Gomes knows he 'can't butt heads with the Monster'

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Gomes knows he 'can't butt heads with the Monster'

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Jonny Gomes reported to camp Wednesday morning, ahead of Fridays first official workout for position players. Gomes joined the Red Sox in November as a free agent, agreeing to a two-year, 10 million contract to play left field.

He appeared in 99 games for the As last season, batting .262, helping Oakland to the American League West title. Gomes played just 39 games, with 25 starts in left, in 2012. Throughout his eight-season career, during which hes also played for the Rays, Reds, and Nationals, Gomes has played 327 (292 starts) games in left and 145 (130 starts) in right. He knows Fenway Parks left field presents unique challenges.

Its the only left field like that in the game, Gomes said. Ive played it before. It doesnt worry me by any means. Just got to accept it. Cant butt heads with the Monster. Itll be an adventure but Im definitely excited.

Gomes, a career .244 hitter, with a .790 OPS, believes he has other tools to offer the Sox.

Hopefully some right-handed sock, he said. I got some speed as well. Just continue to play the game right. Im open to batting anywhere in the lineup, up, down, move around, protect some guys. Just help the rest of the guys touch the plate.

But Gomes, who turned 32 in November, was brought in as much for his on-field abilities as he was for his clubhouse abilities. The Sox hope he can be one of the new players to help change the sour atmosphere that has permeated the clubhouse since the Sox disastrous end to the 2011 season.

Im kind of biased to that situation, Gomes said. Quote-unquote clubhouse guy, quote-unquote leader. You dont get that with one year in the big leagues. You dont get that with two years in the big leagues. You dont earn that role and then that role disappears and then it might come back somewhere else. Its a hard role to earn. Its a hard role to bounce around and at the same time earn and demand respect inside the clubhouse. But I think its fairly easy to tell you the truth because I think theres one way to play the game and I think theres one way to respect the game. I dont think thats very negotiable. You do that correctly and you do that right and you do that on an everyday basis, I think it stands out.

Gomes, who finished third in Rookie of the Year voting in 2005, has been on three small-market teams that have gone to the postseason over the last five years the 2008 Rays, the 2010 Reds, and last season with the As.

What does it all have in common? Gomes asked. I think thats different for everybody but once you get inside that clubhouse and really figure some things out, it really does all add up.

Gomes was aware of the dysfunction that surrounded the Sox last season. But hes not concerned with it.

I think whats different about me and some of the guys that came in here, we werent miserable last year, he said. I wasnt. Do I know what happened here last year? Absolutely. But Im not going to let that bring me down. I wasnt a part of it. I won a division title last year. We had a great year. So I dont know about all the miserable and butting heads with everybody in the clubhouse. So I cant really respond to that because I didnt do it. But Im not going to change the person I am by any means. I just come in here and do what I do.

Ive seen this place rock and roll. I was against these guys in 2004, 2007. Ive seen Sox nation, Fenway, Boston, just be at the highest level it could possibly be. Were not too far removed from that now. Theres still some core pieces in here that have rings, have red sox rings. Its not like were bringing the old 70s back, the guys who won in the 80s to throw out the first pitch. These guys are still in uni and obviously starting with the manager. We dont got to go too far back to define winning in a red sox uniform.

Sunday's Red Sox-Rays lineups: JBJ sits, Vazquez catches

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Sunday's Red Sox-Rays lineups: JBJ sits, Vazquez catches

Jackie Bradley Jr. gets the day off and Christian Vazquez get the start at catcher as the Red Sox look to extend their winning streak to 11 games today against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg. 

Andrew Benintendi replaces Bradley in center, Chris Young is in left and left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez (3-7, 4.84 ERA) is on the mound as the Red Sox close in on the A.L. East title. Their magic number to clinch the division is three with seven games left. 

Right-hander Jake Odorizzi (9-6, 3.73) is on the mound for the Rays.

The lineups:  

RED SOX 
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Mookie Betts RF
Hanley Ramirez LF
Travis Shaw 3B
Chris Young LF
Andrew Benintendi CF
Christian Vazquez C
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Eduardo Rodriguez LHP 

RAYS
Logan Forsythe 2B
Kevin Kiermaier CF
Evan Longoria 3B
Brad Miller SS
Mikey Mahtook RF
Corey Dickerson LF
Curt Casali DH
Luke Maile C
Richie Shaffer 1B
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Jake Odorizzi RHP 
 

Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, 24, killed in boating accident

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Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, 24, killed in boating accident

MIAMI  — Jose Fernandez, the ace right-hander for the Miami Marlins who escaped Cuba to become one of baseball's brightest stars, was killed in a boating accident early Sunday morning. Fernandez was 24.

Authorities said Fernandez was one of three people killed in a boat crash off Miami Beach.

Chief Petty Officer Nyxolyno Cangemi told The Associated Press that a Coast Guard patrol boat spotted an overturned boat at 3:30 a.m. on a jetty near Government Cut. The bodies were discovered a short time later.

In the statement, the Marlins say they are "devastated by the tragic loss of José Fernández. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time."

"Hands down one of my favorite guys to watch pitch! He brought nothing but intensity and passion," Red Sox pitcher David Price said on Twitter early Sunday.

Because the boat was on a jetty, the Coast Guard notified Miami-Dade police, which turned the investigation over to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Fernandez was on a 32-foot vessel that had a "severe impact" with a jetty, said FWC's Lorenzo Veloz.

"We are stunned and devastated," Major League Baseball said in a statement.

City of Miami Fire-Rescue workers were seen carrying bodies, draped and on stretchers, at the Coast Guard station after sunrise Sunday. The names of the other two individuals are being withheld pending notification of relatives, the Coast Guard said.

Fernandez was a two-time All-Star who went 38-17 in his four seasons with the Marlins, winning the NL's Rookie of the Year award in 2013. The native of Santa Clara, Cuba became a U.S. citizen last year and was enormously popular in Miami.

He tried to defect from Cuba at least three times — landing in jail after one of those unsuccessful tries — before eventually getting to the U.S. and going to high school in Tampa, Florida. The Marlins drafted him in 2011 and Fernandez was in the majors two years later.

The Marlins' game Sunday at home against the Atlanta Braves has been cancelled.

"I'm still in shock," former Marlins player Gaby Sanchez said on Twitter. "The world has lost a remarkable person. You will be missed and my heart goes out to the Fernandez family."

© 2016 Associated Press.