Sources: Sox may hire Gedman, Davis

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Sources: Sox may hire Gedman, Davis

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com

BOSTON When the Red Sox announced their minor-league staffs on Wednesday there were two vacancies still remaining in the organization: the hitting coaches at Triple-A Pawtucket and Single-A Lowell.

According to sources, the two leading candidates for those jobs are ex-big league outfielderDH Chili Davis and former Red Sox catcher Rich Gedman. Davis is being considered for the Pawtucket job, while Gedman is up for Lowell's vacancy.

For Gedman, a job with Lowell would mark a reunion with the organization which signed him as an undrafted free agent in 1977 out of St. Peter-Marian High School in Worcester, Mass. A two-time All-Star, Gedman hit .252 with 88 home runs and 382 RBI in 13 seasons with the Red Sox, Astros and Cardinals.

Sox announce minor-league appointments for 2011

Gedman has been coaching and managing in the independent Can-Am League since 2003. For the past six seasons, he has managed his hometown Worcester Tornadoes. Prior to that he was the hitting coach for the North Shore Spirit in Lynn, Mass. He led Worcester to a league championship in 2005, its inaugural season, being named the leagues manager of the year.

Gedman recently met with farm director Mike Hazen, assistant farm director Ben Crockett, and assistant general manager Ben Cherington, but specifics of Lowell's job opening were not discussed.

I dont know where its going to go, he said. But I just wanted to meet them. I wanted them to know that Id be serious and I hope that they would appreciate that. And if they could find some value for me in the organization somewhere where I can help in the development of the young players, great. And I would be very appreciative of the opportunity.

It would give him the opportunity to rejoin the team with which he made his big league debut. Gedman was with the Sox from 19801990. He saw his first big-league action on Sept. 7, 1980 at Fenway Park, pinch-hitting for Carl Yastrzemski in a 12-6 loss to the Mariners.

Its where I grew up, said Gedman, now 51. From 17 to 30 years old I was in the Red Sox organization. They helped me become a man. They helped me deal with life. They gave me an opportunity. Im a Worcester kid that got a chance to play for the Red Sox. So to be given another opportunity in the organization, I would be thrilled by it. I dont think Ive ever stopped being a Red Sox fan, even after I was done playing. I couldnt be happier for the organization when they won the World Series. For me, it's full circle in a lot of ways, and I would cherish the opportunity.

In 1981 he finished second in American League Rookie of the Year balloting behind the Yankees Dave Righetti, just ahead of teammate Bobby Ojeda. His best offensive season was 1985, when he hit .295 with 18 home runs and 80 RBI in 144 games. He hit a career-best 24 home runs in 1984. In 1990 he was traded to the Astros, and later joined the Cardinals as a free agent. His final major-league game was Oct. 4, 1992.

He will always be a part of Red Sox lore. On April 18, 1981, he was the starting catcher in the Pawtucket Red Sox 3-2, 33-inning win over the Rochester Red Wings, the longest game in professional baseball history.

On April 29, 1986, he caught the first of Roger Clemens 20-strikeout games. The next day, he had 16 putouts, for a total of 36 in two games, a record for a catcher in consecutive games. He was also the catcher in the 10th inning of Game Six of the 1986 World Series against the Mets when Bob Stanley unleashed what was ruled a wild pitch with Mookie Wilson batting, allowing Kevin Mitchell to score the tying run. Red Sox fans dont need to be reminded what happened after that.

Davis, who was under consideration for the Triple-A manager job before Arnie Beyeler was promoted from Double-A Portland, was the hitting coach for the Australian National team for three years and served in the same role for the Dodgers' instructional league this past season. In 19 seasons with the Giants, Angels, Twins, Royals, and Yankees, Davis, a switch-hitter, hit .274 with 350 home runs and 1372 RBI in 2,435 games primarily as a designated hitter.

He is fourth all-time in home runs by a switch-hitter.

Davis, who turns 51 in January, was selected in the 11th round of the 1977 draft by the Giants out of Dorsey High in Los Angeles, making his big league debut in 1981. A three-time All-Star, he finished fourth in National League Rookie of the Year voting in 1982. He hit a career-high .315 in 1984, 30 home runs in 1997, and 112 RBI in 1993.

Davis' best season was arguably the strike-shortened 1994, when he hit .311 with 26 home runs and 84 RBI in 108 games. He won World Series in 1991 with the Twins, and in 1998 and 1999 with the Yankees. His final regular-season game was Oct. 3, 1999. Davis is the first player born in Jamaica to appear in a big league game.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Sox' lack of homegrown starters an understandable problem to Yanks' Cashman

Sox' lack of homegrown starters an understandable problem to Yanks' Cashman

The dearth of homegrown starting pitching for the Red Sox is talked about almost as much as every Tom Brady post on Instagram.

Red Sox fans may take some solace in knowing their team isn’t the only one dealing with this problem.

In an interview with MLB.com's Mark Feinsand, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman didn’t talk about his team’s pitching problems in context of the Red Sox. But the explanation the longtime Yanks boss offered should sound familiar. 

In the biggest of markets, time to develop properly is scarce.

