Boston Red Sox

The other guy: Punto surprised, disappointed by trade


The other guy: Punto surprised, disappointed by trade

DENVER -- When the nine-player deal between the Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers took place Friday, it was though Nick Punto was collateral damage.

In an effort to achieve financial flexibility and re-set their Clubhouse culture, the Red Sox shipped off high-salaried, big-name stars: Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Adrian Gonzalez.

And Punto.

Punto wasn't an issue the clubhouse; to the contrary, the Red Sox loved his attitude. And his contract -- two years for 3 million -- certainly wasn't crippling. But he was part of the deal anyway, filling the Dodgers' need for an experienced utility player in the infield.

So there was Punto, literally along for the ride when the Dodgers sent a private plane to Boston to transport the ex-Red Sox players to their new home in L.A.

"I was caught off guard," said Punto as the Dodgers began a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. "My name somehow got attached."

Punto wasn't nearly as high profile as the other Sox players sent west and he had been a member of the Red Sox for only 4 12 months. Still, the disappointment was palpable.

"I always envisioned playing in Boston and winning a world championship in Boston," he said. "That's the part that stinks -- you get to play there for a year, not even a year, and it just didn't work out."

It's been like that almost from the beginning. Punto signed with the Sox in part because of the urging of Kevin Youkilis, a close friend. But Youkilis clashed with Bobby Valentine in April, was injured in May and traded by June.

Two months later, Punto followed him out of town, his stay brief and unsuccessful.

"It was just one of those years where it didn't work out," said Punto, shaking his head. "We had the talent to do it, but we just didn't perform. Which is tough. That's the city you want to win a world championship in. I heard that from many people."

Punto has heard speculation that the Sox failed this season because of a bad mix of personalities or a lack of focus, but he says the issue was more basic.

"It definitely wasn't what everybody thought it was," said Punto, "because that group of guys was awesome. We jelled, we got along. It's almost like the media wanted to portray that clubhouse as toxic, or not working out. But the 25 guys were always together. We just underperformed; that's the bottom line.

"Everybody has injuries. That's part of the game. But the people who were healthy, we all underperformed. That's it. There's not more to it than that. It was just one of those years. We had the talent to do it and it just didn't work out."

Punto described the last few days as "crazy...chaotic. I'm kind of meeting new faces and names and trying to put them all together.''

Disappointed though he may be, Punto also realizes that, given his game, he might be better suited for the National League, where double-switches and pinch-hitting are far more prevalent than in the A.L.

"Unless you're an everyday player or a DH, obviously, I think the National League fits everybody a little better," he said. "It's fun. You have to be ready to be in the game every day. I definitely enjoy National League baseball."

Rockies acquire Pat Neshek from Phillies


Rockies acquire Pat Neshek from Phillies

ST. LOUIS - The Colorado Rockies have obtained right-hander Pat Neshek from the Philadelphia Phillies for three minor league players on Wednesday.

The 36-year-old Neshek is 3-2 with a 1.12 ERA in 43 relief appearances for the Phillies. A two-time All-Star, Neshek has played parts of 11 seasons with six teams.

"He's having a good year," Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado said. "He's a veteran. He'll be a great addition to our bullpen."

Neshek is looking forward to his environs.

"It's exciting, jump right into a playoff race," Neshek said. "It's a great team with a great offense."

Colorado gave up right-handed pitchers J.D. Hammer and Alejandro Requena and infielder Jose Gomez.

Requena, a mid-season All-Star with Class-A Asheville, is 8-3 with 2.85 ERA in 10 games this season.

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Dustin Pedroia applauded David Price altercation


BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Dustin Pedroia applauded David Price altercation

0:41 - Dustin Pedroia was reportedly one of the players that applauded David Price for his altercation with Dennis Eckersley on the team plane. Curran, Holley, Giles, and Smith give their reactions to the report. 

5:11 - Tom Curran and Tom Giles talk about Bill Belichick and how he has actually improved as a coach and GM in the past few years compared to his earlier seasons with the Patriots. 

10:36 - Kyle Draper joins BST with Curran, Holley, and Smith to discuss Isaiah Thomas not getting surgery on his injured hip, if that is the best option for him, and how it could affect the Celtics.

15:38 - Evan Drellich joins to talk about the Red Sox trading for Eduardo Nunez, his early impressions of Rafael Devers, and how they will handle playing time for both players at third base.