February 15, 2019

Pedroia Arrives Cautiously Optimistic, Mookie Believes He Can Improve, Price Plans To Repeat Himself, Radio Booth Installs Revolving Door

Dustin Pedroia played only three games last season, going 1-for-11 in late May. Now 35 years old, FY is preparing for his 14th major league season with a cautious optimism. (Video of his first BP session.)
I don't have any restrictions right now. I just have to be smart, that's the thing. I don't need to take 100 ground balls. I need to take the amount that it takes for me to get ready for the game and stop, to just limit my time on my feet and make sure that I'm always staying on top of things to stay healthy. ... I appreciate him [Alex Cora] doing that [batting Pedroia leadoff on Opening Day]. He better not give me too many days hitting leadoff, I might stay there. ... I have to be smart because if I play out of control or do something, I could wake up the next day and it could be bad. I don't want to work for as long as I have to mess that up. I know everyone thinks I'm crazy and I won't listen to anybody, but that's not the case.
Pedroia said the unorthodox cartilage restoration surgery on his left knee may not have been the best option.
I don't regret doing it, but looking back and knowing what I know now, I wouldn't have done it. ... [Instead, I might] change rehab styles, treatment styles, things like that. It's a complicated surgery. The cartilage in my knee is great now, but the graft is the thing. You're putting somebody else's bone in your body. To get that to incorporate fully ... going into it I didn't know all that stuff. I thought they were like, "You tore this, we can fix it." I'm like, "Oh, that sounds great." But I didn't know.
Dave Dombrowski, president of baseball operations, acknowledges that even though the medical reports on Pedroia are good, "we're hopeful he's a 125-game player at this point".

Mookie Betts won the AL MVP last year and says there is room for improvement.
Just being consistent. Obviously, you're going to have your ups and your downs, but the more ups I can have and the quicker the downs are, the better I'll be. I did a pretty good job with that last year. So I have to do it again. It's tough to do again.
Jackie Bradley also hopes to improve - in the outfield. Really. JBJ won his first Gold Glove last year, but thinks 2018 was likely his worst in the field.
[I]t goes to show that sometimes what you think might not be accurate. But I think I can get better and learn some things and still continue to grow. ... You never want to talk about individual awards, but it's something [the Gold Glove] that I always wanted ... It's something that I've dreamed of getting one day ... I love trying to keep guys from advancing an extra base. I think that's very vital in today's game, when 90 feet is at a premium.
Chris Sale will be a free agent after this season and he like to stay in Boston.
This is a special group of people. A very special city and an unbelievable fan base. Not to mention the fact that we've got a hell of a team and we're going to have that team for a few years to come. It's a good place for me, it's a good spot. I love playing here. I'd love to keep playing here.
Xander Bogaerts will also be eligible for free agency next winter.
The Red Sox have treated me well throughout my career. It's a place that anyone and everyone would want to play or stay. Boston is an amazing city. All the teams, all they do is win. It would be weird (to leave) because this is the only uniform I've known.
During the offseason, the Red Sox talked with Bogaerts about a contract extension, but as Sean McAdam of the Boston Sports Journal reports, "the talks went nowhere [and] the two sides have not spoken since then". Also from McAdam:
When Alex Cora was reminded that the Sox don't have a shortstop capable of replacing Bogaerts in 2020, the manager rolled his eyes.

"It's day three, bro," he said. "I'm not even thinking about that."
David Price:
When Cora hugged me on the field right after we won, the first thing I said to him was, "I want to do it again next year." I think the first time you ever go through something like that, you don't really grasp what's going on and get to enjoy it the way you should enjoy that moment. ... [T]he season ended the way we all wanted it to, and then it's kind of over. You get to spend the next two or three days with the guys but after that, you're back to normal life ... So to get back with everybody, it brings back all the memories. Everybody is talking about it and it's enjoyable. ... I didn't come here to win one World Series. I came here to win multiple World Series.
If you are wondering why Price is now wearing #10, click here.

