|Rick Porcello of Red Sox named American League Comeback Player of the Year||11.29.16 at 2:53 pm ET|
The honors and accolades keep rolling in for Rick Porcello.
The Red Sox right-hander, who earlier this month claimed the American League Cy Young Award, on Tuesday added Comeback Player of the Year to his resume.
Porcello finished first in balloting among the 30 beat reporters from MLB.com. He was joined by National League winner Anthony Rendon of the Nationals.
Porcello, 27, went 22-4 with a 3.15 ERA and nipped former teammate Justin Verlander of the Tigers in the Cy Young voting. His 22 victories led the big leagues and were the most by a Red Sox pitcher since Pedro Martinez won 23 in 1999.
Porcello’s numbers were a far cry from 2015, when he debuted with the Red Sox by going 9-15 with a 4.92 ERA.
Porcello is the first Red Sox player to win the award since outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury claimed it in 2011.
|Top 10 Red Sox All-Star moments||07.11.16 at 2:21 pm ET|
10. Jim Rice goes 2-for-4 with a solo blast, 1983
To begin a seven-run third inning, Rice hit a rocket to left field en route to a 13-3 victory, snapping a 13-game losing streak for the American League. Rice was upstaged by former teammate and future Red Sox Hall of Famer Fred Lynn, who was in the middle of his tenure with the Angels. Lynn hit the first grand slam in All-Star Game history later in the third inning and won the All-Star Game MVP award to cap off his nine straight All-Star appearances.
9. Josh Beckett helps Red Sox win home-field advantage, 2007
After giving up a leadoff double to Jose Reyes, Beckett retired six straight, including Ken Griffey Jr., to get the win in the 2007 All-Star Game. The win for the American League gave home-field advantage to the Red Sox in that fall’s World Series, when they swept the Rockies to win their second title in four years.
8. J.D. Drew wins ASG MVP deep behind enemy lines, 2008
Drew made the only All-Star Game appearance of his career at Yankee Stadium, and it was a memorable one. During the bottom of the seventh, Drew sent a low fastball deep into right field for a two-run, game-tying home run, silencing the bleacher creatures and winning the All-Star Game MVP award. Drew’s home run also helped this All-Star Game go into extra innings, where it became the longest All-Star Game of all time at four hours, 50 minutes.
|Source: MLB plans to remind Pedro Martinez that Jose Fernandez tweet was technically tampering||06.18.16 at 8:10 pm ET|
It appears that Pedro Martinez’s understandable enthusiasm over Marlins ace Jose Fernandez has gotten the better of him.
One day after Martinez tweeted that Fernandez, “is a special pitcher and human being and in every form you look at him you see BOSTON RED SOX,” a source in the league office said that Martinez’s comment is being investigated and will likely result in a “reminder” that such commentary technically constitutes tampering.
Jose Fernandez is a special pitcher and human being and in every form you look at him you see BOSTON RED SOX.
— Pedro Martinez (@45PedroMartinez) June 18, 2016
Were Martinez merely a retired player, voicing his opinion would be fine. But because he’s a special assistant to president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski and thus represents the Red Sox, his statement technically violates rule 3(k) which prohibits the “enticement” of rival players “respecting employment.”
The league has no plans to punish him or the Red Sox, according to the source. He’ll instead be educated on the rule. The Red Sox will let the league handle the issue.
Martinez’s fondness for Fernandez makes sense. The 23-year-old Marlins right-hander is 9-3 with a 2.57 ERA in his first full season since returning from 2014 Tommy John surgery. He’s 31-12 with a 2.43 ERA lifetime and as a Scott Boras client, will presumably be too expensive for the Marlins’ taste before reaching free agency after the 2018 season.
|Red Sox 1st-round pick Jason Groome living a dream: Dustin Pedroia his favorite player, Red Sox his favorite team||06.09.16 at 11:10 pm ET|
Jason Groome may have been raised in a Yankees household in Yankees country, but that didn’t stop the New Jersey high schooler from loving the Red Sox.
Boston’s first-round pick in Thursday’s draft, 12th overall, the left-handed pitcher sounded beside himself in a conference call with New Jersey reporters after being selected.
“It’s a crazy feeling, just hearing my name get called, especially by the Red Sox,” he said. “It was the best experience of my life. Me and my family had no idea and when they called our name, we went crazy. It was a dream come true.”
So how did Groome end up a Red Sox fan?
“Me and my dad, I always liked Pedro Martinez and Manny Ramirez,” he said. “I always liked Fenway Park. Everyone in my family is a Yankees fan. I always tended to like the Red Sox fans a little bit better. I’ve just taken them as my best team. Dustin Pedroia is my favorite player just because of his work ethic, and David Price, who I like to model myself after as well. It’s just awesome ending up with Boston. I couldn’t ask for a better team to go to. I’m so comfortable because they’re my favorite team. It’s just a dream come true.”
