|Jerry Remy offers thoughts regarding Don Orsillo moving on||08.26.15 at 12:06 am ET|
CHICAGO — Following the Red Sox‘ 5-4 loss to the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field, Jerry Remy took a few minutes to reflect on the news that his longtime NESN Red Sox broadcast partner, Don Orsillo, would not be brought back for the 2016 season.
“For the last 15 years it’s been an absolute pleasure to work with Don,” an emotional Remy told a small group of reporters immediately after the broadcast. “I can remember him sitting in the booth when the job became available. He was asking me if there was any chance he could probably get it. I said a few things to a few people and he did get it. He’s been an outstanding partner for 15 years and I’m truly going to miss him — on a work-related side, and I’m going to miss him on a personal side because he’s also become a very, very close friend of mine. I know that he’s going to land on his feet and he’s going to be in great shape. I’m sure they’re going to be lining up for his services, I really mean that. He’s terrific at what he does. He’s been absolutely fabulous to work with. I love him. He’s going to do just fine. I’m not worried about that part of it.”
Remy said he was surprised when he first heard the news that Orsillo might be moving on, adding, “I’ve gone through a lot of different people. It’s never easy. You get close to people. You just feel for them.”
Just prior to Remy’s statement, Orsillo politely declined comment before leaving premises.
The day was clearly an emotional one for both broadcast partners, with news of Orsillo’s dismissal first surfacing on the Dennis and Callahan Show Tuesday morning.
“It’s been awfully difficult on him. It really has,” said Remy, who is slated to work with newly hired Dave O’Brien, a current member of the Red Sox radio broadcast team. “It’s difficult on everybody. You get used to somebody and you’re friends and you work together for such a long time, you have such a good time doing your job and it’s over. I’ve been very fortunate because I’ve worked with a lot of good people and he’s right at the top of the list.”
|Hanley Ramirez: ‘I think with me at first, we’re going to have a better team’||08.25.15 at 6:10 pm ET|
If you expected Hanley Ramirez to resist playing first base — surprise! He’s completely on board.
“I think with me at first, we’re going to have a better team on the field, competing every day,” Ramirez said on Tuesday in Chicago after working out at first before a game against the White Sox.
The turnabout certainly comes as a shock given the team’s reluctance as recently as a week ago to even work out Ramirez at first this season. But the arrival of Dave Dombrowski as president of baseball operations and the departure of general manager Ben Cherington apparently contributed to Ramirez’s change of heart.
Also, it’s hard to argue how much better the Red Sox have been in all phases with Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Rusney Castillo covering a lot of ground in the outfield.
“We’ve got a guy out there, he’s trying to put the best pieces on the field,” Ramirez said. “He was like, ‘If you put this guy over here and put this guy in left field, how would the team look?’ And I was thinking about that, too. I was thinking, ‘Yeah, we’re a way better team with me on first and with Jackie and Mookie and Casty on the field.’ Hopefully, we can do it and they can keep doing what they’re doing — playing great outfield and keep hitting, because we’re going to need that.”
Ramirez is confident he can make a better transition to first then he has to left, and he was giddily upbeat while joking with reporters on Tuesday.
“I’m blessed. I can play anywhere,” he said. “I can hit anywhere. I’m really happy that I can do that for a team. I can play first, second, third, short, left, center, right field, I can catch. I can lead off, be second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, 10th. And if the game’s one-sided, I can pitch. I’m really blessed.”
|David Ortiz on Red Sox manager John Farrell being diagnosed with lymphoma: ‘We’re going to ride through this with him’||08.14.15 at 5:18 pm ET|
Ortiz said on Friday the clubhouse was in shock with the news that Farrell has been diagnosed with stage 1 lymphoma. And he also vowed the players’ support.