Steven Wright also had left knee surgery and is not yet fully recovered.
I had a pretty big cleanup (to remove scar tissue). I started throwing last week and I'm trying not to do too much, too soon. It's a long year, so I just want to make sure than when I do come back, I don't have to worry about on-and-off the DL ... I've still got some strength to build up. I'm not babying it, but I want to make sure we do it right. ... I don't think I'm ever going to feel 100 percent again ... but we're trying to get as close to that as we can and staying consistent with it.
Ian Browne, MLB.com:
The last 18 teams who tried to repeat went 0-for-18. Only two of them (2001 Yankees, 2009 Phillies) made it back to the World Series. Five of them (including the 2008 Red Sox) lost in the League Championship Series. Two (including the 2005 Red Sox) bowed out in the Division Series. And you might be surprised to know that nine of the 18 (including the 2014 Red Sox) didn't even make the playoffs.
Joe Castiglione will spend his 37th season in the Red Sox radio booth with a rotating group of at least eight different announcers. Entercom announced that Sean McDonough, Josh Lewin, Mario Impemba, Chris Berman, Lou Merloni, Dale Arnold, Tom Caron, and Dave O’Brien will all team up with Castiglione on WEEI in 2019.

Why won't Berman go back back back back back to wherever he came from? ... He's the one guy who can make me beg and plead for the opportunity to listen to Dave O'Brien.

Castiglione does not agree with me (not publicly, at least): "They're all good baseball people. It should flow well."

McDonough, who called Red Sox games on TV from 1988-2004, will be in the booth for about 30 games, including one of the first games against the Yankees (either April 16 or 17).
It's nice to be back in the Red Sox fold ... I didn't want to leave 15 years ago, but in many ways, it was a good thing that I did, because it enabled me to do a lot of things that I otherwise wouldn't have done – the U.S. Open, British Open. ... My path has been winding and interesting, and I'm glad it's brought me back to this place – particularly at this time.
Lewin has called MLB, NFL and NHL games since the mid-90s. He says when someone gives you an opportunity like this, "you fly to it like a moth to a light".
No offense to the Milwaukee Brewers, but if I was telling (my wife), "Hey, honey, I'm going to be spending 50 or 60 days away from you this year to call Brewers games", she would probably raise her eyebrows. But she's enough of a baseball fan to go, "The Red Sox? Go."
Someone Named Alex Bregman said: "After watching the Patriots win and with the Red Sox beating us last year, there's no other city that I would like to beat more this year than Boston." ... Bregman? Who is he, again?

Lars Anderson, writing for The Athletic:
On​ a cool February morning​ in 2007, I finished packing​ my​ signing bonus-funded​ Toyota FJ​ Cruiser (which​ I still​ drive),​ hugged my​​ father goodbye, and drove away from my childhood home in Fair Oaks, Calif.

The destination: Fort Myers, Fla.

The purpose: My first spring training as a member of the Boston Red Sox. I was 19. ...

Memory is a funny thing: I couldn't tell you what I did last Tuesday, but I can still recall the most innocuous minutiae from that trip: The smell of the frozen morning air outside of Flagstaff, Ariz.; the taste of a midday coffee in Amarillo, Texas; the terror when my SUV got stuck in a foot of snow on an abandoned dirt road off the interstate in New Mexico where I had stopped to pee; the sound of Will Patton's voice narrating the audiobook of Charles Frazier's "13 Moons," as I drove through the Deep South for the first time. But most of all, I remember being excited. ...

At the time, I was totally oblivious to the fact that while my own beginning approached, other players were marching toward their ends. As I would soon discover, spring training was a place where careers and dreams expired at an alarming rate.
Anderson's major league career never got off the ground, lasting only 56 plate appearances in 30 games over three seasons with the Red Sox (2010-12). I became intrigued by Anderson way back in 2008 because he was so animated and effusive about literature.


GK said...

Caught CHB's weekly appearance on sports talk radio.
Starting off by ranting about lack of "storylines" this season, then moving on to the story of "Oil Can" Boyd, and how he there was an warrant for his arrest, by corrupt Klan-linked cops, for being late on video tapes (that turned out to be porn).
Some bitching about David Price, and more about lack of story lines. Signs off.
All done in about 10 minutes!!

FenFan said...

I had cartilage replacement surgery in my knee ten years ago this August; while the tendons and everything else were in good shape, the cartilage in the joint had worn down so quickly that my doctor exclaimed that I had what he expected to see from someone twice my age. It took a full year before the swelling from the surgery finally went down, and my knee still gives me fits now and then, especially with this cold New England weather. I tried several other options, including arthroscopic surgery, but in the end, it was the best solution.

Pedroia's success will depend greatly on his conditioning but even if he stays health, playing three out of every four games is probably pretty close to his new reality.

allan said...

being late on video tapes (that turned out to be porn)

Which someone referred to as "Can's Film Festival".

Benjamin said...

Allan, since you like boxscore trivia, here's a Braves-Reds game from 1934 in which the Reds' starting lineup batted in alphabetical order. (It didn't work -- they lost 8-2.)