|David Ortiz lending out locker to Torii Hunter’s son||11.20.15 at 7:52 am ET|
The pair go all the way back to the early 1990’s, when both were breaking into professional baseball with the Minnesota Twins. So it should be no surprise that when afforded the opportunity to make the son of his buddy feel at home this weekend, Ortiz jumped at the chance.
— Ryan Grooms (@NDFBEquipment) November 19, 2015
Torii Hunter Jr., a wide receiver for the Notre Dame football team, will be joining his Fighting Irish in taking on Boston College at Fenway Park Saturday night. He is afforded a spot in the home clubhouse/locker room, of course, because Notre Dame has been designated the host team.
|Source: David Ortiz decision didn’t alter Red Sox offseason plans||11.18.15 at 2:49 pm ET|
The assumption is that Hanley Ramirez, who is slated to play first base in ’16, will be sliding into the designated hitter spot once Ortiz retires. One school of thought was that the Red Sox might be more willing to not try and deal Ramirez knowing that his glove would only be needed potentially one more year.
There was also the possibility that the Red Sox might take advantage of the current market to get a jump start on replacing Ortiz in the lineup a year from now. One very outside the box scenario would have the Sox pursue free agent Chris Davis, who could play left field for a year before sliding to first in 2017. That doesn’t seem likely considering the organization’s unwillingness to sacrifice outfield defense for a second straight year.
If the Red Sox did feel the need to start an influx of offense, knowing their best hitter was in his last season, a trade could be made involving Jackie Bradley Jr. (who continues to draw significant interest throughout baseball) free up room for free agent outfielder Alex Gordon.
That could still very well be a scenario that unfolds, but if it does it won’t be in response to the Ortiz news.
If the Red Sox do wait until next offseason to replace Ortiz’s bat, Toronto’s Edwin Encaracion would figure to be a prime target. The first baseman is in the last year of his contract. The 32-year-old, who was a favorite of Sox manager John Farrell during the pair’s time together in Toronto, finished ’15 with a .929 OPS, marking the fourth straight season he has eclipsed .900.
In case you forgot, Ortiz had the seventh-best OPS in the American League (.913) along with 37 home runs. Mookie Betts was the only Red Sox regular to claim an OPS over more than .800, finishing at .823.
Rob Bradford, John Tomase and Mike Mutnansky gathered together in the WEEI studios Tuesday night to discuss all the Hot Stove news of the week, most notably David Ortiz‘s impending retirement. The guys also talked Craig Kimbrel, free agents starters and everything else Red Sox offseason in Week 3 of the Hot Stove Show.
|Report: David Ortiz retiring at end of 2016 season||11.17.15 at 1:01 pm ET|
Ortiz will turn 40 years old Wednesday (tomorrow) and next year will be his 20th year in the league.
The designated hitter’s contract kicked in for the 2016 season after he reached 425 plate appearances in 2015, which was part of the vesting option he signed back in 2014 when he signed his last contact. There was also a vesting option for 2017 based on 2016 plate appearances, but if the report is true, that will not come into play.
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
|Closing Time: Another home run for David Ortiz, but Indians cruise past Henry Owens, Red Sox||10.02.15 at 10:12 pm ET|
David Ortiz just keeps making history.
The Red Sox designated hitter isn’t letting age slow him, not by a long shot. On Friday night against the Indians, Ortiz blasted his 37th home run of the season, a two-run shot in the fourth that accounted for all of the Red Sox scoring in an 8-2 loss in Cleveland.
Ortiz had already become just the second player ever to hit 30 homers and drive in at least 100 runs at age 39 or later. Barry Bonds, who went 45-101 in 2004, is the other.
He simply added to those totals on Friday, with his season numbers now standing at 37 homers and 107 driven in. If Ortiz can hit three more home runs over the final two games of the season — a tall order, to be sure — he’ll join Bonds and Hank Aaron as the only 39-year-olds to hit 40 homers. He also needs six RBIs to tie Paul Molitor’s record for most RBIs (113) for a player 39 or older.
Ortiz wasn’t even necessarily supposed to play on Friday. A night earlier, interim manager Torey Lovullo had suggested that Ortiz wouldn’t play again this season. He certainly had nothing left to prove. But Ortiz had other ideas.
