Bowden receives high praise from Valentine

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Bowden receives high praise from Valentine

FORT MYERS, Fla. In two Grapefruit League outings, spanning 2 23 innings and eight batters, right-hander Michael Bowden has yet to give up a hit, a walk, or a run. He earned a save in his first outing, against the Orioles Tuesday. His performance led Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine to say this after Bowdens perfect inning of work against the Pirates in the eighth inning Friday night:

I really liked Michael Bowden. His fastball was down in the zone, Im not sure of the speed because we dont have guns here but it looked like it was 91, 92. He had a good split working off of it. His split I saw it, from the side, but I had a pretty good perspective of things I think. Looked like it was a pitch that was very hard to recognize. I liked what I saw. Hes going to get more quality innings, move up in the game a little.

That kind of praise from a manger is what every player wants to hear. Especially a player, who made his big league debut in 2008 but is still trying to establish himself at the big league level.

It makes me feel great, Bowden said. Im glad that the person that matters, my manager, likes what he sees and wants me to get out there and continue throwing and show him what I can do.

Bowden has appeared in 37 big league games over the last four seasons, posting a record of 2-2 with a 5.75 ERA. After converting to the bullpen full-time in the second half of 2010, Bowden earned 16 saves for Triple-A Pawtucket last season, with a record of 3-3 (2.73) in 41 appearances.

Bowden was a first-round (47th overall) pick of the Sox in 2005. This is the first year he is out of options. Bowden is trying to keep his focus on the field.

I prepared for this spring training the exact same way as the last four spring training, he said. Coming in here, and for myself I believe Ive been competing for a job, even though that wasnt the case. But I think this year I really do have a chance and all I have to do is continue to prove that I can get outs and make quality pitches and do it consistently. Just do everything I can.

Im just worrying about what I can do. Just stay healthy, get better, work on what I need to work on so I can do my job every time out. If I worry about the stuff I cant control, thats just going to take me off my mindset. So I try not to worry about stuff like that. But theres a lot of spring left, a lot of stuff can happen. I know theres spots in the rotation for guys and if theyre not in the rotation, theyll be in the bullpen. So all I can worry about right now is just when I go out there every time I get the ball just do the best I can.

Drummond on tweets and trade talk: 'I can change my profile if I want to'

Drummond on tweets and trade talk: 'I can change my profile if I want to'

BOSTON – If you believe what Andre Drummond and the Detroit Pistons are saying, then the former UConn star will not be on the move prior to Thursday’s 3 p.m. ESTtrade deadline.

Drummond, whose social media posts on Monday and later Tuesday morning only perpetuated the belief that he might be traded to Boston, addressed the trade speculation surrounding him after the Piston’s practice on Tuesday.

“What’s that got to do with my team?” he told reporters. “I can’t control what happens with trade rumors.”

Drummond was then reminded of the eyeballs emoji he posted Tuesday morning, which came less than 24 hours after he re-tweeted Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas’ eyeballs emoji – a similar posting to what Thomas did around the time Boston landed Al Horford last summer.

So as fans and media tried to piece the tweets together like they were clues to a Jessica Fletcher mystery, Drummond did his best to splash cold water on the trade talk on Tuesday.

“I’m a grown man,” he said. “I can change my profile if I want to. It doesn’t matter what time of year. If y’all want to speculate about that and me, go for it.”

Pistons head coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy has made no secret about the Pistons having conversations with several teams about all their players.

“Some discussions get more serious than others and that’s what happens,” Van Gundy told reporters following the team’s practice on Tuesday. “There hasn’t been a serious discussion about Andre, but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been discussions about Andre.

Van Gundy added, “The rumors don’t mean anything to me. One of you (media) guys asked me over the weekend how far along the D.J. Augustin and Jeff Green trade for Reggie was. The first time I heard about it was when I got that text, so I would assume not that far. I usually can just laugh it off, but it gets a little annoying.”