The Francona Years

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The Francona Years

Were less than a week from the release of Francona: The Red Sox Years, and judging from the excerpts, its going to be a bombshell. The kind of thing that will send the folks at Fenway Sports Group scrambling for cover, while the rest of us sit back and bask in the confirmation of everything we already suspected.

Im sure youve read most of the highlights by now, so I won't regurgitate the details . . . other than this one (from ESPN Boston):

The book stated the marketing report said: "(W)omen are definitely more drawn to the 'soap opera' and 'reality-TV' aspects of the game ... They are interested in good-looking stars and sex symbols," parenthetically citing All-Star second baseman Dustin Pedroia as an example of the latter.

Ha!

I mean, it's one thing to be stupid enough to let a TV marketing report dictate the direction of a franchise. It's an ENTIRELY different thing to be stupid enough to listen to a marketing report that's stupid enough to qualify Dustin Pedroia as a "sex symbol."

You're telling me that not one person in that meeting felt compelled to ask the question: "Hey, do we really want to trust the opinion of an organization that considers 5-7 bald guys sexy?" Or were they all too busy thinking to themselves: "You know, Pedroia's not that much better looking than I am . . . So maybe I'm sexy, too?"

Either way, what a disaster. What a pathetic disaster.

Honestly, after all the nonsense that Henry and Lucchino have spewed these last few years, how can they even shows their faces anymore? How can they further deny how flagrantly they've wronged this team and this city in the years since that second World Series?

They can't.

They're a joke.

We always knew it, but now it's confirmed.

And now it's time for ownership to finally make a move that's in the best interest of real Red Sox fans. The one's who didn't show up on the marketing report, and who have been insulted and neglected by Fenway Sports Group for far too long.

Sell the team.

Sell the team.

Sell the team.

We'll always be thankful for those two World Series. We'll never forget all that success.

But the show's over guys.

Time to say goodbye.
Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Red Sox trade Shaw, prospects for reliever Thornburg

Red Sox trade Shaw, prospects for reliever Thornburg

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Red Sox got the bullpen help they were seeking Tuesday, but it came at a steep price.
     
The Sox obtained righthanded reliever Tyler Thornburg from the Milwaukee Brewers, but it cost them infielder Travis Shaw, highly regarded shortstop prospect Mauricio Dubon and pitching prospect Josh Pennington, according to an industry source.

In Thornburg, 28, the Red Sox get a hard-throwing reliever whom they control for the next three seasons. He became the Brewers' closer after the trade deadline last year and recorded 13 saves while posting a 2.15 ERA and avergaing 12.1 strikeouts per nine innings.
    
He will serve as the Red Sox' primary set-up option to get to closer Craig Kimbrel.
     
One potential issue for Thornburg is that he's dealt with some elbow issues in the recent past. As recently as 2014, it was thought that he might require Tommy John surgery, but he instead underwent PRP (platelt rich plasma) treatment and has remained healthy.

Given that the last set-up reliever obtained by Dombrowski, Carson Smith, underwent Tommy John surgery last season, Thornburg's injury history raises a caution flag.

In dealing Shaw, the Red Sox are now expecting Pablo Sandoval to be their primary third baseman -- at least in the near term.

Sandoval missed all but a few games in 2016 with a shoulder injury and his conditioning has been an issue since signing with the Red Sox two years ago.

The Red Sox have Brock Holt to help out at third in 2017, with both Yoan Moncada and Rafael Devers waiting in the wings.

Dubon is the second top prospect to be dealt by Dombrowski in the last 13 months. He included Javier Guerra in a package with three other prospects to obtain Kimbrel in November of 2015.

Dubon posted a .912 OPS in half a season at Portland last year and recently played in the Arizona Fall League. He has limited power, but strong athleticism and makes good contact.

Pennington is 20, a hard-throwing (94-98 mph) righthander who could profile either as a late-inning weapon or a starter. He's years away from the big leagues and has already undergone Tommy John surgery.

The Boston Herald was the first to report that the teams had made a trade. Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com was the first to report the details.

New photo surfaces of noticeably thinner Pablo Sandoval

New photo surfaces of noticeably thinner Pablo Sandoval

When it comes to Pablo Sandoval and his weight, a picture is worth a thousand words.

During spring training it wasn’t a good thing. Sandoval made headlines when a number of photos revealed significant weight gain for the Red Sox third baseman.

But the last two images have been more positive for Sandoval.

In October, a noticeably thinner Sandoval was photographed at an FC Barcelona game.

On Monday, Dan Roche of WBZ tweeted a more recent picture of the new-look Sandoval.

Sandoval, 30, is entering the third season of a five-year, $95 million contract. In his lone full season in Boston, 2015, Sandoval hit .245/.292/.366 with 10 homers and 47 RBI.