Valentine wearing No. 25 to honor Tony C.

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Valentine wearing No. 25 to honor Tony C.

BOSTON -- Bobby Valentine was wearing the No. 25 at his introductory press conference Thursday, which conjured memories of Mike Lowell for most Red Sox fans. But those of a certain age recalled a more distant hero.

And that's who Valentine is honoring. He says he's wearing No. 25 for the late Tony Conigliaro, whose career was cut short by a 1967 beaning and who died in 1990 at the age of 45 after suffering a debilitating heart attack eight years earlier.

I had such admiration for him, Valentine said. We both got beaned. We talked about -- I never was able to really talk to someone about that, when that ball slows down right there pointing to a space in front of his left eye right before the impact. And its a lousy conversation but I was able to talk to him about it, and it was a bonding kind of thing."

So when he saw No. 25 was available . . .

"I called Mike Lowell. I should have called Billy Conigliaro -- and I couldnt get his number real quickly -- and the family, because I know that a lot of people wanted to retire it in his honor. And I would gladly put it up on that wall rather than on my back.

"But I think its a great number to wear."

Price asks Red Sox fans for support: 'We will get through this'

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Price asks Red Sox fans for support: 'We will get through this'

If you're upset with the way the Red Sox have played recently, well, David Price understands.

But things, he vows, will get better. And he adds that it's only when you've been in the deepest valley that you can appreciate the highest mountain.

Or something like that . . .

Rodriguez shipped back to PawSox as Sox seek rotation answers

Rodriguez shipped back to PawSox as Sox seek rotation answers

After Eduardo Rodriguez's horrific performance Monday night against the Rays -- 11 hits and 9 earned runs allowed in 2 2/3 innings, leading to a 13-7 Red Sox loss to a team that entered the game riding an 11-game losing streak -- the Sox succumbed to the obvious and shipped him back to Pawtucket.  

And they got no argument from Sean McAdam.

"I think this is the right move," CSN's Red Sox Insider told Dalen Cuff on Monday night's SportsNet Central. "Because, clearly, the step forward that [Rodriguez] took, however small, last week was more than wiped out and (he) regressed this evening the way he pitched. And things have to be worked out, both in terms of execution and his approach . . . "

In six starts this season covering 29 1/3 innings -- less than five innings a start -- Rodriguez has been, in a word, awful. His 1-3 record is bad enough, but couple that with an 8.59 ERA, an opponents' batting average of .315, a WHIP of 1.74 and nine home runs allowed (a rate that projects out to about 45 homers allowed in a 150-inning season), and you can see why a change had to be made.

“The bottom line is, [Rodriguez] is capable of more," said manager John Farrell.

But now comes the next question: Who replaces him? And that, noted McAdam, has no easy answer.

"What it means for the rotation going forward is completely uncertain," McAdam told Cuff. "In fact, (Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski) told us that there was no corresponding move. Of course, because this turn doesn't come up in the rotation for another five days with the off-day Thursday, it's not anything they need to address (immediately). And in all likelihood, they'll probably get somebody to pitch out of the bullpen here until that turn comes up."

So the Sox get five days to ponder a problem that seems, in many ways unsolvable.

"[There] aren't a lot of good candidates internally," McAdam noted, "and it's unlikely there's going to be any sort of trade . . . in the next four days to fill that spot