Box Score Bank: Manny comes to Fenway

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Box Score Bank: Manny comes to Fenway

The Sox are in Cleveland today to kick off a four-game series with the Indians, aka the only team in baseball having a worse summer than Bobby V's boys.

Before last night's win over Minnesota, Cleveland had lost 11 straight, and in the process had taken themselves from borderline Wild Card contenders to American League punchlines. They're currently nine and a half games back in the Central, nine games back in the Wild Card and look poised to miss the playoffs for the 10th time in 11th years.

See . . . it could be worse.

Anyway, since both teams are in a bad place, let's look at the past and celebrate the greatest gift that Cleveland has given Red Sox fans over these last 2012 or so years.

Manny Ramirez.

Setting the Box Score Bank for . . . May 26, 1994.
The cinematic masterpiece Ace Ventura: Pet Detective was No. 1 at the box office. I Swear by All-4-One was in the first of its 11-week run atop the Billboard charts. It was two months after the death of Kurt Cobain, two weeks before the deaths of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman, and two months before the death of the 1994 season . . .

And here in Boston, Manny Ramirez was stepping into the Fenway batter's box for the first time in his legendary career.

Final Score: Red Sox 13, Indians 5

Ramirez was actually called up to the majors in September of the '93 season and appeared in a three-game series against the Sox (he went 4-for-12 with one RBI) that year, but it wasn't until May of 1994 that the then-21 year old made his Fenway debut.

Batting seventh, he drew a walk from Joe Hesketh in his first at-bat, then flew out, singled, struck out and flew out in four subsequent ABs. That's 1-for-4 if you're counting at home.

And in the backdrop of Manny's debut, the Sox had themselves quite an afternoon, lighting up Cleveland starter Julian Tavarez for eight runs over 1 23 innings, and scoring 11 runs over the first two innings total, in a 13-5 win. Otis Nixon was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Mike Greenwell was 2-for-4 with three RBI. Damon Berryhill hit a solo homer off Tavarez in the second.

But in the end, none of it really mattered, as the season was canceled on August 12.

Six years later, Ramirez fled Cleveland for the Sox.

Eleven years later, and here we are. Getting ready for a relatively meaningless summer series between two American League also-rans.

Can you feel it?!

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

Report: Aroldis Chapman, Yankees reach deal for $86M, 5 years

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Report: Aroldis Chapman, Yankees reach deal for $86M, 5 years

OXON HILL, Md. - Aroldis Chapman found a spot in a most familiar bullpen - a very rich spot, too.

The hard-throwing closer reached agreement to return to the New York Yankees on Wednesday night with the highest-priced contract ever for a relief pitcher, an $86 million deal for five years.

A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press that the contract was pending a physical. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet complete.

Once it's done, the 28-year-old lefty whose fastballs routinely top 100 mph would shatter the previous richest contract for a reliever - that was the $62 million, four-year deal Mark Melancon signed with San Francisco just a couple days ago during the winter meetings.

Chapman was acquired by New York from the Cincinnati Reds last offseason, then missed the first 29 games of the season due to a domestic violence suspension from Major League Baseball. The Cuban was traded to the Chicago Cubs in late July and helped them win the World Series, becoming a free agent when it was over.

Chapman went 4-1 with 36 saves and a 1.55 ERA in a combined 59 games for the Yankees and Cubs. He struggled some in the postseason as the Cubs beat Cleveland for their first championship since 1908.

With the Yankees this season, Chapman teamed with Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances in one of the most dominant bullpens in baseball history. Miller was later traded to Cleveland, but Betances is still with New York.

Earlier this week, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the team was interested in both Chapman and fellow free agent closer Kenley Jansen. The Yankees had already made one deal at these meetings, signing slugger Matt Holliday, before paying a lot more to bring Chapman back to the Bronx.

Fox Sports first reported the agreement.

CSN CHICAGO: Yoan Moncada 'thrilled' to reunite with Jose Abreu on White Sox

CSN CHICAGO: Yoan Moncada 'thrilled' to reunite with Jose Abreu on White Sox

Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu are back together.

The two Cuban natives were teammates in 2012 when they played for Cienfuegos in Cuba, and now they'll be in the same dugout once again — this time in Chicago.

"To get the opportunity to play with him right now in the United States, it's an honor for me," Moncada said through a translator on a conference call Wednesday. "I'm thrilled with that."

Click here for the complete story on CSNChicago.com