Pregame notes: No rest for the lefties


Pregame notes: No rest for the lefties

By Danny Picard

BOSTON -- With the Red Sox having both Wednesday and Thursday off, manager Terry Francona felt it was important to make sure some of his key offensive players didnt get too much rest.Therefore, left-handed hitters David Ortiz, J.D. Drew and Jacoby Ellsbury are all in the starting lineup for tonights game against lefty Brett Cecil and the Toronto Blue Jays. Ortiz, Drew, and Ellsbury all started the teams last game Tuesdays 3-2 loss to Tampa Bay on the bench. Each came in to pinch-hit in the ninth, but Francona started Jed Lowrie, Darnell McDonald and Mike Cameron in their place, to face tough lefty David Price. But because sitting Ortiz, Drew, and Ellsbury again would give them four straight nights off, Francona thought that would be too much time for them to sit. Thats too long for not playing a game, said Francona prior to Fridays game at Fenway Park. It ends up being counterproductive. Theyve got another lefty Saturday, its a day game after a night game. We can do some shifting the next couple of days. I didn't want to do it tonight. With multiple lefties taking the mound in several upcoming games with Toronto and Oakland, Francona will have to pick and choose his matchups wisely. Not much has worked out real well yet so I can't sit here and say weve pulled all the right strings, because not much has really gone well, said Francona on his roster management against lefties. And were probably going to see left-handers if at all possible. Thats the way it works. Im trying to find the right days, if were going to face guys in a row, find the right day where it helps ours guys a little bit. If were going to sit somebody, I want there to be a good reason. I think well hit everybody. Francona spoke about a half hour after Adrian Gonzalez press conference ended, which officially announced his seven-year 154 million contract extension. The Red Sox manager strongly supported that extension. I know theres some huge decisions that management and ownership has to make, said Francona. For me thats a pretty low risk. We were talking about a lot of years and a lot of money and I cant think of a guy that . . . he gets it. Hes a solid, solid teammate. Hes a really good hitter. If he loses a little bit of speed over the next five years, nobodys going to know. I think its a pretty good move. Francona also believes that the extension takes some pressure off Gonzalez, and helps him focus strictly on baseball. I think its human nature, said Francona. I think the biggest thing, and all players are different but I remember when Pedey was going through it, the fact that he could just come out and play baseball doesnt give you one more thing to worry about. Its probably hard for the normal person to think that guys are worrying about millions of dollars, but your time can be a littler bit limited and when you're young. Slumps are hard enough, but when you start allowing other things to creep in, it can get harder. With former Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell returning to Fenway as Blue Jays manager, Francona hinted that Farrell will have his team ready for everything the Sox throw their way. He pays attention, said Francona. He paid attention to everything. Nobody ever accused him of that. Hell give them the full scouting report. Farrell, who spoke to the media after Francona, said that while he does know a lot about Bostons current pitching staff, he acknowledged how deep every teams scouting reports are in 2011. Well I know theyre all good, said Farrell on the Red Sox rotation. They all have good stuff. The fact remains that theres a lot of history with guys on our roster and in our lineup that have faced each pitcher in this rotation multiple times. I cant say that, having worked with guys in the past will have that much of an impact on how these games unfold. Its still going to come down to us executing within the game itself. If our pitchers and their pitchers execute, its got a chance to be a well pitched game on both sides. Certainly, theres some personal knowledge, added Farrell. But I cant ay that what I would give them, cant be found either through our own scouting reports or through video. And todays approach that all players take, theres not a whole lot of secrets.

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard. You can listen to Danny on his streaming radio show I'm Just Sayin' Monday-Friday from 9-10 a.m. on

Rosenthal: 'Some' Sox players question Farrell's leadership, game management


Rosenthal: 'Some' Sox players question Farrell's leadership, game management

Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal ignited a local firestorm when he made a seemingly off-hand comment a few days ago that he "wouldn't be surprised" if the Red Sox fired John Farrell this year. (He quickly added he also "wouldn't be surprised" if Farrell stayed on and led the team to the A.L. East title this year, but that got scant mention.)

Today, however, Rosenthal expounded on Farrell and the Sox in a lengthy column on While acknowledging the team's injuries and beyond-the-manager's-control inconsistencies (in the starting rotation and with the offense), he also ominously added, "The excuses for the Sox, though, go only so far — all teams deal with injuries, and not all of them boast $200 million payrolls. Other issues also have emerged under Farrell . . . "

Farrell, even when he won the 2013 World Series as a rookie manager, was not popular in all corners of the clubhouse. Some players, but not all, believe that he does not stand up for them strongly enough to the media when the team is struggling, sources say. Some also question Farrell’s game management, talk that exists in virtually every clubhouse, some more than others.

And then he mentioned two leadership problems:

The first occurred during the Red Sox’s prolonged dispute with the Orioles’ Manny Machado. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia, after Matt Barnes threw at Machado’s head, shouted across the field to Machado, 'it wasn’t me,' then told reporters that it was 'definitely a mishandled situation,' without mentioning Barnes or Farrell by name . . . 

The second incident occurred last Saturday, when Farrell engaged in a heated exchange with left-hander Drew Pomeranz in the dugout . . . [Pomeranz's] willingness to publicly challenge Farrell, in an exchange captured by television cameras, offered another indication that the manager and some of his players are not always on the same page.


Rosenthal's piece comes at a time when some of Farrell's harshest local critics are more or less giving him a pass, instead blaming Dave Dombrowski's flawed roster construction for the Sox' early season struggles , , , 

But there has been speculation hereabouts on whether or not Farrell has control of the clubhouse . . . 

Now that Rosenthal has weighed in, that sort of talk should increase.

In the end, Rosenthal makes no prediction on Farrell's future other than to conclude "If Dombrowski senses a change is necessary, he’ll make a change." 

But one prediction that can be made: The should-Farrell-be-fired? debate, which raged at unrealistic levels last year when the Red Sox won the division, isn't going to end anytime soon.