Buchholz pitches four simulated innings

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Buchholz pitches four simulated innings

FORT MYERS, Fla. While the main squad was traveling to Tampa to face the Yankees Tuesday night, Clay Buchholz pitched four simulated innings Tuesday afternoon at the teams complex against Red Sox big leaguers, including Nick Punto, and minor leaguers.

Buchholz recorded 11 outs over four scoreless innings, throwing 59 pitches, 33 for strikes. He gave up five hits and a walk with three strikeouts. Punto went 2-for-2 against Buchholz.Catcher Max St. Pierre was the other player from big league camp to face Buchholz. He went 1-for-4.

Pitching in a simulated game can be a challenge.

The atmosphere is different, Buchholz said. You have to go out there and know youre working on certain things and try not to get too frustrated if some things dont go your way. Its different, but you still have to get your work in.

They asked me a couple of days ago if its something I wanted to do to be in a controlled environment and not having to worry about whos on deck or whos on second.

Buchholz used his full repertoire of pitches.

I was a little rough around the edges he said. I dont think I threw a changeup for a strike. Little too quick on some pitches.

Tried to mix all of them. The feel wasnt there for all the off-speed pitches today. The changeup was up more than it was down and curve ball, I was pulling off it a little bit.

He picked Punto off first base, a move hes been working on.

It felt good, Buchholz said. I like to peak over to first a lot. Ive always done it. Its neat especially against a base stealer like Punto who can run catching him between steps makes you feel good.

Buchholz season was done after his June 16 outing against the Rays, when he left after five innings. A stress fracture in his lower back sidelined him for the rest of the season.

I came from here (the Sox instructional league in Fort Myers) and threw six or seven innings and I pitched without any stress and strain and I went into the offseason knowing I could throw at max effort in a game situation. So Im pretty much over that fact. It eased my mind to take a month off and then got
back into it.

But he tries not to think about last season.

I dont think it would be healthy to go out there and worry about things that could happen, he said. My focus and goals are on getting through spring and throwing innings that I need to throw to get prepared for the first start they have me slotted for.

Ortiz, Red Sox express shock, sadness over Fernandez's death

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Ortiz, Red Sox express shock, sadness over Fernandez's death

Like the rest of the baseball world, the Red Sox expressed shock and sadness over the tragic death of Marlins ace Jose Fernandez, who was killed in a boating accident in Miami. 

David Ortiz tweeted his thoughts before the game Sunday in St. Petersburg, where the Red Sox played the Tampa Bay Rays.

There was a moment of silence for Fernandez - who attended high school in the Tampa area after defecting from Cuba at 15 - before the game at Tropicana Field, and before all major league games on Sunday. 

There was to be on-field ceremony for Ortiz before his last game at the Trop, part of his retirement farewell tour, but it was canceled at Ortiz's request. A video tribute to Ortiz was shown during the game and the Rays gave Ortiz his retirement gifts privately.

Ortiz wiped away tears during the moment of silence. He wrote "RIP Jose" on his cap.

Fernandez had joked about how he wanted to give up a home run to Ortiz when he faced him as an N.L. pitcher in the All-Star Game this past July. 

"I told him yesterday that I am going to throw him three fastballs down the middle. I want to watch him hit a home run," Fernandez had said. 

Ortiz ended up walking against Fernandez, prompting this response from Big Papi:

First baseman Hanley Ramirez, who played for the Marlins, as well as other Red Sox players, also tweeted their reactions after hearing the news of Fernandez's death Sunday morning. 

https://twitter.com/mookiebetts/status/780057024344256512
 

Bill Belichick says Brad Stevens has given him 'a lot of insight' on coaching

Bill Belichick says Brad Stevens has given him 'a lot of insight' on coaching

Celtics coach Brad Stevens told reporters last week that spending time with Bill Belichick can make you "feel pretty inadequate as a coach."

But Belichick raved about Stevens during a conference call on Sunday. The two spent time together on Friday night for the Hall of Fame Huddle fundraiser to benefit Belichick's foundation, and the Patriots coach explained that he's learned a lot from the Celtics boss.

"Got to know Brad ove the last couple of years," Belichick said. "I have a tremendous amount of respect for what he's done, taking a young team, a team that we barely knew some of the players on the team, and in a couple of years has built them into a strong team last year and played very competitively in the playoffs. Fun to go over there and watch them.

"Brad and I have talked about a lot of things that are just coaching-related. Obviously the sports are different. I don't know anything about basketball, and he says he doesn't know much about football. It's really not about Xs and Os and that kind of thing. It's more the other parts of coaching: Prepartion, training, team work, team-building, confidence, communication, players and coaches relationships and so forth.

"Obviously we're in the same business in taking more people to training camp than we can keep on a roster, then managing a roster and dealing with things that happen during the year with that roster, whether it's bringing other guys onto the team, trades and so forth. We've chatted about a lot of those things. He's given me a lot of insight.

"I'd say some of the players they get are a little younger than the guys we get on average. Kids that are coming out of college after one year, we get them after three years or four. Just the trans from college to pro which he obviously has a lot of experience with. Coming to the New England area for most players, that's an adjustment, we don't get too many guys from this area. All of those things like that."