|Gabe Kapler on M&M: ‘I would play [Grady] Sizemore every day’||02.28.14 at 2:17 pm ET|
Fox Sports baseball analyst Gabe Kapler joined Mut & Merloni on Friday afternoon to talk about Grady Sizemore and the Red Sox. To listen to the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
“If he proved to me in spring training that he could bounce back day after day, day in and day out, and he was healthy going into the season, I would start Jackie Bradley Jr., in Triple-A,” Kapler said. “I would play Sizemore every day until he proved it wasn’t going to happen and then I’d leave him off and feel very, very confident that he would be productive.
“I would be opposed to starting Jackie Bradley Jr.’s clock. That’s just me and the way I approach it considering the upside potential of what happens if Grady Sizemore is even 70 percent of what he was earlier in his career. I think the upside is so strong and the downside is so small. In other words, if he’s not healthy, then Jackie Bradley Jr., slides right in, but this is really about Grady Sizemore‘s ability to come back on a day game after a night game, for example, and just prove that he can play every day.
“If he’s able to prove that he can do that, for me, he’s a center fielder.”
|Jonny Gomes on D&C: ‘I sure don’t want to see [David Ortiz] in another uni’||02.24.14 at 10:08 am ET|
Jonny Gomes joined Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Fla., to chat about last season and preview 2014. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
“I came in a hundred percent mentally checked in,” he said. “Physically, all my numbers, my strengths and the weights that you grab, your squat weights, your bench weights, your conditioning, the 20-30, the half-mile, the stuff are right on pace. So, mentally there. Obviously, we’ll have to see how it pans out. But I’m right where I need to be.”
Gomes said the approach is the same throughout the team.
“I think the makeup of who we are won’t allow [a letdown] to happen. I can tell you singlehandedly, we’re walking out of this place just spent — more spent than last year. There’s more drills, there’s more baserunning, there’s more hitting. I’ve won on other teams. Believe it or not, without winning the World Series on other teams, we come to camp the following year and it seems like we’re having the parade during spring. Attendance is up, season tickets is up, there’s more people here. Everything’s great. But you didn’t win last year, so why are we doing the parade. It’s truly the exact opposite this year.”
Gomes, who has a history of playing on one-year deals, is entering the final year of a two-year deal he signed with the Sox. He said his contract does not effect how he prepares. “Two-year, four-year, 10-year deal, there’s one way and one speed for me to play the game,” he said.
David Ortiz also is entering the last year of a two-year deal, and he’s made it clear he’d like an extension.
“I don’t have the Cooperstown resume that this guy has,” Gomes said. “All I try and do is get in the lineup.
“Well-deserved on his part. Understandably, what he’s got going on. … Obviously, that’s probably three, four, five reasons why we play this game. We play this game to win, but there’s a different element with security and whatnot for your family, and wanting to stay where you’re at. So I understand where he’s coming from. I guess at the end of the day, gosh, I sure don’t want to see him in another uni.”
|Larry Lucchino on plans to talk to David Ortiz and Jon Lester after letting Jacoby Ellsbury walk||02.21.14 at 2:32 pm ET|
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino confirmed WEEI.com’s report on Thursday that team officials met with slugger David Ortiz, the beginning of what the Red Sox hope will be a process that will help to ensure that the 38-year-old remains with the Sox for the rest of his career.
“We’re obviously not going to talk about the negotiations in any public way, but we did have a chance to see David yesterday and have a conversation with him. But other than that, we’re going to give it the priority it deserves,” said Lucchino. “We want it to happen. We want him to be a guy who essentially came in with us — even though it was 2003, our second year — and stayed with us for the rest of his career. I think it’s a great thing, I know it’s a great thing for us. I think it’s a great thing for David. And it will be a great thing for baseball and Red Sox fans. He feels connected. He’s committed. He’s the face, certainly one of the most important faces of baseball, as well as for the franchise, so we’re eager to resolve something if it can be done.”
Asked if he could imagine Ortiz ever leaving the Sox, Lucchino said, “I can envision anything. It’s not impossible. But it’s certainly not something I’ve thought about till the question was posed. Can I envision it? Yeah, my mind is facile enough to envision something like that. But do I anticipate it happening? No.”
