Spring training notes: Napoli taking it easy


Spring training notes: Napoli taking it easy

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Other than Clay Buchholzs right hamstring strain, Red Sox manager John Farrell was pleased with the first official workout for his pitchers and catchers.

We got our work in, Farrell said. The guys that threw off the mound today did what we anticipated. Thats just to begin to develop some rhythm, repeat their delivery. No ones certainly going to make the team today, but I thought overall a good work day.

The new manager, who was the Sox pitching coach from 2007-10 before leaving to manage the Blue Jays, believes his pitching staff has a lot of upside for 2013.

The potential of the staff when you look at the ability thats here, the talent that is here, the track record that many have had in recent years, to me this has got the ability to be a well-above-average pitching staff, he staff. Now we also know that there are individual needs along the way here that weve got to get guys back to what they've done well in the past, the consistency to which they execute. But this is a staff that I think is very talented. To start to put numbers on it, were not in that position to do that. But at the same time this is a staff thats got a lot of veterans on it that have had very successful careers to date.

First baseman Mike Napoli, who was diagnosed with avascular necrosis in both hips this offseason, will be limited in his initial spring training workouts.

Hes still restricted from any kind of impact or pounding, Farrell said. So right now its a matter of him taking batting practice, keeping his arm in shape. Hell go through another MRI later this week for an update and a re-check. Provided everything goes as we anticipate at this point then well start to introduce more baseball activities including the defensive side. Just talking to him hes looking forward to the reps there to gain comfort at the position but everythings pointed toward later in the weekend or early next week that hed be at that position.

Asked how much calling of pitches he planned to do from the dugout, Farrell replied:

Hopefully none. We have the full trust of the guys that are going to be back behind the plate. Were confident that the system that well use as far as preparing a game plan will be carried out. But its very common to have constant conversation between innings whether thats with pitching coach Juan Nieves and Jarrod Saltalamacchia or Juan and David Ross or Ryan Lavarnway. Thats normal in-game dialogue that will be used. But if we prepare the right way that game plan will be starting point that well be able to adjust off of consistently. But the most imp thing is the work we do leading up to the beginning of that game.

Taiwanese broadcaster had shocking call for Manny Ramirez's homer


Taiwanese broadcaster had shocking call for Manny Ramirez's homer

A Taiwanese announcer's call outshined Hanley Ramirez's homer.

In a video that made rounds on the internet Sunday, the Taiwanese broadcaster delivered a laughable response to Ramirez's homer.

"This ball is long gone! Just like the ex-girlfriend who will never return! Home run!" the man yelled.

The hit took place a few years ago when he was in the Taiwanese league. He is now playing in Japan. But frankly, he many never have another home run as epic as that one. And he certainly won't get a call as epic as that one.

Watch the video in the tweet below.

Red Sox-Orioles series expected to begin with closest thing to warnings

Red Sox-Orioles series expected to begin with closest thing to warnings

If you're stupid, you're probably gone.

As standard operating procedure, umpiring crews no longer start series with warnings to either team. So when the Orioles and Red Sox kick off a four-game set at Fenway Park on Monday, technically, no official warning will be in place for the other side.

But the closest thing to a warning likely will be implemented. Umpires are expected to be made specifically aware of the recent history with Manny Machado, Dustin Pedroia and Matt Barnes, a baseball source told CSNNE — a sort of “heads up” that should create very little tolerance for any further drama.

In some situations, MLB reminds teams as well that the expectation is a game be played, not a repeat of past incidents. It’s unclear if that conversation will happen or has happened here.

The way the Red Sox and Orioles were talking after Barnes threw too close to Machado’s head, it sounded like a situation that’s wisely been put to bed. Not forgotten, but not something that requires action as it stands today.

Showalter a week ago Sunday praised his team for not retaliating. Machado, who started it all by spiking Pedroia, showed restraint when the pitch went behind him. Pedroia apologized publicly and dramatically, and Barnes apologized and dropped the appeal of his four-game suspension. (Barnes is to return Sunday.)

If indeed this chapter of the feud dies, Pedroia deserves some credit for that.

No Orioles player was hit by a pitch or hurt in the end. The only one injured was Pedroia. Despite the stupidity of where Barnes’ attempted retaliatory pitch went, it’d be hard for the Orioles to justify needing revenge at this point.

Zach Britton, who bizarrely questioned Pedroia’s leadership because he was unable to prevent Barnes’ pitch, told BaltimoreBaseball.com the Orioles were waiting to see how the Red Sox move forward. 

“That’s up to them. Well see what they do in Boston,” Britton told reporter Dan Connolly. “I think we’ve talked about it already, as a team, and we’ll see how they choose to act — whether or not they choose to act professionally or unprofessionally when we get to Boston.”

Pedro Martinez said he would have drilled Machado, not because he detected intent for Machado to harm, but because that's nonetheless what happens after you spike a guy like Pedroia.

"Barnesy did not mean to throw the ball at Machado’s head," Martinez said. "That’s another thing. But the results at the end were the right ones. If I was pitching, I was going to drill Machado as much as I love him. And it didn’t matter what happened, the only thing I would have done differently was probably [throw] the ball a little bit lower. But everything else was nature of baseball. I think it’s something that’s going to happen. It’s part of baseball. Hopefully it won’t linger around for too long, or nobody will make it personal.”