David Ortiz says Chris Sale is 'going to continue striking out 20 per game'

David Ortiz says Chris Sale is 'going to continue striking out 20 per game'

When it comes to Chris Sale, David Ortiz is apparently having a hard time believing.

“Unbelievable man, unbelievable,” Ortiz said Saturday night at The Charmed Foundation gala at the Mandarin Oriental hotel. “Unbelievable. But I know it was coming. I knew it was coming. That’s why I got so excited when we got him. He’s an unbelievable pitcher, he’s going to help us out a lot. 

“You know, (David) Price, whenever he gets back. It’s just the beginning of the season. … Everybody’s going to be fine, we’re going to start winning ball games. Sale’s going to continue striking out 20 per game. It’s fun to watch man.”

Ortiz dodged a question of how Sale compares to Pedro Martinez. 

Ortiz talked baseball only briefly on Saturday, when he arrived at a charity event to surprise Maverick Schutte, the young Wyoming boy battling through myriad medical problems whom Ortiz befriended last April. 

Ortiz promised Schutte, who has a congenital heart condition and lung defect, that he would hit a home run for him against the Yankees — and Ortiz followed through in the eighth inning of a 4-2 win on April 29.

The two were reunited Saturday.

“It was wonderful,” Ortiz said of the home run. “Me and Maverick we go way back. It’s always good seeing him.”

Big Papi said he’s watched the 2017 Red Sox a few times, and that the questions haven’t stopped about his playing status.

No, he hasn’t changed his mind.

“It’s over, you know?” Ortiz said. “I’m going Hollywood now.”

“I’ve been busy man. I‘ve been all over the place. Whenever I have some time off, I’m just at home chilling.”

If retirement was supposed to make Ortiz fat and slovenly, he's avoided that look thus far, looking trim relative to his build.

"I’m trying man," Ortiz said. "I’m trying to keep it real."

Ortiz didn’t say much about the current team, except that he thinks there’s chemistry brewing.

“Got a good ball club,” Ortiz said. “I think everybody’s going to be fine. Can see good chemistry going on in the dugout.

“To me that’s very important and I’m pretty sure they’re going to bounce back and it’s going to be alright.”

Red Sox president Sam Kennedy told CSNNE earlier this month he thinks an official job for Ortiz with the Red Sox could wait until later in the year, if not next year. Ortiz didn’t hint otherwise.

“We’re talking,” Ortiz said. “I’ve been so busy right now. We’re talking. … I want to have time for it.”

Charmed stands for Children and Athletes Regenerative Medicine. Schutte and Ortiz on Saturday were named co-recipient son the foundation’s Courage Award. The foundation wants to accelerate the development of regenerative therapies to help the body heal itself.

Drellich: Dustin Pedroia says it without saying it... Manny Machado went too far

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Drellich: Dustin Pedroia says it without saying it... Manny Machado went too far

As Red Sox manager John Farrell said, it’s baffling the rules didn’t protect Dustin Pedroia on Friday night. Amazing that the umpires didn’t grant an extra out for the Red Sox in the eighth inning when Manny Machado overslid second base and took out Pedroia.

Pedroia, who dropped an F-bomb with the cameras rolling after the game, said he wasn’t mad about a high-spike into his left leg.

At the same time, the second baseman brilliantly and subtly highlighted why Machado went too far.

"I don't even know what the rule is. I've turned the best double play in the major leagues for 11 years,” said Pedroia, who had to leave the game because of the slide. “I don't need the (expletive) rule, let's be honest. The rule is irrelevant. The rule is for people with bad footwork, and that's it.”

Follow the logical progression. 

If things unfold normally, Pedroia protects himself. He knows how to keep himself safe at second base. He knows how to handle an oncoming runner. 

On Friday, he was awaiting a throw from Xander Bogaerts on the outfield side of the bag, as far from the oncoming Machado as can be.

No, Pedroia didn’t put himself in danger Friday night. He never does.

