Results tagged ‘ David Ortiz ’
FORT MYERS, Fla. — OK, so it’s not really Opening Day, per se, but it is the first game of the 2010 season (never mind the fact that it doesn’t count, and it’s a doubleheader against two college programs). Anyway, the Red Sox finalized the lineup for that Wednesday exhibition-opening doubleheader at City of Palms Park. Victor Martinez will bat third in the opener, and captain Jason Varitek will make his spring debut in the nightcap.
This wasn’t one of the most glamorous days for Red Sox position players, but it was a necessary part of camp, as they all went through conditioning drills, which included the shuttle relay, among other activities.
David Ortiz walked off the field, claiming kiddingly, “I was the champ out there!”.
All kidding aside, manager Terry Francona appreciated Ortiz going through the drills like a professional.
“That’s a lot of body,” said Francona. “I got tired watching those guys. I laugh at them, but he did it. I don’t know how many players of his stature [would do that] – but that’s a lot of body to move twice 300 yards and he did it and I know his teammates probably really appreciate it. It means something. It’s not the end all. It doesn’t mean he’s going to hit home runs. It doesn’t mean he’s not. But it’s part of being a team going in one direction and that’s important.”
It wasn’t all business for Ortiz, who had some fun on the field with his little buddy Dustin Pedroia, as captured in this photo by Brita Meng Outzen.
Pedroia, who works out fanatically during the winter, got to put his supreme shape on display in the drills. Here he is, setting the pace with teammates Marco Scutaro and Jed Lowrie.
Back when Red Sox manager Terry Francona was a player, these type of tests did not occur during Spring Training.
“We were just happy to get BP. I do agree with it though,” Francona said. “[Strength coach] Dave Page [suggested it] a few years back, because we’re always worried about ‘let’s get on the field, let’s throw, pitch, let’s hit, let’s take groudners.’ It’s really a good day. It gives us baseline testing for where everybody is. It’s just really important and our guys do a good job with it. no [whining] and moaning, they go out and do it. I would not enjoy doing it. but they do it and we appreciate it.”
Wednesday will mark the first full-squad workout for the Sox. Red Sox manager Terry Francona will hold his annual team meeting before the workout. General manager Theo Epstein will also appreciate, and so will the ownership trio of John W. Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino.
So the first official workout isn’t until Wednesday, I will grant you that. But today sure felt like an official workout. The only players who didn’t participate? J.D. Drew, who showed up in the late morning, Mike Lowell who unpacked his belongings in the early afternoon, and Marco Scutaro, who will make his first appearance in camp for physicals on Tuesday.
There was clearly a surge in energy with the arrival of David Ortiz. Big Papi showed up with a smile, eager to turn the page from a tough 2010.
Mike Cameron and Adrian Beltre, two key newcomers, were also full of enthusiasm in their first day at the office with their new team. The biggest challenge for poor Cameron was finding the workout fields. He first drove to City of Palms Park, only to find that it was completely empty. Cameron also forgot his batting gloves, but he had an old friend in Bill Hall to borrow some from.
It didn’t take Beltre long to put on a show during infield drills, as he smoothly picked just about everything that came his way.
Meanwhile, Kevin Youkilis was among the first to arrive in camp, and he was clearly having himself a good time today. Check out the leap action here, as showcased by photographer Brita Meng Outzen.
Lowell will hold his press conference on Tuesday. It is obviously an awkward position for Mike, but if anyone is professional enough to handle the situation of being in complete limbo, it is Lowell.
And Daisuke Matsuzaka resumed throwing, playing catch between 60 and 90 feet, further proof that his back injury isn’t really much of an injury. He should be off a mound by early next week.
The Red Sox had a lineup on Friday night that had Jason Varitek behind the plate and Mike Lowell — despite four homers and 14 RBIs lifetime against Joba Chamberlain — on the bench.
“I really wish it was a little bit different,” Francona said. “He’s swung the bat so well off of Joba. It just doesn’t seem to make much sense to do that. We’ve got a couple of lefties the next two days. Again, and I know the numbers, it’s tremendous. I’m just trying to do something to not hurt him physically.”
