Atchison heads list of Red Sox cuts

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Atchison heads list of Red Sox cuts

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. The Red Sox made another round of roster moves Friday.

Left-handers Andrew Miller, Rich Hill, and Randy Williams and right-hander Brandon Duckworth were assigned to minor-league camp. Right-handers Scott Atchison and Michael Bowden and outfielder Ryan Kalish were optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Its a disappointing day for these guys, manager Terry Francona said. That doesnt mean we dont like what theyve done. The fact that the pitchers are all bunched together says a lot about how they competed.

Bowden and Atchison have options, which factored into the decision. Atchison appeared in seven Grapefruit League games, spanning 8 13 innings, posting a 6.48 ERA. Bowden was 1-0, 4.35, in 10 13 innings over 8 games.

Last season, after three roundtrips between Boston and Pawtucket early in the season, Atchison appeared in 43 games for the Sox, going 2-3, 4.50, providing stability to a bullpen that was mostly inconsistent.

Hard, Francona said of giving Atchison the news. And that was the first thing I told him: You know what, I dont want to tell you something just to get you out of my office. Its hard. He may feel its unfair. I think its not unfair to the organization. We had good competition, and if its close, which it is and the guys got an option, thats kind of the way it is.

"So rather than snow him, we just told him he'd been sent down. There were some days where I thought he might have got outpitched. But it doesnt just come down to that. Saying that, we dont dislike him. We like him as much today as we did, if not more. Its just hes going to start out in Triple-A.

Left-hander Andrew Miller, who posted a 10.57 ERA (mostly due to one difficult outing last Sunday against the Cardinals, when he faced six batters without recording an out, and all six scoring), will pitch in Pawtuckets rotation.

We actually talked to Andrew the other day, Francona said. We told him we made up our mind but we had an inning for him Thursday in Jupiter against the Marlins . . . But we told him he was going to start in Triple A, and he came back to us and goes, You know what, I want to get going. So he instead of pitching against the Marlins, he pitched today in a minor-league game and hes going to start getting extended a little bit . . . I think that was his concern, was he wasnt stretched out enough to start. So he wants to get the reps. So hell begin that.

Hill, who will continue to refine his new sidearm delivery, will come out of the bullpen to face left-handed hitters in Pawtucket.

Obviously his role is to come in and get that first lefty he faces and then to stay in the game, Francona said. Hes not going to just throw to one hitter, but obviously to handle left-handers.

I think he needs to stay with the sidearm delivery. I think he would -- I dont know if owned ups the right word -- but its still a little bit of a work in progress, which I think would be hard not to be. But I think there is enough there to really like . . . When youre in a situation like that, that first hitter he faces, a lot of times the games on the line. Just needs some repetition, some consistency.

"But theres a lot to like there. Thursday he hit 92 on the gun at times. Thats plenty, especially pitching sidearm.

Despite the move, Duckworth will start Sunday for the Red Sox in Sarasota against the Orioles, throwing two innings. He will be part of Pawtuckets rotation.

The moves reduce the number of players in major league camp to 33.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Jones-Molina WBC spat is a clash of cultures . . . and that's great

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Jones-Molina WBC spat is a clash of cultures . . . and that's great

The Adam Jones-Yadier Molina verbal skirmish is as predictable as it is annoying.

Was every cultural nuance for the 16 World Baseball Classic teams explained in a booklet the players had to memorize before the tournament?

No? Then it’s amazing there weren’t more moments like this.

Jones, the Orioles outfielder, said Team USA's championship game win over Puerto Rico was motivated by Puerto Rico's choice to plan a post-tournament parade for the team before the final game.

As Jones and his teammates know, parades in pro sports are for championship teams. Red Sox fans are likely aware of this.

As Jones and his teammates know, discussing a parade before a title is secured suggests overconfidence. Rex Ryan fans are likely aware of this.

After an 8-0 win for the U.S., Jones revealed the parade was used as bulletin-board material.