“I’ve been around John for a long time,” Ortiz said. “He first was a pitching coach, and the past couple of years he’s been our manager. John is an incredible human being. In our situation, you’ve got 25 men in the room, and he’s got to put up with each one of us, every situation. I think it’s time for us to give him back that support and that much love that he gives to all of us. We’re going to ride through this with him. We’re going to always ask God for a blessing, you know, and make sure he comes through this in the best way possible.”
As Farrell noted, Ortiz believes his manager got extremely lucky. Had he not undergone surgery to repair a hernia in Detroit earlier this week, doctors wouldn’t have found the cancer.
“In his case, one out of a million times, the cancer that he has, it gives you no sickness until it’s pretty much all over the place, from what I heard,” Ortiz said. “He got very, very lucky that he went to get that hernia taken care of and all of a sudden they find out about this.
“It’s not the news you want to hear about, but when it comes down to what it was and the way they found out, I think we should all be happy about it, because now he knows. Otherwise, if he doesn’t get that surgery, then the news would’ve been different. Like he said, he had no symptoms. There’s no way he can tell about that cancer without having that surgery. It seems to me like pretty much everything worked for the best in this case, and hopefully he gets through it. Like I said, we’re going to give him all the support like he gives to us, always.”
Ortiz said he heard the news from a crying Hanley Ramirez, who came to him in the training room.
“Pretty much all of us were in shock,” Ortiz said. “When they mention the word cancer, it’s something that doesn’t matter what it comes from, it’s going to impact you. We’re going to give John the support that we can give him so he can get through this and be back next year, back to normal.
“Hopefully everything goes well for him. We’ve got a big family around here and definitely when it comes down to health issues, you want to make sure that everything goes OK. The organization has taken a lot of responsibility on that, to make sure that John gets through it, the way it’s supposed to be.”
|Red Sox trying to fix all-or-nothing approach of slumping left fielder Hanley Ramirez||08.07.15 at 4:51 pm ET|
That day is not Friday, because Ramirez is in the starting lineup against Tigers lefty Daniel Norris in Detroit. But frankly, what ails Ramirez will probably require more than a down day to fix.
In 19 games since the All-Star break, Ramirez is hitting just .203 with two doubles, no homers, and a .451 OPS. If he’s not the worst hitter in the American League at the moment, he’s close.
The problem is simple, from the Red Sox point of view — Ramirez has abandoned the line-drive approach that made him a batting champ early in his career in favor of an all-or-nothing swing that has been filling up the “nothing” side of the ledger.
“I think there have been times his swing has gotten big,” Farrell said on Thursday. “This is something a number of us have spoken to Hanley about, trying to get some sense of the approach at the plate. He’s typically been such a good line drive hitter and a high number of doubles, almost 2-to-1 doubles to home runs. And yet right now that’s reversed.
“Whether that’s a mindset and approach to think about more power rather than being a contact hitter of hard line drive ability, we’re still trying to work at the root of that, and if that mindset has created some habits where there’s an attempt to loft the ball more and not be the pure hitter he’s been known for, that’s what we’re repeatedly working with him and trying to get back to.”
As Farrell alluded, the greatest indictment of Ramirez’s season is the fact that he has only eight doubles, 26 fewer than his average of 34, and a full 40 below his career high, which he set in 2007.
Ramirez’s second-half slump has taken its toll on his overall numbers, with his on-base percentage slipping to .300, 68 points below his lifetime average.
In retrospect, it appears that hitting 10 home runs in April did Ramirez no favors, creating a dynamic of shooting for the moon on each swing. Both Farrell and hitting coach Chili Davis have implored Ramirez to shorten his swing and regain the line-drive stroke that made him an All-Star. According to WEEI play-by-play man Joe Castiglione, who tracks such things, Ramirez has only hit the left field wall twice all season, and that’s horrific.
Fixing it won’t be easy.
