|David Price tells Globe he heard racial taunts in Fenway Park||01.13.17 at 8:12 pm ET|
Before David Price ever joined the Red Sox, he intimated that their fans could be particularly nasty towards him on social media.
It appears that behavior extended to Fenway Park.
In a lengthy interview with the Boston Globe from his native Nashville, Price said that bullpen catcher Mike Brenly and security had to stand up for him as he took abuse while warming up during a disappointing debut season.
The taunts occasionally turned racial in nature, the paper reported.
“I got it all,” Price told the paper. “It’s all right. I don’t care about that. My mom is white and my dad is black. I’ve heard that since I’ve been in school. There’s nothing you can say to me that I haven’t heard before. Your ignorance is not going to affect what I’m trying to do. But I feel sad it’s still out there.”
|Red Sox manager John Farrell on Hot Stove Show: No timetable on Eduardo Rodriguez||01.11.17 at 8:31 pm ET|
Red Sox manager John Farrell joined the Hot Stove Show on Wednesday night and provided a number of Red Sox updates, including who might play in the World Baseball Classic, the physical status of Eduardo Rodriguez and Steven Wright, and his thoughts on who might start on Opening Day.
Here are some highlights.
— Red Sox starters Chris Sale and David Price have already said they won’t be pitching in the WBC. The Red Sox are allowed to keep Rodriguez out of the tournament following the minor knee injury he suffered in winter ball in his native Venezuela.
— Speaking of Rodriguez, he’s getting his visa sorted out and will be in Boston shortly to have a followup exam on his knee. An MRI in Venezuela was negative. Farrell didn’t want to put a timetable on his possible return. “He’s been able to do some light exercise,” Farrell said. “There’s no reason to think spring training is going to be delayed.” That said, Farrell acknowledged that Rodriguez’s history means the team will proceed cautiously with him.
— Wright, the knuckleballer, is throwing from 90 feet as he continues his return from a shoulder injury.
— Carson Smith has started a throwing program. He’ll be in Fort Myers on Feb. 1 to continue his program. He won’t be ready for the start of the season.
— President Dave Dombrowski recently told Buster Olney that Drew Pomeranz and Wright are penciled in to the last two spots in the rotation. That doesn’t mean there won’t be competition, however, because Farrell wants that culture to continue. E-Rod remains in the mix.
— Farrell is impressed with how the trimmer Sandoval has looked this winter, but he also knows that it will be about how he looks in spring training. He’s not ready to say there will be a platoon at third base, noting that Sandoval looked better hitting right-handed last year before his injury. “He’d be the first to admit he’s got a lot of ground to make up,” Farrell said of Sandoval’s overall outlook.
— Could Andrew Benintendi bat second? “It’s a possibility, no doubt,” Farrell said. Farrell likes the idea of breaking up four righties atop the order, and acknowledged that Benintendi could be a candidate for that spot, though nothing has been decided.
— Asked if Xander Bogaerts could hit down in the order, as he did in the playoffs last year, Farrell offered a reminder that Bogaerts was a tremendous hitter for much of last season. “In the first half of the season you wanted Bogey to the plate as many times as we could,” Farrell said. Farrell added that he wouldn’t commit to any lineup positions until talking to the players involved.
— With the potential of four left-handers in the rotation, Farrell was asked about Rick Porcello starting on Opening Day. He’s not ready to make that decision, though he did praise Porcello for all he accomplished last year.
TO LISTEN TO THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW, CLICK HERE
|Pablo Sandoval shows off trim physique, as well as quick hands, in Instagram boxing video||at 7:52 pm ET|
Pablo Sandoval isn’t messing around this winter.
The presumed Red Sox starting third baseman has been posting Instagram videos all winter illustrating his progress as he returns from shoulder surgery. Overweight last year, he has looked trim this offseason, and his latest video is another example — boxing.
Judge the southpaw’s form for yourself.
|Mookie Betts ranks ahead of Bryce Harper as baseball’s best right fielder in ESPN poll of evaluators||01.10.17 at 11:13 am ET|
A case can be made that Mookie Betts was the best all-around player in baseball last year. He’s certainly the game’s best right fielder.
That is the conclusion of ESPN’s Buster Olney in his latest positional roundup, conducted via a poll of industry evaluators, which places Betts ahead of even former NL MVP Bryce Harper among all right fielders in baseball.
Olney cites Betts’ emergence as a WAR monster (9.6) last year, when he hit 31 homers, stole 26 bases in 30 chances, won a Gold Glove with an astounding 32 runs saved, and stepped forward as one of the best young players in the game’s history.