Machado did something Pedroia couldn't have expected. And it doesn’t matter whether Machado intended to or not.

Buck Showalter had no problem mocking the Red Sox for all the illnesses they went through early in the season. 

How strange that on Friday night, after Machado spiked Pedroia, the often verbose O’s manager didn’t have much to say about a particular slide he witnessed firsthand.

"I know it’s one of those things that’s really unfortunate,” Showalter said, per the Boston Herald. “You don’t like to see those things happen.”

Every member of the Sox, in fact, did not like to see that thing happen in a 2-0 loss Friday at Camden Yards.

Machado, one of the greatest players anywhere, may not have meant to drive his right foot into the area of Pedroia’s left calf and knee.

Consider that Pedroia is particularly reticent to call attention to his health situations. He had a torn ligament in his thumb in 2013 that he didn’t mention until a reporter dug it up.

It’s notable, then, that Pedroia mentioned he was worried about his surgically repaired knee when Machado hit him. He was, in effect, highlighting why the slide was particularly dangerous.

Maybe Machado’s intent was just to knock Pedroia down more gently.

You can see it that way. You can see how Machado might have been trying so hard to get to the bag that he simply slid late. You can see how perhaps the only place Machado's foot could go was up, and subsequently right into Pedroia’s leg.

You can also remember the body control a top athlete has. The fact that Machado's eyes appeared fixed straight ahead as he made the slide, his head raised high enough to see where he was going. 

You can also acknowledge the level of responsibility Machado has to not act recklessly, to not overdo it — even if he carries no malice.

You can also remember Machado’s history. This is a guy who once threw a bat at a pitcher.

"It wasn’t intentional — just look at the replay,” Machado told reporters, including Orioles.com. “You guys will see it. Me and Pedey go back. I would never want to hurt a guy like that.”

Machado told Orioles reporters he texted Pedroia. Machado also clearly tried to show Pedey some caring immediately after the slide.

Whatever.

A player can’t overslide the base with his spike high and injure an opponent — a star player, no less — as Machado did, then expect everyone to say, “No big deal, let’s move on.”

Showalter, finding some words, seemed to predict some form of retaliation, noting he knows how these things usually go the next day.

“He passed the base if you’re asking me,” Bogaerts told reporters. “He's the leader, you know? He's the heart and soul of this team and to see him go down like that, he could barely walk off the field. That was pretty tough to see unfold right there.”

It doesn't unfold this way often for a reason. Pedroia knows what he's doing. Most runners do too.

Holt placed on disabled list with vertigo; Jackie Bradley Jr. activated

Holt placed on disabled list with vertigo; Jackie Bradley Jr. activated

Brock Holt went on the disabled list Friday with vertigo, the eighth trip to the disabled list this century for a major-league player involving vertigo or vertigo-like symptoms.

The last Red Sox player to go to the DL with vertigo was J.D. Drew in 2010. He accounts for two of those eight trips to the DL, with another in 2008. Drew's brother Stephen Drew went to the DL with vertigo once as well, last year.

Holt told reporters in Baltimore on Friday the diagnosis came after the series with the Tigers, and that the symptoms could be traced to severe respiratory congestion.

Holt missed 37 games in 2016 with a concussion, and he had a concussion in 2014 as well.

“Little headaches, but it’s not even that,” Holt told the Herald last summer as he was recovering. “It’s just -- it’s so hard to explain. I tried to explain it to the coaches and training staff. It’s like, when I’m doing something, I’m hitting, moving my head around, I get done and I still feel like I’m moving. My eyes aren’t 100 percent focused. Taking a fly ball I feel fine. I’ll catch every ball. But it’s just a little off. After I’m done tracking balls, moving around, moving my head, it still feels like I’m moving.”

Jackie Bradley Jr. took Holt’s spot on the roster in Bradley’s expected return from the 10-day DL.

The other players who had vertigo diagnoses this century: Jarred Cosart, Rafael Betancourt, Tony Blanco and Jay Powell.