“It really wasn’t anything pressing, to be honest with you,” Lovullo told reporters in Cleveland before the game. “I just asked him how he felt, he said, ‘I’m ready to go.’ That was really it. Maybe I gave you guys the wrong impression, which I apologize for. All along, we were going to re-evaluate where he was at today and just talk it over and see how he felt.
“Obviously, he wants to play. The best part about David are the things nobody knows about. He wants to play for all the right reasons. He wants to play to win a game. He wants to play to do well. He wants to play to show his younger teammates that this is what a championship-style player does. It speaks volumes about his character, that he is here to play.”
The rest of the game didn’t go so well for the Red Sox or rookie left-hander Henry Owens, who got knocked around before being knocked out in the fifth. Owens allowed 10 hits and seven runs in 4 1/3 innings, walking four, striking out four, and struggling with his command.
Owens finishes his rookie campaign with a 4-4 record and 4.57 ERA.
The Indians put this one away with four in the third and three in the fifth. Carlos Santana struck the big blow, a three-run double with one out in the third.
With the loss, the Red Sox (78-82) are guaranteed to finish the season with a losing record.
|David Ortiz’s contract has worked out pretty well for all parties involved||09.28.15 at 6:50 am ET|
It was one seemingly innocuous at-bat. A simple first-inning fly ball to left field in Game No. 155.
But for David Ortiz it certainly held some significance.
The plate appearance was the 39-year-old’s 600th for his season, triggering the final stage of his option for 2016. By stepping to the plate for that first time Sunday afternoon against Baltimore starter Ubaldo Jimenez, Ortiz guaranteed himself that he would be making $16 million the following year.
“I earned my [expletive],” he said when notified of the milestone.
While making an extra million bucks in one day is nice — with his vesting option for ’16 having clicked in at 425 plate appearances and progressively going up at five checkpoints — what the moment symbolized meant just as much.
“When I signed my last contract I wanted the team to be happy. But the most important thing was that for all the people who talked [expletive] about me talking about a contract, I wanted them to shut the hell up, too. I did something so I could earn it,” he said. “Some people say the team always gives me things and I don’t earn it. I’ve heard people say I sound greedy when I talk about contracts. But it’s not greedy, it’s just the way it is.
“When you get older it’s not like you want to ask for anything crazy. Once you get to my age, it’s at a point where a player needs to earn things. You don’t know how your performance is going to be. So me and the team, we both did something we feel comfortable with.”
|Red Sox lineup: David Ortiz out, Dustin Pedroia DH in bullpen game vs. Orioles||09.26.15 at 12:35 pm ET|
A night after hitting three doubles, David Ortiz will get Saturday off in Game 2 of a weekend series against the Orioles. The Red Sox won in dramatic fashion Friday night when Rich Hill tossed a complete game, two-hit shutout.
Dustin Pedroia will be the designated hitter in his place as the Sox go up against O’s left-hander Wei-Yin Chen.
The Red Sox outfield will have Rusney Castillo in left, Jackie Bradley Jr. in center and Mookie Betts in right.
Blake Swihart will catch the bullpen game, with Craig Breslow getting the start.
Here is the complete lineup:
Mookie Betts, RF
Dustin Pedroia, DH
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Travis Shaw, 1B
Rusney Castillo, LF
Brock Holt, 3B
Josh Rutledge, 2B
Blake Swihart, C
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Craig Breslow, LHP
|Closing Time: Rich Hill’s complete game shutout leads Red Sox over Orioles||09.25.15 at 9:54 pm ET|
Two months ago Rich Hill was pitching in the Independent League and now the left-hander is pitching like the ace of a major league stuff.
Yes, the ace of a major league staff is a bit sarcastic, but the 35-year-old has been dominant in his three major league starts with the Red Sox this month. The latest came Friday night when he led the Red Sox to a 7-0 win over the Orioles.
Hill tossed a complete game, two-hit shutout to pick up his second win of the year. It was his second career complete game shutout, as his first came Sept. 16, 2006 against the Reds when he was with the Cubs.
“That was probably right up there,” Hill said if it was the most fun he’s had on a baseball field. “I can’t put a number on it, but that was a lot of fun. That was great.”
After allowing a leadoff single to open the game, Hill retired 16 straight batters before No. 9 batter Dariel Alvarez reached on an error by Hill when he overthrew first base on a grounder in front of the plate in the sixth. The second hit he allowed came to leadoff the ninth.
