Bradford: Sox won't use Napoli at catcher


Bradford: Sox won't use Napoli at catcher

WEEI's Rob Bradford joins Gary Tanguay and Lou Merloni on Sports Tonight from the Winter Meetings to discuss the Sox' signing of Mike Napoli among other things.

Napoli can play catcher, but will the Sox use him there? Bradford doesn't think so.

"No I think he's your first baseman and here's my thinking on the matter: I think he's OK at first base. There's some potential that if he plays there a little bit more he might get a little better. I don't think it's a huge potential, but a chance. The biggest thing, Lou, is the fact that you signed Mike Napoli to be in the lineup, to be a hitter, to be a middle-of-the-order hitter, one that's one of the rarest things in baseball. In order to get the most production out of him and keep him in the lineup, it's not to catch."

Bradford also touches upon the possibility that Jarrod Saltalamacchia could be traded, and impossibility of the Sox trading two top prospects for R.A. Dickey.

Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner


Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner

BOSTON -- “I didn’t feel that love after I made a pitching change in the sixth inning,” Terry Francona said after a 45-second standing ovation from Boston fans upon receiving the MLB Manager of the Year award from the BBWAA Thursday.

It’s without question the love for Francona runs deep in the city. Why wouldn’t it? He was the leader in breaking the 86-year old curse, and wound up winning another World Series title for Boston three years later.

Actually, he was more of a co-leader, working alongside the same person who won the MLB Executive of the Year honors from the BBWAA for 2016.

Theo Epstein -- who received an ovation 17 seconds shorter than Francona, but who’s counting -- reminisced about the Red Sox ownership group that took a chance on a young kid who wasn’t necessarily the ideal candidate to take over as GM of a team, but now that’s helped him build the Chicago Cubs into a winning franchise and establish a great working environment.

This October marks 13 years since the ’04 championship, 10 years since ’07 and six years since the pair left Boston. Without question they’ve left their mark on the city and forever changed Red Sox baseball.

And while the fans showed their undying gratitude for Francona with an ovation almost as long as his acceptance speech, the Indians manager recognized the favor the current Red Sox brass has done for him.

“I’d like to thank Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox for getting Chris Sale the hell out of the Central Division,” Francona said.