Ortiz goes hitless in final appearance||07.12.16 at 11:27 pm ET|
The Red Sox made their impact on the All-Star Game, but there were no final fireworks for David Ortiz.
The retiring Red Sox legend went 0-for-1 with a walk in his final All-Star appearance, with the real heroics reserved for a pair of Kansas City Royals.
Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez ripped homers three batters apart in the second inning to account for three of the American League’s runs in a 4-2 victory over the NL that ensures home field advantage for the AL in the World Series.
Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts scored ahead of Perez’s homer after singling in the second. Teammate Xander Bogaerts went 1-for-2 with a double in the third off of NL reliever Jose Fernandez, while Jackie Bradley Jr. recorded a pair of hits without making overwhelming contact — he beat out a swinging bunt in the second and rolled a broken-bat single to left in the fourth.
The NL jumped to a 1-0 lead on a homer by Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant in the first. The AL took the lead in the second on Hosmer’s solo homer and Perez’s two-run shot, and scored another in the third on a Hosmer single after Bogaerts had doubled Edwin Encarnacion to third. The AL had a chance for more, but Betts grounded into an inning-ending double play.
The NL got a run back in the fourth on an RBI single by Miami’s Marcell Ozuna. Its best chance to take the lead came in the eighth, when it loaded the bases on two singles and a walk against Yankees reliever Andrew Miller, but Houston’s Will Harris came on to strike out Cardinals infielder Aledmys Diaz looking on a full count to escape the threat.
The Ted Williams MVP Award was given to Hosmer.
|John Farrell excited to see David Price ‘beginning his career here in Boston’||04.11.16 at 1:36 pm ET|
Red Sox manager John Farrell says he’s excited for David Price to make his Fenway debut and to see the team back in Boston after a 3-2 start.
“We’re looking forward to David beginning his career here in Boston in our uniform,” Farrell said. “We’re hopeful that he’s got the same type of performance [in him] that he had in Cleveland last week.
“Our guys are excited to be back off this road trip, which I think we swung the bats very well. We did a number of things very well as a team. And to get things kicked off here in Fenway in front of our fans is a special day.”
|Mookie Betts looks to join early-season Red Sox bash||at 1:09 pm ET|
The irony of the situation is not lost on John Farrell.
In the first four games, the Red Sox scored at least six runs before being shut out 3-0 Sunday in Toronto.
One of the few players not off to a great start is Mookie Betts, the player expected to be one of the most consistent table-setters at the top of the Red Sox order and one of the most trusted batters in the lineup.
Since going 2-for-5 in the season opener with a homer in the 6-2 win in Cleveland, Betts has just one hit in his next 18 at-bats with seven strikeouts. Betts is 3-for-23 (.130) with eight strikeouts, and has just one walk in 24 plate appearances.
It’s just five games into the season, so it’s hardly time for wholesale changes to one’s plate approach but what makes Farrell comfortable in leaving the team’s table-setter at the top of the order is Betts’ attitude.
“He’s not looking to change,” Farrell said. “He gets off to a good start and then he’s getting pitched to a little bit. Might have been expanding the zone on some at-bats.”
And a good home opener can always change one’s perspective. It was last year at Fenway against the Nationals that Betts exploded on the scene after experiencing a nearly identical start to this season. After five games, he was batting just .192 with seven strikeouts.
In that game against the Nationals, he homered, drove in four runs, stole two bases and robbed Bryce Harper of a home run in right-center. He finished the ’15 season batting .291 with 18 homers and 77 RBIs with an OPS of .820.
“He’s in the leadoff spot again here today,” Farrell said before Monday’s game with the Orioles, hoping perhaps for a repeat of the ’15 home opener.
|As Mike Napoli faces do-or-die Game 5, he thinks of 2013 Red Sox: ‘I’m reminded of it all the time’||10.12.15 at 9:05 pm ET|
The 33-year-old slugger traded Aug. 7 from the Red Sox to the Rangers for a player to be named will spend the next 48 hours reminding his Texas teammates that now is not a time to panic after blowing a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five ALDS series against Toronto.
What will Napoli be thinking of in the hours leading up to the winner-take-all Game 5 Wednesday afternoon at Rogers Centre in Toronto? Winning it all in 2013 with the Red Sox, naturally.
“Yeah, I’ve talked about it with them, what it was like and how much fun it can be,” Napoli told WEEI.com Monday after Toronto’s 8-4 win at Globe Life Park in Game 4. “I’m telling the young guys this is where you can get noticed and put yourself on the map.”
Napoli had his chance again Monday to put himself on the map like he did with a huge solo homer off Justin Verlander in Game 3 of the 2013 ALCS in Detroit. But this time, as a pinch-hitter for Josh Hamilton in the seventh inning, he grounded into a 4-6-3 double play against reliever David Price.
“Everyone’s watching so you just have to have fun with it,” Napoli added. “I told them there’s nothing like spraying champagne on each other after you win something. We got a little taste of it [with AL West title]. I think we’ll be ready for this game. It’s going to be a crazy atmosphere but we’ll be on the road and we’ll go out there and have a game plan and try to execute it.”
How much does he look back on 2013 at a moment like this and draw upon it?
“Always. I’m reminded of it all the time,” Napoli said. “I’ve got a replica trophy of it. It’s something that you can never forget and there are stories you can share with people about it is just something I like to do.”
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