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David Ortiz spoofed on ‘Saturday Night Live’ 04.14.14 at 6:54 am ET
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Check it out, starting at the 1:50 mark.

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Red Sox-Yankees series preview 04.10.14 at 2:18 pm ET
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The Red Sox will head to New York on the heels of a dramatic victory on Wednesday night, taking on the Yankees and former center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury in a weekend four-game set.

After being swept in their first Fenway series of 2014, the Red Sox were looking for some redemption against the Rangers, and thanks to some solid pitching and dramatics from David Ortiz, they took the rubber game of the set to win their second series of the season.

“It was a big one for our team. Getting swept, coming back in we needed to bounce back and win the series,” said starter Jake Peavy, who delivered 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball. “So I knew coming in that it was a big start, and we needed to find a way to scratch and claw and get a win out of this. Especially going to New york, it’€™s always a fun and intense rivalry, and it’€™s nice to go in there with a little momentum.”

The Red Sox, like much of the rest of the AL East, have stumbled out of the gate a little bit, going 4-5 over their first three series. The big hit, which came from none other than Ortiz on Wednesday, has been elusive for the Red Sox, who have grounded into 17 double plays over just nine games, which stands as the most in the majors (four more than the team with the second most).

After going 85-77 in 2013 and missing the postseason for just the second time in 19 years, the Yankees sought to rebuild their roster and restore their dominance in the AL East during the offseason, which resulted in all kinds of turnover during the winter. The Yankees lost star second baseman Robinson Cano, starting pitcher Phil Hughes and outfielder Curtis Granderson to free agency, saw legendary closer Mariano Rivera and longtime starter Andy Pettitte retire, and had to fill the void left by Alex Rodriguez‘€™s 162-game suspension.

They responded by dishing out $555 million in salaries to the likes of Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, Brendan Ryan, Brian Roberts, Matt Thornton, Kelly Johnson, Japanese starter Masahiro Tanaka, and of course, Ellsbury. They also signed outfielder Brett Gardner to a four-year extension, as well as re-signing starter Hiroki Kuroda and face of the franchise, Derek Jeter, who announced that 2014 would be his final season.

But the Yankees already are experiencing some of the same problems that plagued them in 2013. First baseman Mark Teixeira hit the disabled list with a hamstring strain, and new closer David Robertson joined him Monday after suffering a groin strain. The injuries weaken the two biggest question marks for the Yankees: their infield and their bullpen. They’ll be forced to use a combination of relievers to fill the void left by Robertson, and the infield will be spread thinner to compensate for Texeira’s absence.

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David Ortiz sets another record (sort of): slowest home run trot at 9:03 am ET
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The internet has given us a bevy of fantastic resources when it comes to turning baseball inside-out. One of them just happens to be Tater Trot Tracker, which offers the times for each day’s home run trots.

It’s a website that allowed us to measure Carlos Gomez‘s sprint around the bases Saturday night (17.66 seconds), which was the game’s second fastest of the season, only trailing Gomez’s April 1 homer (16.18 seconds).

Well, now, thanks to the diligence of the site’s founder, Larry Granillo, we have learned that David Ortiz made history with his three-run blast Wednesday afternoon.

According to Granillo, Ortiz’s time of 32.91 around the bases was the slowest trot recorded by the site since its inception in 2008. The Sox designated hitter narrowly out-paced the previous mark of 31.56 seconds, set by Bobby Abreu.

It isn’t the first time Ortiz has held the honor. In ’10 he became the first player to take more than half a minute to round the bases after hitting a homer.

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Through 17 years, two names and three teams, A.J. Pierzynski has seen this before from David Ortiz 04.09.14 at 8:52 pm ET
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Perhaps it’s overstating it to say A.J. Pierzynski expected David Ortiz to drive a rocket about 100 feet beyond the fence in right field in the eighth inning Wednesday for the game-winning three-run homer in a 4-2 win over the Rangers. But certainly it’s safe to say he wasn’t surprised. After all, Pierzynski has seen this sort of thing for the better part of two decades, dating to when Ortiz — then known as David Arias — was an up-and-coming slugger for the Mariners‘ affiliate in the Single-A Midwest League and Pierzynski opposed him with the Twins’ Midwest League team in Fort Wayne in 1996.