“Yeah. It's a fact,” Cashman said when asked if criticism of their pitching development was fair. “I think part of the process has been certainly where we draft. Because we've had a lot of success, we've not been allowed to tank and go off the board and therefore get access to some of the high-end stuff that plays out to be impactful. Part of it is we can't get out of our own way because we don't have the patience to let guys finish off their development, because if you possess some unique ability that stands out above everybody else -- whether it was Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy, now [Luis] Severino and before that [Bryan] Mitchell and Shane Greene -- we're pulling them up before their development is finished.

“Teams like Tampa Bay, for instance, they're going to wait until they have their four pitches down and their innings limits are all exceeded at the minor-league level; they're very disciplined in that approach as they finish off their starters. For us, if I'm looking at my owner and he says, ‘What's our best team we can take north?’ 

“Well, ‘We could take this guy; he's not necessarily 100 percent finished off, but we can stick him in our 'pen. He can be in the back end of our rotation, because he's better than some of the guys we already have,’ and then you cut corners, so I think that probably plays a role in it.”

Not everything is circumstantial, though -- or a deflection. 

“And sometimes we don't make the right decisions, either, when we're making draft selections and signings and stuff like that,” Cashman continued. “On top of it all, playing in New York is a lot different than playing anywhere else.”

We’ve heard that last part about Boston too, here and there.

Cashman was complimentary of his current Sox counterpart, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, whose team Cashman has compared to the Golden State Warriors.

On his feelings when he first heard the Sox were getting Chris Sale:

“When that trade was consummated, that was the first thing I thought about, which was, 'Wow, look at what they've done,' ” Cashman said. “I know how it's going to play out for them. Listen, Steve Kerr does a great job managing that team -- oh, I mean John Farrell. It's a lot of talent and with talent comes pressure to perform. I think Dave Dombrowski has done everything he possibly can to provide that city with a world championship team. They've got 162 games to show it.”
 

Jones-Molina WBC spat is a clash of cultures . . . and that's great

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Jones-Molina WBC spat is a clash of cultures . . . and that's great

The Adam Jones-Yadier Molina verbal skirmish is as predictable as it is annoying.

Was every cultural nuance for the 16 World Baseball Classic teams explained in a booklet the players had to memorize before the tournament?

No? Then it’s amazing there weren’t more moments like this.

Jones, the Orioles outfielder, said Team USA's championship game win over Puerto Rico was motivated by Puerto Rico's choice to plan a post-tournament parade for the team before the final game.

As Jones was raised, parades in pro sports are for championship teams. Red Sox fans are likely aware of this.

As Jones was raised, discussing a parade before a title is secured suggests overconfidence. Rex Ryan fans are likely aware of this.

After an 8-0 win for the U.S., Jones revealed the parade was used as bulletin-board material.

"Before the game, we got a note that there was some championship shirts made -- we didn't make 'em -- and a flight [arranged],” Jones said. “That didn't sit well with us. And a parade -- it didn't sit well with us."

But apparently, Jones didn't know the full context of the parade. It was reportedly planned regardless of whether Puerto Rico won.

One Team USA teammate of Jones whom CSNNE spoke with didn't believe that, however.

"It was called a champions parade that got turned into a celebration parade once they lost," the player said. "I think they just don't like getting called out by Jones, but all Jones did was tell exactly what happened."

Jones’ comments weren’t received well.

Puerto Rico's going through a trying time, a recession, and the entire island rallied behind the team.

“Adam Jones . . . is talking about things he doesn't know about," Molina told ESPN’s Marly Rivera. "He really has to get informed because he shouldn't have said those comments, let alone in public and mocking the way [preparations] were made.”

No one should be upset Jones explained what he was thinking.

Jones actually asked MLB Network host Greg Amsinger, “Should I tell the truth?”

Yes. It’s better than lying.

Look at the reactions across the WBC: the bat flips, the raw emotion. Honesty conveyed via body language.

People in the U.S. are starting to accept and crave those reactions. The WBC helped promote a basic idea: let people be themselves.

Jones said what was on his mind. We can’t celebrate bat flips and then say Jones should keep his mouth shut.

But there's an unreasonable expectation being placed on Jones here.

He heard about a parade -- which is to say, a subject he wouldn't normally think twice about or investigate before a championship baseball game.

Plus, it gave him motivation.

Why is Jones, or anyone with Team USA, more responsible for gaining an advance understanding of Puerto Rico’s parade-planning conventions -- we're talking about parade planning! -- than Puerto Rico is responsible for keeping U.S. norms in mind when making and/or talking about those plans?

No one involved here was thinking about the other’s perception or expectation. It's impossible to always do so.

But that’s how these moments develop: what’s obvious to one party is outlandish to the other.

Now Molina, Puerto Rico's catcher, wants an apology.

"He has to apologize to the Puerto Rican people," Molina told ESPN. "Obviously, you wanted to win; he didn't know what this means to [our] people."

Jones can clear the air with an apology, but he doesn't owe one. And he definitely doesn't owe one after Molina took it a step further.

"I'm sending a message to [Jones], saying, 'Look at this, right now you're in spring training working out, and we're with our people, with our silver medals,' " Molina said. "You're in spring training and you're working . . . you have no idea how to celebrate your honors, you don't know what it means.”

Team USA had no parade. Manager Jim Leyland made clear how the U.S. was celebrating, by recognizing those serving the country.

The silver lining here is how much attention the WBC has drawn, and how much conversation it can drive. People care, a great sign for the sport -- and its potential to foster better understanding across cultures.

Internationally, the sport is on parade.