“Hitters so many times are going to work on feel, they’re not going to necessarily take a look at the numbers and say well, the number of doubles versus number of home runs being hit are going to tell me that I’m doing something [wrong],” Farrell said. “They’re working on feel. And that’s what he’s still trying to recapture right now.”
|Red Sox pitching prospect Brian Johnson placed on disabled list with elbow tightness||08.04.15 at 12:21 am ET|
Red Sox left-hander Brian Johnson was placed on the minor league disabled list on Monday, one day after leaving a start at Triple-A Pawtucket with tightness in his elbow, a team spokesman confirmed.
Johnson lasted just four innings at Buffalo on Sunday, allowing two hits and a run. He walked three and struck out three. He is scheduled to undergo further examination on Tuesday.
One of the team’s best pitching prospects, Johnson made his big league debut on July 21 in an 8-3 loss to the Astros. He allowed three hits and four runs in 4 1/3 innings, walking four, striking out three, and having difficulty throwing over to first base.
Manager John Farrell said last week that Johnson would rejoin the rotation shortly, but that was before he suffered this injury. Left-hander Henry Owens will make his big league debut on Tuesday when the Red Sox open a three-game series in New York against the Yankees.
News of Johnson’s DL stint was first reported by the Boston Globe.
|Source: Red Sox considering former Blue Jays reliever Jason Frasor, who was just released by Royals||07.14.15 at 7:02 pm ET|
According to a major league source, the Red Sox are sorting through options to improve their bullpen, and one of them is Jason Frasor, who was recently released by the Royals after being designated for assignment.
Frasor, who turns 38 in August, did not seem a likely candidate to be DFA’d after posting a 1.54 ERA in 26 games. But the Royals have a loaded and crowded bullpen, and Frasor’s peripheral numbers tell the story of a pitcher who’s not what he was in 2013-14, when he posted a 2.62 ERA between Texas and Kansas City while striking out 94 in 96 1/3 innings.
Frasor’s strikeout rate has fallen to a career-low 6.9, and his walk rate of 5.8 is just off his career-worst of 6.0.
Still, the right-hander has a track record of success in the American League East, having spent the first nine years of his career in Toronto, where he posted a 3.73 ERA.
Red Sox relievers currently rank 23rd in baseball with a 3.89 ERA, but the bigger issue is a lack of reliability beyond closer Koji Uehara and setup man Junichi Tazawa. Hard-throwing right-hander Matt Barnes owns an ERA of 10.13 over the last 28 days, while right-hander Alexi Ogando has allowed eight homers in just 40 1/3 innings. Left-handers Craig Breslow (6 HRs) and Tommy Layne (4.7 walks/9) have also struggled, especially recently.
Frasor was designated for assignment on July 6 and then cleared waivers. He elected free agency and isn’t expected to remain on the market for long, with the Mariners reportedly interested and Minnesota a potential landing spot as well.
Frasor isn’t the only recognizable veteran with AL East experience to be released in the last week. Right-handers Joba Chamberlain (Tigers) and Brandon League (Dodgers) are on the market, too.
|David Ortiz on All-Star voting: ‘We need to take this more serious’||07.03.15 at 11:57 am ET|
That’s why he doesn’t like what he’s witnessed this year.
“We need to take this more serious when it comes to picking guys for the All-Star Game,” the Red Sox designated hitter said.
Like the rest of baseball, Ortiz has witnessed how fan voting (which closed Thursday night) has unfolded, with Royals players either leading, or close to leading, virtually every position on the AL roster.
According to the most recent results, second baseman Omar Infante (.231 batting average, .547 OPS) and Alcides Escobar (.273, .664) of the Royals would be starters if the game was played today.
Other KC players garnering enough votes to start at last glance are outfielders Lorenzo Cain and Alex Gordon, and catcher Salvador Perez. In second place at their positions are DH Kendrys Morales, first baseman Eric Hosmer and third baseman Mike Moustakas.
Ortiz joins the voices saying enough is enough.
