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

Sandoval 'starting from scratch' after career had 'fallen into an abyss'

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The Pablo Sandoval redemption tour is underway as the former World Series MVP tries to revive his career after two disastrous seasons with the Red Sox organization.

In an interview with ESPN Deportes, he admits to being “complacent” during his first two seasons in Boston after signing a five-year, $95 million deal. 

"My career had fallen into an abyss because I was so complacent with things that I had already accomplished," Sandoval said. "I did not work hard in order to achieve more and to remain at the level of the player that I am and that I can be."

After dealing Travis Shaw to the Brewers, Sandoval is expected to be the Red Sox primary third baseman in 2017.

"I am not taking anything for granted," he said. "I am here to work hard. I'm not thinking about the position or not. I am starting from scratch, and I am here to show what I can do on the field."

The 30-year-old says he’s following a “really strict routine” this offseason, and it shows. In a recent photo, Sandoval appears noticeably thinner. Sandoval says his wife giving birth to “Baby Panda” has served as inspiration.

"Watching 'Baby Panda' grow up and that he gets the opportunity to see his father play in the majors for seven, eight more years, to get back to the success I had, that's my motivation every day," Sandoval said. "The people that I surround myself with now and my family, they are the key to my success. This has been a life lesson."

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Could John Henry sell ownership of the Boston Red Sox anytime soon, or does he want to keep winning?  Shaughnessy, Merloni, and Tanguay debate.