Cherington: 'We've earned the criticism'


Cherington: 'We've earned the criticism'

NEW YORK -- The Red Sox can't escape their recent past. Every day, it seems, comes an anecdote or a news report surrounding the team's clubhouse dynamic.

The most recent came Sunday when the New York Daily News reported that former Red Sox catcher Kelly Shoppach -- and not Adrian Gonzalez -- was the person behind contacting ownership to request a late-July meeting about manager Bobby Valentine.

General manager Ben Cherington wouldn't comment on the report, though a source with direct knowledge of the case labeled it "not true."

But Cherington did say the Sox can't complain about the feeding frenzy that exists.

"Normally when you're being scrutinized, there's a reason for it," said Cherington. "When things aren't going the way you want them to, normally you're scrutinized more. We sort of made that bed ourselves and it's up to us to make it better.

"When we make it better, there'll be less scrutiny and with less scrutiny, probably fewer distractions. I'm focused on trying to find ways to make our current situation better. I know that's what the players are doing, the coaches, certainly Bobby (Valentine) is doing. While we're in this, we've got to deal with the questions because we're not performing up the standard we expect and until we do, that scrutiny is going to be there."

Cherington said he finds no fault with the team's effort on the field and believes the players are prepared.

"That's all I can ask for," he said. "But we've had a good effort all year. We just haven't gotten it done on the field enough. When things aren't going well in a place like Boston, there's going to be attention to that and everyone in Baseball Ops is responsible for making it better.

"Until we do, we've earned the criticism, we've earned the scrutiny. It's part of being in the game in Boston. There's great upside to being in this game in Boston when things are going well. When things aren't going well, you've got to deal with a lot of questions. It's our job to not deal with as many questions."

Three-run HR from Sandoval (.353) leads Red Sox split squad past Rays, 7-5

Three-run HR from Sandoval (.353) leads Red Sox split squad past Rays, 7-5

Pablo Sandoval hit his fourth home run of the spring and Rusney Castillo had three hits to lead a Red Sox split squad to a 7-5 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday in Port Charlotte, Fla. 

Sandoval, who has won back his third base job after missing nearly all of last season following surgery on his left shoulder, connected for a three-run shot, batting right-handed, against Rays starter Ian Snell in the fifth inning. The switch-hitting Sandoval had abandoned hitting right-handed in 2015, his last full season with the Red Sox.

He's hitting .353 this spring with a 1.051 OPS and 19 RBI.

Castillo, the Cuban outfielder signed to a seven-year, $72 million deal late in 2014 but again likely headed for Triple-A Pawtucket, went 3-for-4 and is hitting .368 this spring. Catcher Blake Swihart, also probably Pawtucket-bound, had two hits and is hitting .325.


Another strong start for Kendrick in Red Sox split squad's 3-3 tie with Phillies

Another strong start for Kendrick in Red Sox split squad's 3-3 tie with Phillies

Kyle Kendrick strengthened his bid for a spot in the rotation by allowing two runs in six innings and striking out six and Jackie Bradley homered as a Red Sox split squad played to a 3-3 tie with the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday in Fort Myers, Fla.

Kendrick, 32, a non-roster invitee to spring training, allowed eight hits and a walk in his sixth start this spring. He's been the Red Sox best starter with an ERA of 2.17. 

With David Price out until May and lefty Drew Pomeranz still a question mark, Kendrick could find his way into the rotation behind Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, Steven Wright and Eduardo Rodriguez.

Bradley went 2-for-3 with his third homer of the spring. He's hitting .244 in spring training games. 

The Phillies pushed across the tying run in the ninth off lefty reliever Robby Scott, the first run he's allowed this spring in 10 innings. 

The Minnesota Twins host the Red Sox on Sunday at 1:05 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers.