BOSTON -- The Red Sox returned home from a wild West Coast road trip that wasn't very successful, but was hugely entertaining from an off-field perspective.
And the person in that spotlight was manager Bobby Valentine.
Prior to Friday's game at at Fenway park against the Blue Jays, Valentine was asked about blocking out the noise surrounding his name and his future in recent weeks. And he said he doesn't pay any attention.
"As much as some people question when I say I don't read it or that I don't listen to it, I don't," said Valentine. "So it's easy to block it out. I'm not there. Though, I hear about it once in a while. Whatever.
"If you're 30 games ahead in first place, and you start reading and listening to everyone say how great you are. It's just as distracting as the opposite, which is the case right now."
The Red Sox signed Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million contract bn August 2014. Over parts of three seasons, the 29-year-old has a .679 OPS across 337 plate appearances in the majors and spent the vast majority of the 2016 season at Triple-A Pawtucket.
Castillo had a chance to start things off on the right foot in 2017, but that ship has already sailed. On Thursday against Northeastern at JetBlue Park, Castillo didn’t run out a routine ground ball. He claims he lost track of the outs. Manager John Farrell isn’t happy about the situation. Via Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald:
“Disappointing for a couple of reasons,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “One, he has lost the number of outs. Still, regardless of another of outs, getting down the line is controllable. And for a player in his situation, every little aspect of the game is important. That’s something that was addressed in the moment. He needs to execute the game situation. And for that matter, every player. But that one obviously stood out.”
Everyone always makes far too big a deal about running out grounders. It’s a real nit to pick when it’s February 23 and your team just finished playing an exhibition game that is even more meaningless than the other exhibition games that will be played in the coming month.
That being said, Castillo has to prove himself to merit inclusion on the 25-man roster and that means dotting all his i’s and crossing all his t’s. Even if he went hitless all spring, Castillo could have at least said he couldn’t have done anything else better. But on day one, he already gave his team a reason to count him out.