Most often of late, Varitek has been the one to feel the lineup squeeze that has existed since Victor Martinez was acquired on July 31. Over that span, the Red Sox had played 50 games entering Friday, with each guy catching 25. Of course, Martinez has started at first base in nearly every instance when he wasn’t caching, while Varitek has ben relegated to the bench.
How has Varitek handled that?
“There was a reason they put that ‘C’ on his chest,” Francona said. “Even through maybe disappointment, or like you referred to it, a little bit of a reduced role, he still exhibits a lot of leadership. He’s helped Victor and he will continue to be very valuable to what we’re doing.”
Francona said that Varitek will catch two of the three games this weekend, but didn’t say if Martinez will catch Daisuke Matsuzaka on Saturday.
“It’s a possibility,” Francona said. “We don’t quite know yet what we’re going to do tomorrow or the next day. I don’t know if we want Tek to catch all three. We’ll see.”
In another matter, the Red Sox, as David Ortiz indicated Thursday in Kansas City, will have no reservations about spraying champagne at Yankee Stadium if they clinch the Wild Card this weekend.
Ortiz joked in KC that it would be nice not to have to get the home clubhouse at Fenway dirty.
Manager Terry Francona also indicated his team should relish the moment when they officially become one of the eight teams what will move on.
“Of course. Oh yeah. I’ve actually been asked a couple of times, hey, if this happens, are you guys going to celebrate?’ I could never quite understand that. Because we were fortunate enough to win six years ago and then a couple of years ago, why in the world would we not be happy if we’re fortunate enough to go back to the playoffs?” Francona said.
“I never did quite understand that. What we don’t need to do is choreograph anything. That’s the part I think we need to stay away from. A couple of years ago, when Pap danced out on the field after that crazy night when we were at home and Mora bunted [against the Yankees], [there was] all the craziness there that could probably only happen in New York or Boston. … What I’d like for us to do is play good and if they’re comes a moment when we’re able to celebrate, just do whatever you feel like doing.”
I hope everyone is having a nice BBQ today and following Brownie points and twitter — @IanMBrowne — from their blackberries!! Ha ha.
At any rate, news of the day.
David Ortiz is not in the lineup today, despite a .354 average with two homers lifetime against Buehrle. Because Terry Francona is committed to catching Jason Varitek on days Josh Beckett pitches, someone had to sit, and it wasn’t going to be Mike Lowell, who has already had his share of days off of late, and belted a homer yesterday.
Tim Wakefield won’t pitch for a while. The club put the brakes on and told him to skip his side session today, and will likely give him about a 10-day break before he next takes the ball, perhaps when the Red Sox play at Baltimore the weekend of Sept. 18-20.
It sounds more and more like Jed Lowrie’s season will end today, when he plays in Pawtucket’s season finale. It has simply been a lost year for Lowrie, so he might as well take some rest and then have a great winter of strenghtening the wrist. Nothing official yet, but it sounds like that is the way it will go.
I’m figuring the Josh Beckett for Cy Young talk is going to start shortly. This guy has been nothing short of nasty all season, with the exception of April. Each time out, he eats a ton of innings and barely allows any runs.
Mike Lowell is hot, real hot with the bat, and Jason Bay is trending that way. Just like guys seem to get cold at once, they seem to get hot at the same time too.
The two guys they need to get going now are Ortiz and Varitek.
Thursday here in New York, though I have to say it feels like Friday. Big four-game set begins in the Bronx tonight, with Kevin Youkilis starting in left field. This is the first time Youk has started in the outfield since 2006, when he started 17 games.
The reason, of course, is that Jason Bay is unavailable and might be for the entire series. Bay has hamstring woes. In addition, Rocco Baldelli fouled a ball off his left leg yesterday and was placed on the disabled list. Josh Reddick, back in the Minors for all of a day, will resurface in time for tonight’s game.
