Sox players back their embattled manager


Sox players back their embattled manager

BOSTON The Red Sox players were understandably upbeat when learning about the vote of confidence emails and words submitted by Sox principal owner John Henry and GM Ben Cherington on behalf of embattled manager Bobby Valentine.

The Sox are a decidedly mediocre 55-55 on the season after pasting the Texas Rangers by a 9-2 score at Fenway Park on Monday night, but Sox management and ownership backed Valentine before the first pitch was thrown.

The Sox skipper was a bit sheepish it had come to that point, but such is life when youre managing an underachieving ballclub with a 175 million payroll.

I regret that they had to do it. If our record was better then they wouldnt have to do it, said Valentine. Its totally appreciated, though, if they felt it was necessary and think it was good for the guys.

Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez has caught fire since the All-Star break, but he was among many underachievers during the first half of the year.

So Gonzalez understands as well as anyone that the teams plight is on the players no matter what happens to their manager.

He deserves it. Its one of those things where he hasnt swung the bat all year. He hasnt pitched, said Gonzalez. Its us that are playing out there. The .500 record that we have right now is on us. Its not on Bobby. Everybody wants to make a big deal about that, but its not on Bobby. Its on us.

Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia took it one step further, and said that the players should collectively worry about the results on the field rather than anything else. Theyre nine games behind the Yankees in the AL East and four games behind the As and the Tigers in the wild card chase.

The Sox need to worry more about wins and less about the soap opera playing out along Yawkey Way with Valentine in the title role of Dudley Do-Wrong.

We need to focus on winning, you know? said Saltalamacchia. Thats the stuff that really isnt needed around here. We dont need that. We just need to go out there and play ball.

If we go out there and win then theres something to talk about. What were going to talk about is winning, and thats what were going to continue to talk about. Thats our focus.

More results will go a long way toward quelling the fire the manager talk, but the Sox have been unable to stabilize things over the first five months of the season, so its difficult to envision whats different about this same group of players now under the same embattled manager.

Bradley, Betts, Pedroia are A.L. Gold Glove finalists


Bradley, Betts, Pedroia are A.L. Gold Glove finalists

Jackie Bradley Jr. in center field, Mookie Betts in right and Dustin Pedroia at second base are the Red Sox' finalists for the American League Gold Glove awards.

The Blue Jays’ Kevin Pillar and the Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier are the other A.L. center field finalists. The White Sox’ Adam Eaton and Astros’ George Springer are A.L. right field finalists. Joining Pedroia as second base finalists are the Mariners’ Robinson Cano and Tigers’ Ian Kinsler.

Peoria has won four Gold Gloves. Bradley and Betts have yet to win one.

The full list of finalists is here.  The awards will be presented on Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. on ESPN

The Red Sox sent out a series of tweets backing each player’s candidacy.

Betts is also a front-runner for the American League Most Valuable Player.


Ortiz wins Hank Aaron Award as top hitter in American League


Ortiz wins Hank Aaron Award as top hitter in American League

CLEVELAND -- David Ortiz is heading into retirement with some more hardware.

The Boston Red Sox slugger captured the Hank Aaron Award on Wednesday as the top hitter in the American League this season. Budding Chicago Cubs star Kris Bryant was honored as the top hitter in the National League.

The award was presented before Game 2 of the World Series between the Cubs and Cleveland. It was determined through a combination of fan voting and a panel that includes Aaron and other Hall of Fame players.

The 40-year-old Ortiz hit .315 with 38 home runs, 127 RBIs and 48 doubles in the 20th and final season of his major league career. His 541 career home runs rank 17th all-time.

The 24-year-old Bryant hit .292 with 39 home runs and 102 RBIs while helping the Cubs cruise to the NL Central title and eventually a spot in the World Series. Shortly after being honored, Bryant singled in the first inning for his first Series hit.