Red Sox reflect on labor issues in other leagues

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Red Sox reflect on labor issues in other leagues

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
HOUSTON -- The NFL lockout is in its fourth month, with no end in sight.

The NBA locked its players out earlier this week and some believe the 2011-12 season is in jeopardy.

The NHL has a year remaining on its current labor deal, but already there is speculation that the league and its players may be headed for a work stoppage a year from this fall.

And then there's baseball.

Remarkably, the same sport which had the worst labor record as recently as 15 years ago now has the best. The current CBA expires in December and a new agreement has not yet been reached, but both sides -- ownership and the Players Association --
expect a deal will be reached without any interruption, or, for that matter, much difficulty.

This peaceful co-existence between management and labor would have been unimagineable not long ago. Now, each day in the Red Sox clubhouse, players watch TV and see updates on labor disputes in basketball and football, secure in the knowledge that the divide that once existed in their own game has been closed.

And some within that clubhouse shake their heads at the messes that exist in the NBA and NFL, just as fans expressed disgust toward baseball a generation ago.

"You mean to tell me there's not a way for both sides to be happy and the fans don't get screwed?" asked manager Terry Francona. "I do understand that someone making 50,000-60,000 and is paying for a ticket would be very put off. I can understand that. They don't want to hear this and I don't blame them.

"I think we all have a responsibility to figure it out. I think baseball has done a good job figuring out that we need to be partners and they're doing a great job.''

"Sometimes, when it comes to this kind of stuff,'' said David Ortiz, "I think we forget about the most important (people) and that's the fans. One thing you don't want to do is piss them off. They're the ones who make this interesting.''

Ortiz, a die-hard Green Bay Packers fan, said he doesn't even want to think about the prospect of football-less Sundays this fall.

"I'm having nightmares all ready,'' he said with a laugh. "Seriously, there's no way you want to think about (not having games). And I'm from the Dominican Republic (where football doesn't have much of a following) and I see it that way. Think about if you're born and raised here.''

Dustin Pedroia says improved communication between labor and management in baseball is the key to the improved relationship.

"It took a long time to get over the last strike (in 1994-95),'' said Pedroia. "We don't want to go through that again. Both sides know how great the game is and how much money there is in it, so the best thing is to play and not have any work stoppages.''

Tim Wakefield, the only Red Sox player who was playing in 1994, said it's a relief to not go through the distraction of a labor impasse.

"It's nice,'' Wakefield said. "I don't think either side wants to be in that situaton again.''

Ortiz, too, believes that baseball learned the hard way in the 1980s and 1990s how damaging labor strife can be.

"We all have those bad memories,'' he said. "We don't want to be going through that.''

And aside from the professional kinship, players want the NFL and NBA to resume so that they, too, can be entertained.

"I hope they get it done,'' concluded Ortiz. "I'm a baseball player, but I'm a huge fan of football and basketball.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Sandoval raps out two hits, lifts average to .333, in Red Sox' 5-4 loss to Yankees

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Sandoval raps out two hits, lifts average to .333, in Red Sox' 5-4 loss to Yankees

With each passing day, Pablo Sandoval's winning over more and more skeptics.

The slimmed-down third baseman rapped out two hits, including a double, and drove in a run as he lifted his spring average to .333 in the Red Sox' 5-4 loss to a split squad of Yankees Tuesday at JetBlue Park. Sandoval went 2-for-3 overall -- his one out was a fly to the warning track -- and looked almost speedy as he raced home from second on an RBI single by Deven Marrero.

BOX SCORE: Yankees 5, Red Sox 4

It was a day for comeback players on both teams. Sam Travis, whose 2016 was cut short by a knee injury suffered at Triple-A Pawtucket, hit a solo home run for the Sox, who fell to 1-4 with the loss.  Greg Bird, who missed all of last year because of a shoulder injury, hit a pair of home runs and drove in three runs for the Yankees.

Marrero, Jackie Bradley Jr., Rusney Castillo, Matt Dominguez and Dan Butler each had one hit for the Red Sox. Starter Kyle Kendrick allowed three hits and two runs over three innings, retiring eight of the last nine batters he faced. Only one of the subsequent six relievers -- Robbie Ross Jr. -- figures to be in Boston in the regular season, and he pitched a hitless, scoreless fourth with one walk.

Vegas projects Red Sox, Indians for most wins in AL

Vegas projects Red Sox, Indians for most wins in AL

Wanna bet the Red Sox will have the most wins in the American League this season? 

Per Bovada, the Sox are projected for 92.5 wins in 2017, which is tied with the Indians for the highest total in the AL. Boston and Cleveland both sit behind the defending World Series champion Cubs (95.5) and Dodgers (93.5) in Bovada’s win projections. 

Here is the full list: 

Chicago Cubs: 95.5
Los Angeles Dodgers: 93.5
Boston Red Sox: 92.5
Cleveland Indians: 92.5
Washington Nationals: 90.5
Houston Astros: 89.5
New York Mets: 88.5
San Francisco Giants: 87.5
Seattle Mariners: 85.5
St. Louis Cardinals: 84.5
Texas Rangers: 84.5
Toronto Blue Jays: 84.5
Detroit Tigers: 82.5
New York Yankees: 82.5
Pittsburgh Pirates: 82.5
Baltimore Orioles: 80.5
Colorado Rockies: 80.5
Los Angeles Angels: 79.5
Arizona Diamondbacks: 77.5
Tampa Bay Rays: 77.5
Kansas City Royals: 76.5
Miami Marlins: 765
Minnesota Twins: 74.5
Atlanta Braves: 73.5
Oakland Athletics: 73.5
Philadelphia Phillies: 73.5
Cincinnati Reds: 70.5
Chicago White Sox: 69.5
Milwaukee Brewers: 69.5
San Diego Padres: 66.5