McAdam: Drew's injury won't push Beltran deal


McAdam: Drew's injury won't push Beltran deal

By Sean McAdam Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
On the very same day in which it was learned that outfielder J.D. Drew is going on the disabled list Monday with an inpingement in his left shoulder, New York Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran was quoted -- again -- saying that he would appove a trade to the Red Sox, as long as they didn't intend to use him as the DH.

Beltran, aware that Atlanta, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Texas and Boston are the teams most closely associated with him in trade talks, said he had no problem going to any of the clubs.

"Yeah, if that happens,'' said Beltran, ''I would love to be with one of those teams."

It might seem that those two events are related -- one outfielder being injured and lost for at least the next few weeks, and the best available outfielder on the trade market reiterating that, yes, he would forego his no-trade clause and agree to be traded to Boston.

In truth, the two are unrelated.

To begin with, it wasn't as if Drew was going to be playing regularly in right field, or anywhere else, for the Red Sox over the final two-plus months this season.

Drew had been in the starting lineup just four times in the nine games since the All-Star break and those decisions weren't related to his ailing shoulder.

Quietly and without any sort of official announcement, Drew had, in effect, lost his starting job in right. Terry Francona never made that public, but then, that's not his habit. He didn't make any sort of grand pronouncement back in April when Jed Lowrie had dislodged Marco Scutaro as the starting shortstop, either. It was left for everyone else to draw that conclusion.

The fact is, Drew would have started once or twice a week the rest of the way, and perhaps been used as a late-inning defensive replacement. With rosters expanded in September, his role -- beyond that of his defense -- might have been reduced even further.

So, Drew going on the DL isn't a a move that impacts the big picture. It merely makes it easier for Francona to play Reddick without having to explan why Drew was out of the lineup.

As for Beltran, the very fact that four other teams in contention (Phillies, Braves, Giants and Rangers) remain very much interested in dealing for him makes it that much more likely that the Red Sox won't.

The more competition that exists for Beltran, the more the Mets can ask for in return. As potentially dicey as it may be to have two teams in their own division with interest in Beltran, such competition only enhances their bargaining position.

The Braves don't want Beltran to be the missing piece for the Phils, while the Phils don't want Beltran to be the difference for the Braves making up ground in the division.

If the Red Sox thought the asking price on Beltran was too much a week or so ago, it's not about to come down now with four other teams still involved -- each one of them more desperate to improve their lineup.

The Red Sox have played almost .700 baseball (60-27) since beginning the season 2-12 despite getting almost nothing out of right field all year. Their collective OPS from right field is .637, 13th in the league.

Given that, how much incentive is there to further thin out their farm system to win a bidding war against four other contenders?

Answer: none.

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

Ramirez, Leon homer, Red Sox beat Angels 9-4 on Papi's night


Ramirez, Leon homer, Red Sox beat Angels 9-4 on Papi's night

BOSTON - David Ortiz became one of the most celebrated players in Red Sox history during his storied 14-year run in Boston.

On the night he returned to Fenway to have his No. 34 take its place among the franchise's other legends, his former teammates did their part to make sure it was a memorable one.

Hanley Ramirez and Sandy Leon hit two-run homers and the Boston Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Angels 9-4 on Friday to cap a night in which Ortiz's number became the latest retired at Fenway Park.

It was the 250th career home run for Ramirez, a good friend of Ortiz who was also born in the Dominican Republic. Leon finished with three hits and four RBIs.

Ramirez said he played with Ortiz on his mind.

"He's my mentor, my big brother. He's everything," Ramirez said. "Today when I saw him on the field crying, it made me cry."

He said his home run was in Big Papi's honor.

"Definitely, definitely, definitely," he said. "I was going to do his thing (pointing his hands in the air) but I forgot."

The homers helped provide a nice cushion for Rick Porcello (4-9), who gave up four runs and struck out eight in 6 1/3 innings to earn the victory. It was the 13th straight start Porcello has gone at least six innings.

"It was vintage Porcello," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "A couple of pitches that cut his night short, but he was crisp throughout."

This could serve as a needed confidence boost for Porcello, who had been 0-4 with a 7.92 ERA in his previous five starts, allowing 47 hits and 27 earned runs.