Some analysts considered Groome the most talented player in the draft, blessed with an upper-90s fastball and devastating curveball. He slipped because of signability concerns — he just withdrew a commitment to Vanderbilt in favor of junior college, which will make him eligible for next year’s draft, should he fail to sign — as well as some maturity issues, though it’s important to note he’s only 17.
“I really didn’t feel that bad because everything happens for a reason,” Groome said. “I always said I just wanted to end up somewhere I’m comfortable and feel protected. Like I said, there’s no other spot to do that than Boston. They’re my favorite team.”
|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.”
|Pedro Martinez wants to be remembered as happy, grateful, a sign of hope||07.28.15 at 11:21 pm ET|
As the Red Sox retired No. 45 to the right field wall, Martinez reflected on all he had accomplished during his time in Boston as well as how he reached this point in his career.
It was all he could do, he said.
Prior to the game, the Sox held a ceremony for the recent Hall of Famer, bringing out former members of the team like Carl Yastrzemski, Jim Rice, Carlton Fisk, Dennis Eckersley, Curt Schilling, Jason Varitek and others.
“All I could do was reflect when I saw everybody there,” Martinez said. “And seeing the franchise standing right there, all the players … reflect, reflect and reflect and maybe one of these days I will wake up and say, ‘Hey, my god, this just happened.’ But right now I’m like in a bubble, I’m flying around. I haven’t set my feet down yet.”
He also emphasized just how much all of his accolades have affected him, and how he’s still strapped for words when he thinks about how he was the one on the receiving end of them.
“It seems like destiny had me linked in a very different way to everything,” he said. “The Red Sox, the seasons, the championships, ’04, 86 years and then I’m part of the All-Century team for the Red Sox, and I see so many great players that passed by that couldn’t pull it off. I was part of the ones that pulled it off, and not only that, I’m the first pitcher that goes into that exclusive wall of numbers retired.
“It’s a unique opportunity to feel this, and I don’t know how to describe it. I get confused in the middle of trying to explain why, why me? How? And I’m trying to enjoy it as well, and I’m trying to have a great time and soaking up as much as I can, but I’m still floating from being in the Hall of Fame, from being in the Red Sox Hall of Fame, Latino Hall of Fame, so many things that happened that I can only say I’m fortunate. I’m so fortunate to have had the opportunity to represent so many different things.”
Joe Kelly’s first inning Monday night was bad — allowing four runs — putting the Red Sox in a quick 4-0 hole.
But, Tuesday night was even worse as Wade Miley allowed five first-inning runs, digging the Red Sox a hole they couldn’t dig out of in their 9-4 loss to the White Sox on the night Pedro Martinez‘s number was retired before the game.
Martinez wouldn’t have liked what he saw, as after striking out the leadoff batter, Miley allowed the next five batters to reach, all of which scored, as the White Sox took a 5-0 lead before the Red Sox even stepped to the plate.
The big blow came on a two-run Geovany Soto double, which scored two runs. Emilio Bonifacio followed with an RBI double for the fifth run of the inning.
“Not a lot of command in the first inning,” Miley said. “A lot of fastballs in the middle of the plate and not a good effort me making adjustments in that first inning. I probably had a couple opportunities to minimize the damage and didn’t do a very good job of it.”
Miley settled down, firing four scoreless innings until a freak play in the sixth ended his night.
With two outs in the sixth inning and the White Sox carrying a 5-2 lead, Jose Abreu launched a first-pitch fastball to deep right-center field. Mookie Betts raced back to catch the fly ball, but after two steps hurdled his body over the right field fence.
The outfielder tumbled into the Red Sox bullpen, landing on his head and neck. While the ball trickled out of Betts’ glove after landing on the ground, Abreu was initially called out. But after an umpires’ review, the call was over-turned, giving the White Sox slugger his 16th homer and the visitors’ a two-run lead.
Making matters worse, Betts was forced to leave the game and was tested for a possible concussion.
Miley went 5 2/3 innings allowing seven runs on 10 hits, while walking three and striking out five.
The Red Sox cut into the White Sox’ lead in the second inning on a Pablo Sandoval two-run homer the other way. That was all the Sox could get against White Sox starter Jeff Samardzija until a meaningless two runs in the ninth.
The right-hander went 8+ innings allowing four runs on seven hits, walking one and striking out three.
In relief of Miley, Justin Masterson allowed a towering homer to Soto in the seventh and another run in the eighth. He allowed two runs over his 3 1/3 innings of relief.
The Red Sox have now dropped two straight games and are 2-9 since the All-Star break.
Here is what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox’ win:
In just the second year of his major league career, the catcher was behind the plate for Martinez’s second start as a member of the Red Sox against the Angels on April 6, 1998. When he pitched in Game 3 of the 2004 World Series for his final Red Sox start, Varitek caught that too.
