Nava say Nava

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Nava say Nava

If you're not watching this afternoon's Red Sox game, then congratulations, you have a job! But you also missed the latest chapter in one of the true feel good stories of this generally dreary season:

Daniel Nava.

The 29-year-old outfielder is obviously best known for what happened on the night June 12, 2010 when he was called up from Pawtucket and hit a grand slam on the first pitch of his major league career. He became only the second player in history to smack a salami on the first pitch he saw (Kevin Kouzmanoff is other) and quickly became the talk of the town.

The more we learned about Nava, the more we liked (for instance, the story about him and Erin Andrews), but sadly, he didn't stick. The Sox sent him back to minors in July, and while he did have a few more sips of coffee that season, he never made an impact, and NEVER hit another home run in 160 subsequent at-bats.

The following year (aka last May), Nava was designated for assignment, and passed through waivers without a sniff. As a result, he returned to Pawtucket, but you had to figure that was it for his Major League career. One pitch, one grand slam. And that's wrap.

That wasn't a wrap.

After playing through a full minor league season without a call from the big boys, and after just about every other outfielder in the organization was struck down with injury this season Nava got another chance.

On May 14, he started in left field for the Sox

. . . and hasn't left the line-up since.

Coming into today, Nava was hitting .324 on the year, with one home run (which came 171 at-bats after that first one) and 10 RBI. He's not making a case for an All-Star nod, but he's been all kinds of consistent, and played a legitimate role in the Sox recent stretch of victories.

He's taken this unlikely latest opportunity to play in the big leagues and run like the wind.

And that brings us back to this afternoon.

It's the top of the sixth, with the scored tied at two, and Daniel Nava drives a 2-0 pitch out of Camden Yards. A solo homer to give the Sox a 3-2.

It was the second homer of Nava's season, the third of his career, and for all we know it may very well be his last. But for now, the feel good story only gets better. If only Erin Andrews could see him now.

Oh right, she can.

Hi, Erin!

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Pedro Martinez tells WEEI Ortiz will make comeback this season

Pedro Martinez tells WEEI Ortiz will make comeback this season

Never say never?

While Red Sox officials said at the team's annual Winter Weekend at Foxwoods on Saturday that they'd be traveling to the Dominican Republic to talk to David Ortiz about a role with the team, Pedro Martinez told WEEI he sees Big Papi returning to his old role - designated hitter - this season.

CSN's Trenni Kusnierek and WEEI's John Tomase talked to Martinez on their show Saturday at Foxwoods and Martinez said his old teammate would be making a comeback despite the long, emotional farewell tour last season. 

For the full interview with Martinez, click here.

Red Sox executives Tom Werner, Sam Kennedy and Dave Dombrowski made no mention of Ortiz returning as a player when talking about their Dominican trip. Ortiz has repeatedly said he is going to stay retired. 

Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: 'Time for both sides to do something different, I guess'

Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: 'Time for both sides to do something different, I guess'

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- While there’s a deal of anticipation going into Spring training with the four Killer B’s, David Price and Pablo Sandoval’s shot at redemption and Rick Porcello looking to be something similar to his 2016 self, there’s one name that trumps them all.

Chris Sale.

The lankly lefty received an ovation from fans at the Friday night Town Hall, kicking off Red Sox Winter Weekend. With his consistent success, there’s reason to be excited.

But there’s also reason for apprehension given the way Sale’s departure from Chicago was depicted. But he’s made sure to clear the air.

“I wouldn’t say . . . ya know . . . I loved my time in Chicago,” Sale said when asked if it was time to leave the Windy City. “My best baseball memories are there [and] will be there forever. I love the city; I love the people in the organization.

“It was time for both sides to do something different, I guess. I talked to (White Sox Senior V.P.) Rick on the phone, I talked to (White Sox pitching coach Don) Coop (Cooper). We’re all cool, it’s fine. We understand where both of us are, it happens in baseball, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Chicago.”

He didn’t seem irritated discussing the issue, and certainly wasn’t timid -- we all know that’s not in his DNA.

He genuinely seems excited to deal with the large sum of Sox fans and to call a new place home -- in a city his wife’s fond of no less.

But ultimately, he’s focused on winning, nothing else.

“Every time I’m out there it’s gonna be all I got,” Sale said. "Every time, no matter what. Can promise you that.”