He had command of his pitches early, holding the Angels scoreless until the fourth, when a catching error by Leon at home allowed Albert Pujols to cross the plate.

Porcello said he isn't sure if he has completely turned a corner yet after his slow start, but he has felt better in his recent starts.

"Today was a step in the right direction," he said.

Alex Meyer (3-4) allowed five runs and five hits in 3 1/3 innings.

Los Angeles scored three runs in the seventh, but cooled off after Porcello left.

Boston got out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, scoring on an RBI double by Xander Bogaerts and then getting two more runs off wild pitches by Meyer.

Ramirez gave Porcello a 5-1 lead in the fourth with his two-run shot to right field.

Ortiz: 'A super honor' to have number retired by Red Sox

Ortiz: 'A super honor' to have number retired by Red Sox

BOSTON —  The Red Sox have become well known for their ceremonies, for their pull-out-all-the-stops approach to pomp. The retirement of David Ortiz’s No. 34 on Friday evening was in one way, then, typical.

A red banner covered up Ortiz’s No. 34 in right field, on the facade of the grandstand, until it was dropped down as Ortiz, his family, Red Sox ownership and others who have been immortalized in Fenway lore looked on. Carl Yazstremski and Jim Rice, Wade Boggs and Pedro Martinez. 

The half-hour long tribute further guaranteed permanence to a baseball icon whose permanence in the city and the sport was never in doubt. But the moments that made Friday actually feel special, rather than expected, were stripped down and quick. 

Dustin Pedroia’s not one to belabor many points, never been the most effusive guy around. (He’d probably do well on a newspaper deadline.) The second baseman spoke right before Ortiz took to the podium behind the mound.

“We want to thank you for not the clutch hits, the 500 home runs, we want to thank you for how you made us feel and it’s love,” Pedroia said, with No. 34 painted into both on-deck circles and cut into the grass in center field. “And you’re not our teammate, you’re not our friend, you’re our family. … Thank you, we love you.”

Those words were enough for Ortiz to have tears in his eyes.

“Little guy made me cry,” Ortiz said, wiping his hands across his face. “I feel so grateful. I thank God every day for giving me the opportunity to have the career that I have. But I thank God even more for giving me the family and what I came from, who teach me how to try to do everything the right way. Nothing — not money — nothing is better than socializing with the people that are around you, get familiar with, show them love, every single day. It’s honor to get to see my number …. I remember hitting batting practice on this field, I always was trying to hit those numbers.”

Now that’s a poignant image for a left-handed slugger at Fenway Park.

He did it once, he said — hit the numbers. He wasn’t sure when. Somewhere in 2011-13, he estimated — but he said he hit Bobby Doerr’s No. 1.

“It was a good day to hit during batting practice,” Ortiz remembered afterward in a press conference. “But to be honest with you, I never thought I’d have a chance to hit the ball out there. It’s pretty far. My comment based on those numbers was, like, I started just getting behind the history of this organization. Those guys, those numbers have a lot of good baseball in them. It takes special people to do special things and at the end of the day have their number retired up there, so that happening to me today, it’s a super honor to be up there, hanging with those guys.”

The day was all about his number, ultimately, and his number took inspiration from the late Kirby Puckett. Ortiz’s major league career began with the Twins in 1997. Puckett passed away in 2006, but the Red Sox brought his children to Fenway Park. They did not speak at the podium or throw a ceremonial first pitch, but their presence likely meant more than, say, Jason Varitek’s or Tim Wakefield’s.

“Oh man, that was very emotional,” Ortiz said. “I’m not going to lie to you, like, when I saw them coming toward me, I thought about Kirby. A lot. That was my man, you know. It was super nice to see his kids. Because I remember, when they were little guys, little kids. Once I got to join the Minnesota Twins, Kirby was already working in the front office. So they were, they used to come in and out. I used to get to see them. But their dad was a very special person for me and that’s why you saw me carry the No. 34 when I got here. It was very special to get to see them, to get kind of connected with Kirby somehow someway.”

Ortiz’s place in the row of 11 retired numbers comes in between Boggs’ No. 26 and Jackie Robinson’s No. 42.