|Mookie Betts (MVP), Rick Porcello (Cy Young) named AL awards finalists; David Ortiz, John Farrell are not||11.07.16 at 7:27 pm ET|
Mookie Betts could win his first MVP award in just his second full season. David Ortiz now knows he will never take home that hardware.
Major League Baseball announced its award finalists on Monday night, and a pair of Red Sox were represented.
Betts was named a finalist for MVP, while right-hander Rick Porcello is in the running for the Cy Young Award.
Betts, 24, will be joined by former winner Mike Trout, who has finished no worse than second in four previous seasons, as well as Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, who won the batting title.
Those three squeezed out Ortiz, who finished his career with the greatest offensive walk-off season in history. Ortiz mashed 38 homers and drove in a league-leading 127 runs to claim the Hank Aaron Award, given to the best hitter in each league.
On the pitching side, Porcello is a finalist for the first time. He’ll be matched up with a pair of former winners — Cleveland’s Corey Kluber and Detroit’s Justin Verlander. Porcello led the league with 22 wins and a 5.91 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
On the manager side, Red Sox skipper John Farrell was not a finalist, beaten out by Cleveland’s Terry Francona, Baltimore’s Buck Showalter, and Texas’s Jeff Banister.
|JetBlue names gate No. 34 after David Ortiz at Logan Airport||11.05.16 at 3:28 pm ET|
At this rate, everything in Boston is eventually going to be named for David Ortiz.
According to the Associated Press, Gate No. 34 at Logan Airport will be renamed in Ortiz’s honor by JetBlue. The announcement was made by a JetBlue employee during a party honoring the retired star in the Seaport District on Friday.
‘”You mean I’m going to have my own gate at the airport?” Ortiz said at the party. “You’re [messing] with me, aren’t you?”
Ortiz was named the best hitter in the American League after an historic walk-off season that saw him hit .315 with 38 homers and 127 RBIs.
Ortiz retires after 14 seasons with the Red Sox, who picked up his 2017 option, even though he has made it clear he’s not coming back.
|Red Sox president Sam Kennedy on OM&F: John Farrell ‘the right guy to continue to lead this franchise’||10.12.16 at 11:55 am ET|
Red Sox president Sam Kennedy checked in with Ordway, Merloni & Fauria on Wednesday morning, following Tuesday’s press conference in which the team announced John Farrell will return as manager. To hear the interview, go to the OM&F audio on demand page.
Kennedy supported Tuesday’s decision on Farrell, saying, “I think he’s the right guy to continue to lead this franchise.”
However, Kennedy was unclear where the team stands on Farrell’s 2018 option. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Tuesday that it would be ownership’s call.
“Dave will make a recommendation to ownership, and I have a seat at that table. We’ll talk about that in the coming days, to be sure,” Kennedy explained. “He knew he was going to get that question [about Farrell’s future] yesterday, again, right after a tough loss, and just wanted to address what we all knew, which was John will be back next year. [Dombrowski] will sit down and talk with us, specifically John Henry and Tom Werner, about a lot of these operations issues that we’re facing now in the immediate aftermath of going out in the postseason, including John Farrell’s option. So that will be discussed. But there’s a lot of other decisions that have to be made as well. Some will be recommendations from Dave, and some will just be firm decisions that he’s empowered to make on his own.”
Looking at the team’s disappointing performance in the ALDS, Kennedy said he can’t pinpoint a clear reason for the sweep at the hands of the Indians.
“What makes this the best baseball market on the planet is that we’d all love to try and point to one or two specific things,” Kennedy said. “I know my dad, for example, has his theories. He didn’t like the night in New York, after clinching the division and losing that awful game against the Yankees. Others may be quick to point to celebrations for David Ortiz.
“Look, if I knew what caused such a struggle with the bat in the postseason and not pitch our best, I’d probably be doing something else for a living, because I can’t point to a specific incident other than we just fell short of expectations. It was incredibly frustrating to watch those three games, because we felt we were positioned for a deep postseason run. At the end of the day, we didn’t get it done. I tip my cap to Terry Francona and [team president] Chris Antonetti and everyone at the Cleveland Indians. They beat us, and we have to tip our cap to them, as painful as it is to do that.”
|What job will David Ortiz have with Red Sox post-retirement?||10.11.16 at 4:52 pm ET|
Now that David Ortiz’s last game has come and gone, the question now is what will he do next?
The 40-year-old will likely have plenty of options from doing a lot of sponsorship work, to media work, to being involved with the Red Sox organization in some capacity, or he could just want to spend more time with his family.
A conversation between the Red Sox and Ortiz hasn’t occurred, but president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said he would like to sit down with him and discuss possible options.
As it stands now, there are a number of former players who have remained in the organization like Pedro Martinez, Jason Varitek and Keith Faulke in player development roles.
