Results tagged ‘ David Ortiz ’

Ortiz to appeal suspension

David Ortiz has just received a four-game suspension for his actions in an altercation with Orioles righty Kevin Gregg. He is expected to appeal the suspension, according to a source, so he will be on the field Friday night when the Red Sox open their three-game set against the Rays.

Ortiz at peace as he awaits discipline

David Ortiz, who started at DH for the AL on Tuesday night, knows that discipline is coming shortly for his altercation with Orioles pitcher Kevin Gregg last Friday at Fenway.

MLB exec Joe Torre hinted today that the punishment could be handed out as early as Thursday, the day before the Red Sox open their second half at Tropicana Field against the Rays.

While missing time is the last thing Ortiz wants to do while his team chases a postseason berth, he seems to know it’s coming.

“I know there’s going to be some discipline going on with myself,” Ortiz said. “Like I say, things get out of hand and I don’t feel like I was the one who started this so we’ll see.”

Ortiz thinks the film and the reports filled out by the umpires will speak for themselves.

“They go through all the video and stuff like that,” Ortiz said. “There’s not too much you have to say. Like I say, it’s a situation that got out of hand and we’ll see – we’ll see how it goes.”

Will Ortiz definitely appeal?

“It all depends what they come with. You can’t do nothing until you see what’s on the table,” he said.

The Red Sox All-Stars will travel home on Tuesday and have a day off on Wednesday. The team will fly to Tampa on Thursday and workout at Tropicana Field at 6 p.m. ET.

Odds and Ends from Fenway, April 29

  • Matt Albers, who relieved an injured Daisuke Matsuzaka in the fifth, said after Boston’s 5-4 loss to the Mariners that he had as much time as he needed to warm up. Albers was just on the DL because of a strained right lat, but said he wasn’t worried about a flare-up. That injury was minor to begin with. Albers threw two scoreless innings and allowed one hit, striking out and walking one.
  • Jacoby Ellsbury has a season-high eight-game hit streak after going 1-for-4 on Friday night. The last time he had a hit streak that length was July 31 to Aug. 8, 2009.  “Last week or so though, he’s using the whole field, he’s getting on top of the ball when he hits the ball to left field, and he’s hitting a lot of line drives,” manager Terry Francona said before the game.
  • Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz both have a hit streak at six games. Gonzalez has multiple hits in four of those games. He went 2-for-4 Friday and is 12-for-27 during the streak (.444). Gonzalez scored the 500th run of his career in the third inning Friday.
  • The Red Sox were 2-for-4 with runners in scoring position Friday. Boston entered the day hitting .217 with runners on second and/or third, fourth-worst in the Majors and second-worst in the American League (behind Oakland). “We’ve not been real good at it so far,” Francona said before the game. “That’s something we drastically want to improve on.”
  • Bobby Jenks was a stand-up guy when answering questions after he took the loss Friday, waiting by his locker for reporters to return from the media room. In a note possibly related to his performance, and possibly related to nothing, Jenks also appeared to have shaved after the game.
  • Comedic line of the night went to Jason Varitek. Asked what Daisuke Matsuzaka said when he went out to the mound to check on the right-hander in the fifth, the captain responded: “Well, he said it in Japanese, so I don’t really know.”
  • On a 70-degree day in Boston, Mike Cameron jokingly wore a Red Sox ski hat in the clubhouse before batting practice. He went on to hit two home runs.
– Evan Drellich

Ortiz starting fast this year

His previous two seasons marred badly by anemic starts, David Ortiz has come out of the gate swinging this year.

He just clubbed home run No. 2 on the season, a shot to right against Rangers righty Colby Lewis.

Not many teams have a No. 6 hitter with the power potential of Big Papi. Last year, Ortiz didn’t go deep for the first time until April 23. It was far worse in 2009, as he didn’t hit his first homer until May 20 and his second until June 6.

Combined over the last two years, Ortiz hit .196 with one homer and 15 RBIs in April.

As a DH, Ortiz now has 1,003 RBIs, tying him with Edgar Martinez for first all-time among DH’s.

Tito still mulling over Opening Day lineup

Usually an Opening Day lineup is pretty simple for a manager. You put your best nine players out there in the order you expect them to hit in for most of the season.  But Terry Francona is faced with a bit of a different situation this year, in that his team is going against Rangers lefty C.J. Wilson.

How good is Wilson against lefties? Well, last year, they hit .144 against him with no homers and 12 RBIs. Yes, that is filthy.

“It’s not just the lefty, it’s who the lefty is,” Francona told reporters today from City of Palms Park. “This is something, that’s why I’ve been so hesitant to talk about the lineup. C.J. Wilson is one of those lefties, where on normal days, if it’s July, that’s the day you give your righties a shot. Now, it’s Opening Day. There’s some thought that needs to go into that.”