"Before the game, we got a note that there was some championship shirts made -- we didn't make 'em -- and a flight [arranged],” Jones said. “That didn't sit well with us. And a parade -- it didn't sit well with us."

But apparently, Jones didn't know the full context of the parade. It was reportedly planned regardless of whether Puerto Rico won.

One Team USA teammate of Jones whom CSNNE spoke with didn't believe that, however.

"It was called a champions parade that got turned into a celebration parade once they lost," the player said. "I think they just don't like getting called out by Jones, but all Jones did was tell exactly what happened."

Jones’ comments weren’t received well.

Puerto Rico's going through a trying time, a recession, and the entire island rallied behind the team.

“Adam Jones . . . is talking about things he doesn't know about," Molina told ESPN’s Marly Rivera. "He really has to get informed because he shouldn't have said those comments, let alone in public and mocking the way [preparations] were made.”

No one should be upset Jones explained what he was thinking.

Jones actually asked MLB Network host Greg Amsinger, “Should I tell the truth?”

Yes. It’s better than lying.

Look at the reactions across the WBC: the bat flips, the raw emotion. Honesty conveyed via body language.

People in the U.S. are starting to accept and crave those reactions. The WBC helped promote a basic idea: let people be themselves.

Jones said what was on his mind. We can’t celebrate bat flips and then say Jones should keep his mouth shut.

But there's an unreasonable expectation being placed on Jones here.

He heard about a parade -- which is to say, a subject he wouldn't normally think twice about or investigate before a championship baseball game.

Plus, it gave him motivation.

Why is Jones, or anyone with Team USA, more responsible for gaining an advance understanding of Puerto Rico’s parade-planning conventions -- we're talking about parade planning! -- than Puerto Rico is responsible for keeping U.S. norms in mind when making and/or talking about those plans?

No one involved here was thinking about the other’s perception or expectation. It's impossible to always do so.

But that’s how these moments develop: what’s obvious to one party is outlandish to the other.

Now Molina, Puerto Rico's catcher, wants an apology.

"He has to apologize to the Puerto Rican people," Molina told ESPN. "Obviously, you wanted to win; he didn't know what this means to [our] people."

Jones can clear the air with an apology, but he doesn't owe one. And he definitely doesn't owe one after Molina took it a step further.

"I'm sending a message to [Jones], saying, 'Look at this, right now you're in spring training working out, and we're with our people, with our silver medals,' " Molina said. "You're in spring training and you're working . . . you have no idea how to celebrate your honors, you don't know what it means.”

Team USA had no parade. Manager Jim Leyland made clear how the U.S. was celebrating, by recognizing those serving the country.

The silver lining here is how much attention the WBC has drawn, and how much conversation it can drive. People care, a great sign for the sport -- and its potential to foster better understanding across cultures.

Internationally, the sport is on parade.

Wright extends scoreless streak to 9 1/3 innings in Red Sox' 10-7 win over Pirates

Wright extends scoreless streak to 9 1/3 innings in Red Sox' 10-7 win over Pirates

The angst surrounding the David Price- and (possibly) Drew Pomeranz-less Red Sox starting rotation may have eased a little -- or a lot -- on Thursday.

Steven Wright extended his string of scoreless spring-training innings to 9 1/3 by blanking the Pirates for 4 1/3 innings in his third spring-traing start, leading the Sox to a 10-7 victory over the Pirates at SkyBlue Park.

Red Sox-Pirates box score

Wright allowed two hits -- the only two hits he's allowed this spring -- with one walk and three strikeouts.

Several of his pitching brethren, notably Heath Hembree and Robbie Ross Jr., didn't fare nearly as well. (See box score above.) But the Sox -- using what may be their regular-season batting order for the first time -- bailed them out with a 16-hit attack, led by Dustin Pedroia (3-for-3, now hitting ,500 for the spring). Mookie Betts, Hanley Ramirez, Jackie Bradley Jr., and, yes, Pablo Sandoval each added two hits. Sandoval also drove in three runs and is now hitting .362.

Xander Bogaerts went 1-for-4 in his return to the Sox from the World Baseball Classic.