“David Ortiz can have a job in this organization any time he wants,” Dombrowski said. “He probably can write his job title that he would like. So we’d love to have David Ortiz as part of our organization. Yes he’s going to be welcomed to do that. I also know that he has a lot of other opportunities. I’m hopeful that he’ll remain with us no matter what because I know that he’s also going to be getting opportunities and sponsorship and broadcasting and all those types of things. But yes we would love to have him.”
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
|Dustin Pedroia becomes longest-tenured Red Sox player after saying goodbye to David Ortiz||at 12:09 am ET|
This is Dustin Pedroia’s team now.
The Red Sox second baseman officially became the team’s longest-tenured member after Monday’s 4-3 season-ending loss to the Indians sent veteran slugger David Ortiz into retirement.
Pedroia debuted in 2006, two years after being drafted out of Arizona State in the second round. He earned Rookie of the Year honors in 2007 en route to his first World Series title, and then won an MVP award in 2008.
He was the youngest member of veteran teams at the time, but now the 33-year-old takes the mantle of leadership from Ortiz.
“It’s a little different,” he admitted. “Obviously it hasn’t sunk in that David won’t be around. But you know, it’s tough. . . . I mean, your mind tells you he’ll be here when the game ends and be here tomorrow. It’s got to end some way. But this is definitely not how we expected it to. It’s going to be tough not having him around.”
Pedroia had no explanation for baseball’s best offense getting shut down in the American League Division Series.
“We just couldn’t find our rhythm,” he said. “We couldn’t string consecutive hits or at-bats or anything. And to be honest with you, it’s more a credit to them. I mean, they were on the corners with good stuff. I mean, they pitched good. They played great. Sometimes, as frustrating as it is, you have to tip your cap. That’s why they’re moving on.”
Pedroia believed the Indians played near-perfect baseball in completing the sweep.
“It’s surprising, but they’re good, too,” he said. “It’s not what we expected to happen, but they played great. They played great. They played flawless, man. There wasn’t one part of their game that was off. They were on, and that’s why they’re winning, moving on.”
Pedroia couldn’t call the season a disappointment, not after the Red Sox went worst-to-first and won the American League East.
“I mean, everybody looks at it different,” he said. “We made a ton of steps forward. Obviously our goal is to win the World Series, and we didn’t do that. But I’m proud of every guy in here. I’m sure nobody in this room can sit back and say they could’ve done something different. We played as hard as we could. They just played better than us.”
And now the Red Sox move on to the next chapter, without Ortiz. Pedroia will have to fill that void.
“We made a ton of steps,” he said. “We’re in good shape. I think, especially what David did leadership-wise with a ton of guys, you know, he’s leaving us in good shape. We’ll be all right.”
|David Ortiz reflects on final moments at Fenway Park after getting emotional on field||at 12:06 am ET|
People who stuck around Fenway Park following Monday’s 4-3 loss to the Indians where Cleveland swept the Red Sox in the ALDS may have witnessed something that will never happen again in sports.
With it being David Ortiz’s final game, the crowd chanted, “Thank you Papi” following the final out and continued for several minutes with thousands of Red Sox fans still cheering for the slugger to come back on to the field one last time.
After roughly 10 minutes, the fans got their wish when Ortiz returned to the field and stood on the pitchers mound for several minutes saluting the fans who stayed in their seats where he showed a rare side of sadness.
“We went into the clubhouse after the last out and John [Farrell] had his moment with all of us,” Ortiz said. “I also said something to my teammates and the PR group came to me and told me that — right after the meeting they came and told me that the fans were expecting me. They were calling my name out there. I definitely always want to show the love to the fans.
“I start thinking I have my moment once I walk on to the mound, start looking around. That moment hits you, you know you’re never going to be able to be performing in the baseball world, in front of all this — no disrespect to anyone, but I think we have the best fans worldwide. It’s something that – it kind of hit me a little bit. I’m not going to lie to you.
“Like I’ve said, I’ve been trying to hold my emotions the best I can, but that last second I couldn’t hold it no more. That’s how we feel about what we do because we love what we do. I respect this game so much and love this game so much that as long as I play I want to always be one of the best. Not because of me, not because of my person, because I don’t really care about that. I really care about the fans. I really care about the emotion that they live through. I really care about everything that comes with it, community-wise, what we do off the field. It’s the whole package. It comes with a lot of things, so I really care about all that.”
|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).
That certainly wasn’t how things were supposed to go.
After entering the postseason as the favorites in the American League, the Red Sox were swept by the Indians in the best-of-five series, concluding with a 4-3 loss Monday night at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox offensive simply couldn’t get anything going all series long, including Monday as they were shut down by starter Josh Tomlin for a second time in the series.
