Valentine on Ross: 'What's there not to love?'


Valentine on Ross: 'What's there not to love?'

BOSTON -- Cody Ross is getting used to the postgame podium.
It's a place you only go if you're the manager, that night's starting pitcher, or the unquestionable hero.
Ross' two home runs and six RBIs in Wednesday's night's 10-1 win got him a podium appearance, a floor above the Red Sox clubhouse. And his ninth-inning, three-run walk-off home run in Thursday night's 3-1 win over Chicago put him there again, for the second straight night.
"I want to be the guy up every time in that situation," said Ross afterwards. "I always have, my whole life. I just like that pressure, and I like just being there in the moment."
Hitting in the number five spot in Boston's lineup, Ross stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the ninth with Dustin Pedroia on second base and Nick Punto on first, one out, and the Red Sox trailing 1-0.
Ross ripped a 1-1 inside fastball down the left-field line and into the monster seats, forcing the rest of the team to greet him at home plate.
"In that situation, with a runner on second, I'm just trying to get a pitch I can handle and get good wood on it, and just try to create something," said Ross. "Fortunately, he threw me a fastball in, and it was really in. And I just kind of dropped the head on the ball, and kept it fair somehow.
"I look up and Punto's staring right at me with this evil look on his face," Ross added on the celebration at home plate. "And he grabs my jersey and just starts yanking on it. He became famous in St. Louis for that. They call him the shredder. So, we got to meet the shredder tonight."
And at first, Ross wasn't sure it was going out.
"As soon as it left my bat, I got this really exciting feeling," said Ross. "And then I had flashbacks of Wednesday night, when I hit the same ball that hit the wall. And I was thinking, 'OK, even if it hits the wall, Punto's fast enough to score from first, and we'll still win 2-1.' So, that was all going through my mind."
Ross finished the game 2-for-4 and it marked his third-career walk-off home run, proving again, that he likes to have the pressure on him.
"He loves that situation," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine afterwards. "He loves to be in the big spotlight, and you know, he went deep, three runs, we win. That's as much fun as the guys have had in a long time. It's a good feeling.
"I love his smile, I love his swing, I love his energy," Valentine later added. "What's there not to love? Especially tonight."

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 a week

A hungry ballplayer: Ex-Sox prospect Moncada once ate 85 Twinkies 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.