“I know that MLB always wants to get the fans involved in this because as a fan you want to see your favorite players. But the reality is the way I know All-Star Games are for whomever is playing the best in the first half. Now you see all these things that’s happening with Kansas City and their players. I saw that coming. I saw that coming a long time ago. I knew it was going to happen,” the DH said.
“I think the reality is that they need to go back to the old days and choose the players who are playing the best in the first half. Even us as players are like, ‘These guys are making the All-Star Game with these numbers?’ It’s questionable. I don’t think it’s fair to some of the players.”
|Injured Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia: ‘I’ll be back as fast as I can’||06.25.15 at 12:11 pm ET|
“You guys know me,” Pedroia said. “I’ll be back as fast as I can.”
Red Sox manager John Farrell said before the game that Pedroia would need at least two weeks, and maybe more, to recover. Pedroia described the circumstances that led to the injury as he rounded the bag on Wednesday after ripping a go-ahead single to left-center in a 5-1 victory over the O’s.
“I kind of just skidded, it slipped out before I got to the bag and I tried to recover,” Pedroia said. “You deal with it the best you can. It’s unfortunate. It’s something you can’t dwell on. It happens. It’s part of the game, I guess.
“I’ve never pulled a muscle before. It’s just weird. Right before I hit the bag, my foot kind of slipped out and I hit the bag with my left foot, so I tried to just recover and stop, so I slipped basically. It’s a thing you can’t prevent, man. That’s the part that frustrates me mentally. You work hard in the weight room and in the offseason trying to do things to prevent injury, and little things happen. It’s tough. We’ll get through it. Guys will come together and hold it down until I get back, and then we’ll go.”
Pedroia is in the midst of a resurgent season, batting .306 with an .819 OPS and nine homers, two more than he managed all of last season.
|Red Sox lineup: Dustin Pedroia still out, Pablo Sandoval back in||06.19.15 at 4:17 pm ET|
Returning to the lineup is third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who was benched Thursday for violating the team’s social media policy.
Alejandro De Aza also gets the start in right field with righty starter Yohan Pino on the mound for KC.
Here is the Red Sox lineup with Eduardo Rodriguez getting the start for the visitors:
|Does Mike Napoli think he’s back after his two hits Tuesday? ‘No’||06.17.15 at 12:28 pm ET|
The first baseman came away with a pair of hits after having come into the series finale hitting .156 in his 12 games played this month. It was a stretch that saw Napoli strikeout 17 times in 46 plate appearances, walking just once.
So, when he pulled a single into left field on a Julio Teheran slider, that must have made Napoli feel like his swing was getting back to a good place, right?
“No,” he responded after the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Braves.
Well, certainly the sixth-inning double to left offered the solution he had been searching for.
“Nope,” Napoli responded once again.
He then elaborated.
“I’m not the kind of guy who gets a couple of hits and thinks, ‘I’m back.’ Yeah, I felt better, but I have to go a couple of games of executing what I’m trying to do,” Napoli said. “I’ve still got work to do, but I’m going down the right path.”
It is pretty clear what pitchers have been doing to Napoli, living on the outside part of the plate. He knows that.
“I haven’t really shown I can hit the outer corner pitch,” the righty hitter said. “I have to make the adjustment to be able to hit that pitch.”
Then comes a pause. Now Napoli once again identifies what he continues to believe is a big part of the problem: the strike zone.
“Some of them are off, and they’re being called strikes,” he said regarding the dilemma he’s facing on the outside part of the plate. “For me, sometimes with two strikes I have to expand and I have to swing at something. I’m not just going to take something and walk back to the dugout. But, whatever. I’m feeling better. I’m going in the right path.”
It’s obviously been an issue on Napoli’s mind, along with evidently at least somebody else in the Red Sox clubhouse. According to Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, one of the players asked about the consistency of this season’s strike zone during his pregame meeting with the team.
That person wasn’t Napoli. According to the first baseman, at the time of the get-together he was in the trainer’s room getting treatment.
“No, it wasn’t me,” he said. “But I wish I was in here for that.”
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