Welcome toFirst Pitch, aquick spin around the world of Major League Baseball . . . or at leastthe corner of it that most concerns the Red Sox.
MOVING CLOSER: John Tomase of the Boston Herald says "signs out of Fenway Park on Thursday indicate that all sides are working cooperatively and without rancor toward a solution" to the Theo Epstein-to-Chicago? saga . . . though whether "that meant granting Epstein permission to talk to the Cubs orpromoting himsigning him to an extension to stay in Boston remains tobe seen".
As for official word . . . well, don't hold your breath.
Given the chance to clarify the situation this morning on WEEI Radio's 'The Dennis and Callahan Morning Show', Red Sox owner John Henry and CEO Larry Lucchino refused to even acknowledge that the Cubs have asked permission to speak to Epstein, let alone whether or not they've granted that permission.
"We don't mean to sound evasive on this, but this is one subject in which we don't think there should be full disclosure," said Lucchino.
All righty, then.
But lack of word doesn't mean lack of news . . .
Sean McAdam reports a new name -- Brewers coach Dale Sveum, who served as third-base coach in Boston from 2003-05 -- has emerged in the Red Sox managerial search. (csnne.com)
Did you watch Doug Fister beat the Yankees last night? The Red Sox tried to acquire him in July (ESPN Boston), but the asking price -- Kyle Weiland, Ryan Kalish and two lesser prospects -- was too rich for the Sox' tastes.
If you're thinking about Padres manager Bud Black -- who interviewed with the Sox in the 2003-04 offseason -- about coming here, don't. (Sign On San Diego)
AND FINALLY . . . Lack of news leads to things like Starlin Castro-for-Theo Epstein trade rumors. (csnne.com)
Art Martone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
This isn’t your average young and hungry player on the brink of the big leagues.
Yoan Moncada, the ex-Red Sox prospect who was one of the principal pieces in the trade for Chris Sale, ate 85 Twinkies in a week, his agent told ESPN The Magazine.
David Hastings, Moncada's agent, clarified to CSNNE that this was a one-time thing when Moncada first arrived in the U.S. Moncada had never had Twinkies before, Hastings said, so he was like "a kid in a candy store."
He's still in great shape. Moncada had a huge spring training with the White Sox after a disappointing major-league debut with Boston in September.
The 21-year-old third baseman has been optioned out of big-league camp, so he’s slated to start the year in Triple-A. But he hit .317 with a .391 on-base percentage and .683 slugging percentage and 3 home runs in 41 at-bats — some of the best numbers anywhere.
Moncada took a $31.5 million signing bonus from the Red Sox, money that the Sox turned into Sale. Moncada, meanwhile, didn’t exactly invest every cent.
Twinkies weren’t his only indulgence.
More from the story:
Moncada had money to spend on drones, video games, toys and clothes. He sometimes spent $1,500 or more during nights out, David says. After he purchased the second $200,000 car, Josefa [Hastings, David’s wife] tried to talk some sense into him.
David Hastings reinforced to CSNNE that the message to Moncada was to invest in things that appreciate in value.