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What Happened with the Red Sox: Monday 03.30.10 at 9:59 am ET
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With Opening Day now less than a week away, the roster decisions are crystallizing. The biggest variable in determining who will be ready to play in the majors come April 4 is health, as the Red Sox try to wade through who is in position to help the big league club for the start of the season and who will need additional work.

Arguably, the decision is more complex with Mike Lowell than it is with any other member of the club. Even the player had little opinion about whether — after entering last night’s game against the Rays with just 10 plate appearances this spring — he would be ready at the start of the year, though he did note that his status as a reserve could diminish the gravitas of that determination.

‘€œI don’€™t know what they think are quality at-bats. Maybe yes, maybe no. I honestly have no idea. I don’€™t know what they feel is adequate or not. It’€™s the organization’€™s call, not mine,’€ Lowell said. ‘€œTo go to Boston to not play? Same thing, right? If I go it’€™s not like I’€™m going to play right away and if I don’€™t go it’€™s not like I’€™m not going to play right away. I’€™m not playing either way, so it’€™s all up to them.’€

For more on Lowell’s uncertainty about his future, click here.

Josh Beckett has no such questions about where he’ll be on Opening Day: he’ll be starting the first game of the season for the Sox for the second straight year. The picture is slightly less clear for Opening Day in 2011, since Beckett is a free agent after this year. After a strong final spring tuneup against the Rays, he still had little to say about contract negotiations with the club, amidst reports that the Sox were unwilling to offer him a deal of more than four years.

Daisuke Matsuzaka knows that he won’t be pitching the Red Sox’ season opener. But he could be taking the mound at McCoy Stadium as the Opening Day pitcher for the PawSox this year. He threw a 62-pitch simulated outing on Monday, striking out seven of the 15 Red Sox Single-A hitters he faced, and he will next pitch on Saturday, following Tim Wakefield to the mound in an exhibition game in Washington, DC. Pitching coach John Farrell suggested that Matsuzaka is showing steady improvement in his spring outings. His fastball was 89-91 mph on Monday.

The back of the Sox’ Opening Day bullpen took little definition, aside from the revelation that Boof Bonser likely won’t be ready to be a part of it. Bonser, like Matsuzaka, threw a simulated outing on Monday, and he will not travel with the Sox to Washington on Saturday, instead remaining in Fort Myers to throw a minor league game. While he was slowed somewhat by groin stiffness last week, Farrell pointed out that the right-hander is also still in the early stages of rebuilding arm strength after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder 13 months ago.

Meanwhile, both Scott Schoeneweis and Alan Embree had poor outings on Monday night against the Rays, and Joe Nelson issued a walk in his third of an inning. Manny Delcarmen, meanwhile, continues to work through his delivery issues that have diminished the power that he generates on the mound, as he joined Matsuzaka and Bonser at the Sox’ minor league training facility on Monday.

Junichi Tazawa was not expected to help the Sox on Opening Day, but he did represent one of the Sox’ primary Triple-A depth options should a starter be needed. However, Tazawa may not be available for such a role for some time, pending the outcome of his visit to Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham. He has been dealing with tightness in his elbow since last season, according to Farrell, resulting in the visit to Alabama. Scouts this spring had wondered about Tazawa’s diminished velocity and inability to work effectively down in the strike zone.

-- Fenway Park will make the Opening Day roster, and Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino detailed the upgrades to the 98-year-old ballpark on Monday. Of course, Lucchino seemed somewhat caught off guard upon finding out that one fan’s seats may have been moved to a less desirable position following the renovations. That fan? Mayor Thomas Menino.

Read More: Alan Embree, Boof Bonser, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Fenway Park
Postgame(s) Notes: Rays 11, Sox 9; Cards 13, Sox 8 03.22.10 at 5:23 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — It was a busy day of baseball for the Red Sox, with the team flung all over Florida.

