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Travis Shaw’s reminder: Red Sox spring training housing begs for reality shows 02.09.16 at 10:10 am ET
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On Tuesday morning Travis Shaw let the world know who he would be living with throughout spring training.

Now, it’s unclear if Deven Marrero, Mookie Betts, Blake Swihart and Shaw decided upon this living arrangement because of the tough housing market in the Greater Fort Myers area, or if they viewed it as a the potential for a “Life in Lee County” reality show.

But it does offer the reminder of the uniqueness that comes with putting players up in the Southwest Florida area for what is basically two months.

Rick Porcello? He bought a house in nearby Naples and plans on living with Joe Kelly. (Kelly’s wife is expected to be staying back home, with the couple’s first child slated to be born any day now.)

Matt Barnes and Jackie Bradley Jr. also bought houses in the area.

Many of the veterans lock in to higher-end housing, such as in the land of John Dennis (and Rob Gronkowski‘s family), Miromar Lakes. Others? They are forced to execute the same path of Shaw’s posse.

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Read More: Red Sox, Spring Training,
Eduardo Rodriguez doesn’t need fancy car, but does need David Price at 9:48 am ET
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Eduardo Rodriguez

Eduardo Rodriguez

Even while having to live in an major league existence/parking lot of tricked-out cars (see Yoan Moncada’s glow-in-the-dark BMW I8), Eduardo Rodriguez drives a Toyota 4Runner and makes no apologies for it.

“I know those kind of guys. They just buy the car. They don’t care what kind of car they got,” said Rodriguez, who just got his driver’s license last year. “They just buy the car and take it to that guy and the guy pulls out a Lamborghini. But I’m not that kind of guy. I just buy a car to drive in, especially with my wife and kids.”

But that doesn’t mean Rodriguez is adverse to mirroring. And there’s one person in particular that he’s all in on emulating this spring training — David Price.

“Having him here, for me, it’s going to be pretty good because he can teach me how to pitch because he’s a lefty and we have almost the same mechanics,” said Rodriguez, who was one of the first pitchers to arrive at JetBlue Park last week. “We throw the same, 94-97 [mph]. So it’s going to be pretty good for me having him here in spring training. If they put him in the same group with him it’s going to be way better for me because he can teach me everything. Whenever we do something, he can teach me how to control the game. For me? It’s going to be great.

“Two years ago I got Johan Santana in Baltimore and he taught me a lot, and that’s why I got in the big leagues last year and did pretty good. He taught me how to do this, this and this. So now I have him here and he can teach me with every start how to get better.”

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Read More: David Price, eduardo rodriguez, Red Sox,
20 cases of bubble gum heading to Fort Myers Wednesday at 9:06 am ET
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The Red Sox equipment truck leaves Fenway Park Wednesday morning. (USA Today)

The Red Sox equipment truck will leave Fenway Park Wednesday morning. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

For those who like to define seasons, the Red Sox once again are attempting to help you with their annual Truck Day taking place Wednesday morning.

With Milford’s Al Hartz behind the wheel, a 53-foot truck will be loaded starting at 7 a.m. before leaving Fenway Park for the 1,480-mile trip to JetBlue Park in Fort Myers. Wally the Green Monster, along with his newly unveiled sister Tessie, will lead the parade on a flatbed truck.

In case you were wondering what will be on board …

— 20,400 baseballs
— 1,100 bats
— 200 batting gloves
— 200 batting helmets
— 320 batting practice tops
— 160 white game jerseys
— 300 pairs of pants
— 400 T-shirts
— 400 pairs of socks
— 20 cases of bubble gum
— 60 cases of sunflower seeds

Read More: Red Sox, Spring Training,
Live chat: Talking Red Sox, MLB with Rob Bradford, 1 p.m. at 8:50 am ET
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Join Rob Bradford of WEEI.com for a live chat to discuss all things Red Sox, MLB and anything else that’s on your mind as spring training looms just more than a week away. It all kicks off at 1 p.m., so get your questions in now …

Live Blog Red Sox Hot Stove Chat, noon

Read More: MLB, Red Sox,
Twins GM Terry Ryan on releasing David Ortiz: ‘Obviously it was a mistake . . . and Boston’s gain’ 02.04.16 at 2:19 pm ET
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Terry Ryan is one of the most respected general managers in baseball, but even the best make mistakes.

The Twins GM’s is obvious: David Ortiz.

