Sweeney: 'I play the game hard, I just did something stupid'

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Sweeney: 'I play the game hard, I just did something stupid'

BOSTON The sight of a pair of boxing gloves at Ryan Sweeneys locker in the home clubhouse at Fenway Park at least proves the Red Sox still have a sense of humor.
Despite the underachieving regular season and the fact that Sweeney busted up his left hand punching a Fenway door in a fit of pique two days ago, his teammates wanted to take the pressure off an embarrassing situation for their affable teammate.The Sox outfielder, on the other hand, has literally lost sleep over the entire situation.
I havent slept in two days. I just messed up. Ive been going over in my head how things could have been different. Ive been sick to my stomach and disgusted with what happened. Ive talked to a lot of guys that have thrown their helmets or thrown their bats, said Sweeney, who is hitting .260.303.373 in 63 games this season for the Sox. I guess I just didnt know how to punch the door. I thought I was okay, but the adrenaline got to me.
The Sox outfielder, who had surgery to put a screw into his broken left hand on Tuesday, confirmed suspicions it was Wednesday nights starting pitching Aaron Cook that introduced the boxing gloves into his locker.
Its pretty funny that Cook is pitching today and he had time to put boxing gloves in here, said Sweeney, who still managed a sheepish smile talking about it. I can tell you that I probably wont be punching anything ever again most likely.
Sweeney said hed be giving the gloves away, but perhaps he could use them after beating himself up for the last few days amid a season thats gone from promising to frustrating.
Bobby Valentine certainly had something sympathy for a player thats been criticized with gusto over the last couple of days for letting Irish temper get the best of him.
Hes one of those guys that knows the difference between right and wrong, said Valentine. A lot of guys know, but he really does. He knows he was wrong and hes really disappointed.
Sweeney wouldnt say he was out for the rest of the season, and said he opted for the screw over the pin because the latter would have kept his hand immobilized for at least 6-8 weeks.
It was the heat of the moment, but trust me when I say that I regret it. Ive let my teammates down not being out there on the field for them, said Sweeney. Its tough to swallow. You want to be out there for your teammates every day, but I did something to mess that up.
I play the game hard. I just did something stupid.
One thing Sweeney wanted to make perfectly clear, however, was that he didnt injure his left hand on purpose. Wild speculation had arisen that Sweeney who was being mentioned in trade talks perhaps injured himself so he wouldnt be dealt somewhere like Cincinnati for a team in need of a left-handed bat.
That was far from the truth, and something Sweeney hadnt even thought of in the aftermath of his injury.
The season started off well, but then I had the concussion thing and the foot thing. I was never able to pick it up after that and frustration has set in. It wasnt just one at bat, said Sweeney. I didnt intentionally do it so I wouldnt get traded. That had nothing to do with it. It was bad timing and I picked the wrong day to do it, I guess.
That didnt even cross my mind. When you go through something like that a scenario like that doesnt even go through your head. I didnt even think about that until somebody said something about it.
It sounds like Sweeney will be thinking about a lot of things over the next couple of months while recuperating from the most embarrassing injury of his career.

Rick Porcello starts, Drew Pomeranz relieves in Red Sox' 5-3 loss to Twins

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Rick Porcello starts, Drew Pomeranz relieves in Red Sox' 5-3 loss to Twins

Rick Porcello and Drew Pomeranz combined to allow all five of the Red Sox' runs in Boston's 5-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins.

Porcello finished his start by fanning four, allowing four hits and earning two runs over four innings. Pomeranz followed in the next four innings with four strikeouts, five hits allowed and three earned runs. Pomeranz allowed ByungHo Park's eighth-inning, two-run homer, which ended up being the game-winner.

Porcello, however, was optimistic after the loss.

"The buildup was good," Porcello told reporters, via RedSox.com. "Today I felt as good as I've felt all spring. At this point, I'm ready to go. I'm looking forward to the start of the season."

While the Sox offense was able to get three runs off Ervin Santana in his 4 2/3 innings, they struggled against the Twins' next five pitchers. Xander Bogaerts (2 of 3) and Pablo Sandoval (1 of 3) managed homers. Hanley (3 of 3) Ramirez had a double, and Dustin Pedroia (2 of 3) had two singles.

Kyle Kendrick will start Thursday in the Sox' final Spring Training series against the Washington Nationals. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m. ET.

Who's on first for Red Sox? It may be not someone you'd expect

Who's on first for Red Sox? It may be not someone you'd expect

Who’s on first? A middle infielder, maybe.

Hanley Ramirez, Josh Rutledge and Mitch Moreland aren't fully healthy. So the 25th man on the Red Sox has become a matter of corner-infield triage.

Rutledge was gearing up to play some first base with Ramirez restricted to DH because of his throwing shoulder. But Rutledge is hurt now too, likely headed to the disabled list with a left hamstring strain, Sox manager John Farrell said Wednesday morning in Florida.

Here’s the easiest way to think about who takes Rutledge's place: Who would the Red Sox like to see less against left handed pitching, third baseman Pablo Sandoval or first baseman Mitch Moreland? 

If it’s Sandoval, then you carry Marco Hernandez, who can play third base.

“He’s a very strong candidate,” manager John Farrell told reporters in Florida on Wednesday. “He’s one of a few that are being considered strongly right now.” 

If it’s Moreland, than you carry Steve Selsky, who has a history playing first base.

“He’s a guy we’re having discussions on,” Farrell said. “Any guy in our camp that we feel is going to make us a more complete or balanced roster, Deven Marrero, they’re all in consideration.”

The additional wrench here is that Moreland has the flu. If he's not available at all for a few days to begin the season, then the Sox probably have to carry Hernandez.

Why? Because Brock Holt can play some first base if Moreland is out. But then, you’d need another back-up middle infielder, and Hernandez gives you that. 

Hernandez is also hitting .379 in 58 at-bats this spring entering Wednesday.

Moreland isn’t the only one who has the flu.

"It’s running through our clubhouse," Sox manager John Farrell told reporters in Florida on Wednesday, including the Providence Journal’s Tim Britton. "Probably be held out for three days for a quarantine.” (LINK:http://www.providencejournal.com/sports/20170329/with-josh-rutledge-and-mitch-moreland-ailing-first-base-depth-compromised-for-red-sox)

That means the Red Sox won't have Moreland for their exhibitions against the Nationals on Friday and Saturday in Washington D.C. and Annapolis, Md. Moreland could still be ready for the regular season, but would likely be at less than full strength.

Having Ramirez available would sure make things a lot simpler for the Sox.

Both Sandoval at third base and Moreland could use right-handed bats to complement them. Or more specifically, they could use people who can hit left-handed pitching to complement them.

Hernandez is a left-handed hitter who might actually be able to hit lefties. But the Sox haven't used him at first base, and there's no indication they will.

“As we look at the upcoming games, there is the potential for two left-handed starters in Detroit,” Farrell said. “So there’s a number of things being factored right now.”

Early in spring training, Farrell was asked what player had started to catch his eye.

The guy he mentioned was Selsky, an outfielder and first baseman the Red Sox feel fortunate to have picked up off waivers because he still has minor league options remaining.

Now Selsky, who has already technically been cut from major league spring training, has a chance at making the opening day roster. He's 27 and hit .356 in 45 Grapefruit League at-bats.

Chris Young isn't going to have an easy time finding at-bats as it stands now, but the Sox aren't considering moving him to first base.