The most promising development for the big league club actually took place at the minor league complex, where John Lackey was dealing for five innings. Despite allowing a solo homer to left by Daniel Nava (the only run Lackey has allowed all spring), the big right-hander featured a nice arsenal of swing-and-miss pitches, including his sharpest slider of spring training. Of the 15 outs he recorded, seven were on strikeouts, and six were on grounders. He was particularly pleased with the fact that he hasn’t walked a batter this spring, suggesting that steering clear of free passes was an important component of success in the AL East.

The Grapefruit League action did not go quite so swimmingly. Most notably, Boof Bonser had a rough day both physically and in his line score. After a sharp 1-2-3 first inning, he gave up homers in both the second and third innings, and finished with a yield of five runs on six hits and two walks (with two strikeouts) in 2.0 innings (he allowed all three batters he faced in the third to reach).

According to manager Terry Francona, Bonser said after he left the game that he felt discomfort in his right groin.

“We hope it’s certainly not much,” said Francona.

Bonser, however, did not mention injuries in dissecting his poor performance.

“It was very frustrating, you know, to try to come in and get that last spot and go out and do something like that, that’€™s not fun at all. That takes its toll a little bit,” said Bonser. “They say one step forward and two steps back. I think I got my two steps back today.”

Francona, however, suggested that the Sox weren’t going to “penalize someone for two bad days.” He said that the team has been pleased with Bonser’s delivery and arm action, which they consider more significant than his 11.57 ERA.

The Rays continued to pound Sox pitching after Bonser left the game. For his second straight game against the Rays, Junichi Tazawa showed that he can get pounded if he leaves his pitches up in the strike zone. He allowed three homers, and both Scott Atchison and Joe Nelson – each of whom is competing for a spot in the Red Sox bullpen — allowed one.

“Those boys are real comfortable at the plate,” said Bonser. “I don’€™t want to say it but they need to get uncomfortable real quick.’€

Michael Bowden and a group of relatively obscure Red Sox pitchers fared little better against the Cardinals, losing 13-8. Bowden allowed four runs (three earned) in three innings on six hits. Still, the Sox were ahead, 7-6, entering the bottom of the eighth before St. Louis unloaded on Ramon A. Ramirez and T.J. Large for seven runs in a 13-8 win. Of some note was the fact that Bill Hall — trying to reacclimate to shortstop — committed a pair of errors at the position.

Alan Embree threw a bullpen session, and will throw a minor league game later in the week.

— The Sox were trailing the Rays, 11-1, entering the bottom of the seventh. The team then erupted for eight runs in the next three innings, but with runners on second and third and two outs in the bottom of the ninth, highly regarded prospect Derrik Gibson had a comebacker to end the game in an 11-9 loss. Noteworthy in the comeback bid: Mark Wagner, who entered the game in the bottom of the seventh, launched a pair of triples. Wagner hadn’t hit a triple in a regular season game since 2007, when he was with Hi-A Lancaster.

Since 1920, only 64 big league catchers have hit multiple triples in a game. John Buck did so for the Royals last year, becoming the first catcher to accomplish the rare double since 2000. Here’s the list.

Read More: Boof Bonser, john lackey, junichi tazawa, mark wagner
Postgame Notes: Red Sox 6, Boston College 1 03.03.10 at 9:01 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox finished off a long day of work with a 6-1 victory over Boston College in the second half of a day-night doubleheader at City of Palms Park. The first day of competitive action this spring thus saw the Sox outscore their collegiate opponents (BC and Northeastern) by a combined 21-1 count, with Boston outhitting their opponents by a 22-5 margin on a day that saw 47 Boston players enter into game.

A roundup from the nightcap:

Boof Bonser sailed through his inning of work, retiring all three batters he faced and recording a strikeout. He threw seven of his nine pitches for strikes, including a swing-and-miss curve for his punchout. One scout had his fastball registering between 88-91 mph.

For Bonser, even though he was pitching against a college team, the occasion was significant. A year ago, he underwent arthroscopic surgery in the last week of February, before he could pitch in any games. The opportunity to return to competition was invigorating for the 28-year-old.