After that season, the M’s traded “Arias” to the Twins as a player to be named for Dave Hollins. After he moved between organizations, Ortiz revealed two things to the Twins — first, that his listed date of birth (February 18, 1975) was inaccurate, and that he had been born on Nov. 18, 1975, and secondly, that despite the fact that his full given name is David Americo Ortiz Arias (with Arias being his mother’s maiden name), he went by the name of David Ortiz.

Pierzynski was unfamiliar with those details. But he knew what he saw immediately in early 1997, when he and Ortiz were teammates with the High-A Fort Myers Miracle.

“My first game I ever played with David, or one of my first, in ’97, when he first came over, we were playing maybe Port Charlotte, the Rangers,” Pierzynski related Wednesday after the fourth win of the season. “Ninth inning, they brought in a lefty, and he hit a walkoff homer to left field. And I had known, playing against him the year before, I was in Fort Wayne and he was in Appleton, and I said, ‘Man, this guy can hit a little bit.’ Then we traded got him and I was like, ‘Man, we got this Arias guy.’ And then we he came over, he was Ortiz, and I said, ‘Man, I think we traded for the wrong guy!’ It was the same guy.”

Indeed it was. And in many ways, Ortiz remains the same guy even now, 17 years later, with Pierzynski reunited in Boston with his former Twins teammate. Not much has changed in the interim.

Wednesday was just another in seemingly countless big moments where the game turned on one of his at-bats late. His three-run homer traveled some 100 feet beyond the Pesky Pole in right and was the 24th career go-ahead homer in the eighth inning or later, his last also coming against the Rangers on June 6 last year.

“David’s special,” Pierzynski said. “He loves the big moment. He lives for the big moment. We saw it again today. Through his ups and downs, whatever it is, David wants to be up there and he’s always wanted that. I’ve known him for 20 years and he’s always wanted to be the guy at bat in those situations.”

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White House lawyers talking to Samsung about David Ortiz’s presidential selfie 04.06.14 at 6:06 pm ET
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David Ortiz takes a photo with President Barack Obama Tuesday. (AP)

David Ortiz takes a photo with President Barack Obama Tuesday. (AP)

White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday morning that the White House expressed its concerns to mobile company Samsung about its efforts to capitalize on the selfie that Red Sox slugger David Ortiz took with President Barack Obama, suggesting that the matter was being discussed by lawyers.

The president “obviously didn’t know anything about Samsung’s connection to this,” Pfeiffer said Sunday on “Face the Nation. “And perhaps maybe this will be the end of all selfies. But in general, whenever someone tries to use the president’s likeness to promote a product, that’s a problem with the White House.”

The White House issue appears to be with Samsung rather than with Ortiz. Asked about the matter after Sunday’s game, Ortiz suggested he had little to add to the conversation.

“I got no comment on that. I mean, I’m just a guy that I got signed by Samsung in the offseason. Not too much I can say about it. I’m trying to focus on baseball right now, and just move on,” Ortiz said. “Samsung has a lot of money and the White House has a lot of money, too. They’ll be cool with each other.”

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Ice-cold Clay Buchholz (six, runs, 13 hits) struggles badly as Red Sox fall in 11 at frigid Fenway 04.05.14 at 11:33 pm ET
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Mike Napoli's 3-run homer in the third put the Red Sox back in the game Saturday against Milwaukee. (AP)

Mike Napoli‘s 3-run homer in the third put the Red Sox back in the game Saturday against Milwaukee. (AP)

Clay Buchholz was as ice-cold as the elements Saturday night.

Back-to-back doubles from Khris Davis and Logan Schafer in the 11th inning off former Brewer Burke Badenhop broke a 6-6 tie and led Milwaukee to its second straight interleague win over the Red Sox, 7-6, Saturday night in a four-hour, 23-minute marathon at a frigid Fenway Park. Francisco Rodriguez struck out the side in order in the 11th to send Boston to its second straight loss at home and drop them to 2-3 on the very young season.

The game began just after 7 p.m., with a temperature reading of 48 degrees and a wind chill in the upper 30s. By the 10th inning, Fenway was less than half-full and the temperature had dipped into the upper 30s.

Buchholz, the Red Sox starter, allowed a career-high 13 hits and lasted just 4 1/3 innings. The Brewers used two long home runs from Mark Reynolds and Carlos Gomez off Buchholz and clutch hitting to race out to a 6-2 lead heading into the bottom of the third.

