Valentine, Red Sox front office torn on Iglesias


Valentine, Red Sox front office torn on Iglesias

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Just over two weeks before Opening Day, most of Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine's roster decisions revolve around the starting rotation and bullpen.

But one key position player battle remains at shortstop and it could prove interesting.

Mike Aviles entered camp as the presumptive favorite at the position, but Jose Iglesias has made that decision more complicated, not only with his defensive brilliance -- which was expected -- but also with significant improvement with the bat -- which wasn't.

Valentine has told a number of scouts from outside the organization that his clear preference is to have Iglesias open the season as his starting shortstop. Sources indicate, meanwhile, that the Red Sox front office is in favor of Iglesias getting additional experienced at Triple A Pawtucket to open the sesason, with Aviles opening the year at the major league starter.

Asked about the evaluation process before the Sox took on the Pittsburgh Pirates, Valentine was suitably cryptic

"I think we've seen a lot,'' said Valentine. "It will just be a determination on whether or not it's his time. He's played pretty well and showed really good progress. We've got to decide whether he has enough undergraduate credentials in order to take the next step forward.

"I think he can hit and field at the major league level. But I don't know that he can make the major league team and perform right now the way we need him to perform in this setting, in the group that we have.''

When Valentine was asked about a timetable for a decision on shortstop, he said he'd prefer to wait "as long as I can. I don't see any reason to it sooner rather than later because anything can happen.

"I think his ability is good enough. Whether it's his time is the question, with all the other contributing factors, including Mike Aviles, who's doing great.''

Brown releases statement: 'I never struck my wife, and never would'


Brown releases statement: 'I never struck my wife, and never would'

Giants kicker Josh Brown released a statement via ESPN on Thursday

"I am sorry that my past has called into question the character or integrity of The New York Giants, Mr. Mara or any of those who have supported me along the way. I have taken measures to get help so that I may be the voice of change, not a statistic. It is important to share that I never struck my wife, and never would. Abuse takes many forms, and is not a gray area. Through the past several years I have worked to identify and rectify my own behaviors. The road to rehabilitation is a journey and a constant modification of a way of life. My journey will continue forever as a person determined to leave a positive legacy and I embrace the opportunities to show and speak about what has helped me to be that man. In the interim, I am cooperating with the Giants and the NFL. Thank you to everyone that has supported me, I will not let you down."