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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Thornography » Bill Lee is reportedly running for governor of Vermont

I can’t wait until he’s President.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 24, 2016 at 03:17 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: bill lee, expos, red sox

Full Count » Red Sox reliever Carson Smith will have Tommy John surgery Tuesday

This trade isn’t working out as planned.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 24, 2016 at 12:09 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: carson smith, injuries, red sox

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Jason McLeod isn’t ready to leave the Cubs — yet

Boston Sunday Globe Baseball Notes column.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 22, 2016 at 12:43 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: notes, red sox

Drellich: Joe Kelly gives jolt to rotation | Boston Herald

To this point Kelly has been frustrating. Great stuff but little consistency. So, I’m not going to get excited about one game.

Kelly could bring the rotation to the next level, and something extraordinary may be on the way.

“You know, that first came to mind in the Oakland series, where not only did we do some things with the bat, the way we ran the bases, the defense that we played, there was a moment inside those three games where you do take a step back in the middle of an inning and you see what’s unfolding in front of us,” Farrell said yesterday. “Young, athletic, energetic players that are so in tune with what we’re trying to do as a unit. It is a powerful feeling, that when you get so many guys on the same page, moving in the same direction, you’ve got a potential for doing some special things.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 22, 2016 at 08:44 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: joe kelly, red sox

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Why David Ortiz still plans on retiring despite his amazing start - Yahoo Sports

The Red Sox should not be giving him $25 million.

The Red Sox do hold club options that max out at $16 million for the next two seasons. For now, the organization is respecting Ortiz’s choice to retire with more than $150 million earned and burgeoning businesses he wants to nurture.

“I’m happy with the decision that I made,” Ortiz said, “and my feet are happy with the decision that I made, and my wife is happy with the decision that I made. I’ve got to wait until next year when I ain’t doing [expletive] to see how it’s gonna hit home. Because I’m not gonna lie to you, I don’t know. I think I played enough baseball.”

“Hopefully,” he said, “nobody comes to me and offers $25 million, either.”

So you’re telling me there’s a chance?

“I don’t even want to talk about it,” Ortiz said. “Like I said, I’m good with the decision that I made right now. But would you leave $25 million on the table? I don’t want nobody to offer me that.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 19, 2016 at 08:57 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: david ortiz, red sox

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Rehab Put On Hold: Red Sox’ Eduardo Rodriguez Suffers Setback « CBS Boston

The Red Sox are halting Rodriguez’s rehab stint after the pitcher told the club he is still experiencing soreness in his right knee.

“It’s something he came to us (with),” Boston manager John Farrell told reporters in Kansas City on Tuesday. “We were trying to evaluate the performances and talk to him about what he was feeling and talk to him about what we’d like to see, if possible, and that’s where he revealed, that, he’s on occasion feeling this.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 18, 2016 at 09:50 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: eduardo rodriguez, red sox

Monday, May 16, 2016

red sox - Hanley is being Hanley, and it seems to be working out for all involved - WEEI | Rob Bradford

It worked for Mr. 3000.

Hanley Ramirez bunted with two outs, the scored tied in the ninth inning and David Ortiz standing at third base Saturday afternoon.

“He saw something maybe only he saw,” lamented Red Sox manager John Farrell.

Not a good baseball play, as the reaction from virtually everyone in Fenway Park could attest after the execution resulted in an easy, inning-ending out.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 16, 2016 at 06:40 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: hanley ramirez, red sox

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Full Count » David Ortiz after walk-off win: ‘Just say I’m a bad [expletive]’

Some people are clamoring for David Ortiz to renounce his decision to retire at the end of the year. I’m not one of them. Ortiz keeps talking about the problems he has with his legs and the amount of work he needs to do to play. He has also talked about missing time with his family. So, although I am enjoying his final season, I’d rather see him go out at the top of his game as he enjoys his last season rather than watch him try to force another season, which might very well turn into an injury-filled, poor performance disappointment.

“We travel to all these ballparks and he’s presented gifts, but I think our fans are getting the greatest gift of all and that is seeing what David is going game in and game out,” manager John Farrell said, “I don’t know if we’ve seen too many triples, but to see that big guy rumbling around the bases and the energy he had. Then to come up in a spot where maybe we were thinking they might not even pitch to him, he gets a pitch — a changeup out over the plate.