Here is a breakdown of Sox lefties lifetime vs. Wilson:  Crawford 2-for-12, 1 HR, 4 RBIs; Ortiz 1-for-10, 1 RBI; J.D. Drew 1-for-6, 0 RBIs; Jacoby Ellsbury 0-for-1; Adrian Gonzalez 0-for-1.

So Francona has several dilemmas: Does he hit Ellsbury leadoff or put him at the bottom of the order? Does Drew start, or does Tito insert Mike Cameron?

Even though Jarrod Saltalamacchia, a switch-hitter, is going to be the primary catcher this season, does Francona give Jason Varitek the honor of starting Opening Day? His motive in that situation, aside from Varitek’s strong history with starting pitcher Jon Lester, is that ‘Tek is a stronger right-handed hitter and Salty is better from the left side.

What order do Youkilis and Gonzalez hit in? Does he hit Youk fourth and Gonzo fifth or vice versa?

Big Papi is back

The Red Sox ended all of the suspense with more than 10 hours before tonight’s midnight deadline, revealing that they intend to pick up David Ortiz’s $12.5 million club option.

Considering the market for DH’s, and what Vladimir Guerrero and Hideki Matsui signed for last year, the case could clearly be made that Ortiz would have signed for less than $12.5 million if he became a free agent. But it’s a good business move by the Red Sox. Ortiz was not a free agent. By exercising the option, the Red Sox made sure of that, eliminating any chance he can play for another team in 2011.

General manager Theo Epstein was pretty candid in saying that Ortiz’s legacy and impact on the franchise played a role in the club taking on an option that was perhaps a little above market value.

When you look at the numbers Ortiz put up in 2010 — 32 homers, 102 RBIS and an .899 OPS — it looks like he still has something left in the tank. If the Red Sox had declined the option, perhaps they could have gotten him back at a lower rate. But they also would have been forced to negotiate with any other team that might have had interest.

This way, they guarantee that the relationship continues with one of the most impactful players the team has had in recent years.

Still hanging by a thread

The Red Sox managed to stave off elimination on Monday night, not only riding another strong Clay Buchholz performance to victory in Chicago, but also having the Blue Jays do them a favor by beating the slumping Yankees.

Tonight’s battle for survival figures to be far tougher, given the fact the Yankees have their ace going North of the border in CC Sabathia. The Blue Jays counter with Kyle Drabek, a prospect seeking his first Major League win.

The Red Sox go with John Lackey. He will be opposed by Edwin Jackson.

One thing to keep an eye on down the stretch for Boston is milestones. Adrian Beltre and David Ortiz both got to the 100 mark in RBIs last night. Beltre is two homers from 30. Jon Lester can get his 20th win on Thursday night.

And down the stretch they come — without Damon

It sure would have been fun to have Johnny Damon back down the stretch. There would have been an element of excitement, just because of the lightning rod he can be. Or perhaps Damon put it even better yesterday after explaining his decision to stay in Detroit.

“I texted with Varitek and I talked to Big Papi. And their whole thing is they want a spark,” Damon said. “They obviously feel like they need a spark. If I was going there, obviously, it’s going to be the biggest story in baseball to detract them from what’s going on the field, because the attention’s on me and my wacky self. But that’s not going to happen. That’s done.”

Can the Red Sox do it without Damon’s wacky self, even without Ellsbury, Youkilis and possibly Pedroia the rest of the way?

“This has been who we are, and it’s been who we are all year and we’re in the right place,” said Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek. “And it’s come down to the same thing it has all year: We throw the ball well, we present ourselves with good opportunities to win. And we have to continue to do that, and that’s going to be even more important over this next month and a week.”

Or as Jonathan Papelbon notes, maybe the urgency of the situation will inspire the team to do something memorable.

“I think that once the playoff race heats up a little bit more, we can kind of see where everybody is at on the scale of, if it comes up to a couple weeks, whether our backs are against the wall or not will really determine a lot in how we go out and play,” Papelbon said. “When this team’s back has been put up against the wall, I think that’s kind of when we’ve been at our best.”

“We’re trying, we’re trying,” said Ortiz. “We’re trying to play our best and everybody knows it. It’s a ride or die situation towards the end of the season. You have to win as many games as you can so you can be playing in October.”

Can they do it with this cast?

“It’s not like we have other options,” Ortiz said. “Of course, we’re battling and we have to ride with this.”

The ride starts today for a day-night doubleheader. A sweep would be a good start for the Sox.

Johnny coming back to Fenway?

Could the 2004 caveman be coming back to Fenway?

David Ortiz certainly hopes so.

“Yeah,” Ortiz said. “Party like a rock star.”

While the Boston fans had a falling out with Damon after his acrimonious exit from the club in December of 2005, his former teammates still have a lot of affection for him.