“You look back and it’s just an opportunity,” he said. “I was so young … it was the most memorable moments that I had to do behind the plate. You don’t appreciate how good someone is until you play your entire career and you don’t really see it again.”
“He had the physical tools with an exploding fastball, location of it, the ability to change speeds, a devastating changeup developed into the same curveball,” Varitek added. “He had plus pitches across the board, but that only goes so far unless you have the competitiveness and the heart that he had when he pitched, and it made him who he was.”
He was emotional when Martinez gave his Hall of Fame induction speech Sunday, sitting in front of the television for three and a half hours so he wouldn’t miss a thing.
“You just kept waiting, waiting, waiting, and he took the stage, but it showed what heart he has for both the United States and for his home, the Dominican …” Varitek said. “I’m just so proud and happy for him. It’s his moment, his time and so well deserved.”
There isn’t a whole lot of space on the right field deck for very many retired numbers, and that, to Varitek, speaks volumes of just how big it really is to have No. 45 go up there Tuesday night.
“It’s huge,” he said. “I mean you look on that board, and there’s only a few, there’s only room for a few [numbers], and deservedly so that Pedro’s is going to go right up there with them.”
|David Ortiz drives in 7, thanks Pedro Martinez: ‘The most unbelievable human being I have been around’||07.27.15 at 12:53 am ET|
Hours after the Red Sox pitching great was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, Ortiz, inspired by a 30-minute bilingual speech from Martinez, drove in a career-high seven runs, belted two three-run homers, scored three runs and went 4-for-5 in an 11-1 pasting of the Tigers at Fenway Park.
“I was very emotional today looking at the induction,” Ortiz said. “It’s something that was remarkable. You never know what is going to pop out. Pedro, I got tears coming out when I saw Pedro talking because I know the man. I know everything that he went through in his career. I used to see that with Pedro after games. He starts telling me stories about things. All the stories he used to tell me made me a better human being, made me a better player. He was good. He wrote a book about it.
“He let it fly during the speech because for a lot of people, I know some of the fans, fans that don’t follow him. They thought that Pedro was as crazy as he looks sometimes when he was pitching. Pedro was the most unbelievable human being I have been around. Pedro is a Christian man. He is a man that thanks God every single minute of his life. Just watching during the speech, there was no doubt about the human being that I know that was out there letting people know how the game gets to be played.”
The magnitude of the night wasn’t lost on Ortiz’s manager, John Farrell.
“Maybe it’s somewhat fitting for Boston baseball today, with Pedro’s induction and then David with the seven RBI’s as he climbs up higher on that [career] list,” Farrell said.
Ortiz has struggled this season, as has the team. But on a night like Sunday, Ortiz could only imagine what Martinez would be doing to him in the dugout.
“He’d be hugging me all night,” Ortiz said. “Pedro, man, I’m telling you, he’s special. He’s somebody I always love having around because Pedro is nothing but positive stuff coming out. I’m pretty sure everybody in New England enjoyed his induction today.”
|David Ortiz: ‘Very emotional’ watching Pedro Martinez Hall of Fame speech||07.26.15 at 7:05 pm ET|
Ortiz, like everyone else in the baseball world, watched Sunday’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
“Pedro was special,” Ortiz said. “Unbelievable competitor. Best stuff I’ve ever seen in a pitcher and the most important thing, an incredible human being. I think a lot of people misjudge Pedro because of the way he was goes about his business. Besides that, Pedro is a very Christian person and person that has much love for everyone. I don’t think you can be around a better human being than what he is. I was watching the whole thing and it was very emotional. It was I was expecting.”
In seven seasons with the Red Sox, Martinez was 117-37 with a 2.52 ERA and a 0.978 WHIP in 201 starts. Ortiz knew even then he would one day be in the Hall of Fame.
“Yeah, definitely,” he said. “I think Pedro was going to be a Hall of Famer at some point because his numbers, they were ridiculous. … His winning percentage and the way he carried himself was something you only see in Hall of Famers.”
Martinez is only the second player from the Dominican Republic to get inducted into the Hall of Fame. Ortiz, who is also from the Dominican, said it shows just how hard getting into the Hall of Fame is.
“I can remember Victorino asked me, ‘Man, it’s crazy, all the great players we have in the Domincan, there’s only two Hall of Famers.’ I’ve never thought about that,” Ortiz said. “Victorino told me and I told Victorino, ‘That’s how good of a player — you need to achieve some good numbers to get into the Hall of Fame. Getting into the Hall of Fame isn’t an easy thing to do. It doesn’t matter if you were one of the best players of you’re era. You still need to stack up numbers.”
With the Hall of Fame being discussed, Ortiz was asked if he had given thought of himself getting in as a designated hitter. As expected, Ortiz didn’t have much to say.
“I don’t know. I don’t vote,” he said.
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