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Pedroia Leads Boston Into A New Era

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The Boston Red Sox are going to miss David Ortiz’ bat in a big way, but not just his bat. Having been a constant for the Red Sox since his arrival in 2003, Ortiz was also a tremendous presence in the clubhouse as well and everybody knows that Big Papi was the de facto captain of the team. Boston will especially miss his leadership seeing as they boasted one of the youngest squads in the MLB in 2016, with an average age of 28.8. Many Red Sox players have spoken of how much Ortiz will be missed both on the field and in the dressing room. The Sox will look for leadership from many sources this season, but it starts with one man, Dustin Pedroia.

Now the longest tenured member of the club, 2017 will be Dustin Pedroia’s  tenth full season with the team, and it is now his job take over and be a leader for the team’s many young talents. Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Andrew Benintendi and Eduardo Rodriguez are all under the age of 25 and have largely been mentored by Ortiz, Pedroia will pick up where his friend left off.

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John Farrell is confident in Pedroia’s leadership. Courtesy of The Boston Globe.

Now 33, Pedey is a battle tested veteran who too has been a stalwart for the Sox through the best and worst of times. The four time Gold Glover at second won world championships in 2007 and 2013 and also stuck it out through the team’s tumult in the early 2010s that saw a massive rebuild.

While John Farrell said in 2015 that the title of captain means nothing to Pedroia, he still fills that role for Boston.

“Pedey has been a leader for a number of years already,” the Red Sox Manager said to Ian Browne. “That won’t change.”

While Pedroia isn’t the most veteran player on the Red Sox, Pedroia may well be the most respected. Since his debut in 2006, the Woodland, CA native has played every game with heart and hustle, something that has made him incredibly popular with Boston fans. The AL Rookie of the Year a decade ago this season, Pedroia prefers to lead by example with his actions, and his contemporaries have noticed.
“He brings it every day,” said David Price. “He has that fire. He has that passion. He’s definitely a very good leader.”
The Red Sox will be counting on Pedroia to be exactly that as their first Spring Training with Big Papi in 15 years begins. Entering 2017 with an opening at third and an embarrassment of riches starting rotation, Boston will be looking to improve upon their success last season.

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Boston Red Sox

Red Sox Sam Kennedy Says Keeping Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez ‘Difficult’, But There is a Way

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Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez

After a disappointing 2019 campaign following a 2018 World Series championship, the Boston Red Sox are looking to trim payroll and revamp for the 2020 season.

Red Sox president Sam Kennedy spoke Monday about the team’s future and stated that there is a way for the team to keep superstar outfielders Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez and stay below Major League Baseball’s competitive balance tax, but it won’t be an easy task to perform.

“There is a way, but obviously it will be difficult given the nature of the agreements and the contracts we have in place,” Kennedy said, according to ESPN.

“We have a very targeted and strategic plan that we’re building now. Some of the dates related to contract decisions come right after the World Series. So we’ve had some time in September to focus on the offseason given where we were in the standings,” he said. “It is going to be a challenging offseason, but we’re ready to attack it head-on and do everything we can to put a competitive team out there not just for next year but 2021, 2022.”

The comments come off the heels of a Friday media session with team owners John Henry and Tom Werner where the two stated that they were prepared to cut payroll to get under the luxury-tax threshold next season.

The Red Sox have had baseball’s highest payroll for two consecutive seasons, exceeding the competitive balance threshold of $208 million in each of those seasons.

Doing so for a third straight season would see an astronomical rise of the taxes.

“We need to be under the CBT,” Henry said on Friday.

“We will continue to demonstrate a willingness to go over the CBT,” Kennedy said. “It is going to be a challenging offseason, but we are going to attack it.”

“We absolutely love Mookie Betts as a player, as a person,” Kennedy said. “We’ve gotten to know his family. You hope that he’s a guy that is here for the long term.”

Kennedy also added that he took no offense at the idea of Betts testing the free agent market this upcoming winter.

“I think it speaks to Mookie’s confidence and how special of a player he is,” Kennedy said of Betts’ potential testing of the market.

“He really does love it here. He told me he loves it here. … You can see with the joy and energy and enthusiasm in which he approaches playing baseball at Fenway Park — the fans love him.”

Kennedy also lauded the performance of Martinez, while also pointing out his importance to the team’s success.

“You want J.D. Martinez in the middle of your lineup,” Kennedy said. “He’s a world champion and was a key part of last year’s success, so we will see where it goes in the future.”

The Red Sox have a lot of work to do this offseason, and it may include losing Martinez, or Betts, or potentially both as they look to drop payroll.

 

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Boston Red Sox

Red Sox Fire Dave Dombrowski

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Dave Dombrowski

The Boston Red Sox have fired president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski one year after winning the World Series, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

The Red Sox fired Dombrowski, 63, on Sunday and they will elevate senior vice president Raquel Ferreira and assistant general managers Eddie Romero, Brian O’Halloran and Zack Scott to jointly lead their baseball operations department for the remainder of the 2019 season.

Dombrowski was hired back in August 2015 and was the architect of the World Series Championship team in 2018.

Dombrowski made some major moves during his tenure, such as trading for Chris Sale and Craig Kimbrell, signing J.D. Martinez and David Price, and hiring manager Joey Cora.

“This is a guy that gave me a chance to come here and be a big league manager,” Cora said. “It’s one of those things that caught me. They just told me, so I’m not ready to talk about it.”

An excessive payroll and getting this team back on track will be just some of the tasks that Dombrowski’s successors will have to do.

For all that Dombrowski had accomplished in Boston, he came under scrutiny this season for some of the big moves he missed on, as well as the team’s poor season that has them well out of the division race and 8 games back from the wild card.

 

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Red Sox David Price Blasts Dennis Eckersley

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David Price

Some feuds just refuse to die, and that seems to be the case with Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price and Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley, who is a TV analyst for the team, whose feud kicked off around two years ago.

It all started when Eckersley made a comment about Boston lefty Eduardo Rodriguez on air, leading to Price confronting him on the team plane, blocking his path, mocking, and cursing at him as some players applauded.

A few years after the incident, Eckersley made comments about Price during an interview with the Boston Globe that ran on Tuesday.

“I didn’t know how to deal with that. I don’t plan on saying a word to him, I don’t plan on seeing him, never,” Eckersley said. “I don’t really give a — one way or another. I don’t think he really cares one way or the other.”

Price made some not-so-subtle comments, in response, on his Twitter account via some emojis on Wednesday, but unloaded on Eckersley when speaking to the media at Fenway PArk on Wednesday.

“Honestly, I just think it’s trash. He had an unbelievable career and he’s a Hall of Famer,” Price said (h/t ESPN). “I saw his special on MLB Network. It was cool. The one thing that stood out to me was that he had zero former teammates in that interview. Not one talking about him. It was him talking about himself.

“If anybody ever does a special on me after baseball, I won’t need to go on that interview. I will have former teammates. I will have former coaches. He didn’t have that. To me, that’s all you need to know. That tells the story right there.”

It seems that this feud is far from being over.

 

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