Saltalamacchia doesn't mind the crowd at catcher

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Saltalamacchia doesn't mind the crowd at catcher

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox currently have five catchers on their 40-man roster, and that doesnt even include Mike Napoli, who joined the team as a free agent to play first base, but who has spent that vast majority of his big league career behind the plate.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia is not worried about the crowd, which also includes David Ross, Ryan Lavarnway, Dan Butler, and Christian Vazquez. And, hes looking forward to working with Ross, who is entering his 12th big league season.

Its a huge help any time you get an older guy around to help you out, to be with you, Saltalamacchia said. The guys has been through so much. Hes not an ego guy. Hes a real nice, bright person. To be able to work with him, Im excited. Im trying to get to know. Keep my mouth shut and learn as much as I can. Its still a learning process regardless, no matter what year youre in. Just like hes going to talk to me about some of these pitchers hes never caught. Its a good atmosphere you can have when you have two guys like that who can help each other out.

Its one thing I wish I had when I was younger coming up. I wish I had a veteran guy around to help me out. Because when you got two younger guys youre trying to compete all the time and it becomes a competition rather than trying to actually help each other out and get better. So its always a great situation.

Saltalamacchia will also have his third manager in as many seasons. Saltalamacchia joined the Sox at the trading deadline in 2010, Farrells fourth and final season as pitching coach before leaving to manage the Blue Jays for two seasons. The right manager can make a big impact on a team, he said.

A big difference, Saltalamacchia explained. When you got personality like we got and the guys on this team, you got to have a leader that you can kind of trust and lean on. Terry Francona did a great job of that and I think Farrell, he was obviously with him, so theyre in the same cut. So its going to be a good thing.

Asked how much different it will be from Bobby Valentines one season with the Sox last year, Saltalamacchia replied:

Its tough. we havent gotten into it. I just know Farrell from being the pitching coach. I know him decently well. Hes a great guy. He made phone calls in the offseason, we talked. Bobby came to my house. The effort was there. Just, it was a bad situation. We had just got off a terrible September in 2011 and next year all eyes were on us. So it was kind of a bad situation. But I think were ready to move on and look forward.

Benintendi, Red Sox hang on to beat Cubs, 5-4

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Benintendi, Red Sox hang on to beat Cubs, 5-4

BOSTON - Andrew Benintendi hit a solo homer off Jake Arrieta during a five-run first inning and the Boston Red Sox held on to beat the Chicago Cubs 5-4 Friday night.

Every Boston starter had at least one hit, and Hanley Ramirez, Mitch Moreland, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Christian Vazquez also drove in a run each.

Left-hander Drew Pomeranz (2-1) got the win with six innings of two-run ball, surrendering solo homers to Kris Bryant and Albert Almora Jr. in the early innings before settling in. He allowed six hits and two walks while striking out seven.

Boston has won its last nine interleague games at Fenway Park.

Arrieta (3-1) logged his shortest start since Aug. 28, 2014, lasting only 4 1/3 innings and giving up 10 hits and three walks with five strikeouts.

Broadcasting role unlikely for Ortiz, who met with Red Sox this week

Broadcasting role unlikely for Ortiz, who met with Red Sox this week

BOSTON - It's a tad ironic the Red Sox met with David Ortiz on Tuesday about his post-playing career, and then the offense went out and did nothing and Xander Bogaerts was publicly lamenting Ortiz's absence two days later.

John Henry, Tom Werner, Ortiz and his agent, Fern Cuza, met at Fenway Park on Tuesday to discuss the retired slugger’s future role with the organization, team president Sam Kennedy said. 

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Nothing's imminent, but there's one thing Ortiz is unlikely to do with the Sox in the near future: broadcasting. He could still do some of that in the postseason for say, FOX, but it appears an arrangement with NESN isn't in the cards for now, per Kennedy.

Ortiz's role with the Red Sox is still expected to be wide-ranging, something bigger than the standard alumnus agreement. He seems set on taking his time, enjoying his retired life, saying over the weekend he wants to be able to give the job the time it deserves. 

Kennedy in April was unsure if anything would get done this year. 

As for the team's play without Ortiz, and Bogaerts' comments?

"This is an incredibly talented ballclub," Werner said Friday at a luncheon benefitting the Red Sox Foundation and the Foundation To Be Named Later. "I’m really not terribly concerned. Like all fans, I’m a bit frustrated when we don’t give great pitching run support.

"We struggled the last couple of nights. It’s frustrating to think that Chris Sale, who I think is the best pitcher in the American League, doesn’t have much run support. But it’s April. I've been taught to not really look at the standings 'til July. Frustrated by the past two days, but look at the standings, and we’re only one win behind the Cubs. So you know, I mean I wish we were playing a little bit better,  but the team is going to bounce back."

Werner reiterated the Sox have room in their budget to add players ahead of the trade deadline.