If that sounds like hyperbole, consider this:
From Sarah Langs of ESPN Stats & Information: Betts had 9.6 WAR in 2016 in his age-23 season. The only Red Sox player with more WAR in an age-23 season or younger was Ted Williams, who had 10.6 in 1941 in his age-22 season and 10.6 in 1942 at age 23. The only position players overall with higher WAR in age-23 or younger seasons were Williams, Trout, Harper, Willie Mays, Ty Cobb, Eddie Collins, Cal Ripken and Rogers Hornsby.
Those are all Hall of Famers or future ones. Betts is off to one heck of a start.
|David Ortiz launches Red Sox fans into frenzy by cryptically tweeting at Boston Globe||01.09.17 at 11:31 pm ET|
Red Sox fans can’t quit David Ortiz. It’s understandable.
What makes far less sense is the frenzy Ortiz whipped them into on Monday night when he tweeted a blank message at the Boston Globe.
What did he mean to say? That he’s coming out of retirement to lead the Red Sox to one more World Series title? That he has decided to outlast Tom Brady? That he wants Isaiah Thomas to be an All-Star?
Or maybe it’s just that he never got his paper today.
— David Ortiz (@davidortiz) January 10, 2017
We may never know, because despite over 600 retweets — as well as a response from the Globe reminding him, “You can tell us anything!” — Ortiz hasn’t clarified what he meant, if it was an accident, or what. Maybe he never will.
In any event, we breathlessly await an update.
p.s. He’s definitely staying retired. Let’s stop being a bunch of idiots.
|Dave Dombrowski on Clay Buchholz trade: ‘He gets a change of scenery, fresh opportunity’||12.20.16 at 1:33 pm ET|
Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski knew he needed to trade a starter this winter, and there was really only one option.
So when the Philadelphia Phillies came calling, Dombrowski pulled the trigger, dealing right-hander Clay Buchholz for minor league second baseman Josh Tobias on Tuesday.
“I think in this case, the timing fit for us,” Dombrowski said. “When we looked at everything, we were in a spot where we had seven established big-league starters, we felt we had a little bit more depth there, we still have some guys that we feel are behind them in [Henry] Owens, [Roenis] Elias and [Brian] Johnson, we got a prospect that we liked, got a club where he can go and start for them, which he wouldn’t necessarily have that opportunity here, so I think everything tied together for us that it made sense doing it now rather than waiting.”
And how did Buchholz take the news?
“I did speak to him,” Dombrowski said. “He was very understanding, thankful. I thanked him for everything he did in the organization while with us. He was understanding of the situation. He was also thankful, appreciative of everything that was done for him throughout the years by everyone in the organization. Enjoyed his time here. He thought maybe it also was a spot where he gets a change of scenery, fresh opportunity. Not always a bad thing, as he mentioned. And that was basically it.”
Clearing Buchholz’s $13.5 million salary puts the Red Sox under the $195 million luxury tax threshold, a goal meant to assure they don’t incur further penalties that hamstring their efforts to rebuild the farm system.
“I think it’s advantageous to be below the CBT just based on the new basic agreement,” Dombrowski said. “It’s something that we were hopeful of doing. It fell into play here very well for us. It’s also a situation where it creates some flexibility for us as we go forward, staying below the CBT with areas we may want to address as the season progresses. Who even knows? Maybe even as the wintertime progresses”
|Junichi Tazawa, former Red Sox reliever, reportedly agrees to 2-year deal with Marlins||12.16.16 at 11:26 am ET|
Former Red Sox right-hander Junichi Tazawa has agreed to a two-year, $12 million contract with the Miami Marlins, according to multiple published reports.
Tazawa, 30, had spent his entire career with the Red Sox since signing out of Japan in 2008. A key member of the 2013 World Series champions, he had seen his effectiveness wane in recent seasons, particularly last year, when he went 3-2 with a 4.17 ERA.
His 256 appearances since 2013 ranked fourth in the American League, but they also took a toll. He lost his job as primary setup man midway through last season and basically became a mop-up man.
Tazawa becomes the second high-profile member of the title-winning bullpen to depart this offseason, joining countryman Koji Uehara, who signed with the Cubs.
Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski had made it clear early in the offseason that Tazawa wouldn’t be part of the team’s plans this winter.
|John Farrell on Pablo Sandoval: ‘It feels like he’s got to make it up to his teammates and the fans of Boston’||12.11.16 at 4:38 pm ET|
Red Sox manager John Farrell joined the Trenni and Tomase Show over the weekend and discussed a number of topics — including the comeback attempt of third baseman Pablo Sandoval.
With Travis Shaw traded to Milwaukee and third-base depth otherwise thin, barring a trade, Sandoval will enter spring training as the clear starter at the position. Photos from Fort Myers show him working hard to lose weight. Farrell did not mince words about the challenge ahead.