The ball will be in Damon’s hands, presuming the Red Sox and Tigers can work out a trade by early Wednesday afternoon. There are only eight teams Damon can be traded to without consent, and the Red Sox aren’t one of them.

“Oh definitely,” said Red Sox slugger David Ortiz. “That’s my boy, you know that. It would be great. Johnny is a fun person to be around and I’m pretty sure he’d be excited to be back and for all those people that did him wrong, [they] can put that back together and make him forget about the Yankees thing.”

With two-thirds of Boston’s starting outfield (Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron) probably out for the season, Damon could fill an obvious need.

“Johnny’s a special player,” said Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek. “He’s pushing on Hall of Fame-type numbers. You add that with [the fact that] Johnny’s great in the clubhouse, he’s great on the field and he’s one hell of a teammate.”
 
The Red Sox entered Monday’s game with the Mariners trailing the Yankees by 6 games in the American League East and Tampa Bay by 5 in the AL Wild Card standings.

“It’s probably as tough of a decision for me to take right now as it was for me to leave Boston for New York,” Damon told reporters in Detroit. “It’s something that fortunately we have some time to think about it. At this moment, I’m not sure I want to leave Detroit for that. I enjoy playing here. I enjoy the kids I’m playing for, the coaching staff. But obviously [Red Sox manager Terry] Francona is amazing. But it’s something that I have think long and hard over.”

While Damon lost favor from Boston fans after departing for New York, his teammates from 2004 still rave about him.

“I didn’t really ever want to see him leave this uniform,” said Varitek. “It would be a nice opportunity. Let him do what he needs to do to see what happens.”

When the Red Sox pulled out their historic comeback from a 3-0 deficit in the 2004 AL Championship Series, Damon played a huge role, belting two homers – including a grand slam – in Game 7 at Yankee Stadium. He led off clinching Game 4 of the World Series with a home run, and the Red Sox won it all for the first time in 86 years.

It was Damon who dubbed that colorful team the “Idiots”, his long hair and shaggy beard symbolizing the group.

But after the 2005 season, when Damon was a free agent, he couldn’t come to an agreement with the Red Sox. Boston offered a four-year, $40 year deal. Damon instead went to the Yankees for four years at $52 million. Damon had four productive years in New York, helping the Yankees win last year’s World Series.

“I had a great time playing there,” Damon said. “But I think once it was apparent that I wasn’t a necessity to re-sign there, it started to get ugly. And that’s why I’ve got to think long and hard. I have to think if they do have a strong chance to make the playoffs with the guys beat up there.”

The Red Sox would be responsible for the remaining balance of Damon’s $8 million contract if a deal can be worked out. The Tigers, aside from saving the money, could also get a prospect from the Red Sox.

“The only reason why I would be considering it is to help out [the Tigers] m in the future,” Damon said. “I love the Tigers organization and I love the fact that they’re up-front and honest. If somehow they can get a good prospect back, a player that can help this team in the future, it would be beneficial for them. I would like to remain a Tiger, so I think that’s why these next hours are pretty important.”

The decision might be easier for Damon if the Red Sox were a couple of games closer. But Boston is still in contention.

“I would much rather stay in Detroit than pack up my family for five or six weeks,” said Damon. “But they’re 5 1/2 games out from the Wild Card, I believe, and if somehow if I accept it and we pulled it together and made the playoffs, that would mean a lot to the way people think of me as a ballplayer, what I can do to help change a game.”

If a trade can’t be worked out, the Red Sox will have successfully blocked Damon from going to the Yankees or the Rays. In fact, before Boston made the wavier claim, Damon wondered if he was headed to one of those two clubs.

“I was possibly thinking it was going to be Tampa or New York, but somehow Boston is still staying in this race, which makes it intriguing,” Damon said. “So it’s something I’ll have to think about. I promise I won’t think about it during the game. I’ll think about trying to get hits and stuff.”

First of four in Seattle

We are underway at Safeco Field for the first of four games, and Ichiro Suzuki has already robbed David Ortiz of a home run. That happened in the first inning. Perhaps, though, it will put to rest the theory that Ortiz is somehow worn down from winning the Home Run Derby. He then lined an RBI single in his next at-bat.

On to some other matters of business.

* Jeremy Hermida is back on the roster, but probably won’t play until Saturday because the Mariners have lefties pitching the first two games.

* Tim Wakefield is back in the bullpen for the forseeable future with Josh Beckett making his return to the rotation tomorrow night.

* Victor Martinez is getting closer to a return to action. He caught Wakefield on the side today and will do the same thing for Clay Buchholz tomorrow.

* Jacoby Ellsbury has started taking BP on the field during his rehab in Fort Myers and could start playing Minor League games in within “four to five days” according to Red Sox manager Terry Francona.

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