Buchholz: Sox situation 'blown out of proportion'

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Buchholz: Sox situation 'blown out of proportion'

BALTIMORE Some would describe whats gone on over the last calendar year for the Red Sox as a nightmare.
The worst September collapse in Major League Baseball history, the sacking of Terry Francona and airing of nasty grievances over the winter and a 2012 baseball season that appears like it was over before it even started.
The latest is a Yahoo! Sports report that Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez were ringleaders in a player insurgency designed to get Bobby Valentine fired as the Sox manager. Pedroia and Gonzalez have made their statements or lack thereof in the last 24 hours, and some of their teammates have weighed in as well.
It's not a nightmare. I think some things get blown out of proportion a little bit every now and then everything goes from there, said Buchholz. "Everybody's here for the same reason. We're here to win, and that's still what we're trying to do.
Nobody likes losing. There's always going to be a little sour taste in your mouth after you lose some games. This team's jelled very well, even with the stuff that we gone through. Everybody's happy. Everybody comes to the field ready to play, throws it all out there and leaves it on the field.
Yes, everybody is clearly happy. Except for the 17 players that hastily called an organizational meeting in New York City last month and now appear to be scrambling for excuses and alibis. Nobody knows whether Buchholz attended the meeting in question, but it appears the players know that Valentine is going to be there manager for the remainder of the season.
He does his job. It's just like anything else, when something goes wrong, somebody has to be blamed for it. It's usually us. It is what it is, said Buchholz. There has been a lot of stuff that's been going around, a lot of it false. It's hard for a player to sit here and say that it's not true because everybody thinks you're backing up your guys. But he's doing a good job. It's a game, man, it doesn't always work.
For his part, Bobby Valentine doesnt understand where all the manager vs. players stuff is coming from via unnamed sources, but said that its patently untrue. Sox owner John Henry released a statement defending his manager once again, and clarifying that the meeting was an organizational assessment meeting to get on the same page. Henry also denied that the players were attempting to get their skipper canned.
Im not following the whole actively, but I regret that John Henry has come out there to defend me, said Valentine. I regret that were not 10 games over .500 and in first place because I dont think hed have to make any statements.
I dont know that its weighing on me, but the guys are upset that every time we win a game something else pops out of the bag of tricks. I guess this guy has been sitting on the story for three weeks, so he was sitting there waiting for the Yankees series or whatever to pop it out there. Its great stuff really good stuff.
Stay tuned to As the World Turns in the world of the Red Sox because nobody knows whats going to happen next.

New photo surfaces of noticeably thinner Pablo Sandoval

New photo surfaces of noticeably thinner Pablo Sandoval

When it comes to Pablo Sandoval and his weight, a picture is worth a thousand words.

During spring training it wasn’t a good thing. Sandoval made headlines when a number of photos revealed significant weight gain for the Red Sox third baseman.

But the last two images have been more positive for Sandoval.

In October, a noticeably thinner Sandoval was photographed at an FC Barcelona game.

On Monday, Dan Roche of WBZ tweeted a more recent picture of the new-look Sandoval.

Sandoval, 30, is entering the third season of a five-year, $95 million contract. In his lone full season in Boston, 2015, Sandoval hit .245/.292/.366 with 10 homers and 47 RBI.

Red Sox taking stricter luxury tax penalties into consideration this offseason

Red Sox taking stricter luxury tax penalties into consideration this offseason

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The newly agreed upon Major League Baseball collective bargaining agreement features higher taxes and additional penalties for exceeding the competitive balance threshold -- and don't think the Red Sox haven't noticed.

The Red Sox went over the threshold in both 2015 and 2016, and should they do so again in 2017, they would face their highest tax rate yet at 50 percent. Additionally, there are provisions that could cost a team in such a situation to forfeit draft picks as well as a reduced pool of money to sign its picks.

None of which means that the Red Sox won't definitively stay under the $195 million threshold for the upcoming season. At the same time, however, it remains a consideration, acknowledged Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski.

"You would always like to be under the CBT (competitive balance tax) if you could,'' offered Dombrowski. "And the reason why is that are penalties attached for going over, so nobody likes to (pay) penalties.

"However, the Red Sox, if you follow history, have been up-and-down, right around that number. We were over it last year and the year before that. So I would prefer (to be under in 2017). However, a little bit more driving force in that regard is that there are stricter penalties now attached to going over. And some of them involve, for the first time, differences in draft choices and sacrificing money to sign players and that type of thing. So there's a little bit more drive (to stay under).

"But I can't tell you where we're going to end up. Eventually, does it factor (in)? Yeah. But until we really get into the winter time and see where we are, will I make an unequivocal (statement about staying under the CBT)? Maybe we won't. But there are penalties that I would rather not be in position to incur.''

Dombrowski stressed that he's not under a "mandate'' from ownership to stay under the CBT.

"But I am under an awareness of the penalties,'' he said. "Last year, I would have preferred to be under, too, but it just worked for us to be above it, because we thought that would be the best way to win a championship at the time.''

He added: "I think we're going to have a good club either way.''

But it's clear that the CBT is part of the reason the Red Sox aren't being more aggressive toward some premium free agents such as first baseman/DH Edwin Encarnacion, who is said to be looking for at least a four-year deal at an annual average value of more than $20 million.

Currently, the Red Sox have nearly $150 million in guaranteed contracts for 2017, plus a handful of arbitration-eligible players, some of whom (Drew Pomeranz, Jackie Bradley Jr.) will see significant raises.

Together, with insurance premiums and others costs tallied, the Sox stand at nearly $180 million, just $15 million under the 2017 tax.

"I've said all along I've wanted to stay away from long-term contracts for hitters at this point,'' Dombrowski said of the current free agent class, "(especially) with some of the guys we have in our organization coming. I just haven't felt that that's a wise thing to do.''

The Sox saw two potential DHs come off the board over the weekend, with Carlos Beltran signing a one-year $16 million deal with Houston and Matt Holliday getting $13 million from the Yankees. Either could have filled the vacancy left by David Ortiz's retirement, but Dombrowski would also be taking on another another eight-figure salary, pushing the Sox well past the CBT.

"I figured we would wait to see what ends up taking place later on,'' said Dombrowski, "and see who's out there.''