Pap leaves Boston in the rear-view mirror

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Pap leaves Boston in the rear-view mirror

Jonathan Papelbon made it very clear he's happy to be in Philadelphia.

Sorry to be leaving Boston? That wasn't nearly as evident.

The Phillies' new closer said virtually nothing about the Red Sox -- good, bad or indifferent -- despite being given multiple opportunities to do so in his introductory press conference Monday as a member of the Phils. If he was at all affected at no longer being with the only team he's ever played for, he hid it perfectly.

But he sure dropped some hints.

"I'm loyal to those who are loyal to me," he said in explaining why he signed so quickly with the Phillies, adding it was "evident to me how classy this organization is."

"The Phillies showed that they were interested in me and you know I wanted to make this decision quick and get it over with," he said. "I didn't want to sit there and debate whether I should go back to Boston. The Phillies showed they wanted me and showed me the respect, and I showed them the respect back."

Loyalty. Respect. Class. All words Papelbon used to describe the Phillies. All words he failed to use to describe the Red Sox.

"It didn't really boil down to going back to the Red Sox," he said. "I knew that these guys wanted me and I made my decision right then and there."

New Sox general manager Ben Cherington said last week that the team hadn't made an offer to Papelbon, which he confirmed Monday.

"There were no talks with the Red Sox as far as getting something done and both of us agreeing on," he said. "There were talks, but I don't think that anything evolved."

Stunning by its absence was any reference, of any kind, to the Sox. No goodbyes to anyone. (When asked if the departures of general manager Theo Epstein and manager Terry Francona had any effect on his decision, he dismissed it by saying: "That's part of the nature of this game. Players come and go every year, coaches come and go every year.") No perfunctory, "I had a great seven years there". Nothing about the fans . . . except to obliquely compare Phillies fans to Red Sox fans when talking about how much he'll enjoy the atmosphere in Philadelphia. It's as if he's arriving in Philly from nowhere, with no past to reference and no memories he'll cherish.

He's gone. And it doesn't sound like he'll miss anything he left behind . . . including the song ('I'm Shipping Up To Boston' by the Dropkick Murphys) that greeted him whenever he entered a game at Fenway Park.

"Yes," he said with a smile, "I will change my entrance song for sure."

Cardinals pull away late for 7-2 victory over Red Sox

Cardinals pull away late for 7-2 victory over Red Sox

The Cardinals broke open a close game with four runs in the last two innings against Red Sox relief prospect Chandler Shepherd and went on to a 7-2 exhibition victory over Boston yesterday at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers.

Red Sox-Cardinals box score

The loss dropped the Sox to 1-3 for the exhibition season.

Boston had jumped on top, 1-0, on an RBI single by Mitch Moreland in the bottom of the first, but St. Louis countered with two runs in the second and one in the third, all against starter Brian Johnson. It remained 3-1 until the Cards touched Shepherd for two runs in the eighth and two in the ninth. The Red Sox added their final run in the bottom of the ninth when catcher Jordan Procyshen, who spent last season at Single-A Salem, hit a sacrifice fly.

Moreland, Xander Bogaerts and Chris Young each had two hits for the Red Sox. who also got scoreless relief from Teddy Stankiewicz, Noe Ramirez, Robby Scott, Kyle Martin and Brandon Workman. It was Bogaerts' last game before leaving to compete for The Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic.

The Sox host the Yankees on Tuesday at 1:05 p.m.

Dustin Pedroia taking cues from Tom Brady to extend his career

Dustin Pedroia taking cues from Tom Brady to extend his career

Dustin Pedroia is no stranger to injuries. That's a big reason why he's no longer a stranger to the sometimes peculiar practices of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

In an interview on WEEI's "Bradfo Show," Pedroia told Rob Bradford that he's been taking cues from the five-time Super Bowl-winning QB to help extend his playing career and make his body healthier and more durable.

“I understand what he does and know what he does. I think it’s awesome,” Pedroia told Bradford. “There’s a reason why he’s successful at his age (39), and he looks better now than he did when he first came to the league. You have to be smarter as you get older and learn different styles -- the way to train and the way you take care of your body to be able to perform and stay on the field. It doesn’t matter what sport you’re playing. He’s definitely got that figured out.”

Pedroia, of course, played the entire 2013 World Series-winning season with a torn ligament in his thumb. He's battled through various other lower body and hand injuries over the past few seasons, as well. But in 2016, he had his best season in recent memory, posting his highest OPS since 2011, as WEEI notes.

Part of that is with his own take on the Brady approach -- which focuses more on pliability and resistance training than extensive, heavy weight lifting -- and a healthier overall lifestyle, something Brady is notoriously infamous for having.

"There’s tons of ways to take care of your body. It’s not just get in the weight room and throw weights around,” Pedroia explained. “As you get older, the human body can’t take the pounding if you’re going in there and power lifting. When you’re younger, you can handle some of that. But as you get older, you got to be smarter. Sometimes less is more -- whether that’s weight or reps or whatever. You’ve just got to be smart. And eating wise, that’s a big part of recovery. If you put the right foods in your body, you’ll heal faster if you’re injured or recover faster. It’s like a car, man. Put bad gas in, bro. It’s not going to be the same as good gas.”

He hopes the approach can, at the very least, keep him moving for quite some time.

“I plan on living until I’m 100," he said. "So we’re not even halfway home."