“It went great. I’€™m glad it’€™s over. This is my first spring training game in pretty much two years. People say it’€™s a college team. Well, to me, a college team wants to beat your brains in more than the regular team does,” said Bonser. “I was part of the team last year, but now that I’€™m playing, it’€™s kind of a whole ‘nother ballgame.”

Bonser said that less significant than his stuff was the fact that his shoulder felt “normal, like I’m healthy again without any problems,” and that he was able to loosen up easily for his outing. He was satisfied with the fastballs, curve and change that he threw (his short inning did not permit him time to throw a slider), but noted that the pitches were secondary.

“The biggest key was the shoulder, being able to let it ride,” said Bonser.

Manager Terry Francona suggested that Bonser looked like a pitcher who was healthy. In so doing, he also gave an indication of someone who can help the team.

“Looking at a guy who’€™s had the problems he’€™s had physically, then to look at his clean arm action, I think is phenomenal. It really jumps out at you,” said Francona. “That was really an encouraging inning, just to watch him go through his delivery and let the ball come out like that, we were really encouraged.

“If this works, this is a guy who knows what he’€™s doing and there’€™s some power to that fastball.”

–While Bonser’s shoulder is healthy, he has a blister on the index finger of his right hand. He suggests that he hasn’t been able to shake the problem for the last year, but that he has managed the issue thanks to the power of Super Glue (“Their stock’s up right now with how much I’€™m using on my finger,” said Bonser).

He has also found an expert who is more than willing to offer advice on treating an obstinate finger.

“As soon as [Josh Beckett] found out I had a finger problem, he was in my ear,” said Bonser. “I was like, great ‘€“ I know the method of bad fingers, I guess you could say.”

–Batting with the bases loaded in the fourth, Jose Iglesias jumped on a first-pitch fastball down the middle from right-hander Dave Laufer, lining a three-run double down the line and into the left-field corner. He later showed an inside-out stroke in lining out to second on an 86 mph fastball.

“He looked like he was ready to play. He wasn’€™t messing around,” said Francona. “He was obviously very excited to play. He came out in a hurry.”

Iglesias confirmed that the opportunity to enter a game was a momentous occasion for him.

“It’€™s like a dream, playing here and playing the first game in a Red Sox uniform,” Iglesias said through coach/translator Alex Ochoa. “I still have to work hard, and still have to things every day to get better. That’€™s what I’€™m coming here to do everyday.”

Ryan Kalish showed a strong first step in centerfield on a fly ball to semi-deep right-center off the bat of Golden Spikes candidate Mickey Wiswall. He also showed aggressive baserunning smarts by advancing from first to third on an infield single.

Junichi Tazawa narrowly averted harm, as he jumped when a liner went back up the middle, elevating just enough that the ball caught mostly his shoe rather than his toe. The right-hander — one of the Sox’ top depth options this year — averted harm and recorded a clean inning, striking out two.

Read More: blisters, Boof Bonser, jose iglesias, Josh Beckett
PawSox Hot Stove: Meet the Prospects 01.22.10 at 3:34 pm ET
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On Saturday, Jan. 23, the Pawtucket Red Sox will host their 33rd Annual Hot Stove League Party at McCoy Stadium. New PawSox manager Torey Lovullo will be in attendance, and several Red Sox minor leaguers (potentially including Casey Kelly, Ryan Kalish, Jeff Natale, Randor Bierd, Kyle Weiland, Junichi Tazawa and Felix Doubront) are expected to be available for photos and autographs.

The event will run from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Enter the ballpark through the entry tower in left field. The 2010 Hot Stove Party will once again be held inside the McCoy Clubhouse and batting tunnels. Food and drink will be served. Fans in attendance can purchase regular-season tickets at the McCoy Box Office, which will be open for walk-up business.

The PawSox have also partnered with the Rhode Island Chapter of the American Red Cross to raise monetary contributions for the Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund during the Hot Stove League Party.