“And we just kept coming. We created a number of opportunities in the later innings, but what David is doing, it really is incredible to watch daily.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 15, 2016 at 08:31 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: david ortiz, red sox

Friday, May 13, 2016

MLB Tonight: Maverick | MLB.com

It’s been a long time since I thought of ballplayers being anything more than great athletes. Nevertheless, it nice when players make time to improve the lives of their fans.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 13, 2016 at 09:12 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: david ortiz, red sox

Red Sox make history with 11 runs vs. Astros | MLB.com

After his team secured a fifth consecutive win with a fourth straight game of at least 11 runs on Thursday night at Fenway Park, Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts compared Boston’s unstoppable offense to a video game.

“This is kind of like Playstation,” Bogaerts said after hitting his third home run of the season and driving in three runs in an 11-1 rout of the Astros. “Only teams on Playstation score this many runs.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 13, 2016 at 09:03 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

MLB Investigates Red Sox Over International Signings

Follow the money.

During the 2015-16 signing period, which opened on July 2, 2015, the Red Sox were not allowed to sign any player subject to the international bonus pools for more than $300,000, a penalty for exceeding their bonus pool the previous signing period.

In spite of those restrictions, the Red Sox still signed two of Baseball America’s Top 30 international prospects for July 2 last year. Venezuelan outfielders Albert Guaimaro (ranked No. 15) and Simon Muzziotti (ranked No. 24) each signed for $300,000 bonuses. Guaimaro trained with Francisco Ortiz, while Muzziotti trained with Pascuale Fiorello and Pablo Leal. The Red Sox signed multiple players from those programs last year. They signed multiple players from the programs run by Felix Olivo and Jose Montero as well, most notably shortstop Antonio Pinero for $300,000 from Olivo’s program and shortstop Eduardo Torrealba for $300,000 from Montero’s program.

According to several sources, MLB officials—including Nelson Tejada, the league’s manager of investigations—went to the Red Sox academy in the Dominican Republic last week and questioned several of those Venezuelan players individually about their signings. MLB officials asked the players whether they signed in a package deal, whether they gave part of their signing bonus to another player or received part of another player’s bonus, or why they signed for more or less money than might have been expected. Some of those players, according to one source, did acknowledge that they signed as part of a package deal.


How Red Sox director of pitching analytics Brian Bannister is working with pitching coach Carl Willis to help rotation

BannyBeingBanny

Bannister has a track record of finding areas that need to be tweaked with pitchers. He helped Rich Hill re-establish his major-league career with the Red Sox at the end of last season. Hill dominated down the stretch and ended up signing a one-year, $6 million deal with Oakland, less than six months removed from pitching in independent league baseball.

This year, he worked with Sean O’Sullivan, suggesting the righthander add a cutter to his repertoire which led to fewer walks and more strikeouts and an eventual start with the Red Sox on Tuesday night.

O’Sullivan had posted a 3.00 ERA with 32 strikeouts and five walks in five starts for Triple-A Pawtucket under the guidance of Bannister. On Tuesday, he held Oakland scoreless for five frames before the A’s tagged him for four runs in the sixth. Though he allowed 12 hits, he walked none.

O’Sullivan pitched with Bannister while the two were in Kansas City in 2010.

“He’ll text me after my starts and say, ‘Hey your pitch mix is good or maybe increase your usage of this,’” O’Sullivan said after notching his first win with the Red Sox on Tuesday. “Because the cutter is a new pitch for me, I’m still working on it but he’ll tell me throw it harder or throw it more to the side of the plate or things like that.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 11, 2016 at 10:46 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brian bannister, carl willis, red sox

Monday, May 09, 2016

David Ortiz, Steven Wright lead Red Sox past Yankees | Boston Herald

Steven Wright has been very impressive.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 09, 2016 at 06:49 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: david ortiz, red sox, steven wright

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Red Sox, Price don’t know cause of left-hander’s struggles - providencejournal.com

Remember when the Red Sox didn’t believe in huge contracts for 30+ starting pitchers?

The main reason to be concerned, though, and what manager John Farrell and pitching coach Carl Willis kept coming back to on Saturday, was Price’s diminished velocity. He sat 92 with his fastball on Saturday — his lowest mark of what’s already been his lowest season on the radar gun.

“We just haven’t seen the velocity that he’s had before,” said Willis of a pitcher used to pitching 94 or 95 mph.

