May 2014

Price responds to Papi

After David Ortiz ripped David Price for plunking him in the back, the lefty responded on Saturday.

Was Price surprised that Big Papi crushed him with so many verbal barbs?

“Not really. He was mad. So I get it,” Price said. “We all say stupid stuff when we’re mad. Been there. I’m sure he probably wishes he wouldn’t have said some of the things he said. You can’t relate the game that we play to a war. Kellen Winslow got a lot ofr crap for saying he was a soldier. You’re not a soldier. This is not war. We have troops fighting for us that are in a war. It’s not a good comparison.”

Did it both Price what Ortiz said?

“No. It didn’t bother me. Not one bit, honestly, It really didn’t. I’m not worried about it. Keep going,” Ortiz said.

Pedro to Sox fans: Cheer Manny next week

When the 2004 Red Sox have their 10-year reunion at Fenway Park next week, there should be great memories of the characters that helped break an 86-year World Series championship drought.

Amid a festive atmosphere, Pedro Martinez hopes that Red Sox fans rise to the occasion and give Manny Ramirez a warm welcome in his first visit to Fenway Park since 2010.

“It took a lot for him to come,” said Martinez. “He wants to make it up to the Boston fans. He wants to show everybody that he’s a different person, that he’s a Christian man and a role model to his family. His kids are going to be here. It will be nice if we all kind of get together and just make a fun day out of it and remember that Manny was the MVP [of the World Series] and he’s the biggest reason probably why we won it.”

The ceremony will take place prior to the May 28 home game against the Braves.

When the Red Sox signed Ramirez to an eight-year contract in December 2000, Martinez was one of the players who helped recruit him.

Fittingly, Martinez also was one of the key people to encourage Ramirez to come back to Boston for a reunion in which nearly every core member of the “Idiots” will be on hand.

“Yeah, I tried to talk him into it,” Martinez said. “He wants to make up with Boston again.”

There were many highs and lows for Ramirez in Boston, but nobody can dispute he is one of the best hitters in club history.

In eight seasons with the Sox, Ramirez was a .312 hitter with 274 homers and a .999 OPS.

Ramirez was traded for Jason Bay in 2008 after several incidents, including a dugout skirmish with Kevin Youkilis and an altercation in which he pushed traveling secretary Jack McCormick to the ground.

After his departure from the Red Sox, Ramirez was twice suspended for violation of MLB’s performing-enhancing drugs policy, the latter of which occurred during his brief stint for the Rays in 2011.

But Martinez can sense how regretful Ramirez is of those incidents.

“He made a couple of mistakes,” said Martinez. “He knows it, but now he knows he’s a different man. He’s a Christian man and all he wants to talk about is God.”

This will be the first time Ramirez has done anything in affiliation with the Red Sox since his controversial departure from the club.

“His kids, I’m pretty sure, are very excited to come over and see their dad again in Fenway,” Martinez said. “I think fans should take that in consideration.”

Drew coming back to Red Sox

Stephen Drew’s presence was missed enough by the Red Sox that the club has opted to bring the free agent shortstop back.

And thus ends an odyssey that started with Drew rejecting Boston’s qualifying offer of $14.1 million last November, only to return on a one-year deal that will pay him $10 million for the remainder of the 2014 season, multiple sources confirmed to MLB.com

While the Red Sox haven’t announced the signing yet, manager John Farrell acknowledged that Drew will undergo a physical in Boston on Wednesday. Assuming there are no complications, the deal will become official then.

“I think Stephen helped us out a lot last year,” said Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz. “Great player, great teammate and hopefully he brings the same attitude that he had last year and helps us win some games.”

Before Drew makes his debut for Boston in 2014, he will need a Minor League rehab assignment of roughly 25 at-bats, according to Farrell.

Rookie Xander Bogaerts, who has been the starting shortstop through the early part of the season, will move to third base once Drew is activated. Third baseman Will Middlebrooks is on the disabled list for the second time this season after fracturing his right index finger last week.

When Middlebrooks returns, he could at least start at third base against lefties, with Bogaerts supplanting Drew at short for many of those games.

The Red Sox had a 20-23 record entering Tuesday’s game with the Blue Jays.

“Provided everything works out [with the physical], we’ve added a very good player to improve this team,” said Farrell. “That’s the one thing that [general manager] Ben [Cherington] and ownership have repeatedly shown — when a need exists, they’ll do whatever is capable and available at a given time to improve the team. Stephen’s return to us could very well do that. It’ll add stability to the left side of the infield.”

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