Red Cross workers will be stationed at the main entry tower at McCoy throughout the free Hot Stove event.

‘€œThe PawSox are proud to team with the American Red Cross Rhode Island Chapter to, in our small way, help the people of Haiti who have gone through indescribable devastation in the past week,’€ PawSox president Mike Tamburro said. ‘€œWe want to provide PawSox fans with an opportunity to contribute in any way they can and we thank them for their consideration.’€

‘€œWe are thrilled that the PawSox are helping us ‘€” and the citizens of Haiti ‘€” out in response to the catastrophic earthquake that has devastated that nation,’€ said Bruce Rutter, CEO of the American Red Cross Rhode Island Chapter. ‘€œThis is just another example of the generosity of the people of this area and we thank them for their continued support.’€

All monies collected during the PawSox Hot Stove Party this Saturday at McCoy Stadium will be donated directly to the American Red Cross Rhode Island Chapter.

Read More: casey kelly, jeff natale, junichi tazawa, kyle weiland
Sox Announce Rookie Development Program Details 01.11.10 at 12:43 pm ET
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The Red Sox‘ Rookie Development Program, which helps to prepare players who could be in line for promotions to the major leagues within a 12- to 18-month timeframe, began today. The two-week program offers top Red Sox minor leaguers the opportunity to work with members of the major-league coaching staff, to work on strength and conditioning as well as fundamentals, and a chance to become familiar with such details as the layout of the clubhouse at Fenway Park.

The release — which also includes details of an autograph session with the prospects — is below. For a closer look at the program participants, click here. Josh Reddick — who also took part in the program last year — was added to the initial roster of 11 program participants. For a closer look at the right-fielder’s path to the majors, click here.

BOSTON, MA– The Red Sox 2010 Rookie Program began today in Boston.  Twelve of Boston’€™s top prospects are taking part in the two-week program, which is designed to expose the players to the expectations of being Major Leaguers for the Red Sox.

Eleven of the participants in the Rookie Program spent all of 2009 in the Red Sox organization: pitchers Randor Bierd, Felix Doubront, Casey Kelly, Ryne Miller, Junichi Tazawa, Kyle Weiland; catcher Luis Exposito; infielder Yamaico Navarro; and outfielders Ryan Kalish, Che-Hsuan Lin and Josh Reddick. Also taking part will be infielder Jose Iglesias, who was signed as a free agent in September 2009 and played in the Arizona Fall League.

The program includes two workouts daily that emphasize conditioning and strength training as well as concentration on fundamentals. In addition, the players are attending a number of seminars that will focus on the assimilation into Major League life off the field.

A number of individuals will speak to the group, including President/CEO Larry Lucchino, General Manager Theo Epstein, manager Terry Francona, Major League coaches John Farrell and Dave Magadan, sports psychology coach Bob Tewksbury, right-handed pitcher John Lackey, infielder Kevin Youkilis, Hall of Fame baseball writer and NESN reporter/analyst Peter Gammons, and Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers.

There will also be a public autograph signing with the Rookie Program participants at the Best Buy in the Landmark Center, located at 401 Park Drive in Boston on Monday, January 18 from 3:30 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. Fans making a $20.00 donation to the Red Sox Foundation will be able to take part in the signing on a first come, first served basis.

Read More: casey kelly, Che-Hsuan Lin, felix doubront, jose iglesias
Red Sox Bullpen Moves On After Braves Plunder 12.04.09 at 4:55 am ET
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The Red Sox would have been content to bring back either left-hander Billy Wagner or right-hander Takashi Saito. Though both veterans will require careful health management to ensure their productivity, both the 38-year-old Wagner and the 39-year-old Saito proved effective in 2009.

Wagner had a 1.72 ERA in 17 big-league appearances in his return from Tommy John surgery, punching out 26 batters in the process. Saito had a 2.43 ERA in his 56 appearances.

