Dice-K "at a good place" with rehab

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Dice-K "at a good place" with rehab

PHILADELPHIA -- Fresh off his latest rehab start for Pawtucket, Daisuke Matsuzaka rejoined the Red Sox here to be examined by the training staff and prepare for the next step in his comeback effort.

Matsuzaka pitched 6 23 innings Thursday for Pawtucket against Durham, allowing seven hits and five runs (four of them earned) with three strikeouts.

"Last night's outing, overall, was an improvement over my previous starts,'' said Matsuzaka throug a club interpreter. "Rehab so far is going well.''

Manager Bobby Valentine said earlier this week that Matsuzaka was experimenting with some different release points and deliveries after his Tommy John surgery, attempting to find something with which he could work.

"(Thursday), I was able to figure out my mechanics to the point where I felt very comfortable out there,'' he said. "I was experimenting a lot during my previous start and I was able to figure out what was good and what was bad. The process for (Thursday) night was getting rid of all the bad stuff and keeping all the good.

"It turned out to be really good. I've got an arm angle that I was able to get through with most of my pitches, so, I'm at a good place right now.''

Matsuzaka said he "definintely is getting closer to making it back to the majors, but it really depends on the next start -- how I feel and the results.''

He added that he was pain- and symptom-free in his surgically-repaired elbow.

Valentine got game reports from Pawtucket manager Arnie Beyeler and pitching coach Rich Sauveur, who indicated that Matsuzaka's fastball command was improved, but his secondary pitches were less satisfactory.

"But it was an improvement,'' stressed Valentine.

The Sox must either activate Matsuzaka by May 27 -- the end of his 30-day rehab stint -- or prove that he's suffered some sort of physical setback, that requires a trip to the seven-day DL, followed by another rehab period.

"I really dislike calendars when good health has returned,'' said Valentine.

David Ortiz has new interpretation of 'spring training'

David Ortiz has new interpretation of 'spring training'

Big Papi's "spring training" involves a beach chair -- not a baseball bat.

The former Boston Red Sox slugger made it clear on Instagram that he has no interest in returning to Jet Blue Park to begin training for the 2017 MLB season.

He announced in Nov. 2015 he would be retiring after the 2016 season, and he appears completely content with that decision despite speculation of his return to MLB. Ortiz posted a video on Sunday of himself in a beach chair reclined and relaxed.

"What's up [Instagram]. Oh, so good be retired. At the beach with the familia, the ladies. Big Papi in the bulding. This is my spring training. How 'bout dat? Enjoy. See you when I see you. Peace," he said, and then chuckled.

Ortiz's video came a few days after Hanley Ramirez said that if Ortiz made a return to baseball, he would be doing it, in part, for Ramirez, because they miss each other.

WBZ's Dan Roche then tweeted out Ramirez's comment on Thursday, and Big Papi waited no time to respond. Within 16 minutes, Ortiz had responded to reiterate he would not be returning to the Sox.

Jackie Bradley Jr. explains why he wouldn't skip White House visit

Jackie Bradley Jr. explains why he wouldn't skip White House visit

Jackie Bradley Jr. will likely have a spotless attendance record for White House trips.

The Boston Red Sox outfielder began discussing those championship trips to meet the president after Red Sox chairman Tom Werner referenced the New England Patriots' Super Bowl win at a team get-together on Friday morning.

“If my team is going, yes, I’m going,” Bradley Jr. told WEEI.com's Rob Bradford, adding later, “I don’t like politics, not even a little bit.”

The Patriots so far have six players who have openly stated they will not attend New England's White House trip to meet President Donald Trump. Team leaders like Dont'a Hightower and Devin McCourty are among those unwilling to attend.

For Bradley, the White House trip is not about making a political statement.

“The reason why we’re going there is because we did something together as a team. The White House is cool,” he said. “I’m with my team."

The 26-year-old outfielder has twice attended the championship trip to the nation's capital. In college, he went with the South Carolina Gamecocks after they won the College World Series. He later attended with the Red Sox in 2013. Bradley Jr. said he enjoyed attending the White House to meet Barack Obama, but added he wasn't concerned with which president was hosting the event.

He said: “How many people can say they’ve been to the White House? That alone. There is a lot history there, and I’m a big fan of architecture. I think the whole thing is unique.”