While Price’s velocity has been down in previous Aprils, it is down more this season than in any other, and it’s taking longer to rebound. Price, 30, is at a point in his career where velocity starts to dip more rapidly. He should recover some of his prior velocity as the weather gets warmer, but it’s possible, if not likely, that he won’t get all the way back to 95.

And at that reduced velocity, the margin for error for every pitch slims.

“He’s having to mix and change speeds,” Farrell said. “When you’ve got velocities in the mid- to upper-90s, you have a little more margin for error. That wasn’t the case [Saturday].”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 08, 2016 at 10:15 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: david price, red sox

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Aaron Hicks’ first home run powers Yankees | MLB.com

That is a tough way to lose.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 07, 2016 at 09:09 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, yankees

Spector: David Ortiz’s game-changing K was embarrassing; robot umps, anyone?

Looking at PitchF/X data from Brooks Baseball, Farrell was both right and wrong. The 3-1 pitch was a strike. The 3-2 pitch, after which Ortiz had to be restrained from going after Kulpa, was low. It was not so low as to match Farrell’s assertion that Ortiz “needed a hockey stick” to reach it, but it should have been Ball 4.

It’s important to remember, though, that the 3-2 pitch came after the 3-1 pitch and a reaction by Ortiz that was so animated, Farrell needed to come out and get ejected on the slugger’s behalf. It is not fair or right that umpires expand the strike zone in such situations, but that has been the case for a century and a half of baseball. Ortiz, a major leaguer since 1997, has been around long enough to know that if you’re that demonstrative with a protest of a called strike, and somehow are lucky enough not to get thrown out of the game, if the next pitch is anywhere close — which it was — you’d better be swinging the bat. ...

The incident illuminates a point that everyone already is aware of, but that needs to be made, explicitly, as a reminder. Calling balls and strikes, in real time, at full speed, is an incredibly difficult job that human umpires do remarkably well, all things considered.

As Ortiz said, though, “They’re human, and they’re going to make mistakes.” The difference is that, in 2016, awareness of those mistakes is heightened. There is a strike zone tracker on television broadcasts, not to mention on Major League Baseball’s website and phone apps. There are Twitter accounts that not only track close ball-strike calls, but tell you, immediately, how often a pitch in a certain location is called the same way.

JEe (Jason) Posted: May 07, 2016 at 08:37 AM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: david ortiz, red sox, strike zone, umpires, yankees

Friday, May 06, 2016

Boston Globe: It’s time to talk David Ortiz out of retiring

We’re still talking about this retirement thing?

Maybe there will be some stretch this season when David Ortiz plunges into a prolonged slump, giving some indication of why the designated hitter felt it necessary to retire following the 2016 campaign.

But right now, Ortiz’s offseason announcement seems more like a premature caprice than an unavoidable choice.

...

Team owner John Henry ought to have an intimate discussion with his most important player about deferring his decision at least one more season by waving a $25 million check before his eyes. And if that doesn’t convince the 40-year-old to come back for 2017, ask him again. And again.

And again.

Beg. Plead. Bribe. Whatever.

The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: May 06, 2016 at 08:29 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: david ortiz, entitled fans, red sox

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Boston Globe - Red Sox usually avoid insuring major contracts

Cafardo confirms reports that Sandoval’s contract was not insured, but provides some interesting details on the practice of insuring contracts around MLB and how the Red Sox have dealt with medical red flags in the past.

Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: May 05, 2016 at 11:11 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: contract insurance, red sox

Dave Dombrowski: Pablo Sandoval still ‘committed’ to weight loss

Dollars to donuts Pablo will have a lot of dollars and eat a lot of donuts over the next year.

“I’m not going to give specific weights, but he has already dropped weight during the season once he’s been under our care on a daily basis,” Dombrowski said Tuesday, via WEEI.com. “I think he’s committed to doing that, and we’re committed to doing that. We’ll have a very thorough program to address a lot of different issues between now and the next spring training.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 05, 2016 at 08:31 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: pablo sandoval, red sox

Two decades after arrest, Butch Hobson finds peace. | Sports on Earth

Paul Hagen talks with Butch Hobson.

