Aceves will not fly with team to California Monday


Aceves will not fly with team to California Monday

BOSTON Right-hander Alfredo Aceves will not fly with the team when it leaves for its nine-game west coast trip following Mondays homestand finale with the Royals. Aceves was suspended by the Red Sox for three games following Fridays game for conduct detrimental to the team.

I expect him to be in California, though, said manager Bobby Valentine.

Aceves has not been at Fenway Park since his suspension. Valentine expects the right-hander to be ready and available to pitch when the suspension is over, beginning Tuesday.

Hell be ready to pitch, Valentine said. I believe hell be OK to pitch. I would think that hes working out. Hes a workout fanatic. Hes not just sitting around eating popcorn.

But what role Aceves will have remains to be determined, Valentine said. Andrew Bailey will be the closer, if necessary, Monday. Mark Melancon earned his first save of the season on Sunday.

Valentine was not sure but thought he might have suspended players in his past managerial tenures.

I think it might have been over a drug situation a couple of times, before there was a big drug policy, he said. I dont remember.

Asked if he was concerned about any repercussions with Aceves because of the suspension, Valentine replied:

I guess. It just deals with being responsible for your actions and understanding that all actions have consequence. Its just a simple rule. Remember, I dont have a lot of rules, but one of the rules I stated early on is that you dont do anything to embarrass yourself, your teammates or your organization. Thats a rule.

It is highly unusual for a team to suspend its own player. Jim Rice was the last player suspended by the Red Sox. On July 20, 1988, manager Joe Morgan called Rice back from the on-deck circle and had Spike Owen pinch-hit for him. The move enraged Rice, who pulled Morgan into the dugout tunnel where an altercation ensued. Rice was suspended by the team for three games.

Clay Buchholz will start Tuesday in Anaheim, with Jon Lester starting on Thursday. Wednesdays starter is still unknown. But, Valentine said, he does not think it will be left-hander Franklin Morales.

Third baseman Will Middlebrooks will not be on the west coast trip. On the disabled list since Aug. 11 with a right wrist fracture, Middlebrooks has several check-ups scheduled for this week.

Shortstop Jose Iglesias has not been in the starting lineup since being called up on Saturday. He made his season debut that day as a pinch-runner in the ninth inning of the 12-inning loss. He played Friday for Triple-A Pawtucket, after sitting out since Aug. 19, injuring his left leg sliding into home. Valentine was not concerned about keeping the highly valued prospect on the bench.

Hes here to help us win games when needed, Valentine said.

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.

Offseason just like any other for Bogaerts

Offseason just like any other for Bogaerts

BOSTON -- At first, 2016 seemed like the “Year of Xander.” It turned out to be the “Year of Mookie,” with Bogaerts dropping off a little as the season progressed.

The Red Sox shortstop saw his average peak at .359 on June 12. At that point he’d played in 61 games, hit eight home runs, 20 doubles and knocked in 44 runs. Although Mookie Betts had six more home runs and three more RBI in that same span, Bogaerts had six more doubles and was hitting 69 points higher.

The two were already locks for the All-Star Game and Bogaerts still had the edge in early MVP talk.

Then things took a turn after the very day Bogaerts saw his average peak.

Over the next 61 games, Bogaerts still managed seven homers, but only had six doubles and 27 RBI, watching his average drop to .307 by the end of that stretch. At first glance, .307 doesn’t seem like an issue, but he dropped 52 points after hitting .253 in that span.

And in his remaining 35 games, Bogaerts only hit .248 -- although he did have six homers.

But throughout it all, Bogaerts never seemed fazed by it. With pitchers and catchers reporting in less than a month, Bogaerts still isn’t worried about the peaks and valleys.

“You go through it as a player, the only one’s who don’t go through that are the ones not playing,” Bogaerts told before the Boston baseball writers' dinner Thursday. “I just gotta know you’re going to be playing good for sometime, you’re going to be playing bad for sometime.

“Just try to a lot more better times than bad times. It’s just a matter of trusting yourself, trusting your abilities and never doubting yourself. Obviously, you get a lot of doubts when you’re playing bad, but you just be even keeled with whatever situation is presented.”

Bogaerts level head is something often noted by coaches and his teammates, carrying through the days he finds himself lunging left and right for pitches. That’s also carried him through the offseason while maintaining the same preparation from past seasons -- along with putting on some weight.

“I don’t know how much I put on, but I feel strong,” Bogaerts said to “I mean, I look strong in the mirror.

“Hopefully, I’m in a good position when the season comes because I know I’ll lose [the weight].”