But, with both relievers having signed with the Braves in a span of less than 48 hours, the Sox are prepared to move on. The Sox offered Wagner salary arbitration, though they anticipated that the left-hander would pursue a job as a closer elsewhere, a notion that was borne out by his $7 million deal. And yesterday, Saito — who was offered a short-money deal by the Sox, who liked the right-hander, but felt compelled to manage his usage carefully given an elbow that nearly required Tommy John surgery in 2008 — followed Wagner to Atlanta, with a deal that guarantees him a reported $3.2 million.

Now, the Sox have a pair of openings in their bullpen for 2010. Barring a trade, the team will return Jonathan Papelbon, Daniel Bard, Hideki Okajima, Ramon Ramirez and Manny Delcarmen to next year’s relief corps, the primary members of a group that forged a 3.80 ERA (second-best among AL bullpens) in 2009.

If the team wants to look internally to replace Wagner and Saito to fill out the ‘pen, it could look to left-hander Dustin Richardson (who struck out 11.7 batters per nine innings in the minors in 2009 before tossing 3.1 scoreless innings in the majors following a September call-up), Michael Bowden (who struggled to a 9.56 ERA in 16 big-league innings, but finished sixth in the International League (min. 100 innings) with a 3.13 ERA) or right-hander Junichi Tazawa (2.55 ERA in Double A and Triple A; 2-3, 7.46 ERA in the majors).

The team has also shown interest in free agents Rafael Soriano (2.97 ERA, 12.1 strikeouts per nine innings with the Braves in 2009) and left-hander Mike Gonzalez (5-4, 2.42 ERA, 10.9 strikeouts per nine innings for Atlanta in 2009).

Read More: billy wagner, dustin richardson, junichi tazawa, Michael Bowden
Report: Red Sox to Meet with Japanese High School Phenom 10.15.09 at 1:19 am ET
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According to Nikkan Sports (as translated and linked by npbtracker.com), the Red Sox are scheduled to meet with Japanese left-hander Yusei Kikuchi, an 18-year-old who has starred in Japan’s Koshien Tournament, on Oct. 19. The Sox, according to the translated report, are one of eight major league teams slated to meet with Kikuchi.

Kikuchi is deciding whether to pitch in the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) league, or to bypass the Japanese draft to sign with a Major League Baseball team as an amateur free agent. His case is viewed as similar to that of Junichi Tazawa, the right-hander who signed with the Red Sox last December after pitching in Japan’s amateur Industrial League, though Kikuchi’s potential jump from high school directly to the United States is considered in some ways even more dramatic than was Tazawa’s.

The other MLB teams that are scheduled to meet with Kikuchi, according to the report, are the Dodgers, Rangers, Giants, Mariners, Mets, Yankees and Indians. NPBtracker also offered a scouting profile of Kikuchi. To read it, click here.

Read More: junichi tazawa, yusei kikuchi,
Red Sox Announce Call-Ups 09.01.09 at 3:40 pm ET
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The Red Sox issued the following press release about a flurry of Sept. 1 activities, which featured four minor-league call-ups (outfielders Brian Anderson and Joey Gathright from Triple-A Pawtucket, infielder Chris Woodward from Pawtucket, and pitcher Junichi Tazawa from the Rookie Level Gulf Coast League) as well as the reactivation of catcher George Kottaras from the 15-day disabled list: Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Brian Anderson, call-ups, chris woodward, george kottaras
Red Sox vs. White Sox Match-ups, 8/27 08.27.09 at 2:37 pm ET
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WHITE SOX VS. JUNICHI TAZAWA

Considering he started the season at Double A Portland, it’s doubtful the Red Sox could have expected much more out of Junichi Tazawa than they’ve received. In his first three starts in the majors, the 23-year-old Tazawa has gone at least five innings each time and has allowed just five earned runs in 16 innings as a starter.

