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Kevin Millar on M&M: ‘That was a very, very low blow to David Ortiz from Dan Shaughnessy’ 05.24.13 at 12:47 pm ET
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Kevin Millar

MLB Network analyst Kevin Millar checked in with Mut & Merloni on Friday to talk about the Red Sox, who dropped a 12-3 decision to the Indians on Thursday night.

One of the topics Millar discussed was the recent controversy involving David Ortiz, who fielded questions about performance-enhancing drugs from Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy.

“That was a very, very low blow to David Ortiz from Dan Shaughnessy,” Millar said. “You can’t just throw out stuff. I know he’s got a job to do and create some story and everybody’s going to buy papers and Dan Shaughnessy got his name in the paper, and he does a good job at what he does. But let’s get something straight: This is one of the good guys in the game. Let’s stop with, if you have a bad year you’re off the juice; if you have a good year you’re on the juice.

“David Ortiz takes tests just like everybody else. He’s negative in his tests. So why do we have the audacity to throw this man’s name on Front Street because he came in after an injury and is on fire. That’s disturbing to me. That’s not fair. That’s why players put up a huge shield now to the media. That’s why at certain times players are jerks. Because you just can’t trust anybody.”

Added Millar: “David Ortiz is one of the good guys. … He’s a happy young man. And to go ahead and throw a dark cloud over him during a hitting streak and all of this success, it doesn’t make sense to me. There’s too much hate in this world.”

To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.

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Terry Francona on D&C: ‘I haven’t been in touch’ with Red Sox ownership 05.22.13 at 11:33 am ET
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Terry Francona

Former Red Sox and current Indians manager Terry Francona joined the Dennis & Callahan show Tuesday to talk about his first-place Indians, Dan Shaughnessy and some of the reaction to his book that was released in January.

One part of his book that caused a stir in Boston was the claim that the Red Sox owners did not care about baseball as much as they cared about making money. Francona said he has not had a chance to talk to the owners since the book release.

“I haven’t talked to them. I was kind of disappointed because I was expecting to talk to them. That was kind of where some of my frustrations came from,” he said. “It just kind of is what it is, using the Bill Belichick term. You deal with it and you move on. I haven’t been in touch with them. And I was disappointed; I wouldn’t have scripted the ending in Boston the way it happened.”

Francona went on to say that readers were possibly too focused on the negative things he had to say about the owners and did not pay much attention to the other positive things he had to say about them.

“I tried to be really honest,” he said. “I think people maybe want to take out what they want. I remember having people say things about when I said the owners don’t love the game. I made it in reference to me and how much I — this is my whole life. I also pointed out that they’re great owners. And at the same time I pointed out in the tough times like with the Jon Lester situation how their good side showed through. I don’t think people wanted to take it on the balance, they just wanted to look at some of the things that maybe were a little bit on the negative side and run with that, instead of taking it in its entirety.”

Francona also weighed in on Shaughnessy’s latest story to cause a stir in Boston, which involved him asking David Ortiz if performance-enhancing drugs could have been a part of how he got off to a fast start to the season. While Francona did not have a direct take on the situation, he said he understood where both sides were coming from.

“Dan has his job and he does it and he admits to being really good at being kind of that guy,” Francona said. “That is a part of him. I got to know him really well and I enjoyed it and it surprised me. I told him the first time I picked him up and we were driving in New York, and I said, ‘Hey, man, I don’t mind picking you up, but I’m tinting my windows.’ There was a lot of good give and take and it was healthy for me, but that doesn’t mean he’s not going to aggravate a player. I get that.”

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David Ortiz to Dan Shaughnessy: ‘Look who it is’ 05.11.13 at 6:03 pm ET
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As David Ortiz prepared to leave the Red Sox clubhouse after the team’s 3-2 loss to the Blue Jays, he did a double-take. The sight of Dan Shaughnessy, the Boston Globe columnist who confronted the slugger directly with suspicions about the possibility of his use of steroids, standing with a group of reporters, caught Ortiz’s attention.

“Look who it is,” Ortiz said.

He paused for a moment, then noted — loudly enough that all in the clubhouse were party to his address — that on the very day on which Shaughnessy interviewed him, he took a test for PEDs. Ortiz said he would be sure to pass along results of that test to the columnist. Ortiz became slightly more animated as he noted that he’d taken 40 tests administered by Major League Baseball.

“I’ve never tested positive,” Ortiz told the columnist, who had referenced the fact that the New York Times discovered in 2009 that the slugger had tested positive for a performance-enhancer in 2003 (at a time when a) there were no penalties for positive tests and b) test results were supposed to be anonymous).

When the report surfaced four years ago, Ortiz disputed that he had ever knowingly used PEDs, something that he mentioned anew to Shaughnessy as he walked towards the clubhouse door.

“By the way,” Ortiz said, “let me know what I tested positive for in 2003.”

As he spoke, while Ortiz was clearly upset, his tone remained relatively measured. He did not seek a response from Shaughnessy, nor did the columnist say anything while Ortiz spoke, though he did position himself to speak to Ortiz if the slugger wanted to do so.

