Lucchino: 'It's a new chapter beginning today'

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Lucchino: 'It's a new chapter beginning today'

FORT MYERS, Fla. Red Sox principal owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner, and presidentCEO Larry Lucchino met with their players today before the start of the first official full-squad workout.

It was setting the tone of 2012, Lucchino said. It was a customary Opening Day meeting.

I would say that we talked about how proud we are to be involved with this organization, said Werner. They should feel proud that we have great fans and this is going to be a new chapter. I think we didnt spend too much time talking about 2011. Its a new chapter. We have a new spring training ballpark. Our fans are excited about this year. And I certainly think our players are motivated to play post-season baseball.

After the team went 7-20 in September to miss out on post-season baseball for the second consecutive season, with post-season reports of unseemly clubhouse behavior during the season, Lucchino was asked if he expected the team to be more focused in 2012.

That suggests that they were not focused last season, Lucchino said. So I dont subscribe to that notion as a generalization about the season. But looking forward to 2012, I do expect this team will be focused, highly motivated.

But, with all that happened at the end of the season and after, does the organization have an image problem?

I wouldn't put in those terms, Lucchino said. But I would say we feel collectively that we have something to prove in 2012. I think the players feel that way. I think our managers and coaches feel that way. I know general manager Ben Cherington and our baseball office feel that way. And I can say ownership feels that way as well.

We said that we accept our share of the responsibility for perhaps not having a more open-door policy, Werner said. I think we'll be more present this year. But in the end, I do think more has been written about this than the state of the union, so we're moving on. This is a new chapter. We've accepted some collective and individual responsibility.

I think they said enough, Henry said. I agree with what both Larry and Tom said.

It's a new chapter beginning today, said Lucchino. For us, we think of this as the beginning. The first day of the 2012 season is today. When we have this meeting, when everybody's in camp and we go to work as a unit and our idea is let's write this new chapter and enough has been said about the last chapter.

Henry asked if he is more focused on his Liverpool soccer team than the Red Sox.

It's difficult because I'm not here today, Henry said in jest. I'm somewhere else. If I were here today, I'd say this is about baseball. Today is about baseball. With us, every day is about baseball. We have other things, too. But every day, pretty much, I think we speak 365 days a year, maybe 364. But virtually every day there's something related to baseball.

Henry was then asked if he is more focused on baseball recently or if he has pulled back.

I think that it's been more recently than it has for a while because there's been more to attend to, he said. There's been a lot of changes.

But the Red Sox have not been to the playoffs since 2009, when they were swept in the ALDS by the Angels, and have not won a post-season series since the 2008 ALDS.

I'm not concerned about the direction of the organization, Henry said. I think we have the right direction. I've heard the term new chapter. I sort of felt like it's the next chapter. There's a real excitement here in camp. It's palpable. It's not just a new facility. There's a real excitement to be back at it again. I'm extremely happy with the leadership of this organization and the product we're going to have on the playing field and with the general attitude and atmosphere at the events this morning.

Asked if he would be more involved, Henry replied:

We're always involved. But there's been more to do. I think one of the things that we've done over the years is try to let your general manager do his job. You let the CEO do his job because they're qualified to do their jobs as managers. In that regard, there's not a lot to do. But when you're making changes along those lines, there's a lot to do.

Asked if his presence would make a difference, Henry replied:

I don't think it makes a difference for the players, really. I think what happens on the field, what happens when we were on our way to 100 wins or what happened in September, they're not thinking about 'Well, what's going on with ownership? where are they?' We're there. They see us. We're at every home game.

Quotes, notes and stars: Donaldson dominates Kelly

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Quotes, notes and stars: Donaldson dominates Kelly

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 7-5 loss to the Blue Jays:

 

QUOTES

 

* “He had quality stuff, but the story of this one is not being able to contain (Josh) Donaldson. Big night for him . . . I though Joe had quality stuff . . . [He] wasn’t as sharp with the overall location as he was the first time out for us.” John Farrell on Joe Kelly’s second start since his return from the disabled list.

 

* “He’s such a good player and does it in critical moments.” Farrell on Josh Donaldson after his two-homerun, 4-5 performance for Toronto.

 

* “He throws hard and has a lot of sink on his ball. Not much you can do with it. Just try to put it in play and see what happens.” Xander Bogaerts on facing Toronto’s start Aaron Sanchez.

 

* “Bottom line is the results. I think there’s been a strong precedent set with that,” Farrell before the game on moving Clay Buchholz to the bullpen to make room for Eduardo Rodriguez.

 

 

NOTES

 

* Following Friday night’s performance, Josh Donaldson is now 12-20 in his career against Joe Kelly with a double, two home runs and nine RBIs.

 

* The Red Sox’ five runs brings their season total to 38 on the road, averaging 3.8 per game through ten road games. At home, Boston has averaged 7.8 runs through 18 games.

 

* Despite a rough start, Joe Kelly still didn’t record a loss. He hasn’t been on the wrong side of a decision since 7/22/15.

 

* Xander Bogaerts extended his streak to 20 games in his second at-bat against Aaron Sanchez. Boston’s shortstop now has the longest active streak in the league.

 

 

STARS

 

1) Josh Donaldson

Toronto’s third baseman dominated not only Joe Kelly, but Koji Uehara, launching two balls over the fence in a 4-5 day.

