Lowell returns to Boston, reflects on retirement

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Lowell returns to Boston, reflects on retirement

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen
BOSTON Former Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell, in Boston with his family, visited Fenway Park Friday for the first time since retiring at the end of last season. It was as much to satisfy a request of his two children as it was to catch up with his former teammates.

I think after it was kind of in November-ish, Lowell said. My kids asked me, Are we ever going to come back to Boston? because I told them we were selling the apartment. I said, yeah, we were going to come in the summer. So we kind of looked at the schedule and this was put in there about six months ago and its been nice. Took advantage, had a nice dinner with Dustin Pedroia last night. He brought me up to speed. He still thinks hes going to kill everyone. Four more hits tonight. So, thats good. But yeah the kids are good and were enjoying it. I didnt know we were going to get Miami weather here in Boston. Its been good though.

Although he looks fit, and he said his surgically repaired right hip is feeling good, Lowell, who turned 37 in February, is happy with his decision to retire after 13 seasons and two World Series championships.

Well, my hip feels so good right now that I feel like if I had to play, I could, he said. But Im just really satisfied that after another surgery with how well Im moving around. I can jog. I can run. And that was a big thing So from that standpoint, just from my life standpoint, it feels really good. Been able to enjoy the summer. It was weird with the free time. But its been fun. Ive really enjoyed it. I think I miss coming to a challenge every day. Its kind of what Ive known for the better part of 17 years. I miss my friends. Youre in the same grind together. But Im still at peace with my decision. So I think I made the right one.

For now, his baseball activities are limited to coaching his sons 6-year-old T-ball team. Mike Redmond, with whom Lowell played in Florida, is now managing the Lansing Lugnuts, a Single-A affiliate of the Blue Jays. Lowell recently visited Redmond, whose last season was also last year. While Lowell respects the work Redmond is doing, he doesnt see it in his future.

I think if youre going to do something like that, it deserves a lot of time, Lowell said. Im not willing to do that at this point in my life. I dont know. I played around with the MLB network. Im going to do a little more of that. And thats actually fun for me. So, I think in that sense it keeps me in the loop. I still get to follow the game and try to sound educated when I talk about it.

Although Lowell won World Series titles with both the Marlins, in 2003, and Red Sox, in 2007, he doesnt assign himself to either team. He just considers himself an ex-ballplayer.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

David Ortiz re-enacts Boston movie scenes as part of charity video

David Ortiz re-enacts Boston movie scenes as part of charity video

As part of a charity promotion with Omaze, David Ortiz has made a video re-enacting scenes from Boston-set movies. 

The movies range from a classic -- "Good Will Hunting" -- to very good crime movies -- "The Departed, The Town" — to the just plain bad "Fever Pitch," but all of the scenes are entertaining. Ortiz plays every part in each scene, often playing to characters interacting with one another. 

At the end of the video, a link is given to Omaze.com/papi, which gives fans the opportunity to enter a drawing to attend his jersey retirement ceremony by donating. Proceeds go to the David Ortiz Children’s Fund and the Red Sox Foundation. 

The David Ortiz Children Fund aims to help children in New England and the Dominican Republic who are born with congenital heart failure. 
 

Drellich: When will Red Sox players hold themselves accountable?

Drellich: When will Red Sox players hold themselves accountable?

BOSTON -- Whether John Farrell is managing the Red Sox next week or next month, keep an eye on player accountability.

Five years ago, Bobby Valentine was supposed to be the disciplinarian that stopped babying the clubhouse. Disaster followed, largely because Valentine was a terrible fit for this group, his approach extreme and dated.

But this year’s team makes you wonder whether a distilled sense of Red Sox entitlement lingers.

At Fenway Park, is the message from the veteran voices one that includes a sense of public accountability for not just the manager, but the players as well?

In FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal’s piece on Farrell, Rosenthal noted “some players, but not all, believe that [Farrell] does not stand up for them strongly enough to the media.”

Those unnamed players Rosenthal cites need a mirror, badly. Or at least a glance around the room.

Where’s the guy in the clubhouse standing up to the media with any consistency? There’s no voice that regularly shields the younger, less experienced guys from tough but expected questions after losses.

Dustin Pedroia gets dressed and leaves the clubhouse faster than Chris Sale will get the ball back and throw it Wednesday. 

Pedroia mentioned something about whale poop in Oakland over the weekend. He can be very funny, but he’s not exactly keen to deliver calming, state-of-the-union addresses — not with frequency, anyway.

Farrell, of course, has been criticized for doing the opposite of what the FOX Sports story noted. The manager was mobbed on social media last year for saying David Price had good stuff on a day Price himself said the opposite.

The premise here is amusing, if you think about it.

Follow: Players are upset that the manager does not do a better job lying about their performance. And this, in turn, affects how players play?

Get a grip.

The public isn’t dumb. If you’re bad, you’re bad, and you’re going to hear about it in Boston. No manager changes that.

Whichever Sox player seeks more protection from Farrell really needs a reminder from a teammate to play better.

Too often, some of the most famous, prominent athletes can be sensitive, and over-sensitive. Look at how LeBron James handled a question about what led to his poor performance in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals.

It is true that some players question Farrell’s leadership, as Rosenthal reported. But it can also be difficult to separate questions of leadership from whining and grumbling that a manager isn’t providing said player more chances, more opportunities, even if undeserved.

How can Drew Pomeranz's unfounded dugout complaints be Farrell's fault?

The situation and player that make Farrell look the worst this year is Hanley Ramirez. The idea of him playing first base is gone, his shoulders apparently too screwed up to make that viable. 

Somehow, Ramirez made 133 starts at first base last year. One has to wonder how all of a sudden Ramirez can barely play a single game. 

If he’s hurt, he’s hurt. But the Sox didn’t come out of the gate in spring training and say, first base is out of the picture because of his health. They kept saying there was hope he'd be able to play in the field.

If Ramirez is being obstinate, he’s in turn making Farrell look weak. And, more importantly, hurting his team.

What would Ramirez be doing if David Ortiz hadn't retired? Spending the year on the disabled list?

Farrell can pack up his bags today, tomorrow or after the next full moon. The players would still need to take it upon themselves to do what’s best for their team: to focus on what matters.

If they’ve forgotten, that’s about performing up to their abilities and being accountable for themselves -- publicly and privately -- when they don’t.

A manager’s quote in the media doesn’t change whether you’re playing bad baseball.