Bard not available for relief work Wednesday


Bard not available for relief work Wednesday

MINNEAPOLIS -- Earlier Wednesday afternoon, in his scheduled weekly radio appearance on WEEI, manager Bobby Valentine suggested that Daniel Bard, scheduled to start Friday in Chicago, might be available for an inning of relief work Wednesday night.
When Valentine got to Target Field later, however, that plan changed.
"Before I got here, he might have been (avaialble),'' said Valentine. "Then we talked and we figured it was not the right thing to do. At 2 o'clock this afternoon, I think it was an option.''
"We just talked about it. What if (the inning) goes 30 pitches? What are we going to do, take him out after the 22nd pitch -- bring someone else in? It's a crazy situation. I don't think he needs more than 50 pitches today between warming up and in a game. What if he goes over that? Then you're not in a good place.''
Bard had a side session of 45-50 pitches Wednesday afternoon at Target Field in preparation for his start against the White Sox.
"He'll be ready,'' said Valentine.

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.