Notes: Ortiz claims DH RBI record

191542.jpg

Notes: Ortiz claims DH RBI record

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Not all the news was bad for the Red Sox Saturday night.

David Ortiz blasted his second homer in as many games with a two-run shot in the second, and in his next at-bat, drove in another run with a groundout to the right side.

The three RBI gave Ortiz 1,004 in his career as a DH, topping the previous record held by Edgar Martinez at 1,003.

"When they mention your name with guys the caliber of Edgar Martinez,'' said Ortiz, "it makes you feel good. I don't think about it now when I'm playing. One day, I'll sit down and look at the numbers; right now, the focus is trying to win a game.''

Jessica Camerato's interview with David Ortiz

Last season, Ortiz didn't hit his second homer until April 30. The year before, it was June before he hit No. 1.

"That's good because I think it will help him relax,'' said Terry Francona. "I know how much he was pointing toward April. Let him him get his legs under him and hopefully he'll whack a few more.''

"You play the game and things happen,'' said Ortiz. "It's not like I tried to start the season slow the last two years. I think I got all the attention because of the player I've been as long as I've been here, and people expect me to do well. There's nothing wrong with that. It's just sometimes, things don't work out the way you expect and you have to keep fighting.''

Adrian Gonzalez continued his torrid start with three more hits -- two singles and a double -- giving him five in his first two games as a member of the Red Sox.

Carl Crawford wasn't so fortunate. After going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in his debut Friday, Crawford was 0-for-3, though he finally reached base with a walk in his final plate appearance.

"Once he gets on base a few times and creates some havoc, he'll be OK,'' predicted Francona. "He's trying too hard.''

Francona said he would stay with Jarrod Saltalamacchia behind the plate Sunday in the series finale. There had been some thought that he would go with Jason Varitek -- the lone position player not to get into a game yet -- in a day game after a night game, but Francona stuck with Saltalamacchia.

"I want to get him going here a little bit,'' said Francona.

The manager believes in getting players into games quickly, so they can get acclimated and feel part of the roster early.

His decision is complicated by the fact that the Sox have an off-day Monday in Cleveland and bad weather if forecast for the three-game series with the Indians, which begins Tuesday.

"We'll see - I've got a lot of 'eitherors,' '' Francona said. "It goes both ways. You want regulars to get into a rhythm and bench guys to get at-bats.''

A club source confirmed that the Sox have released Jason Place, the team's first-round pick in 2006. Place was one of the few early-round draft busts in the Theo Epstein era.

Place, 22, selected 27th overall in 2006, had a hitch in his swing that he never could correct. Last season he played in just 38 games because of injuries and hit .134. with 4 homers and 14 RBI.

In five minor-league seasons, Place hit .234 and had a history of not getting along with teammates.

His release was first reported by MLBTradeRumors.com

Clay Buchholz pitched an inning less than his fellow starters in his final Florida tuneup, but that doesn't necessarily mean he'll be limited when he makes his first start of the season Sunday in the series finale.

"He had one inning less than everybody else,'' noted Francona. "But he might end up throwing a complete game.''

Francona said the Sox will be monitoring "effort'' -- how hard he has to work -- rather than innings or actual pitch count.

Counting Friday's opener, lefty specialist Dennys Reyes had walked the leadoff hitter in three consecutive outings, cause for at least some concern.

Reyes came into Friday's game with one out in the seventh to face lefty-hitting Josh Hamilton and immediately walked him.

"It's better than the ball leaving the ballpark,'' said Francona. "Then again, there will be times when he pitches longer than that because I think he needs to. It's hard to ask guys to throw strikes if you're facing one hitter.''

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

What makes a good manager? Rangers GM Jon Daniels explains

rangers_jon_daniels_052517.jpg

What makes a good manager? Rangers GM Jon Daniels explains

Across the way from John Farrell in the Rangers dugout this series is a manager who was voted the American League’s best in his first year at the helm, 2015.

Jeff Banister is one of three full-time skippers Rangers president Jon Daniels has had in his time running the Rangers.

Much has been made about how Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski views the manager’s job: that in-game management isn’t the most important, but running the clubhouse is.

How does another top baseball exec look at it? Daniels explained on the CSNNE Baseball Show podcast.

“I think manager’s an enormous role,” Daniels said. “Huge importance, I don’t buy into any of the sort of snarky commentary. … What I think sometimes gets a little blown out of proportions, at times whether it’s lineup construction, some of those — the in-game stuff, bullpen management’s very real. 

“Certainly the knowledge of the game is big. I think the ability to teach the game is big. But the No. 1 separator, in my opinion, is managing people. It’s really the word ‘manager.’ Helping to mold the culture in the clubhouse. Getting everybody on the same page. Young players, older players, everybody’s got different self-interests and to be able to get all those unique self-interests enough on the same page for a common goal while representing the club publicly, with the media, with the fans, and doing it under a pretty intense spotlight — I think that’s the biggest piece. Probably the hardest to truly evaluate unless you’re like, in the clubhouse or around the clubhouse on a daily basis and have a sense for who’s good at it, who’s not. That for me is like where guys really separate themselves.”

Asked if he’s ever surprised by player sensitivity, Daniels underscored what stage of life most ballplayers are in.

“Everybody’s different, right?” Daniels said. “So everyone has different insecurities, everyone has different level of ego, grown up in different circumstances. At the end of the day everybody wants a few basic things. You want to be like kind of communicated on a pretty forthright, direct way. You want to be treated with respect. Some guys can handle a little more criticism than others. 

“Some guys can handle a little more criticism from their peers than others can. I think that’s a manager’s job, to understand kind of the different approaches. Players, the guys are in their 20s. Think about where you were when you were first out of college … a few years off that, and your maturity level and really your lack of life experience in a lot of ways. And, kind of like evaluate under those circumstances: you’re going to be somewhat sensitive when you’re in that time period in your life.”

How well a manager handles a clubhouse isn’t something the Rangers, at least, have tried to quantify.

“More anecdotal for me. There may be ways,” Daniels said. “I haven’t really been part of that. If there is [a way] we haven’t figured it out, and we haven’t really tried to do, to be honest with you.”

For the full interview, listen to the podcast below

Farrell: Price to make first Red Sox start of year Monday in Chicago

Farrell: Price to make first Red Sox start of year Monday in Chicago

David Price may have allowed six earned runs in 3 2/3 innings Wednesday night during his second rehab start in Triple-A, but the Red Sox apparently liked what they saw.

MORE ON PRICE

Manager John Farrell announced moments ago that Price will rejoin the Red Sox Monday and start that day's game in Chicago against the White Sox. Farrell said the Sox were more concerned with how Price felt physically after his rehab start, not the results, and they're satisfied he's ready to return.

More to come . . .