“No one’s going to say the first two years of Pablo’s tenure in Boston have gone well,” Farrell said. “That’s obvious. . . . Pablo’s mindset is almost a redemption approach. It feels like he’s got to make it up to his teammates and the fans of Boston here.”
Sandoval missed almost all of last season because of shoulder surgery, which came on the heels of a disastrous 2015 that saw him post some of the worst numbers in baseball after signing a five-year, $95 million deal in free agency.
With David Ortiz gone, the Red Sox will be looking to improve on last year’s woeful third base production, and they hope Sandoval can be a big part of it.
“We’re not asking him to go out and be something he wasn’t prior to the signing of that contract,” Farrell said. “If he gets back to that level — and let’s face it, he’s going to have to go out and earn the job back, because Brock Holt is here, we did go out and pick up Josh Rutledge, who was a quality utility bat prior to the injury last year. We’ll see what transpires the rest of the offseason.”
Farrell noted that prior disappointments had turned their Red Sox careers around.
“There’s been a realizing that the approach he had gone through the first two years here was not the right one for him, and to his credit, he’s made an adjustment,” Farrell said. “He’s got a lot to earn back and particularly to our fans, but we’ve seen it happen before. The resurrection John Lackey went through [in 2013], it can happen. Hanley [Ramirez] bounces back with a big year this year. So I think as he sees other players around him that have done this, I would think it gives him confidence to be able to do it himself.”
Farrell reiterated that playing time will be based on performance, not pay. It’s up to Sandoval to earn it.
“When someone’s taking your job, you’ve got one of two ways to respond,” Farrell said. “You put your tail between your legs and walk out, or you find a way to earn it and fight back. He’s doing the latter right now.”
|Mitch Moreland looks forward to joining ‘gritty group of guys’ in Red Sox lineup||12.08.16 at 5:42 pm ET|
The Red Sox opened the offseason hoping to add a left-handed hitting first baseman to provide some lineup balance and give Hanley Ramirez a chance to stay fresh at DH. On Thursday, they introduced him.
The signing of Mitch Moreland may have been overshadowed by the Chris Sale blockbuster, but the Red Sox still have big plans for the Gold Glover, who agreed to a one-year, $5.5 million deal.
“Against right-handed starters, Mitch would be the first baseman,” said manager John Farrell on a conference call. “That gives us the flexibility to DH Hanley in that spot. We’re certainly open to his at-bats growing in number against left-handers. Last year was his best year against left-handers in his big league career. With Mitch getting everyday at-bats against right-handed starters at first base and Hanley moving to the DH spot alignment, we also have the ability against a quality left-handers that Hanley would go back to first base and then we have the ability to rotate some guys through the DH spot. His versatility, his strengths as a player are many. We feel this is a very good fit in a number of ways.”
Moreland, 31, is coming off a disappointing season that saw him hit .233 with 22 homers and a .720 OPS. However, in 2015 he hit .278 with 23 homers and an .812 OPS.
He still had multiple options in free agency as a low-cost bounce-back candidate, but chose Boston because of the roster and atmosphere.
“I had a couple options, but really just the whole fact that it’s a place I really wanted to play,” he said. “Getting the opportunity to come here and be a part of that winning environment, being a part of a winning environment and having a chance to go out and play for a championship is huge to me personally. This is a great option.
“What they were able to do last year, you knew you were in for a fight when you were playing these guys. It was a gritty group of guys that had a ton of talent. I like to think of myself as that type of player, as a gritty type player. Hopefully I felt like I could fit in here and move forward and try to help out and make that goal happen of winning a championship. That’s the main goal as far as playing this game for me. I feel like we’ve got a great opportunity here.”
|Red Sox reacquire infielder Josh Rutledge in Rule 5 draft||at 10:50 am ET|
Josh Rutledge wasn’t gone for long.
The infielder, outrighted off the 40-man roster in November, rejoined the organization on Wednesday when the Red Sox selected him from the Rockies in the Rule 5 draft.
Rutledge must remain on the big league roster or be offered back to Colorado.
“We did try to re-sign him,” Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski told reporters at the winter meetings. “He just thought his opportunity to play at the big-league level at this point would be more [elsewhere].”
Rutledge, 27, gives the Red Sox a right-handed utility infielder to complement the left-handed Brock Holt, as well as some short-term insurance at third base against Pablo Sandoval. He has hit .276 in parts of two seasons with the Red Sox.
He underwent knee surgery in August, which ended his season, but the Red Sox see a role for him in 2017.
“It lines up for him to be with our club,” Dombrowski told reporters. “We know him. We like him. It looks like there is a path for him.”
The Red Sox lost two players in the Rule 5: Triple-A right-hander Justin Haley to the Angels, and Double-A outfielder Aneury Tavarez to the Orioles.
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