Big Bunting Papi

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Big Bunting Papi

This afternoon at Fenway, David Ortiz celebrated Tim Wakefield Day in spectacular fashion.

First, with a home run a towering shot into the bullpen but honestly that's nothing new. It was the 328th of Ortiz's Red Sox career, and certainly won't be his last.

More interesting, is what Ortiz did in his next at-bat

Send a bunt down the third baseline against the shifted infield for an easy, stand-up single.

This is something I'd love for Ortiz to do more of. Not too much, obviously. But if every once in a while maybe every 10 at-bats, or whenever the time's right Ortiz simply laid an easy bunt down the line, it would really make teams have to re-think the shift. It would re-open gaps for a guy who's currently using the WHOLE field better than perhaps at any point in his career.

How many bunt singles would it take for the shift to slowly fade away: Five?

So, why not pull that punch a little more often?

Anyway, like I said before, today was Papi's 328th home run with the Sox, and while I'm not 100 positive on this next number, I believe it was the sixth bunt single of his career.

But here's what I know for sure. It wasn't his first time hitting a home run and a bunt single in the same game. That's happened at least once before.

April 23, 2006 in a 6-3 win over the Blue Jays.

And who started for the Sox on that fateful day? You guessed it, the man of the hour at Fenway Park: Tim Wakefield!

Just kidding.

It was Matt Clement.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Pedro Martinez to WEEI: Ortiz will make comeback this season

Pedro Martinez to WEEI: Ortiz will make comeback this season

Never say never?

While Red Sox officials said at the team's annual Winter Weekend at Foxwoods on Saturday that they'd be traveling to the Dominican Republic to talk to David Ortiz about a role with the team, Pedro Martinez told WEEI he sees Big Papi returning to his old role - designated hitter - this season.

CSN's Trenni Kusnierek and WEEI's John Tomase talked to Martinez on their show Saturday at Foxwoods and Martinez said his old teammate would be making a comeback despite the long, emotional farewell tour last season. 

For the full interview with Martinez, click here.

Red Sox executives Tom Werner, Sam Kennedy and Dave Dombrowski made no mention of Ortiz returning as a player when talking about their Dominican trip. Ortiz has repeatedly said he is going to stay retired. 

Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: 'Time for both sides to do something different, I guess'

Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: 'Time for both sides to do something different, I guess'

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- While there’s a deal of anticipation going into Spring training with the four Killer B’s, David Price and Pablo Sandoval’s shot at redemption and Rick Porcello looking to be something similar to his 2016 self, there’s one name that trumps them all.

Chris Sale.

The lankly lefty received an ovation from fans at the Friday night Town Hall, kicking off Red Sox Winter Weekend. With his consistent success, there’s reason to be excited.

But there’s also reason for apprehension given the way Sale’s departure from Chicago was depicted. But he’s made sure to clear the air.

“I wouldn’t say . . . ya know . . . I loved my time in Chicago,” Sale said when asked if it was time to leave the Windy City. “My best baseball memories are there [and] will be there forever. I love the city; I love the people in the organization.

“It was time for both sides to do something different, I guess. I talked to (White Sox Senior V.P.) Rick on the phone, I talked to (White Sox pitching coach Don) Coop (Cooper). We’re all cool, it’s fine. We understand where both of us are, it happens in baseball, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Chicago.”

He didn’t seem irritated discussing the issue, and certainly wasn’t timid -- we all know that’s not in his DNA.

He genuinely seems excited to deal with the large sum of Sox fans and to call a new place home -- in a city his wife’s fond of no less.

But ultimately, he’s focused on winning, nothing else.

“Every time I’m out there it’s gonna be all I got,” Sale said. "Every time, no matter what. Can promise you that.”