Greg Bouris from the Players Association confirmed that David Ortiz will address his situation on Saturday. Obviously Ortiz will meet with reps from the PA while he is in New York.
Smoltz vs. Joba tonight. Talk about a big spot for Smoltz.
Here at the Trop. Where are all of you on this nice summer night?
Just to give you a quick update, Tim Wakefield’s back and shoulder feel great, but his calf has been stiff, very stiff. Seems to be a nerve issue. That said, the knuckleballer is doing better than a few days ago, and could throw a side session tomorrow.
Dice-K will throw his first side since going on the DL next week, either Tuesday or Wednesday. You won’t see the Dice Man pitch for the Sox until September.
Still nothing on the David Ortiz situation, as the slugger is waiting for the Players Association to get his test results from the Federal Government to figure out exactly what he tested positive for in 2003.
Sitting in my seat here in the Fenway Park press box, there are big clouds engulfing the entire playing field and that is fitting on a day like this.
A New York Times report came out roughly one hour before game-time that David Ortiz was on the list of 104 players who tested positive in survey testing for performance-enhancing drugs back in 2003. Manny Ramirez was also on that list, but he of course was suspended for use of a banned substance earlier this season.
In Boston, the story is Ortiz, who has been one of the most beloved players in franchise history, something that was never more evident then when he was in his two-month slump earlier this season. Remember, this is a man who was endeared enough to get curtain calls for the first four home runs he hit this season.
But where will it go from here? What will Ortiz say after the game?
In his first at-bat today, he cracked a double on the very first pitch he saw. The crowd applause was pretty indifferent when he stepped up for his first at-bat. It was almost like they didn’t know whether to cheer or boo, so it was just kind of like, what I would call, a polite applause.
On his first day of Spring Training this year, David was very outspoken about the whole issue of steroids in baseball. He was disappointed that his friend Alex Rodriguez’s name came out from what was supposed to be an anonymous test in ’03, when there was not yet penalties for positive tests of PEDs.
Ortiz urged people to get away from the past and move forward, and suggested that anyone who tests positive in MLB’s testing program should be suspended for an entire season.
“I would suggest that everybody get tested, and not randomly,” Ortiz said on Feb. 16. “You go team by team and you test everybody, three, four times a year, and that’s about it. You do what you’ve got to do … ban them for the whole year [if they test positive]. You’re going to get respect from the players when they know they’re going to get tested. Let’s test the whole team, three or four times a year. I know they can do that. Believe me, if someone was using steroids, it would show up. Because the way they test you, it’s not a joke.”
How about past users, before the testing program was in effect?
“There’s been a lot of players who have been in federal court and being judged like they just killed somebody or they robbed somebody,” Ortiz also said on Feb. 16. “I don’t think all that is supposed to be happening. If you admitted that you’ve used stuff [in the past], boom, don’t use it anymore. It’s not good for you. You know it’s not good for the game. Let’s move on, you know what I mean? All the drama of bringing guys to court and acting like they are serious criminals, it doesn’t look good for the game. What is happening right now is about something that happened in the past. It’s not something that is happening right now. Everything was banned in, what, 2004?”
Anyway, more later.
John Smoltz, the future Hall of Famer, formally begins his career with the Boston Red Sox tonight, pitching here in the Nation’s Capital. It should be good theater for sure, as evidenced by the sight of several national writers in the press box, including Gordon Edes of Yahoo!, Jack Curry of the New York Times and Ken Rosenthal of Fox and Foxports.com.
Meanwhile, Big Papi David Ortiz is back in the cleanup hole for the first time since 2005 on a night Kevin Youkilis is out of the lineup. Just a rest for Youk as manager Terry Francona adapts to National League rules. It will be interesting to see if Ortiz settles into the cleanup spot between Youkilis and Bay, to give them more of a right-left effect in the middle.
Jed Lowrie’s rehab has been set back a couple of days after he got belted in the knee earlier this week. Lowrie should be back in the PawSox lineup by Saturday.