Valentine on Ross: 'What's there not to love?'


Valentine on Ross: 'What's there not to love?'

BOSTON -- Cody Ross is getting used to the postgame podium.
It's a place you only go if you're the manager, that night's starting pitcher, or the unquestionable hero.
Ross' two home runs and six RBIs in Wednesday's night's 10-1 win got him a podium appearance, a floor above the Red Sox clubhouse. And his ninth-inning, three-run walk-off home run in Thursday night's 3-1 win over Chicago put him there again, for the second straight night.
"I want to be the guy up every time in that situation," said Ross afterwards. "I always have, my whole life. I just like that pressure, and I like just being there in the moment."
Hitting in the number five spot in Boston's lineup, Ross stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the ninth with Dustin Pedroia on second base and Nick Punto on first, one out, and the Red Sox trailing 1-0.
Ross ripped a 1-1 inside fastball down the left-field line and into the monster seats, forcing the rest of the team to greet him at home plate.
"In that situation, with a runner on second, I'm just trying to get a pitch I can handle and get good wood on it, and just try to create something," said Ross. "Fortunately, he threw me a fastball in, and it was really in. And I just kind of dropped the head on the ball, and kept it fair somehow.
"I look up and Punto's staring right at me with this evil look on his face," Ross added on the celebration at home plate. "And he grabs my jersey and just starts yanking on it. He became famous in St. Louis for that. They call him the shredder. So, we got to meet the shredder tonight."
And at first, Ross wasn't sure it was going out.
"As soon as it left my bat, I got this really exciting feeling," said Ross. "And then I had flashbacks of Wednesday night, when I hit the same ball that hit the wall. And I was thinking, 'OK, even if it hits the wall, Punto's fast enough to score from first, and we'll still win 2-1.' So, that was all going through my mind."
Ross finished the game 2-for-4 and it marked his third-career walk-off home run, proving again, that he likes to have the pressure on him.
"He loves that situation," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine afterwards. "He loves to be in the big spotlight, and you know, he went deep, three runs, we win. That's as much fun as the guys have had in a long time. It's a good feeling.
"I love his smile, I love his swing, I love his energy," Valentine later added. "What's there not to love? Especially tonight."

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.