Before the 2003 season, Ryan famously released Ortiz in order to take shortstop Jose Morban in the Rule 5 draft. With Ortiz winding down a potential Hall of Fame career this weekend, Ryan reflected to MLB.com on the biggest mistake he ever made.

“There’s no hiding that one,” Ryan told the site. “You can put that one in there and lock it down. I’m not running from it. I’m proud of what he’s done. Obviously, it was a mistake. The guy has been a great representation of the Boston Red Sox and Major League Baseball for a long time. And it’s Boston’s gain and Minnesota’s loss. And I take full responsibility.”

Not only did Morban never appear in a game for Minnesota, he didn’t even make it through spring training, departing to the Orioles on waivers.

The decision to release Ortiz was driven by economics, as most decisions were back then in small-market Minnesota. He was due roughly $2 million in arbitration, and the Twins had Doug Mientkiewicz at first and Justin Morneau in the pipeline.

Ortiz, who had battled injury during his tenure, was reluctantly deemed expendable, despite compiling an .809 OPS in parts of six seasons with the Twins.

“There wasn’t any one thing,” Ryan told MLB.com. “If you look at his numbers across the board, they were very respectable. And not that it was totally about money, but we were a little bit strapped. That would be a good excuse, but it wasn’t that entirely. It was just a bad error in judgment of a guy’s talent. How about a mistake?”

The Red Sox remain thankful to this day.

Read More: David Ortiz, Red Sox, Terry Ryan, Terry Ryan's biggest mistake
Bradfo Show: Clay Buchholz thought he might be traded 02.03.16 at 1:02 pm ET
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Clay Buchholz on the Bradfo Show podcast

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Once David Price was signed by the Red Sox, Clay Buchholz — and the rest of the members of the team’s rotation — knew something had to give.

That led to a few uneasy, early December days for the Red Sox‘ pitcher, as he explained when appearing on the Bradfo Show podcast Wednesday.

“Yeah,” said Buchholz when asked if he thought he might be dealt this offseason. “Whenever you go out and get someone like David, that’s putting a lot of weight on his shoulders for reasons that are apparent. He’s the horse that every team wants to have on their staff. But given you do have someone like that, there obviously has to be one person that’s out of the mix. I was actually on the phone with Wade Miley talking about the whole Seattle thing, because my name was involved in that, and obviously his name. There were times I was unsure what was going to happen, but you can’t lose sleep over that. It’s a business and sometimes whenever an organization they have the best chance to succeed by doing one thing, and that’s what they do, you take it with a grain of salt and then you go to another team and try and help them win.

“There was a period of a week, 1 1/2 weeks, two weeks I was non-stop texting my agent, saying, ‘What’s going on?'”

As it turned out, Miley was the one dealt to Seattle, leaving Buchholz back with the Red Sox for at least one more season.

The 31 year old has a $13.5 million team option following the 2016 season, marking the second straight year he has had to pitch in a potential contract year. The real contract uncertainty began during last season, after an elbow injury shut him down in early July.

“Yeah, a little bit,” Buchholz said when asked if he ever thought his $13 million option for this season might not be picked up. “But then again, over my whole career I’ve been in the trade talks. From my first year to last year. It’s just one of those things. I’ve found a way to stick around. It goes back to me saying when I am on the field I feel like I’m as good as anybody else you can throw out there. Maybe that was the way they were leaning with it, I don’t know. I’m fortunate to be here to be a part of this organization. This is where I grew up as far as my professional career goes. I’ve got a lot of trust in them, and they’ve put a lot on me as the years have gone by. It’s one of those things.”

And now?

Buchholz said, with one option year remaining, it’s starting to feel like a whole new ballgame.

“Maybe a little bit because it is the final year of that contract so it’s more of a do-or-die type of thing and that’s why it was important to be in the gym this offseason, get the work in and try and prepare myself to the best of my capabilities and be ready,” he said of how he views this time last year to his current lot in life. “Once you get here there’s really no looking back on what you could have down, or what you should have done, or what’s going to happen. I’m looking forward to playing ball, getting on the mound and being around the guys. That’s what makes this game fun is to come out here and compete and do well at it.”

Read More: Clay Buchholz, Red Sox,
Bradfo Show: Clay Buchholz reveals latest plan to finally reach 200 innings at 12:03 pm ET
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Clay Buchholz on the Bradfo Show podcast

Clay Buchholz is one of the first to arrive at Red Sox camp this year. (WEEI.com photo)

Clay Buchholz is one of the first to arrive at Red Sox camp this year. (WEEI.com photo)

FORT MYERS, Fla. — After spending Wednesday morning executing a light game of catch with Rick Porcello, Clay Buchholz sat down for an episode of the Bradfo Show podcast to catch up.

