Sox stun baseball world . . . except in the Bronx

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Sox stun baseball world . . . except in the Bronx

By Art Martone
CSNNE.com

The team most affected by the Red Sox' signing of Carl Crawford took the news -- publicly, at least -- in stride.

"Good move," said Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. "Good player. Great player."

Not so the team that thought Crawford would be playing left field for them in 2011 and beyond.

"I'm crushed, man," Angels outfielder Torii Hunter, who had been recruiting Crawford for the Halos, told the Los Angeles Times. "I'm sitting here in a daze right now, like, what the heck just happened?"

Here's what happened, Torii: The Red Sox -- thought to be out of the Carl Crawford market once they acquired Adrian Gonzalez from the Padres -- swooped in and signed the ex-Tampa Bay left fielder to a deal believed to be seven years at 142 million. General manager Theo Epstein hinted something might be up during his nightly meeting with the Boston media, saying "anything was possible" even though his expectation was that nothing would happen.

Most everyone thought "anything" would be, shall we say, less dramatic. The bullpen. Another catcher. Maybe a right-handed hitting outfielder.

Instead, they landed a player who gives them, arguably, the most fearsome lineup in baseball. A player who, until the news broke at around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, was thought to be ticketed to either the Angels (who desperately wanted him) or the Yankees (where he was regarded, at least by the fans and media, as a Plan B fallback if they don't sign Cliff Lee).

"I don't think anyone can argue with the two players they've brought in so far," Rocco Baldelli of the Rays, who played for the Red Sox in 2009, told the Providence Journal. "What else could you possibly do to improve a team?"

Still, the moves didn't blindside the Yankees.

"No," Cashman responded when asked if he was surprised. "Boston has the money, and they had a need."

Not anymore.

Art Martone can be reached at amartone@comcastsportsnet.com.

Wright extends scoreless streak to 9 1/3 innings in Red Sox' 10-7 win over Pirates

Wright extends scoreless streak to 9 1/3 innings in Red Sox' 10-7 win over Pirates

The angst surrounding the David Price- and (possibly) Drew Pomeranz-less Red Sox starting rotation may have eased a little -- or a lot -- on Thursday.

Steven Wright extended his string of scoreless spring-training innings to 9 1/3 by blanking the Pirates for 4 1/3 innings in his third spring-traing start, leading the Sox to a 10-7 victory over the Pirates at SkyBlue Park.

Red Sox-Pirates box score

Wright allowed two hits -- the only two hits he's allowed this spring -- with one walk and three strikeouts.

Several of his pitching brethren, notably Heath Hembree and Robbie Ross Jr., didn't fare nearly as well. (See box score above.) But the Sox -- using what may be their regular-season batting order for the first time -- bailed them out with a 16-hit attack, led by Dustin Pedroia (3-for-3, now hitting ,500 for the spring). Mookie Betts, Hanley Ramirez, Jackie Bradley Jr., and, yes, Pablo Sandoval each added two hits. Sandoval also drove in three runs and is now hitting .362.

Xander Bogaerts went 1-for-4 in his return to the Sox from the World Baseball Classic.

 

A hungry ballplayer: Ex-Sox prospect Moncada once ate 85 Twinkies in a week

A hungry ballplayer: Ex-Sox prospect Moncada once ate 85 Twinkies in a week

This isn’t your average young and hungry player on the brink of the big leagues.

Yoan Moncada, the ex-Red Sox prospect who was one of the principal pieces in the trade for Chris Sale, ate 85 Twinkies in a week, his agent told ESPN The Magazine

David Hastings, Moncada's agent, clarified to CSNNE that this was a one-time thing when Moncada first arrived in the U.S. Moncada had never had Twinkies before, Hastings said, so he was like "a kid in a candy store."

He's still in great shape. Moncada had a huge spring training with the White Sox after a disappointing major-league debut with Boston in September. 

The 21-year-old third baseman has been optioned out of big-league camp, so he’s slated to start the year in Triple-A. But he hit .317 with a .391 on-base percentage and .683 slugging percentage and 3 home runs in 41 at-bats — some of the best numbers anywhere.

Moncada took a $31.5 million signing bonus from the Red Sox, money that the Sox turned into Sale. Moncada, meanwhile, didn’t exactly invest every cent.

Twinkies weren’t his only indulgence. 

More from the story: 

Moncada had money to spend on drones, video games, toys and clothes. He sometimes spent $1,500 or more during nights out, David says. After he purchased the second $200,000 car, Josefa [Hastings, David’s wife] tried to talk some sense into him.

David Hastings reinforced to CSNNE that the message to Moncada was to invest in things that appreciate in value.