Ortiz nearing free-agent decision

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Ortiz nearing free-agent decision

CAP CANA, Dominican Republic -- If you think David Ortiz has been consumed with free agency -- worried about whether he'll return to the Red Sox, weighing offers from other teams -- well, you thought wrong.

"I've been involved with this activity," he said Friday in a one-on-one interview with Comcast SportsNet's Jessica Moran, referring to this weekend's charity golf tournament that he's hosting.

"My agent knows I've been so busy with putting this together here, I told him, 'Only let me know if we are getting close to what we want'," said Ortiz. " 'Other than that, you talk to them. You deal with everything, and at one point we catch up'. "

"Last thing I heard, the Red Sox offered me arbitration."

But the tournament will be over Sunday. That makes it decision time . . . or close to it.

"Now when I meet with agent Fern Cuza on Monday, we're going to decide what I'm going to do," Ortiz told Moran.

Is accepting arbitration -- which would probably guarantee him a raise to about 14 million, but would mean accepting a one-year deal when he clearly wants two or three years -- one of his options?

"I haven't thought about it," he said. "I haven't been in this situation before. So it's something you talk to your agents about, and then decide what's better for you and the team."

It was part of an in-depth interview that touched on many points, including . . .

Are a lot of teams interested in signing him?
"My agent told me this week there's a good group of teams that would like to talk to us about our situation. They've been having conversations with some people and I'm a free agent and I got to listen to what everyone has to say, right? We're going to sit down and talk about it and make decisions."

What's more important, money or a long-term contract?
"It's the whole package. The number one thing is respect, the respect that you get from whoever you play for, because you know how you been doing your thing through the years. It's business, but everyone asks you for loyalty when it comes down to this business. So I think there's a lot involved and then it comes down to what everybody already knows, your contract situation. And there's a lot involved with signing a guy like myself. Hopefully things work out with the Red Sox and worse case, if it's not with them, it will be with someone else."

Do the Red Sox owe Ortiz anything?
"Not at all. I think, you sign a contract with the Sox and you're supposed to give them back what they expect from you. But there's a history, and that's why there's players that play for a team a long time, finish their career with the team. When you played for the period of time I have played with the Sox, you must be doing something right. It's not like you're going to stick with a team without giving them what they expect from you, and I know they feel that way about myself. I'm not going to tell you that they ain't, but we're talking and, like I say to my fans in New England: (looks into camera) Hopefully things work out, I love you guys, and I would like to finish my career as a Red Sox, but it's not on me anymore,"

On playing for new manager Bobby Valentine:
"I'm fine with anybody. I would play for you if you were the manager. Because in my case, I know what I need to do. It's not like I need anybody babysitting me or telling me what to do. Sometimes you do things wrong that you need to be reminded to correct them, that's human nature, but other than that . . . I know my package. I know what I need to bring to the field to play the game. And once the game starts, you got to be ready to go out there and beat up the opposition. I already know that, I think playing for Valentine I'm gonna be good, if playing for Terry Francona or somebody else."

On what his charity golf tournament means to him:
"It means a lot. When it comes to helping children, giving them health care, it's something I'm 100 percent down with. We've successfully been able to give back to the kids, thank God, and we've been able to get help to a lot of kids that really need it . . . When I saw the huge list they have of kids waiting to get surgery, I was like, 'I don't know how to start'. But once we created the foundation, its been unbelievable."

On where his giving spirit comes from:
"I got it from my family and background. It's the way your family raises you. I come from a family that didn't have a lot, but the little things we had we shared. My parents always used to make emphasize on being open to give back. That's part of my nature."

Weird umpire replay mistake helps Red Sox to record-tying 20 Ks

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Weird umpire replay mistake helps Red Sox to record-tying 20 Ks

New York’s mistake helped the Red Sox, and they weren’t playing the Yankees.

The Red Sox struck out 20 in a game for the third time in franchise history on Thursday night, and they were able to do so only after MLB’s replay team — based in Manhattan — gave Craig Kimbrel an extra batter to strike out in the ninth inning.

A 6-2 win over the Rangers featured 16 strikeouts for Red Sox pitching heading into the top of the ninth at Fenway Park. Kimbrel came on for a non-save situation because he had five days off previously.

There’s always that outside chance for a four-strikeout inning, and it happened. Even for a four-strikeout inning, however, this was bizarre.

The first batter, lefthanded hitting Nomar Mazara, swung and missed at a back-foot breaking ball for strike 3 — a literal back-foot breaking ball, because it hit him in that foot after he whiffed on the pitch.

On a swing and a miss with a pitch that hits the batter, the ball should be dead. He should not have been able to reach first base. But the umpires didn’t catch the ball hitting Mazara, and instead saw it as a wild pitch. 

Sox manager John Farrell asked for a review and the umpires went for one, but came back empty-handed. The crew was told, erroneously, that the play could not be looked at and the batter was awarded first base.

“It was just a swinging strike three, ball that go away and he obviously reached first base,” crew chief Alfonso Marquez told pool reporter Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. “The only thing that I can tell you, and the only thing I will say is, this was a replay issue. New York will come out with a statement.”

You could say it worked out just fine. Kimbrel went on to strike out the next three, and got the Sox to 20 Ks.

Kimbrel and Tim Wakefield are the only Red Sox pitchers to fan four batters in a single inning. Wakefield did it in the ninth inning on Aug. 10, 1999. 

Kimbrel did it once before as well, when he was with the Braves on Sept. 26, 2012.

No one has struck out five in a major league inning, although Kimbrel has as good a chance as anyone.

“The guy strikes out the world,” Matt Barnes said. “It’s ridiculous. … His fastball is seemingly unhittable. Complement that with the breaking ball he’s got, which comes right off that same plane, when he’s commanding it like he is, the numbers kind of speak for themselves. It’s kind of ridiculous. It’s fun to watch.”

The Sox have struck out 20 in a nine-inning game three times since 1913. Roger Clemens' two 20-strikeout games are the other two.

Red Sox win 4th straight behind stellar outing from Pomeranz, 6-2

Red Sox win 4th straight behind stellar outing from Pomeranz, 6-2

BOSTON - Drew Pomeranz pitched six strong innings and tied his career high with 11 strikeouts to lift the Boston Red Sox to a 6-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Thursday night.

Xander Bogaerts and Deven Marrero hit their first home runs of the season helping Boston to their fourth straight win.

Pomeranz (4-3) made it as far as six innings for the third time this season and beat Texas for the first time in nine career outings.

Elvis Andrus homered and Nomar Mazara had two hits and an RBI for Texas, which has lost four of five overall and has lost 15 of 21 on the road.

Andrew Benintendi and Mitch Moreland had RBI singles in the first inning as Boston got to Rangers pitcher Nick Martinez (1-3) early.