As he pointed out, for about nine years running the first question in these sort of early-February interviews start with an update regarding his weight. (For what it’s worth, the right-handers frame does look a bit sturdier when we last saw him.)

The next topic? Is Buchholz going to pitch 200 innings?

The closest the 31 year old has come to the coveted milestone came in 2012, when he totaled 189 1/3 innings. But since then the totals have been 108 1/3 innings in 2013, 170 1/3 a year later, and the 113 1/3 innings he put in last season before succumbing to an elbow injury in early July.

The last couple of years coming in my body felt good. It’s been around the All-Star break where something unfortunate happens,” Buchholz said. “Given the way it was going last year, up until that point, I was one of those runs you like to be on with your starting pitcher. Go deep into games, given your team a chance to win, not give up a whole lot of home runs, making guys earn their way on base. That’s the mental side of it. You’re out there, feeling really good and then you have something set you back and you have to learn how to handle that. Over the last couple of years I’ve learned the only thing I can do about it is try and keep that from happening. That has been sort of the question mark, even for myself because there’s nobody who wants to be on the mound more than I do during a season because it really stinks sitting on the bench, especially when the team isn’t doing as good as everybody hoped for or how they thought they were going to do and you have nothing to do with it. That’s a pretty rough patch for me to not have anything to do with the team winning or losing.

“It’s just one of those things where I felt like I put myself in a good spot. As I’m getting older now I feel like there’s some switches I can make with the program we do out here and how I go about the workout routine and program. Hopefully put our heads together this year and find the ingredients for that to happen.”

The most notable “switch” Buchholz has implemented has come courtesy at least partially due the advice of one of his former teammates, Cubs pitcher John Lackey.

Buchholz is entering his time at JetBlue Park without having thrown any bullpen sessions, which is a big difference from a year ago when he came to town having four or five bullpens under his belt.

“In my mind I was thinking I was trying it a little bit different this year,” he explained. “Instead of ramping up and throwing bullpens in the offseason I’m going to get to camp around the first or second. i knew Porcello was going to be here, and I knew a couple of catchers were going to be here, too. Given our reporting date is the 18th for pitchers and catchers I can throw the same amount of bullpens being here rather than being in Texas and not being around any of the guys. I felt like this route was going to work well for me this year.

“I tried to pick a lot of guys brains. I work out with John Lackey in the offseason and he’s found his niche as far as how he goes about what he does in the offseason going into camp. We played catch for about the last month. He might throw a couple of bullpens before camp, but at this point and time he hasn’t thrown any either and he sort of eases his way into it. That was the approach I sort of thinking about taking. I talked to Johnny Farrell about it over the phone, and they were a little bit worried me coming into camp without throwing.

“Two and a half weeks from right now to throw my four or five bullpens. I can throw one every three days and it puts me on track. I can throw to Vazqy, and get reacquainted with him. I don’t feel like it’s a different route, it just started at a different time.”

The throwing program wasn’t the only change. After meeting with Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski before heading to Texas for the offseason, Buchholz received some guidelines in terms the organization’s expectations/suggestions.

“I sat down and talked to Dave before the season was over. It’s pretty much black and white what he was talking about,” Buchholz said. “When I sat down and talked to Dave it was more so of knowing what I had to do going into the offseason, taking the right amount of time off, being pretty strict on the workouts five days a week, and that’s what I did. I feel like I got stronger in a couple of different ways that I wasn’t the last couple of years. It was a good offseason for me. The one thing that was different this year is that I focused more on legs this year than I have the last four or five years. I feel like everything comes from the ground up. If my legs are in shape I don’t have to worry about my legs giving out in the first couple of bullpen. I just have to worry about arm strength, and that’s a good thing.”

Read More: Clay Buchholz, Red Sox,
Red Sox’ custom car guy: ‘It’s like a competition between all of them’ 01.31.16 at 2:45 pm ET
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Alex Vega, owner and operator of The Auto Firm near Miami, has been in the news lately thanks in large part because of the article in the New York Times, chronicling his work on cars for more than 300 professional athletes.

