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Mike Petraglia, Alex Speier on Larry Lucchino, Red Sox, Yankees 02.21.14 at 5:38 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Alex Speier go in-depth, breaking down the address of Red Sox President/CEO Larry Lucchino to reporters on Friday at spring training. Lucchino said the Red Sox and New York Yankees are “different animals” while insisting he wants to keep David Ortiz but doesn’t want to become MLB Commissioner after Bud Selig.

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John Farrell notes on Day 5 of spring training: Chris Capuano provides pitching flexibility at 2:42 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — Chris Capuano can start making his case Saturday for a role on the Red Sox pitching staff.

What exactly that role will be is far from certain, as Red Sox manager John Farrell made clear Friday after the second day of full-squad workouts.

“€œWe don’€™t want to limit it,”€ Farrell said of Capuano’s versatility. “€œWhen he switched to the bullpen last year with the Dodgers there was very good performance, and that’€™s the one thing that attracted us to him, in addition to the experience as a starter.

“€œWe don’€™t anticipate once he joins us that it would be too long before he jumps into the rotation of work here.”

Farrell added that Capuano has been throwing regular bullpen sessions in preparation for spring training, conditioning that made the 35-year-old lefty native of West Springfield, Mass. very attractive to the Red Sox. Farrell said Capuano is expected to join the team Saturday for workouts, despite the fact the team had yet (as of Farrell’s media session) to officially announcing his signing.

“By all accounts he’€™s traveling here and will join camp,”€ Farrell said after Friday’€™s workouts.

The team has reportedly agreed to a major league deal with the veteran for $2.25 million, pending a physical. He has spent the first nine seasons of his big league career in the National League, including the last two with the Dodgers.

“€œExperience of both starting and pitching out of the bullpen,” Farrell said of Capuano, who was 4-7 with a 4.26 ERA in 20 starts last season with the Dodgers. “He clearly gives us a depth starter if that need were to arise, but at the moment, all things considered, he would pitch out of the bullpen for us.”

The Red Sox had success last year stretching out Brandon Workman during the season to make several spot starts. He figures to be in the mix again for that same role should the need arise, along with righthander Allen Webster, who started seven games for the Red Sox in 2013.

If Capuano begins the season in relief, the Red Sox will have three southpaws in the bullpen, with Craig Breslow and Andrew Miller.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Mike Petraglia, Alex Speier on John Farrell, Ben Cherington, Tom Werner and Day 4 of 2014 Spring Training 02.20.14 at 6:09 pm ET
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John Farrell speaks to his world champions and reminds them of ‘today’ message at 5:03 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — Chuck Noll had a motto he liked to tell his Pittsburgh Steelers after they won a Super Bowl in the 1970s – “be tomorrow people.” Don’t be content with past accomplishments. Push forward and be driven to succeed.

John Farrell, trying to get his Red Sox to similarly repeat as world champions, had a different take Thursday on a similar theme as he addressed the team before the first full-squad workout of 2014 spring training.

“It’s to get back to a mindset that was the first day of spring training last year, and not the most recent memory, which was a great one but to recognize that there was a lot of work, a journey that went into getting that final out recorded at Fenway,” Farrell said.

“I think as you’ve been around the guys since they’ve reported, the conversation, the is about what we do today and not what’s happened previous. In a nutshell, that was probably the overall message.”

Like Noll, Farrell says he doesn’t have to worry too much about complacency because of the makeup of his clubhouse.

“No, and we talked about that in the meeting because of what of them now as people in our uniform for a full year, they’re driven by what a team can accomplish, not by what a personal achievement might represent and they’re bonded together forever by an incredible year last year,” Farrell said. “And they’re hungry to do something similar to that this year.”

Ownership, led by John Henry and Tom Werner, was on hand for the meeting and they had a chance to speak.

“If you’re able to hear the number of people speak, there was some common thread to the messages,” Farrell relayed. “There was an overall sign of unity. I think in a word, there was a tremendous amount of trust from top to bottom.”

Did players speak?

“No, nope,” Farrell said. “They had some comments but they weren’t up speaking.”

With a World Series title under his belt, Farrell knows how different the backdrop might be 12 months removed from his first speech but what he noticed Thursday were the similarities, starting with friendly faces.

“That’s the probably the biggest thing, the familiarity,” Farrell said. “It’s knowing your picking up relationship with individuals that have had a timeout from the offseason but no less than important to continue to work to build their trust each and every day.”

As for the first full day of workouts, Farrell said he was pleased.

“More than anything, first full day, it was good to see everybody out on the field,” Farrell said. “Full compliment of the roster. Encouraged by the first bullpen of Jake Peavy today. Overall, a solid day.”

“It was really his first bullpen but the fact that he’s back in the flow of things. He was held out because of some discomfort in that hand, and that’s not there so that’s a good thing. He’ll probably need a couple of more bullpens before we get to BP. I can’t say that it’s going to have a real long delay for his first outing in camp. There’s still plenty of time to get him up to the appropriate number of pitches to start the season.”

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Tom Werner: Jenny Dell, NESN ‘moving on’ from each other at 11:25 am ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Jenny Dell saga is coming to an end on NESN.

Red Sox chairman Tom Werner, who oversees all of NESN’s on-air operations, acknowledged Thursday morning that Dell has decided to pursue other opportunities outside of the sports cable franchise after she and Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks acknowledged on New Year’s Eve that they were in a relationship.

There was immediately much speculation that Dell and NESN would and should part ways.

Dell was taken off the Red Sox beat by NESN in January. On Thursday, Werner broke the news that Dell, despite still working for the company, would prefer to get a job somewhere else.