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Larry Lucchino on D&C: Terry Francona’s perceptions ‘mischaracterized’ by Dan Shaughnessy 02.13.13 at 11:17 am ET
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Larry Lucchino

Red Sox president/CEO Larry Lucchino checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning, and much of the conversation centered on Terry Francona‘s book that paints Lucchino in an unflattering light.

Lucchino said he decided not to read the book — at least for now — and minimize his comments about it. Told that it doesn’t seem to be his nature to avoid addressing an issue like this, Lucchino responded: “Sometimes my nature doesn’t always lead me to the right place. But I think in this case it makes perfect sense.

“I certainly have heard a little bit about the book, so I know some of its themes. If I did read it, I would probably find that it’s even more disappointing than I’ve heard, that it’s highly selective. It’s history as translated and written by Dan Shaughnessy, so it gives a certain Shaughnessy twist to it — I think many of us know what that can mean.

“It seems that if I did read it, the probabilities of my making some intemperate remark or getting involved in some collateral discussion of it would prevent me from doing my job right now. I’ve got a full plate of things. The 2013 season is a demanding one and has been. The offseason’s been demanding and there’s a lot for us to do. I just don’t need — and I don’t think the franchise needs — a debate of what’s right and what’s wrong. As I said, it’s highly selective.”

Added Lucchino: “I’m not a bully. I don’t think I behave that way. You can talk to lots of people who will I think give you a slightly different impression.”

Lucchino acknowledged he was disappointed that some discussions he believed were private were referenced in the book, but he expressed a bigger concern with how Shaughnessy “mischaracterized” Francona’s perceptions.

“Certainly a lot of the things we talked about we did not anticipate would be the subject or be material for a book afterwards. That’s a little troubling,” Lucchino said. “But I have fond feelings for Tito. I have good memories about what happened. I understand that he left feeling a certain way about the organization and about us. But I believe he has said a whole number of positive things since then. And I just prefer not to get into a kind of discussion about how Dan Shaughnessy translated a lot of these things and characterized them — or in my view, mischaracterized them.

“I’ll give you an example: One of the themes of the book, I’m told, is that we care more about money than winning, we are more about marketing and ratings and money and the profits that will be generated from baseball than the winning. I think that’s silly. I think it’s wrong. Look at our track record. We’ve had the second- or third-highest payroll in baseball for years. We’ve won more games over our first decade than any team in baseball except the Yankees. Our payroll’s been higher than any team in baseball except the Yankees. We’ve reinvested not just into the ball team but into the ballpark, into scouting, player development. It seems to me that the body of work demonstrates that — and we have not taken one penny of profit distribution out of this club. Everything we’ve generated from these activities has been reinvested in the team, in the payroll, in the scouting, player development, amateur signings, foreign signings. We have taken the revenue that we have generated and put it back in this team, for the success of the team, the preservation of the ballpark. And I think that speaks for itself. I don’t need to be out there saying, ‘My goodness, we care more about winning than money.’ It should be self-evident. It should be clear from our track record.”

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Dustin Pedroia thinks Jacoby Ellsbury is ‘here to win,’ not worried about contract 02.12.13 at 9:47 am ET
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Dustin Pedroia

FORT MYERS, Fla. — In the wake of the awful 2012 season, Dustin Pedroia has no worries about the mindset of his teammates, including one that is set to become a free agent after this season.

Pedroia believes Jacoby Ellsbury will be completely focused on the Red Sox this season. That didn’t stop reporters from asking him if he’s at all concerned about Ellsbury’s commitment.

“No, he’s here to win,” Pedroia said. “I don’t think he’s showing up today worried about getting a contract extension or anything like that. He’s going to show up to help us win a ball game.

“He’s very important. We all know what he can do when he’s healthy. He’s had some bad-luck injuries, last year and a few years back. You all saw what he did the year in between that and it’s pretty special.”

(Click here to listen to Pedroia address reporters Tuesday morning in Fort Myers.)

Pedroia was, of course, referring to 2011, when Ellsbury batted .321 with 32 homers and 105 RBIs and finished second to Justin Verlander for AL MVP.

As for another teammate, Stephen Drew, Pedroia is looking forward to working with his new double-play partner. Pedroia, when he was at Arizona State, played against Drew when the shortstop was at Florida State.

“A little bit, yeah,” Pedroia said when asked how much he knows him. “He’ll be fine. He’s a great player. He’s got a lot of talent. Played against him in college and played with J.D. [Drew] for five years so I was always asking J.D. how he’s doing. So, we’ll have a great relationship. It’ll be fun.”

The funniest moment of the session came when Pedroia was asked if he heard about the $100,000 the Red Sox reportedly spent two years ago on a marketing firm that told the team they needed more “sexy” players like him on the roster.

“They didn’t didn’t need to hire a damn marketing team. I could have told them that for free,” Pedroia said. “It was all my friends. I don’t know, I just started laughing. Man, that’s pretty funny.”

With author Dan Shaughnessy standing to his left listening in, Pedroia was asked if he read the book of former Red Sox manager Terry Francona.

“No,” he laughed. “I have no time for that.”

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