Though he began his Boston career by serving up a walkoff homer to Alex Rodriguez in New York, Tazawa’s best performance came Saturday against the Yankees. In the 14-1 Red Sox victory, Tazawa threw six innings of shutout ball to lower his season ERA (again, inflated by the 1.2 inning, 2 earned-run inning appearance on August 7) to 3.57.

While Tazawa has been able to limit the number of runs allowed on his watch, one statistic that should eventually raise is the strikeouts. The right-hander struck out six Tigers on August 11 in a 7-5 Boston win, but has registered just two strikeouts in two starts since then. These numbers are especially surprising when considering the fact that Tazawa had 94 strikeouts through 109.1 innings between Portland and Pawtucket this season.
Of course, given that this is the first Sox vs. Sox series of the season, Tazawa hasn’t faced any Chicago hitters in the bigs. Read the rest of this entry »
Read More: John Danks, junichi tazawa, White Sox,
Francona on possible suspensions: ‘There are going to be repercussions’ 08.12.09 at 1:33 pm ET
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Red Sox manager Terry Francona appeared on the Dale and Holley show the morning after an ejection and fight-filled evening at Fenway Park between his club and the Detroit Tigers. The Sox skipper also discussed Junichi Tazawa’s first Major League start, David Ortiz’s press conference and much more.

Click here for the full audio of the interview.

On his heated discussion with Tigers manager Jim Leyland amidst last night’s fracas: “You know what, Jimmy and I go back a ways. He was the Evansville manager back in ’80 and he was a young manager. He was a guy we young guys gravitated towards. I have a lot of respect for Jim. What he said to me didn’t remotely diminish my respect for him.”

On the state of his relationship with Leyland after last night’s argument: “I think that’s how it has to be. Regardless of how our relationship is, there’s a lot of fire with him. Our job is to win every game we can. That’s what we do for a living. There’s no problem there.”

On Youkilis’s decison to charge the mound against Porcello: “Well, I don’t know if you can say what should or shouldn’t have happened. Youk got whacked. It was the second night in row where he got hit. He went to the mound, and he regrets that. He got whacked pretty good, there’s emotion involved and it happened.”

On the somewhat confusing penalties doled out by MLB disciplinarian Bob Watson: I’d be at the head of that club, the confusion club. I have had a lot of conversations with Bob, where I’ve left scratching my head.  I understand that there are going to be repercussions from last night.”

On his prediction of what type of suspension Youkilis will likely recieve: “Michael, I don’t have answer for that. That’s for you and everybody else to debate.”

On how Mike Lowell is handling the lack of playing time: “I think there’s a little confusion there. We’re not there to make everybody happy. I do think a good clubhouse makes for a better team in most cases. What’s really important is how they play the game. What’s more important is having guys put the ballclub first, and regardless of how they feel, trying to get past their own personal goals and aspirations, which is not always the easiest thing to do. I recognize that. I haven’t seen any problems out there. If I were Mikey Lowell, I don’t expect Mikey Lowell to come in and bow down and say, ‘What a great manager. You’re playing me three days or four days a week’ or whatever it is. He likes playing everyday. I like the fact that he likes playing everyday. For four years, he’s been grinding. We respect that. Now, when things maybe changed a little bit, I need to make good decisions and I need to recognize that, too, and I do.”

On how the team has been handling the recent lineup juggling: “I think guys have somewhat of an idea because we try to stay consistent. Every night after a game, Millsie and I will huddle before I go up to the media if possible. We want them to know before they go home if they’re playing or not playing. We all think it helps. They may not get the news they want to hear, but I think it’s better for them to prepare that way. And I think they agree with it, too. It makes their job a little easier.”

On his second inning ejection by umpire Scott Barry last night: “I went out and was arguing what was happening in the first inning. I thought there was an obstruction play in the first inning. The rules say you have to make an attempt to touch second. There was no attempt. Scott’s explanation I thought wasn’t very good, I knew I was going to get ejected. I got to a point where he didn’t throw me out so I said, ‘Cool, I’ll stick around.’ Right as I’m turning to leave, he ejects me. I deserved to be thrown out.”