“I think that we talked about it internally because I think Jenny is a terrific reporter,” Werner said. “I think we came to the conclusion, and Jenny came to the same conclusion, that it would be a distraction for her to be a reporter. So, she’s moving on.

“It wasn’t sort of a black-and-white decision because [she could] divorce her personal life from being a professional. But we decided that in the end it would be better to move on and not have it be a distraction. She’s looking for other opportunities. Nothing’s been set but I think she’s looking for other opportunities. We’ve offered her other positions at NESN, whether she wanted to be an anchor or on an evening show or do other stuff.

Dell was hired before the 2012 season to replace Heidi Watney as the team’s sideline reporter, covering the team on NESN for the entire season. Werner was asked if Dell is free and clear of any contractual obligations.

“Yes, she is,” Werner replied.

As for another NESN talent, Werner said the team is welcoming back Jerry Remy with open arms. Remy, who will return to broadcasts this spring, took a leave of absence from the team in mid-August last year and did not return after his son Jared was charged with murdering his girlfriend, and mother of his child, in Waltham.

“What we said to Jerry at the time was that we just offered him our support after the tragedy,” Werner said. “We said to him, ‘There’s a place for you if and when you come back. This is going to be a very personal decision but you have a home here at NESN if and when you feel it’s appropriate to come back.’ We’re delighted he’s back. I know that he’s very mindful of the tragedy but I think he’s excited about returning to the booth.”

Here are some of the other relevant takeaways from Thursday’s Q&A with Werner:

  • On the significance NESN, in light of the $250 million annually generated by the Dodgers TV network and the fact that the Yankees recently sold 80 percent of the YES Network to FOX: “I think that as an industry, the strength of regional sports networks is pretty clear. With so many channels, the one thing about sports in general is that it’s live. I think 97 percent of the people who watch sports, watch it live. That’s very valuable to advertisers, that’s very valuable obviously to networks that broadcast it. Our relationship as an organizaton is stronger because of our relationship with NESN. I think it allows us to focus on Red Sox games, Red Sox, even when it’s the offseason. I don’t think we’d be as strong a baseball club without the partnership with NESN.”
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    Daniel Nava: ‘I don’t care if I hit ninth, it doesn’t matter’ at 10:43 am ET
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    Daniel Nava is hoping to follow up on a breakout season in 2013. (AP)

    Daniel Nava is hoping to follow up on a breakout season in 2013. (AP)

    FORT MYERS, Fla. — With all of the speculation and talk concerning the leadoff spot in the order, Daniel Nava was mentioned as a potential candidate by manager John Farrell recently.

    Farrell clarified his position on Wednesday, saying the job of batting at the top of the order is still under consideration, with Jonny Gomes possibly getting a look because of his on-base numbers against left-handed pitching.

    Since joining the Red Sox in 2010, Nava (who turns 31 on Saturday) has grown accustomed to sitting back and letting things play out on their own and then going about his own business, not worrying about things he can’t control.

    “I’m not going to change my approach because I think my approach is kind of similar to what a leadoff guy is,” Nava said Thursday, before hitting the field for the team’s first full-squad workout. “Obviously, the first time around, that’s where you’re a leadoff hitter and after that the situation dictates what kind of at-bat you take. I’ve been there before. If they want me to do that, then whatever they need.

    “I’m pretty comfortable. It’s the only only organization I know so hopefully, five or six years in, I would feel comfortable. The Red Sox do a great job of [mixing in] the minors with the big leagues and letting you feel as if you’re part of an organization and a team, and that’s what I feel pretty grateful that I’ve experienced.”

    In 2013, the switch-hitting Nava had a very impressive .411 OBP in 120 games against right-handed pitching, and for his career that mark stands at .390. Nava, one of the most humble players on the team, poked fun at his stature (5-foot-11) and his lack of eye-popping speed.

    “I’ve got to get faster. I’ve got one of those two things,” Nava said of his small size but lack of blazing speed. “I’m little. Carlos Pena was a leadoff guy and he hits home runs. Certainly, there’s a little more room for flexibility. If that’s where they want me to hit in the lineup, as long as I’m in the lineup, it’s good for me. I don’t care if I hit ninth, it doesn’t matter.”

    Nava did start eight games last year in the leadoff spot but more often he hit fifth or sixth, with 77 of his starts coming in the middle of the order.

    Farrell said Wednesday that he is now more likely to consider keeping Nava in the 5-hole this season

    While Nava would certainly be a candidate from the left side of the plate against righthanders, Farrell opened the door Wednesday to the possibility of Jonny Gomes (.377 career OBP vs. LHP) as a leadoff hitter against lefties.

    Whatever happens, Nava said the main objective is to move on to 2014.

    “I think a lot of us look to last year as something we can draw upon but last year is last year and it’s time to move on; 2014 is right here, it’s upon us, 2013 was great but it’s time to look at 2014 and that’s obviously why we’re here,” Nava said.

    “I think a lot of guys are excited because it’s a new year and there’s a lot of things [new]. There’s been some turnover but I think there a bunch of guys who are excited to see how it’s going to play out together as a team, and that’s kind of where we were last year with walking on the field with new guys [wondering] what’s going to happen. I think it’s good though. It’s a positive thing. It’s not snowing.”

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    Mike Petraglia, Alex Speier talk David Ortiz and John Henry and whether a deal gets done 02.19.14 at 5:29 pm ET
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    FORT MYERS, Fla. — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Alex Speier address the significance of David Ortiz‘s press conference on Wednesday at JetBlue Park and whether or not Red Sox principal owner John Henry can get an extension done with his slugger by the end of camp.

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