Big league coaches make far more than Atlantic League managers. If he had gotten another chance to manage in the Majors, the payoff could have been huge. He’s also 63 days short of having 10 years of big league service, which would allow him to max out on his pension plan.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 05, 2016 at 06:51 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: butch hobson, managers, red sox

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Pablo Sandoval needs surgery and his season is over - SBNation.com

Maybe the Red Sox need the Orioles’ doctors to examine future free agents.

Just when Sandoval will return is up in the air, as the procedure is reconstructive. The Red Sox didn’t insure Sandoval’s shoulder when he signed prior to the 2015 season, as there was no physical need to do so. Since that time, though, his shoulder has obviously suffered and degraded, and for all we know it could have been part of his problem a year ago and this spring.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 03, 2016 at 11:41 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries, pablo sandoval, red sox

To learn about himself, Ben Cherington decided to teach - The Boston Globe

I still believe he was scapegoated.

The topics seemingly have sharpened Cherington’s views of what happened during his time in Boston. Even as the organization’s emerging young core — which Cherington proved resolute in preserving — appears to have the team back on a promising track, he understands why he is no longer GM of the Red Sox.

“Results do matter. In Boston, you know they matter. That’s fundamentally a part of the job,” he said. “In Boston, you know that the results do matter and there isn’t a long time to get there. I guess what I’m trying to get at is that I don’t think that covering yourself in the sort of gauze of strategy and process is sufficient if you’re really trying to learn from what happened. Yes, there were reasons why we did everything we did, but the bottom line is we didn’t perform well enough for two years. When that happens in a place like Boston, there’s a lot of pressure on the institution to make change because it’s a business. That change happened. If I’m going to learn something from it, I think I have to embrace that the results weren’t there, and why was that.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 03, 2016 at 11:35 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: ben cherington, general managers, red sox

Carson Smith brings different look to Red Sox bullpen - Sports - providencejournal.com - Providence, RI

The Red Sox can really use him.

It’s Carson Smith’s offseason workout partner, former Red Sox and current Pirates All-Star reliever Mark Melancon, who probably sums it up best.

“You’ve got righties, and you’ve got lefties,” Melancon said. “And then you’ve got Carson. It’s almost like a third dimension.”

“It’s like sidearm, but it’s not sidearm, you know?” said Mookie Betts, who has done his best to forget the times he’s faced Smith. “It’s not over the top, it’s not three-quarters, but it’s not submarine. And then it’s coming hard, too.”

Smith’s release point is pretty much unique in baseball. Although he stands 6-foot-6, Smith releases the ball about five-and-a-half feet from the ground, according to Brooks Baseball. His 6-foot-7 teammate Henry Owens, by comparison, releases the ball a foot higher. Smith’s release point is lower in absolute terms than Toronto’s Marcus Stroman, who’s 10 inches shorter than him.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 03, 2016 at 11:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: carson smith, red sox

Monday, May 02, 2016

Pablo Sandoval to Undergo Shoulder Surgery

The Red Sox announced that third baseman Pablo Sandoval will undergo left shoulder surgery in the coming days.

The surgery will be performed by Dr. James Andrews, the noted orthopedist who examined Sandoval in Florida on Monday. Sandoval, 29, had complained of shoulder soreness in early April and was placed on the disabled list on April 13.

The Red Sox did not provide an update on how long Sandoval will be out or what kind of rehab his surgery will entail, noting in a press release that more information will be made available after surgery.


Saturday, April 30, 2016

Hardball Times: The Doug Mirabelli Trade, an Oral History

10 years ago this weekend, marked backup catcher and knuckleball whisperer Doug Mirabelli’s return to the Red Sox.

The December prior, the Red Sox sent the 35-year-old Mirabelli — long Tim Wakefield’s personal catcher — to the Padres for second baseman Mark Loretta. They acquired Josh Bard from the Indians (in the Coco Crisp deal) a month later to replace Mirabelli.

April 2006 was a period of adjustment — Mirabelli adjusting to San Diego, Bard to Boston, Wakefield to Bard. It wasn’t going well. Bard had 10 passed balls in five Wakefield starts, including two in their first inning together and four in Bard’s final start on April 26 in Cleveland, the middle stop of a three-city road trip for the Red Sox.

Then-Sox general manager Theo Epstein was on that road trip. The game against the Indians motivated him to move on perhaps the most famous trade for a backup catcher in the history of baseball — a trade he now considers the worst he’s ever made.

Shoulda had them throw in plenty of chicken parm.


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