On what caused Porcello to get thrown out from last night’s game: “I’m not privy to that conversation, nor should I be…Jerry Crawford had my ear for a second, was giving me an earful, and they were out there talking with Jim Leyland. That’s all I know. You’d be better off asking them.”

On how difficult the Ortiz situation has been on Francona: “It’s been tough, tougher on David. The only reason it was tough on me I was privy to some of it. Not all of it. But I understood the process at least, and I understood how unfair it was to David. I saw some of the things that were being said about him. I understood, and I was disappointed it took that long, because the longer it took, the more heat David was taking. His hands were unbelievably tied. I did see that. I would have like to have helped, but I was told to zip it and the process would take care of itself.

We actually were going to go down as a team to David’s thing. I talked to ‘Tek about it. Then, we had that 15-inning fiasco and we moved the buses back in New York. Tek ended up calling me at 2:30 in the morning. I said, ‘You know what, Tek, stay on the buses, I’ll go down and represent our guys and if anybody has a question, I’ll explain it. A lot of the time the perception is even more important than what really happens. I didn’t want it to be perceived that people weren’t being supportive of David.”

On if the Ortiz steroid saga has become a distraction for the team: “It’s been really tough on David. It threw off his routine. He’s being up in the morning having meetings and phone calls, and I think he was exhausted. When things become a distraction, it’s our fault. If things have become a distraction, most times we’ve lost.”

On David Ortiz’s Saturday press conference with MLBPA head Michael Weiner: “I thought David handled himself with a lot of class and grace. With where I was standing, I got to see him and the room. He was their with Michael Weiner, and there was a lot of movement in the room, with cell phones going off and cameras going off,. He was doing it in a second language. Knowing David, I thought he spoke from his heart. I don’t know Michael. But when people are representing the players, they can come across as one-sided. He made people like me understand it.”

On the illegal leaks of names from the 2003 Steroid List: “I don’t know, those lawyers, if they determine if they want to illegally and immorally leak out these names there’s nothing we can do about it. I think Michael explained his reasoning for that.”

On the team’s offensive struggles in New York: “Well, we ran into Burnett, CC and we got caught kind of in a buzz saw, we were in one of those funks, it was frustrating it was difficult, we had the lead in that last game, for about 30 seconds. I believe in our team, I always have and always will. It won’t be easy but we’ll find a way through.”

On the decision to throw Daniel Bard on Sunday night: “If you’re going to put him in those situations, yes. I think he’s earned the right to pitch in a lot of tough situations. When a guy is young, people will look to see if he can handle this or not.”

On not replacing Bard with Hideki Okajima on Sunday night: “Not the entire way. I don’t think after eight pitches an two consecutive outs. Oki was up for Posada. If you go to Pap there, and Johnny gets on, then he’s probably stealing second. We were having Oki ready for Posada who was three hitters away. After it’s over, you can always say, ‘We should’ve gone with the other guy.'”

On not calling for Pedroia to bunt on Friday night: “I wasn’t comfortable with playing for one run in Yankee Stadium against that team. I will tell ya when we were in the 15th inning of a 0-0 game, I was calling myself a dumbass.”

On how well rookie Junichi Tazawa pitched last night: “I used some adjectives about him that were pretty glowing, and he deserved it. His last three innings were spectacular.  Nothing throws this kid. He’s an exciting young man.”

On Tazawa’s next start and when that will happen: “He’s already scheduled to pitch in Texas. We have him penciled in Texas.”

On his personal philosophy on bunting: “I’m not a fan of bunting as much as maybe people of 30 years ago. I don’t think it’s the right thing to win a game. It’s who’s pitching, who’s running, who’s hitting. If we need one run desperately, we’ll do it sometimes. Playing for more than one run is the better way. There’s a lot of good things that can happen.”

On the recent lineup shuffling: “The emotional side never enters into what we do when we make a lineup.”

Read More: brawl, junichi tazawa, Kevin Youkilis, mike lowell
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