Ellsbury 'comfortable' with Red Sox

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Ellsbury 'comfortable' with Red Sox

ANAHEIM -- If, as has been widely speculated, the Red Sox want to discuss a contract extension for outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury this winter, Ellsbury is more than willing to listen.
Scott Boras, the agent for Ellsbury, has a track record of advising players to wait for free agency rather than agree to contract extensions with their current team, believing that players benefit from having more teams bid.
But Boras said nothing is absolute and the decision will be up to Ellsbury.
"It doesn't have anything to do with the player's service time,'' said Boras, "or whether or not he's a free agent. I've done deals for players with four years or five years service time, or before free agency. I did one with (Greg) Maddux in Atlanta. We were able to have a meeting of the minds about what his free agent value would be and we got (a deal) without free agency.
"I don't use anything as a bar. I just look at a situation, evaluate it, communicate with the team and go from there.''
Having missed most of 2010 and half of this season with injuries, Ellsbury's durability may become an issue, both in negotiations with the Red Sox or with others if he elects to wait for free agency.
But Boras isn't concerned that teams will see his client as brittle.
"Players are accountable for what their bodies do,'' said Boras. "They're not accountable for impact injuries. In Jacoby's case, he's had a player fall on him (Ben Zobrist) and a player run into him (Adrian Beltre). That's freakish behavior. It has nothing to do with Jacoby Ellsbury's durability. He's a very sound athlete and his body is fit and he plays much younger than his chronological age.
"So in the game, I don't think anybody's worried about the durability of Jacoby Ellsbury. The only factor, when you get into all those things, is that when you evaluate players, you may have less statistical (data with which to judge a player). The durability is defined by a player's performance and his ability to withstand (injuries) when he plays.''
Speculation also has Ellsbury interested in playing closer to home on the West Coast, and perhaps in a less intrusive market. But Boras said Ellsbury isn't uncomfortable in Boston.
"Jacoby was raised (as a player) in Boston,'' he said. "Boston's comfortable. It's a place where he knows how to play. I think it's much harder for players raised outside of Boston to play there. When a player is raised there, there's a value to that.
"When fans are raised in other organization and then come to Fenway, there's a 'wow' factor. And that's a good thing. But it's not the norm. For a guy like Jacoby, I think there's a real value point for the team to know that someone fits so well in Boston.''

Big Papi's Papi was taken by surprise at retirement announcement

Big Papi's Papi was taken by surprise at retirement announcement

BOSTON - David Ortiz may be masterful in the clutch and one of the more charitable athletes in the city, but much like anyone else, Big Papi doesn’t always inform his own Papi of news right away -- even if he plans to announce it to the general public.

“He actually didn’t tell me [that he planned to announce his retirement],” Enrique Ortiz, David’s father, said through a Red Sox’ translator on Saturday before the next-to-last regular-season game. “I was in the Dominican Republic when he announced it in the states.

While Enrique would explain -- humbly -- how proud he was of his son, he’s not so sure announcing his retirement before the season was the correct move.

“If I was [in America], I would have told him not to announce his retirement,” the elder Ortiz explained, “just because there’s so many things that can happen in a season. Or you might have a change of heart after the season.

“If I were here I would have told him to stay neutral so his options were more open. So I wouldn’t have told him to retire.”

Although dad wasn’t on board with his son’s announcement, he’s done what any good parent does -- bite their tongue and let things play out.

“I haven’t told him anything about why he's retiring because I know it’s coming from him and it’s his decision,” Enrique said. “But when I look back to 2013, I remember coming here and I see him with what looks like two cats on his feet. And I’m like ‘What happened to my boy? Did he get into an accident or something?’ And what he told me was, ‘This is how you son is making this money, doing all of this stuff before a game.’ So [him retiring] is not a surprise to me.”

Saturday's Red Sox-Blue Jays lineups: E-Rod on mound, Bogaerts back to 2-hole

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Saturday's Red Sox-Blue Jays lineups: E-Rod on mound, Bogaerts back to 2-hole

The Red Sox (93-67) look to close in on the No. 2 seed in the A.L. playoffs and home-field advantage in the Division Series with the Cleveland Indians (92-67) with a victory over the Toronto Blue Jays tonight at Fenway Park.

The Red Sox send left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez (3-7, 4.68 ERA) to the mound against left-hander J.A. Happ (20-4, 3.20). Rodriguez is expected to pitch either Game 3 or 4 of the Division Series against the Indians next week.

If both teams finish with 94 wins, the Red Sox hold the tiebreaker over the Indians, based on Boston winning the season series, 4-2. The Indians may have to play a makeup game Monday with the Detroit Tigers.

The Jays are a game behind the Baltimore Orioles for the top A.L. wild-card spot and hold a half-game lead over the Detroit Tigers for the second wild-card spot. 

Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts moves back to his customary No. 2 spot in the batting order after hitting sixth Friday night. Right-handed hitting Aaron Hill is at third base and Christian Vazquez catches for Boston.

There will be the second of three ceremonies this weekend to honor retiring Red Sox DH David Ortiz before the game.  

The lineups:

RED SOX
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Mookie Betts RF
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Chris Young LF
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Aaron Hill 3B
Christian Vazquez C
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Eduardo Rodriguez LHP

BLUE JAYS
Devon Travis 2B
Josh Donaldson 3B
Edwin Encarnacion 1B
Jose Bautista DH
Russell Martin C
Troy Tulowitzki SS
Melvin Upton LF
Kevin Pillar CF
Ezequiel Carrera RF
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J.A. Happ LHP