Francona 'aggravated' by Showalter's remarks


Francona 'aggravated' by Showalter's remarks

By SeanMcAdam

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Buck Showalter's comments about Theo Epstein were made public in the middle of last week, but the story isn't dying off just yet.

Showalter told the April edition of Men's Journal: "I'd like to see how smart Theo Epstein is with the Tampa Bay Rays payroll. You acquired Carl Crawford 'cause you paid more than anyone else, and that's what makes you smarter? That's why I like whipping their butt. It's great, knowing those guys with the 205 million payroll are saying, 'How the hell are they beating us?' "

Sunday morning, before the Sox met Showalter's Baltimore Orioles, Francona was asked for his response.

"I was actually kind of aggravated a little bit," said the Sox manager. "I don't think that's anybody's place. That's my boss. It's not the end of the world, but I thought he shouldn't have done it.''

Francona also took issue with the "beating their butts,'' remark.

"I don't remember them beating us that much,'' he said. "Maybe it was a different schedule."

Told the Orioles were 3-3 with Showalter as their manager against the Red Sox, Francona responded: "Way to go . . .

"I just thought that was a little bit out of line," said Francona, who also said he doesn't plan to speak to Showalter about the incident. "I don't think he'd be appreciating if I said something about Orioles boss Andy MacPhail, which I wouldn't. It's none of my business. And for the record, I think Andy's really good."

After the game, Showalter told reporters that he spoke with Francona before the game and told his Boston counterpart that he understood his aggravation.

Interestingly, on the day in which the Sox visited the O's and Showalter, the Red Sox public relations staff included a section in the media notes headlined "Theo's Tenure,'' which chronicled the team's achievements under Epstein (six playoff appearances, six 95-win seasons) as well as Epstein being named GM of the Decade by both Sports Illustrated and The Sporting News.

Sean McAdam can be reached at Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

David Price improves command, indicates he's pitching through ailment


David Price improves command, indicates he's pitching through ailment

BOSTON — David Price and Rick Porcello showed improvement on back-to-back nights Friday and Saturday, important signs for the Red Sox after a difficult month for both pitchers prior to this homestand.

Price on Saturday night went six innings and allowed three runs, two earned, in a 6-3 loss to the Angels. He fanned five and his velocity has been consistently better this year than last year.

But the most important number was his walk total: one. He walked three batters in his previous start, and four in both of his starts prior.

“Two outings ago, the first start here in Fenway,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “There was better timing in his delivery and overall better separation over the rubber. And he carried that through I thought, even though there's a higher pitch count in Houston, and has been able to maintain it here. I can't say there was one specific thing. It's been more the timing over the rubber. And you're seeing him pitch out of the stretch exclusively. Just less moving parts in a better position to repeat it.”

After Price’s final inning, the telecast captured Price calling pitching coach Carl Willis into the tunnel. Neither Farrell nor Price detailed the conversation. 

“Yeah, everything was fine,” Farrell said of the conversation. “Everything is OK there.”

Price made it sound like he’s dealing with some sort of physical ailment, but was vague.

“There's a lot of stuff going on right now,” the pitcher said when asked about the desire to stay out there. “You don't want it to linger into the next start, or two or three weeks from now, and that's why we did what we did.”

Asked to elaborate, Price reinforced that the decision was to save his body for another day.

“You never want to come out of a game. But you have to look forward at the time,” Price said. “You don’t want today to cost you your next start or you know, the start after that. So that’s what happened.

“It has nothing to do with my elbow or anything like that. This is — you get past one thing and there’s another So that’s what it is.”

Price in New York in early June felt a blister develop on his ring finger. He missed an in-between start bullpen because of it.

Asked about the blister Saturday, Price said, “That one’s gone.”

Farrell indicated the blister was diminished, if not entirely gone.

“He's been dealing with that,” Farrell said. “I think while it's still present and maybe not as severe as it was when it first happened, I'm sure he's going to check on it occasionally."

Red Sox threaten late, but can't come back in 6-3 loss to Angels


Red Sox threaten late, but can't come back in 6-3 loss to Angels

BOSTON - JC Ramirez rebounded from his shortest career start with six solid innings, Cameron Maybin doubled home a run and scored another and the Los Angeles Angels held off the Boston Red Sox 6-3 on Saturday night.

The Angels look for their fifth series win in their last six on Sunday.

Mitch Moreland hit a solo homer for the Red Sox, who lost for only the third time in their last 13 home games.

Ramirez (7-5) allowed one run and four hits with five strikeouts after lasting just three innings and giving up five runs in his previous start.

Blake Parker struck out pinch-hitter Chris Young with the bases loaded for the final out for his first save of the season after Boston scored twice in the ninth.

Red Sox manager John Farrell was ejected by third-base umpire and crew chief Bill Miller after Fernando Abad was called for a balk, scoring a run that made it 5-1 in the seventh.