Ortiz 1-on-1: 'I want to stick around'

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Ortiz 1-on-1: 'I want to stick around'

Former Red Sox favorite Jonathan Papelbon bolted for Philadelphia, but the Red Sox still have one high-profile player left on the free agent market.

We're talking about David Ortiz, of course, the Red Sox DH who's has hit .289 with 320 home runs and 1028 RBI over his nine-year career with the Sox.

In an interview with ESPN shortly after the season ended, Ortiz expressed concern over the state of the Sox, and even said that he would consider playing with the Yankees.

Now, he tells CSNNE's Jessica Moran that he wants to remain a member of the Red Sox and hopes that a deal gets done.

"I've been saying for years that I want to stick around," Ortiz said. "Now this is like home to me. I love playing for the fans here, and that is something that is not news for anyone. So hopefully everything goes well."

So just how well is it going? Are the Sox making offers? Are other teams?

"I can't really talk about it. That's not of public news right now," Ortiz answered. "But, like I said . . . it's a situation where, of course, a lot of teams in the American League need players like myself and of course they're going to try to chase me. So hopefully the Red Sox get it done."

The Sox didn't even put an offer in for Papelbon, and he didn't waste any time accepting one from a team that did. Now, they're left without a closer -- a situation that Ortiz finds troublesome.

"It's going to be a little crazy," Ortiz said. "Because when it comes down to the end of the game, we definitely want to have a guy like Pap out there doing his thing."

But that won't be the case anymore. The Sox let Papelbon go, essentially deeming not worth the money or years that any closer should get.

"It's a little frustrating not seeing him in the uniform," Ortiz said. "But what can I say, this is a business and you got to do what you got to do."

"Hopefully the fans don't feel Papelbon betrayed them or anything like that. Of course we want to be part of this organization, but like I say, things happen and we are just employees."

Kimbrel ninth-inning meltdown doesn’t alarm Farrell

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Kimbrel ninth-inning meltdown doesn’t alarm Farrell

NEW YORK -- John Farrell isn't necessarily alarmed by Craig Kimbrel's poor outing Wednesday night, viewing it as an aberration. But just the same, he'd like to get his closer into a game on the final weekend to flush the bad taste of Wednesday's ninth.

Until the clincher, Kimbrel had allowed just two hits in the previous 23 at-bats (.087) since Sept. 4. And since being re-instated from the DL on Aug. 1, Kimbrel was 13-for-13 in save opportunities with 32 strikeouts in 18 innings pitched and a .113 batting average against.

Kimbrel was brought into the game in the bottom of the ninth and allowed a leadoff single to Brett Gardner before issuing three straight walks, the last of which forced in a run.

He threw 28 pitches and didn't record an out before being lifted in favor of Joe Kelly, who allowed Mark Teixeira's walk-off grand slam in a 5-3 Yankees victory.

"He was erratic, there's no doubt,” said Farrell. "The command was not there. The power was there, obviously, but the command was not. It turned into a situation where he gets to [almost] 30 pitches. Could we have let him go further, or could the decision have been made to leave him in the game? Sure

"But [Wednesday] night was more of an aberration. Certainly, since he's come off the DL, he's been stingy in those situations. That was a one-time outing last night [given the unusual circumstances].”

Farrell said it's "important” to get all of the Red Sox relievers into games before the season ends Sunday.

"How often, how high stress...the games will dictate that,'' Farrell said. "But yeah, it will be important to Craig back on the mound before we end, regardless of whether it's a save situation.”

 

 

Bruins coaches: Czarnik a ‘Belichick-type hockey player’

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Bruins coaches: Czarnik a ‘Belichick-type hockey player’

BOSTON – Austin Czarnik is off to a good start at Bruins training camp.

He’s got points in each of the first two exhibition games and just the fact that he’s cracked the B’s lineup in both games tells you that the coaching staff wants to get a long, good look at the undersized forward.

But the 5-foot-9, 167-pound Czarnik brings more than simply a touch of the Napoleon complex after always being told that he was too small to make it to the elite levels of hockey. The 23-year-old clearly can score after posting 20 goals and 61 points in his first pro season in the AHL in Providence last season. He plays with heart, energy and a dogged determination when he’s hunting pucks on the fore-check.

But former P-Bruins head coach and current B’s assistant coach Bruce Cassidy says that Czarnik also brings something a little extra that New England Patriots fans will certainly appreciate.

“As far as being a player goes, he would be, to me, that [Bill] Belichick-type player that you could use in a lot of different situations,” said Cassidy, in clear reference to intelligent utility guys Troy Brown, Danny Woodhead, Julian Edelman and others that all filled different roles in their time with New England.

“He’s got a very, very high IQ, he’s a quick learner and very coachable,” Cassidy said. “So, he’s a guy you can move around, and he can play with different players. He can play on the penalty kill, he’s good on the power play and especially on the point.

“So there are a lot of different things. I think from night-to-night if you wanted to, you could move him around in your lineup and he could be effective for you. I know he’s a center, but it would be interesting to see if he could play the wing and be effective. That’s something we haven’t really seen. Is that something we maybe attempt down the road? I don’t know. I don’t want to speak out of turn, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he could handle it. He even played for us 6-on-5 as a defenseman with the goalie out. He’s just a smart player, and he understands the game very, very well.”

So, Czarnik is off to a good start in training camp with the Bruins, but we also saw the same thing from him last year as a rookie to pro hockey. 

Now, it’s about seeing whether a smaller player can finish strong as the competition heightens deeper into the preseason, and perhaps he can bring that versatility and feistiness to the NHL level in Boston.