Red Sox notes: Valentine, Doubront, Johnson, Ortiz

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Red Sox notes: Valentine, Doubront, Johnson, Ortiz

NEW YORK -- The Red Sox clubhouse has been predictably downcast the last few days, but Bobby Valentine said that, given the team's performance, that's probably as it should be.

"These guys are pros,'' said Valentine. "They're supposed to be down. When you lose, you're not supposed to be happy. I don't want anybody to think it's a good thing. From what I measured (Saturday), it seems like everyone's OK. I don't really take that temperature after every game, though.''

As for his own spirits, Valentine at first joked that he didn't.

"I keep them up,'' he said. "I enjoy what I'm doing. I think it's very challenging and fun.''

David Ortiz told the Boston Herald Friday that the controversies surrounding the Red Sox have had a tangible effect on the performance on some players, including Dustin Pedroia.

"It looks like (Pedroia) is playing the best he's played this year," Valentine said. "Maybe he got to a point where he just shut the whole thing off. It might have been bothering him more than a week ago, but I really think it was (some nagging injuries) that were bothering him.

"He's playing extremely well right now. He's an incredible player,period."

But Valentine did take himself to task, noting: "As far as my job here, I'm not doing a good job. I didn't get paid to do anything other than get to the playoffs, win a lot of games and be in the thick of things right down to the end or even be in first place. The team is managing is not there. Simpe. So my job has not been a good job, if I had to assess (myself).''

Before Saturday's game, the Sox placed pitcher Felix Doubront on the DL, retroactive to August tenth, with a right knee contusion. The Sox filled Doubront's roster spot by promoting Mauro Gomez from Pawtucket.

Doubront was shut down after making a start in Cleveland last week as the Red Sox expressed concern about his workload after
an injury-shortened 2011 season saw him limited to just 87 23 innings.

In the interm, Doubront was bothered by a sore knee as he threw on the side. The Sox believe he's progressed to the point where he could pitch at the end of next week, but in the meantime, the Sox could utilize his roster spot with Gomez, who is with the big league club for the third time this season.

"We'll see how we can use him,'' said Bobby Valentine of Gomez. "It's better than having a short bench. He's a guy who I think gives you really good at-bats when he's up there.''

Valentine added that Gomez, a first baseman by trade, could see some time at DH with David Ortiz still sidelined. He could also use Gomez at third base, with Will Middlebrooks out for the remainder of the season with a broken wrist.

Lowell Spinners lefthander Brian Johnson, a sandwich pick by the Red Sox this June out of the University of Florida, was struck in the face by a line drive while pitching at the Futures of Fenway doubleheader Saturday.

According to the Red Sox, Johnson suffered "multiple orbital'' fractures on the side of his face. He showed no evidence of suffering a concussion and was resting in a hospital.

David Ortiz, who was set to take batting practice Friday only to change those plans, hit in the cage Saturday before the game.

"He just did soft toss (Friday) in the cage,'' said Valentine, "and he felt fine. It seems that the progression (Saturday) would be BP.''

David Ortiz re-enacts Boston movie scenes as part of charity video

David Ortiz re-enacts Boston movie scenes as part of charity video

As part of a charity promotion with Omaze, David Ortiz has made a video re-enacting scenes from Boston-set movies. 

The movies range from a classic -- "Good Will Hunting" -- to very good crime movies -- "The Departed, The Town" — to the just plain bad "Fever Pitch," but all of the scenes are entertaining. Ortiz plays every part in each scene, often playing to characters interacting with one another. 

At the end of the video, a link is given to Omaze.com/papi, which gives fans the opportunity to enter a drawing to attend his jersey retirement ceremony by donating. Proceeds go to the David Ortiz Children’s Fund and the Red Sox Foundation. 

The David Ortiz Children Fund aims to help children in New England and the Dominican Republic who are born with congenital heart failure. 
 

Drellich: When will Red Sox players hold themselves accountable?

Drellich: When will Red Sox players hold themselves accountable?

BOSTON -- Whether John Farrell is managing the Red Sox next week or next month, keep an eye on player accountability.

Five years ago, Bobby Valentine was supposed to be the disciplinarian that stopped babying the clubhouse. Disaster followed, largely because Valentine was a terrible fit for this group, his approach extreme and dated.

But this year’s team makes you wonder whether a distilled sense of Red Sox entitlement lingers.

At Fenway Park, is the message from the veteran voices one that includes a sense of public accountability for not just the manager, but the players as well?

In FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal’s piece on Farrell, Rosenthal noted “some players, but not all, believe that [Farrell] does not stand up for them strongly enough to the media.”

Those unnamed players Rosenthal cites need a mirror, badly. Or at least a glance around the room.

Where’s the guy in the clubhouse standing up to the media with any consistency? There’s no voice that regularly shields the younger, less experienced guys from tough but expected questions after losses.

Dustin Pedroia gets dressed and leaves the clubhouse faster than Chris Sale will get the ball back and throw it Wednesday. 

Pedroia mentioned something about whale poop in Oakland over the weekend. He can be very funny, but he’s not exactly keen to deliver calming, state-of-the-union addresses — not with frequency, anyway.

Farrell, of course, has been criticized for doing the opposite of what the FOX Sports story noted. The manager was mobbed on social media last year for saying David Price had good stuff on a day Price himself said the opposite.

The premise here is amusing, if you think about it.

Follow: Players are upset that the manager does not do a better job lying about their performance. And this, in turn, affects how players play?

Get a grip.

The public isn’t dumb. If you’re bad, you’re bad, and you’re going to hear about it in Boston. No manager changes that.

Whichever Sox player seeks more protection from Farrell really needs a reminder from a teammate to play better.

Too often, some of the most famous, prominent athletes can be sensitive, and over-sensitive. Look at how LeBron James handled a question about what led to his poor performance in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals.

It is true that some players question Farrell’s leadership, as Rosenthal reported. But it can also be difficult to separate questions of leadership from whining and grumbling that a manager isn’t providing said player more chances, more opportunities, even if undeserved.

How can Drew Pomeranz's unfounded dugout complaints be Farrell's fault?

The situation and player that make Farrell look the worst this year is Hanley Ramirez. The idea of him playing first base is gone, his shoulders apparently too screwed up to make that viable. 

Somehow, Ramirez made 133 starts at first base last year. One has to wonder how all of a sudden Ramirez can barely play a single game. 

If he’s hurt, he’s hurt. But the Sox didn’t come out of the gate in spring training and say, first base is out of the picture because of his health. They kept saying there was hope he'd be able to play in the field.

If Ramirez is being obstinate, he’s in turn making Farrell look weak. And, more importantly, hurting his team.

What would Ramirez be doing if David Ortiz hadn't retired? Spending the year on the disabled list?

Farrell can pack up his bags today, tomorrow or after the next full moon. The players would still need to take it upon themselves to do what’s best for their team: to focus on what matters.

If they’ve forgotten, that’s about performing up to their abilities and being accountable for themselves -- publicly and privately -- when they don’t.

A manager’s quote in the media doesn’t change whether you’re playing bad baseball.