The left-hander also struck out 10, the third time in three starts he has done so this season. He has now allowed just three runs in 23 innings pitched this year. For his career he has a career ERA of 1.15 with the Red Sox, the lowest in club history (min. 25 IP).
He is the only AL pitcher in the last 100 years to record at least 10 strikeouts in each of his first three starts with a team. The only other Red Sox pitcher in the last 100 years to record 10 or more strikeouts and one or fewer walks in three straight starts at any point is Pedro Martinez in 1999.
“I’m older and I’ve been able to hone my skills I guess in the last five years and get stronger — get into a good lifting program and it’s a whole, big each piece of the pie kind of fits together and as I’ve gotten older I’ve been able to figure out the most efficient way that works for me to pitch,” Hill said. “This summer all the things fell into place and for me just really stay in that moment and make the pitch the best that I can.
Overall, when I was younger and starting, I don’t think I was as apt to understanding pitching as much as I thought I was. Now, as I’ve gotten older more of that has come along.”
Mookie Betts robbed Chris Davis of a home run to end the game with a leaping catch against the wall of the Red Sox bullpen.
The Red Sox gave Hill more than enough offense as they scored a run in the third on Xander Bogaerts’ double to left, which scored Betts, although Dustin Pedroia was thrown out at the plate trying to score from first to end the inning.
The Sox added another run in the fifth. Brock Holt led off with a walk. Sandy Leon sacrificed him over to second base and then he advanced to third on a groundout by Jackie Bradley Jr. and was able to score on a wild pitch.
|Closing Time: Wade Miley dominant early, struggles late to take loss vs. Rays||09.24.15 at 9:50 pm ET|
Through the first five innings Red Sox starter Wade Miley was cruising, but the third time through the order proved to be too much for the left-hander.
With the Red Sox leading 2-0, Miley got two outs in the sixth before Evan Longoria crushed a solo home run over everything in left. Logan Forsythe then singled and was driven in on a Asdrubal Cabrera double. Cabrera then scored as Steven Souza Jr. doubled, which gave the Rays a 3-2 lead.
Miley struggled in the seventh as well, with Kevin Kiermaier leading the inning off with a solo home run to right and then Luke Maile ripping a double, which ended Miley’s night.
The left-hander went 6 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits while walking one and striking out three.
The first two times through order Tampa batters went 2-for-17, but the third time they were 6-for-9 with two homers.
“I think tonight Wade was outstanding for the first two times through the order,” interim manager Torey Lovullo said. “Just started to make some mistakes over the middle of the plate. I’ve seen a couple of replays and he was trying to throw a ball in and missed middle. Trying to throw something soft and ended up in the middle of the plate.
“When you make mistakes like that against some of the good hitters that they have you’re going to pay for it. It was the middle of their lineup that did most of the damage — three, four and five got after us tonight. All in all I thought Wade threw the ball really good. It came down to a couple moments where he missed with those pitches and gave up some runs.”
|Red Sox put on show to celebrate David Ortiz’s 500th home run||09.21.15 at 7:53 pm ET|
“This is home. This is home. I wish I could’ve got it done here but it’s not that simple, that’s not how it works,” Ortiz said. “But I’m happy to be there, happy to be home and that the Red Sox having a ceremony for me.”
And when it rolled around, it didn’t appear he was disappointed in the aforementioned ceremony.
The first image of the celebration came with children wearing red shirts forming the number “500” in center field.
The 27th member of Major League Baseball‘s 500-home run club was presented with a variety of gifts, including custom-made boots from L.L. Bean (presented by third base coach Brian Butterfield, a Maine native), and a plaque commemorating his 500 homer, handed over by principal owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner and president/CEO Larry Lucchino.
The big gift, however, was driven in from center field — a fully-loaded luxury SUV. Adding to the surprise was the emergence of four of Ortiz’s former Red Sox teammates — Pedro Martinez, Tim Wakefield and Jason Varitek — from the car.
Varitek took the microphone to help introduce Ortiz, who let Martinez offer a spanish tribute before launching into his speech.
“I’m not much of a talker. Yeah, right,” Ortiz joked, leading off his minute-long speech.
“This organization gave me the opportunity to regroup, to build up my career,” he continued. “Definitely without you guys, the best fans in baseball, I would never get to this number.”
He finished his address by saying, “Let’s keep on hitting bombs.”
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