Lucchino also said that the team plans to discuss a contract extension with left-hander Jon Lester this spring. The CEO expressed appreciation for Lester’s comments this offseason that he wants to remain with the Sox for the duration of his career and is willing to take less than full market value to do so.
“That was certainly, for me, one of the highlights of the offseason, were the comments Jon made about the organization, wanting to stay here. He was so forthright and blunt about it, no game-playing or whatever,” said Lucchino. “It was really nice to hear it when you’re in our position. It’s really nice to hear it. We will explore that matter as well during spring training.”
Though the Sox have pursued an operating model focused on shorter-term deals in recent years, Lucchino did allow that the team was open to top-of-the-market contracts for the right players in their prime. That being the case, he was asked, why didn’t the Sox make an exception to their preference for shorter-term deals for Jacoby Ellsbury prior to his securing of a seven-year, $153 million deal?
“There are exceptions,” said Lucchino, “but the proposal they made to him was obviously very appealing to him and sometimes you have to say good-bye to people you’d like to keep here because the appeal of the economics are so great.”
Red Sox president/CEO Larry Lucchino checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Friday morning from spring training in Fort Myers, Fla., to revel in the 2013 World Series championship and look ahead to 2014. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Lucchino acknowledged that there’s never been a more relaxed and joyous feeling heading to spring training.
“I think that’s fair to say. There was something special about the win last year, the way it happened, the worst-to-first thing, the idea that all of you guys in the media were completely wrong,” Lucchino said. “There were so many sources of satisfaction. And of course the Boston Strong element that came into it. It was terrific.
“But there’s also down here right now — and maybe as a consequence of that, and because of the people we have in leadership positions here — there is a good vibe coming out of camp. There’s a good feeling down here. Without going into the detail on it, John Farrell made a major point of the closeness, the unity of the club last year. And all signs point in that direction again this year.”
David Ortiz made news with his public request for a contract extension, and Lucchino indicated that he takes no offense with Ortiz’s intention.
“I think we would like to get something done with David,” Lucchino said. “But anything that related to David Ortiz is a big issue. He’s been such a critical part of the success of the team over the last decade. He’s the only one, I guess, who’s been here in uniform for all three of our wins over the last decade. The role he plays both for the Red Sox and in baseball, those roles are remarkable. So anything that relates to his well-being, his focus, possible distraction, I think that qualifies as a semi-big deal.”
Added Lucchino: “We are responding to a request that came to us from David’s representative. I think that’s fair to say. He was under contract. But if you have the kind of year that David had and you’re at the stage of his career that he is, it’s not entirely surprising.”
Pitcher Ryan Demspter announced Sunday that he would skip the 2014 season, and Lucchino said he was as surprised as the rest of Red Sox Nation by Dempster’s decision.
“I was not only surprised, I was shocked,” Lucchino said. “Yet when I heard him explain it and I heard a little more about the rationale for it, my admiration for him increased dramatically. I don’t remember any other guys that have done that. ‘¦ Dempster’s role on this team was exceptional last year. I know you’ve probably talked to him. He was such a leader, such a source of the solid chemistry that came together last year. He is going to be missed enormously. He’s one of the most well-liked and respected players I’ve ever been associated with. I hope we can get him to come back and do some things this year. Maybe for NESN, maybe in some other way.”
|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|
FORT MYERS, Fla. — According to multiple industry sources, Red Sox DH David Ortiz and agent Fern Cuza met with members of the Red Sox front office (including representatives of team ownership) to have conversations about the slugger’s contract status. According to one source, no formal offer of a contract extension was made during the meetings.
“Just conversations,” one source suggested of the meeting.
Ortiz, entering the second year of a two-year, $26 million deal (the value of which escalated to $30 million by virtue of the slugger’s ability to avoid the DL for more than 20 days last season), would be eligible for free agency following the 2014 season, but both he and Red Sox principal owner John Henry said on Wednesday that they are hoping to ensure that Ortiz will be able to spend the remainder of his career in a Red Sox uniform.
|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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