Tomlin held the Red Sox to two runs over five-plus innings in four hits, while walking one and striking out four. After Tomlin, Andrew Miller didn’t allow a run in his two innings of relief, but the Red Sox did make things interesting in the eighth against Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen.
After a David Ortiz walk with two outs against Allen, Hanley Ramirez ripped a single to left scoring Mookie Betts to make it a 4-3 game and the tying run being at second base, which was when Ortiz was lifted for Marco Hernandez as a pinch-runner to a standing ovation. Xander Bogaerts ripped a line drive, but it was right at the second baseman to end the threat and leave the tying run in scoring position.
In the ninth, Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a two-out single and Dustin Pedroia walked, but Travis Shaw flied out to end it.
Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz avoided trouble in the first three innings, but couldn’t get out of a jam in the fourth. Jose Ramirez led the inning off with a single and was followed by a Lonnie Chisenhall walk. Coco Crisp laid down a perfect bunt to set up second and third with one out and catcher Tyler Naquin delivered with hard single to right to give the Indians a 2-0 lead.
Buchholz was lifted after the inning as he went four innings, allowing the two runs on six hits, while walking one and striking out four.
Drew Pomeranz relieved Buchholz and allowed a crucial, two-run home run to Crisp in the sixth inning, putting the Indians ahead 4-1 at the time. It was Crisp’s second postseason home run of his career.
The Red Sox scored their first run in the fifth. After a Bogaerts one-out single, Andrew Benintendi doubled off the wall to score Bogaerts on a close play at the plate. That would be all they would get in the frame as Sandy Leon and Bradley Jr. were both retired, leaving the tying run at the time on second base.
Tomlin was pulled following a leadoff single in the sixth and in came Miller. The Red Sox did get another run as following a Betts double, Ortiz hit a sacrifice fly to center, but Ramirez then struck out to end the inning.
The Red Sox led for exactly one inning in the entire series.
Here is what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox’ loss:
|MLB commissioner reiterates support for David Ortiz regarding 2003 drug test||10.07.16 at 4:55 pm ET|
CLEVELAND — Commissioner Rob Manfred remains surprised at the stir he caused in Boston last week when he questioned David Ortiz’s inclusion on the infamous 2003 performance-enhancing drug list.
Speaking in Cleveland before the Indians and Red Sox played Game 2 of the American League Division Series, Manfred stood by his words and lamented the destruction of the samples that could’ve been used to prove Ortiz’s innocence.
“Let me say a couple of things about what happened in Boston,” Manfred said. “First of all, it was one of those instances where I know I was not breaking new ground. As a matter of fact, we put out a statement at the time of the original story in the New York Times that contained all of the factual information that I relied on when I spoke in Boston.
“My friend Michael Weiner [the late union head] did a press conference with David, said exactly the same things that I said up in Boston. I don’t know whether I had a captive audience or I had a particularly articulate day that day, but it seemed like it attracted a lot of attention.
“But I did not regard it to be a fundamental shift in what baseball’s position was with respect to those survey tests.”
Ortiz’s name was included on a list of supposedly anonymous samples that were supposed to be used to see if baseball could meet a minimum threshold of failed tests needed to trigger a full testing program the following year. When that threshold was easily met, the samples were supposed to be destroyed.
Manfred admitted there was “clearly a window” between the tests being taken and results being questioned. The Times story, however, was published in 2009.
“I think the problem with that in retrospect is this, we — and the ‘we’ in that sentence is baseball and the MLBPA — were fundamentally committed to the idea that those survey test results were supposed to be anonymous. So the window where we could’ve gone back and done some retesting or elimination of ambiguity was at a period of time that we fervently hoped that the commitment that was originally made to the players that they would stay private or confidential would be met.”
CLEVELAND — It was business as usual for David Ortiz following his team’s 5-4 loss to the Indians Thursday night. Talking on the phone. Some postgame treatment. A quick visit from physical therapist Dan Dyrek. And then off to the team bus.
You would have never known he might actually be two games away from the end of his career.
“Hey, listen, this is not over yet. We’ve got plenty of games to play,” Ortiz said after the first game of the American League Division Series against the Indians. “I’m going to bring my best [Friday]. That’s how I am. And I’m pretty sure my teammates will, too, so see you manana.”
For much of the night, Ortiz was left with frustration.
After his first two at-bats resulted in a foul out and a ground out, the designated hitter was put on the spot in the fifth inning. With runners on first and second, two outs and the Red Sox trailing by a run, Ortiz faced off with Andrew Miller. The result would be an inning-ending strikeout.
“It’s so frustrating facing Miller because it seems like every pitch is a strike,” said Ortiz, who came into the at-bat having gone 1-for-7 against the lefty. “I got two strikes – not one of those pitches was a strike. They were down in the zone. That’s the second time it happened to me with him. But anyway, he’s very filthy and you just pray to God for him to make a mistake.”
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