Of note for Red Sox followers was the work he has had done for many on the current Sox roster, such as Pablo Sandoval, Hanley Ramirez, Brock Holt, Rusney Castillo and prospect Yoan Moncada.

Appearing on WEEI with Rob Bradford, Butch Stearns and John Tomase, Vega elaborated on his business relationships with his professional athlete clientele.

“It’€™s mind-blowing to me sometimes because they buy a brand new car, make it really nice and then six, seven months down the line somebody else gets something similar and they want to up it,” Vega said. “It’€™s like a competition between all of them.”

Vega detailed some of the particulars in each of the cars he has worked on for Red Sox players:

– Castillo has a Porsche 911 Turbo that not only shoots flames out the back, but has his uniform number light up on the front of the car, and on the ground underneath vehicle when the doors are opened.

– Ramirez’ Lamborghini also has the ability to shoot flames out the back.

– Holt goes against the grain for most bringing in Jeeps, upgrading the look, but not altering the Jeep appearance.

– Sandoval? “Crazy. I love these guys. He’€™s just a unique guy. Spur of the moment type of guy. He showed up with two of his Range Rovers I built for him that I want to change up the rims for spring training. Next thing you know he sees a [Mercedes] G63 I have outside. He says, ‘Man I love that car,’ drives it, trades in one of the Range Rover, takes the [Mercedes] G-Wagon.” (The Times article has Sandoval quoted as saying he gets a new car every year.)

– Moncada not only is in the market for one of Vega’s customized, $175,000 vans, but already has a BMW which glows in the dark.

– While he hasn’t done anything for David Ortiz quite yet, Vega said he is currently working on reeling in the Red Sox’ DH. “We’€™re working on him right now, actually. We’€™re working on surprising the world with what he wants. ‘€¦ He wants to leave with a bang, I guess.”

What kind of problems does Vega run into? Making it clear to his clients what is and isn’t street legal. “It happens a lot because I do a lot of cars for the Dominican Republic, different countries where they can have police lights and sirens. They don’€™t realize that’€™s something you can’€™t do in the States.”

Read More: David Ortiz, hanley ramirez, Pablo Sandoval, Red Sox
Koji Uehara has been time-lapsing his offseason workouts 01.29.16 at 9:47 am ET
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While we were so focused on Dave Dombrowski not lying, Hanley Ramirez‘s Instagram posts, and the deluge of Winter Weekend player availability at Foxwoods last weekend, we’ve been missing Koji Uehara’s offseason documentary.

While the video documentation isn’t exactly “Man on Wire,” or “Making a Murderer,” the nine episodes of You Tube videos does offer proof that the Red Sox reliever is fully recovered from his broken wrist and would seem to be ready once his stay in Fort Myers begin.

So, get the popcorn out …

Read More: Koji Uehara, Red Sox,
Bradfo Show: Joe Kelly recounts when John Farrell told pitcher wouldn’t be traded 01.27.16 at 11:26 pm ET
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Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly on Bradfo Show podcast

Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly

With David Price signed, and six pitchers making up the Red Sox starting rotation, Joe Kelly had his doubts as the winter meetings kicked off in early December.

And when rumors started surfacing from Nashville about teams such as Texas showing interest in Kelly, the pitcher’s anxiety only increased.

But, according to Kelly, one phone call eased his mind for the rest of the offseason.

“Every player until they don’€™t have a no-trade clause in their contract realize it can be a thing in the offseason, and something everyone follows,” Kelly said on the Bradfo Show podcast. “But there was a point and time in the offseason that I thought there was a possibility of me being on another team next year. But close to the deadline I got a call from John Farrell and he told me I wasn’€™t going anywhere. He said he knew my name was being thrown out there and that was just from other clubs. They put my name out there to see what fish would bite.

“I don’€™t know it was a surprise, but it shows the respect the organization has at the top, knowing that they didn’€™t want me to trade me. Obviously I didn’€™t get that phone call from the GM or the coach from the St. Louis Cardinals before I got traded, it just happened out of the blue. Knowing that I wasn’€™t going to get traded, it was a level of comfort and respect on both sides. It just goes to show that the front office that we have is very, very smart and understanding of both sides.”

Some of the other topics Kelly discusses on the podcast include why he picked “Knox” for his unborn son’s name, where the much-publicized “He’s the ace/I’m the ace” t-shirts went, what it’s like to suddenly be classified a millionaire, and the reasons behind his late-season resurgence.

Read More: Joe Kelly, Red Sox,
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