“I missed with a lot pitches and when I did they seemed to put the barrel on it and find some holes,” Buchholz said. “Obviously, the couple of home runs they hit were pitches not where they were supposed to be. Just a lot of mistakes that they found holes for.

“I felt fine. It took a little bit to get loose. It was pretty cold out there. But other than that, it was just basically missing in the middle of the plate or missing up [in strike zone] and that’s where their hits came off of. I don’t think I threw one good pitch that was hit, that I look back on and I don’t think he should’ve hit that pitch. That’s the way it goes.”

Buchholz is slated to pitch next Thursday in the Bronx in the opener of a four-game series against the Yankees.

“I’ve been around for a little bit so you can’t dwell on your last start,” Buchholz added. “To do that, it’s probably not going to work out too well for you. Just put in the work that I have to do to get ready for that start against the Yankees.”

Buchholz was bailed out by his offense and did not figure in the decision. Buchholz, who managed only 72 pitches on the night, didn’t allow more than eight hits in any start in 2013 and had never allowed more than seven hits in any game at Fenway.

“You don’t want to give up that many hits ever,” Buchholz said. “But they were swinging early and that’s what I want teams to do, I want them to swing, I want them to put balls in play. I have to do a better job of limiting that and obviously putting pitches where I want to. I wasn’t able to do that at all tonight, really. That’s the way the game goes some times. I have to figure it out before the next time out.”

The Red Sox, playing without David Ortiz (rest), Will Middlebrooks (right calf) and Mike Carp (back) in the starting lineup, managed to battle back as the Brewers started to self-destruct, namely third baseman Aramis Ramirez and shortstop Jean Segura.

With one out, Dustin Pedroia reached on a fielding error by Ramirez. The next batter, Daniel Nava, hit a routine grounder to Segura at short that appeared to be tailor-made for an inning-ending double play. But instead of a 6-4-3 DP, Segura bobbled it and retired only Nava at first.

Mike Napoli followed with a rocket to the center field bleachers off Brewers starter Wily Peralta that cut Milwaukee’s lead to one, 6-5.

The Red Sox used more Milwaukee mayhem in the field to tie the game in the sixth. The Brewers appeared ready to escape a first-and-second, none-out jam when A.J. Pierzynski grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. Jonathan Herrera grounded softly to Segura at short. Segura bobbled and couldn’t recover as Xander Bogaerts scored from third.

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Red Sox pregame notes: David Ortiz’s night off ‘planned down day’ at 5:19 pm ET
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Prior to Saturday night’s game at Fenway Park against the Brewers, Red Sox manager John Farrell said sitting David Ortiz was planned. Ortiz has experienced some calf tightness, but, according to Farrell, the physical issue wasn’t the primary reason for the day off.

“He deals with a little bit of tightness from time to time,” said Farrell of the calf. “As much as anything, this was more of a planned down day.”

With Ortiz out, the Red Sox have put Grady Sizemore in the lead off spot, with Daniel Nava hitting third, Mike Napoli serving as the designated hitter and Mike Carp playing first.

“Looking at the schedule, the late-night travel, yesterday’s situation — we’ve got to, with all of our players, just rotate guys through, but Grady in the leadoff spot, he’s obviously gotten on base here with some regularity, in a spot he’s been familiar with his entire career,” said Farrell, referencing Sizemore, who will likely get Sunday off. “He’ll give us a spark at the top of the lineup.”

Sizemore, who hadn’t hit leadoff in any of the previous four games, has hit leadoff 705 games in career.

- Shane Victorino continues to battle flu-like situations while coming back from a right hamstring issue.

“He was here for a brief time yesterday,” Farrell said. “He’s not around the team. We’ll likely bring him in here during game time to continue to get treatment but not be around the majority of the players for the flu-like symptoms, the flu that he’s dealing with. He’s still in that phase. I don’t have an update on how long his separation from the team will be. That’ll be dependent upon how quickly he gets through the flu.”

- Craig Breslow, who was eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list, may get some more work with Triple-A Pawtucket.

“Continues to improve. He’s getting closer,” Farrell said. “Yesterday was his fifth overall appearance. We’ll sit down and talk with Craig a little bit more specifically on what the next step is. … All of it is a possibility.”

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