 

2) Aaron Sanchez

Although he got tired late, Toronto’s starter only had three earned runs through 6.2 innings against one of the most potent offenses in the league.

 

3) Xander Bogaerts

After teammate Jackie Bradley, Jr. saw his streak die Thursday night, Bogaerts squeaked one up the middle, bringing his streak to 20 games, against a starter who’s caused problems for him before.

Marchand: Selection to Canada World Cup 'on a different level'

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Marchand: Selection to Canada World Cup 'on a different level'

Bruins left wing Brad Marchand definitely altered a lot of people’s perceptions about him as a hockey player when he scored 37 goals this season, and embraced more of a leadership role on a B’s team getting younger by the year. The B’s agitator started to reap the rewards of those changed opinions with a gold medal at the IIHF World Championships in Russia earlier this month, and on Friday with his inclusion on a ridiculously talented Team Canada roster set for the NHL and NHLPA-organized World Cup of Hockey in the fall.

Marchand will join linemate Patrice Bergeron and head coach Claude Julien as part of the Team Canada contingent, and could even be part of a reunited Marchand-Bergeron-Tyler Seguin line if Mike Babcock and Co. are looking for instant chemistry.

Either way Marchand was excited about suiting up for his country, and being part of a World Cup tournament that will include Bruins players Tuukka Rask, Zdeno Chara, David Pastrnak, David Krejci (who may not be available to play due to his hip surgery), Loui Eriksson and Dennis Seidenberg along with the Team Canada contingent.

“It’s an incredible honor to play for Team Canada. It’s something that I think we all take a lot of pride in, and something that is…it’s not an easy accomplishment,” said Marchand. “It’s not something you get to do very often, and to have that opportunity twice this year is very special and it’s not something I take for granted

“I think being part of a team like this is on a different level, and people may give a little more respect to that fact and may look at more of the kind of player I am, other than just the stuff they’ve seen in the past, with the hits and being a pest and stuff like that. Maybe those people will realize that I’m an OK hockey player, and I do play the game as well. But regardless, that’s not why I play the game. I play it to help our team win and just because I love the game, so however they feel, then that’s their opinion. But [earning more respect league-wide] is a possibility.”

This is the fifth time Marchand has been selected to compete for his home country of Canada in international play. The 5-foot-9, 181-pound forward tallied four goals and three assists in 10 games while helping Canada earn a gold medal at the aforementioned 2016 IIHF Men’s World Championships, held earlier this month in Russia. Marchand previously won gold with Team Canada at the U-20 World Championships in 2007 and 2008. He also earned a bronze medal with Team Canada Atlantic at the 2005 World U-17 Hockey Challenge.

The 2016 World Cup of Hockey will take place from Sept. 17 to Oct. 1, 2016 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, home of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs. The two-week tournament, featuring eight teams comprised of more than 150 of the best players in the NHL, will progress from the Preliminary Round to the Semifinals and ultimately the Final. 

The involvement of so many Bruins players along with Julien will make for a spare NHL camp in Boston come September with so many important pieces out for what is traditionally the first two weeks of camp. 

First Impressions: Kelly’s setback unsettling

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First Impressions: Kelly’s setback unsettling

First impressions of Red Sox 7-5 loss to Toronto:

 

Joe Kelly still has to prove he can be trusted to start for the Red Sox.

With the demotion of Clay Buchholz to the bullpen after Kelly’s lockdown start in his return from the DL, Kelly went back to his old ways.

After mixing pitches well in his first outing, Kelly threw 94 pitches -- 70 fastballs -- in 4.2 innings. In his previous start, he threw 66 fastballs over 104 pitches.

That approach won’t fly, especially if his fastball command is as subpar as it was against Toronto.

The Blue Jays’ batters seemed very comfortable in the box, despite Kelly throwing as hard as he does with so much movement. That can’t become the norm for opposing hitters.

 

The Red Sox offense can handle any starting pitcher -- but they can’t do it alone.

After Jon Gray shut down Boston in the final game of the Colorado series, Red Sox hitters faced a familiar foe that had already had success against them earlier in the year in Aaron Sanchez.

Despite using his curveball much more than his start earlier in the season, Boston’s hitters made adjustments. He did hold them down for much of the early going, but Red Sox hitters still scraped out four runs in his seven innings.

But the pitching staff didn’t hold up it’s end, essentially letting Josh Donaldson beat Boston by himself.

 

Xander Bogaerts made sure Sanchez didn’t ruin the streak.

Now hitting safely through 20 games, Bogaerts extended his streak against the starter who had him baffled when they faced off earlier in the year. The biggest difference from their last matchups was Bogaerts put good swings in against Sanchez mistakes -- and he didn’t appear off-balance after every swing.

 

Matt Barnes will not be Carson Smith’s replacement in 2016.

Despite his upper 90s fastball and 12-6 curveball, Barnes still can’t put together dominant appearances. His lack of command -- with a straight fastball -- is the big reason. Boston will have to look elsewhere -- internally or from another organization -- to give the bullpen another reliable set-up man given Koji Uehara’s age and durability.

 

The baseball gods are on Boston’s side -- for now.

As if Jose Bautista sitting out after appealing an earlier suspension wasn’t enough, the Red Sox scored their first run without a hit. Then the red Sox tied the game in the eighth on an error, after Dustin Pedroia had reach on a double that landed because Michael Saunders and Kevin Pillar had a communication breakdown.