Boston Red Sox

Dombrowski: Red Sox won't 'make big trade' for starting pitcher

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Dombrowski: Red Sox won't 'make big trade' for starting pitcher

BOSTON — Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski is trying to play it cool again when it comes to potential trade targets. He does this, sometimes. He’ll occasionally say he’s not going to tip his hand, even though the team’s area of needs are almost always obvious. Other times he’ll come out and say where he’d like to upgrade, as he did in the days leading up to a trade for infielder Eduardo Nunez.

He kind of did both on Friday.

After David Price went to the disabled list Friday, Dombrowski downplayed the potential need for a starter.

“No, not really,” Dombrowski said. “Like I’ve said all along, we’re really open to getting better however we can. We feel comfortable. Of course, we want David Price to start, but if not, we feel comfortable with Doug Fister moving into the rotation. He’ll take his spot. I’m not sure what day he’s going to pitch, Monday or Tuesday.

“We’re not going to go out and make a big trade for a starting pitcher. We’re still hopeful that David will be back at this point. … Doug’s first outing was solid, next two not as good. We thought he threw the ball real well after working on some mechanical things in Seattle the other day.”

Fister has a 7.46 ERA in 25 1/3 innings. Mechanical changes or not, that’s not much to hang your hat on. Lefty Brian Johnson, meanwhile, is getting his shoulder examined, so his status is unclear. 

It just might be too difficult. Adding a rotation piece would be costly in terms of prospects and presumably luxury-tax dollars as well. But what about a reliever? 

Apparently, Brandon Workman has stolen Dombrowski’s heart — but here’s betting Dombrowski is still looking.

“Well, surprisingly, I’m not going to answer that question for you because I don’t really want to tip our hands on what we’re trying to do other than [the fact] that we are open minded,” Dombrowski said. “Our bullpen has actually performed well and I will say that, we think Joe Kelly’s close to coming back. He’s going to throw, I don’t know, today or tomorrow, and if everything goes well we’ll probably send him out for an inning and then be in a position that we activate him. So it’s not far down the road. That’s big for us.

“We look, I look at, the comeback of Brandon Workman of being like a trade acquisition really. He’s throwing the ball outstanding. He’s throwing the ball in the mid 90s with a good breaking ball and cutter. And I don’t feel, I, we don’t feel like he is just a young guy who’s never been through it. He pitched in the World Series, he’s a proven guy. So when you add another guy like that out there with Kelly and the other guys we have, if we can get better, we will.”

Dombrowski noted how high the prices are generally. Whether he was speaking generally or to relievers wasn’t clear, but it was while answering a question about the potential addition of a reliever.

“But it’s not necessarily always easy and secondly, with the request for what people want at this point, the acquisition price, is large,” Dombrowski said. “Now, what happens between now and 4 o’clock on Monday, we’ll find out. And we continue to have conversations, a lot — there’s even some clubs that aren’t sure what they’re doing yet. I could name three off the top of my head that we talked to today that aren’t sure what they’re going to do yet.”

Red Sox beat Reds 5-4, reduce A.L. East magic number to three

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Red Sox beat Reds 5-4, reduce A.L. East magic number to three

CINCINNATI - Mookie Betts doubled with the bases loaded to tie it in the eighth inning and dashed home from second base on an infield single, rallying the Boston Red Sox to a 5-4 victory Sunday over the Cincinnati Reds that moved them closer to the AL East title.

By winning 14 of its last 17 games, Boston has left virtually no opening for the second-place New York Yankees to catch up. The Red Sox, already assured a playoff spot, completed an 8-1 road trip that put them in excellent position to win a second consecutive division crown for the first time in franchise history.

Coupled with New York's 9-5 loss in Toronto, the Red Sox reduced their magic number to three. They lead the Yankees by five games with seven to play.

That means Fenway Park can start preparing for a potential celebration. Boston finishes the regular season at home with three games against Toronto and four vs. Houston.

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A's Maxwell becomes first MLB player to kneel during anthem

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A's Maxwell becomes first MLB player to kneel during anthem

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Bruce Maxwell of the Oakland Athletics became the first major league baseball player to kneel during the national anthem Saturday, pulling the sport into a polarizing protest movement that has been criticized harshly by President Donald Trump.

Before a home game against the Texas Rangers, Maxwell dropped to a knee just outside Oakland's dugout, adopting a protest started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in response to police treatment of blacks. The 26-year-old rookie catcher pressed his right hand against his heart, and teammates stood in a line next to him. Teammate Mark Canha, who is white, put his right hand on one of Maxwell's shoulders, and the two hugged after the anthem finished.

"Everybody watches sports and so everybody loves sports, so I felt this was the right thing for me to do personally," Maxwell said.

Maxwell's protest comes after Trump blasted football players and rescinded a White House invitation for NBA champion Stephen Curry in a two-day rant that targeted top professional athletes.

"That's a total disrespect of everything that we stand for," Trump said of kneeling through the anthem. He added, "Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you'd say, `Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He's fired."

Maxwell informed A's manager Bob Melvin and general manager David Forst of his intention to kneel before Saturday's game. He also held a team meeting in which he addressed questions from teammates. Maxwell did not play in Oakland's 1-0 win.

Canha approached Maxwell after the meeting to offer his support.

"I could tell he was getting kind of choked up and emotional about his beliefs and how he feels about the racial discrimination that's going on in this country right now," Canha said. "I felt like every fiber in my being was telling me that he needed a brother today."

The Athletics released a statement on Twitter shortly after the anthem, saying they "respect and support all of our players' constitutional rights and freedom of expression" and "pride ourselves on being inclusive."

The league also issued a statement: "Major League Baseball has a longstanding tradition of honoring our nation prior to the start of our games. We also respect that each of our players is an individual with his own background, perspectives and opinions. We believe that our game will continue to bring our fans, their communities and our players together."

Maxwell was born in Wiesbaden, Germany, while his father was stationed there in the Army, but he grew up in Huntsville, Alabama, which is where Trump made his statements at a rally Friday.

"The racism in the South is disgusting," Maxwell said. "It bothers me, and it hits home for me because that's where I'm from. The racism in the South is pretty aggressive, and I dealt with it all the way through my childhood, and my sister went through it. I feel that that's something that needs to be addressed and that needs to be changed."

League executives and star players alike condemned Trump's words on Saturday, and Maxwell predicted on Twitter that athletes would begin kneeling in other sports following "comments like that coming from our president."

A few hours later, he followed through.

"This now has gone from just a BlackLives Matter topic to just complete inequality of any man or woman that wants to stand for Their rights!" Maxwell wrote.

Maxwell is decidedly patriotic and comes from a military family. His agent, Matt Sosnick, told The Associated Press that "the Maxwells' love and appreciation for our country is indisputable."

"Bruce has made it clear that he is taking a stand about what he perceives as racial injustices in this country, and his personal disappointment with President Trump's response to a number of professional athletes' totally peaceful, non-violent protests.

"Bruce has shared with both me and his teammates that his feelings have nothing to do with a lack of patriotism or a hatred of any man, but rather everything to do with equality for men, women and children regardless of race or religion."