Big Dan's Ramblings

Ramblings from a Boston Boy stuck in New York

Monthly Archives: July 2010

Ortiz: Boston Media the ‘Problem’

Boston Red SoxFrom DJ Bean, WEEI.com:

David Ortiz appeared on The Big Show a day after hitting his 20th and 21st homers of the season in a 6-3 Red Sox victory over the Angels. Now hitting .256 with 64 RBI and possessing a .370 on-base percentage, Ortiz spoke of his confidence that his game would return following a rough start to the season.

“This is a game that you need consistency to stay in it and play in,” Ortiz said. “It can walk away from you in a long period of time but it can’t walk away from you from one day to the next. ”

Ortiz noted that he was humbled by the fans sticking with him throughout a dreadful first month in which he hit just .143 with one homer. Some media members weren’t so high on his list, however, as he claimed that some reporters in Boston take negative attitudes.

“The fans have always been supportive. Now, everything starts with reporters. Reporters have always been the problem in Boston,” Ortiz said. “That’s why you see players and they don’t want to come and play here. Just because they have a deal with a reporter, they have a deal with this one guy, that just because you had a bad week [they say] you’re slowing down, and they put in people’s minds that you can’t play no more. You’re old, you’re this, you’re that. I heard that every day. I’m not a guy who likes to pay attention to any of that, but it was in the news every day.”

Ortiz’ turnaround for the second straight year left him hoping the media would have been patient in the first place.

“It was April. It was April,” Ortiz said passionately. “Look at where my numbers are right now, and we’ve still got two months left.”

Ortiz hopes to get a multi-year deal in the offseason, as he noted that he is one of the few true designated hitters to both put up numbers and stay healthy. As for the moves the team will make before the trade deadline, Ortiz seems confident in the roster once it’s healthy.

“I know that Theo and the rest of the squad, they know what to do at the time. I think we’ll be fine,” Ortiz said. “Those injuries that caught up with us five, six weeks, ago … you can see the difference without those guys in the lineup. … We’re still going to have six or seven weeks where we can put some good games together and see what happens toward the end of the season.”

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Martinez Activated by Red Sox

Boston Red SoxFrom Gordon Edes, ESPNBoston.com:

Victor Martinez was activated by the Boston Red Sox before Monday’s game and was back in the lineup, catching and batting sixth, though manager Terry Francona said that it will be just a matter of time before Martinez is back in the heart of the order.

Martinez hit an RBI single his first time up against right-hander Dan Haren, who was making his Angels debut.

Martinez has been on the disabled list since June 28 with a fractured left thumb. At the time he was hurt, the Red Sox were in second place, two games out of first in the AL East. The Red Sox went 9-13 in the 22 games he missed to drop to third place, eight games out.

The dropoff can’t all be attributed to Martinez’s absence, of course. On the same weekend in San Francisco in which Martinez was hurt, Dustin Pedroia fractured a bone in his left foot and Clay Buchholz strained his left hamstring, and three nights later Jason Varitek also fractured his foot, leaving the Sox without both of their big-league catchers.

The four catchers who played in Martinez’s absence — Varitek (two-plus games), Kevin Cash, Gustavo Molina and Dusty Brown — have combined to bat .162 (12-for-74) with two RBIs, both belonging to Varitek.

Brown was optioned to Pawtucket to make room for Martinez.

“He certainly won’t be hitting sixth very long,” Francona said before the Red Sox beat the Angels 6-3. “It wasn’t fair to stick him in third or fourth until he gets some games under his belt.”

Martinez said his glove has been fitted with some special padding to prevent him from aggravating the injury. The thumb had been bothering him more swinging from the right side, but Martinez said that’s no longer the case, and it won’t be a big factor in Anaheim as the Angels are starting three right-handers in succession: Haren, Jered Weaver and Joel Pineiro.

Francona said whether Martinez plays all three games will depend on how he responds physically, but with Wednesday being a day game, Francona said the Sox are preparing to have Cash catch.

“I’m just excited,” Martinez said. “It’s not fun to watch the game from the bench.”

Gordon Edes is ESPNBoston.com’s Red Sox reporter. He has covered the Red Sox for 12 years and has reported on baseball for 25 years.

Spikes, Pats Have Four-Year Deal

New England PatriotsFrom Mike Reiss, ESPNBoston.com:

The New England Patriots and second-round draft choice Brandon Spikes reached agreement on a four-year, $3.21 million contract Monday night, according to Spikes’ agent, Terry Watson.

Spikes was en route to Gillette Stadium to sign the deal, which includes a $960,000 signing bonus and a one-time incentive of $450,000, according to Watson.

The agreement was first reported by the Boston Herald.

“He’s refreshed and pleased that the contract is done,” said Watson. “He cannot wait to get to the facility. He loves to play football and is ready to go about what he loves.”

Spikes, the final selection of the second round, will vie for playing time at inside linebacker next to 2008 Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year Jerod Mayo. He will be competing with Gary Guyton (third year) and Tyrone McKenzie (second year).

With Spikes in the fold, the Patriots’ lone unsigned pick is first-rounder Devin McCourty.

Mike Reiss covers the Patriots for ESPNBoston.com.

Red Sox Wanted Mets Catcher Barajas

Boston Red SoxFrom Mark J. Miller, Yahoo Sports:

Even though Victor Martinez just returned from the disabled list and went 1-for-4 with an RBI in a 6-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim yesterday, the Boston Red Sox are looking to add a catcher before the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline passes and the team had discussions with the New York Mets about bringing catcher Rod Barajas to New England, according to WEEI.

The Sox were offering reliever Ramon Ramirez for the catcher, WEEI reports, but that now appears to be off the table since Barajas went on the disabled list yesterday.

Ramirez, who has a 4.69 ERA, is making $1.55 million this year and will have salary increases for the next two seasons.

Rangers, Tigers Cool on Lowell

Boston Red SoxFrom Gordon Edes, ESPNBoston.com:

Mike Lowell is doing his part in trying to prove he could be a useful piece to another club, collecting four hits in a game Saturday night and batting .357 (5 for 14) overall in the first three games of his rehab assignment for Triple-A Pawtucket.

But the two teams that have shown the most interest in Lowell, the Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers, appear headed in other directions. The Rangers, who had a scout in Pawtucket for Lowell’s first game, are closing in on a deal with the Marlins for right-handed hitting infielder Jorge Cantu, a major league source said Monday, which would eliminate Lowell from Texas’ list. There are other teams — the Rockies and Giants — also bidding for Cantu, the source said, but he asserted that the Marlins are well down the road with Texas, as long as the commissioner’s office signs off on the financials of the deal.

Meanwhile, the Tigers sent two scouts to Pawtucket, including amateur scouting director David Chadd, who used to hold the same position with Boston. But over the weekend, the Tigers lost two key run producers to injuries, Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen, both players winding up on the DL. The Tigers are actively looking for bats, but one big league source with direct knowledge of the Tigers’ thinking said it’s unlikely Detroit will deal for Lowell.

Gordon Edes is ESPNBoston.com’s Red Sox reporter. He has covered the Red Sox for 12 years and has reported on baseball for 25 years.