We're used to hearing the Red Sox put spin on things.
"Run prevention" ring a bell?
What about anything ownership has ever said about the team?
Well, now they're pushing the underdog card, and it looks like David Ortiz is buying into it as well.
"I like it because, one, that's motivation," Ortiz said to Jessica Moran and Sean McAdam on CSNNE's The Baseball Show. "And No. 2, you're pretty much under the radar. You slowly start digging and digging, and the next thing you know you're in the playoffs. So I like to be the underdog."
But it won't be easy to make the playoffs with some teams getting a lot better over the offseason, including the Toronto Blue Jays, or as Ortiz called them, the "Dominican Blue Jays", after a number of offseason acquisitions including Jose Reyes and Melky Cabrera.
The Sox may be underdogs, but the Jays aren't, and Ortiz has a bit of advice for them now that the spotlight is on them.
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.