Lovullo interviews with Sox

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Lovullo interviews with Sox

BOSTON -- The Red Sox continued the search to fill their managerial vacancy, meeting with Torey Lovullo Friday. Lovullo managed Triple-A Pawtucket in 2010, leading the PawSox to 66-78 record, before leaving to join John Farrells major league staff in Toronto last season. He is the fourth candidate to interview.

Lovullos time in Pawtucket gave him some insight into what the Sox top job would be like.

Farm director Mike Hazen said to me when I was hired in that position, he said, Youre now the 31st manager of a major-league team, Lovullo said. And it made a lot of sense because I was exposed to many of the media, exposed to the Red Sox Nation, and its real. You dont know exactly what its like until youre a part of it. Its a pretty spectacular place.

"Does that give me a leg up on the competition? Im not certain. I feel very comfortable with the surroundings, the people and their concepts, and Im fortunate for that.

Lovullo, 46, was a fifth-round pick of the Tigers in 1987. He played parts of eight seasons with the Tigers, Yankees, Angels, Mariners, As, Indians, and Phillies. His playing career done, he began managing in the low minors of the Indians organization, saying he wanted to earn my stripes, working his way up through the organization, as he did as a player. In 2011, he had his first season on a big league staff.

My qualifications are such that Ive been groomed by a couple of organizations, he said. Ive seen a lot. I feel like Im very diverse in many areas. As a player I played in Latin America, I played in Japan. I worked for the Cleveland Indians for nine years and then shifted quickly over here to Boston and managed in Pawtucket.

Last year I was the first-base coach in Toronto, had a chance to see what that level of baseball was like. I was very excited to get to that level as a staff member. I was able to work once again with Blue Jays manager John Farrell, who Ive learned a great deal from over the years in the Cleveland and Boston organizations.

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington was pleased with the meeting.

He did a great job, Cherington said. We knew him pretty well before but first time we had a chance to talk to him about this particular role. Good opportunity to kind of get his insight on being a manager in Boston and sort of how you transfer the skills that we know he has to this particular job and hes a compassionate guy. He cares about players . . . creative, smart, hard-working. And hes a guy that certainly we already know that we can work with effectively and so today was mostly about transferring that, trying to put that in a major league context and enjoyed the chance to do that with him.

Cherington said, despite their familiarity with Lovullo, that does not necessarily translate into an advantage.

I would say thats one of the factors that led us to want to talk to him more about this job, Cherington said. But each of the candidates has their own particular strengths and he has his particular strengths and right now were not giving anyone a leg up. Were going to get through Saturday and use next week to try to figure out who has a leg up.

The Sox will interview Tigers bench coach Gene Lamont Saturday. Lamont, who turns 65 on Christmas Day, also spent a season with the Sox, serving as third-base coach in 2001.

Cherington said he has no plans to expand the pool of candidates beyond the current five, but wouldnt completely rule it out. But, asked if he had requested permission to talk with other candidates, he replied: We havent had any formal permission requests right now.

Tom Brady on Donald Trump: 'I certainly disagree with what he said'

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Tom Brady on Donald Trump: 'I certainly disagree with what he said'

After beating the Texans on Sunday, 36-33, Tom Brady didn't want to delve too deeply into what went into his locking arms with teammates during the national anthem. 

"I just think," Brady said, "there's just a great love for my teammates."

He didn't want to get into Donald Trump's comments about players kneeling for the anthem, but he was willing to go there during Monday's Kirk and Callahan Show on WEEI.

"Yeah, I certainly disagree with what he said," Brady explained. "I thought it was just divisive. Like I said, I just want to support my teammates. I am never one to say, ‘Oh, that is wrong. That is right.’ I do believe in what I believe in. I believe in bringing people together and respect and love and trust. Those are the values that my parents instilled in me. That is how I try and live every day.

"I have been blessed to be in locker rooms with guys all over the United States over the course of my career. Some of my great friends are from Florida, Virginia, New York, Montana, Colorado, Texas. The one thing about football is it brings so many guys together -- guys you would never have the opportunity to be around. Whether it was in college, and all the way into the pros. We’re all different, we’re all unique. That is what makes us all special."

Brady was one of several players locking arms on the Patriots sideline for the anthem. More than a dozen others, including Devin McCourty, took a knee. Just before and immediately after the anthem, fans booed the demonstration.

"I think everyone has the right to do whatever they want to do," Brady said of the response. "If you don’t agree, that is fine. You can voice your disagreement, I think that is great. It’s part of our democracy. As long as it is done in a peaceful, respectful way, that is what our country has been all about."

Curran: In the end, everyone stood because of the game

Curran: In the end, everyone stood because of the game

FOXBORO – The boos and demands to “Stand up!” rained down just as the Star Spangled Banner began. The players on the Patriots sideline who knelt – the ones boos and invective was directed at – stayed down. Others stood, locking arms with teammates while others stood with their hands over their hearts.

By game’s end, everyone was on their feet. Players. Coaches. Fans. Together.

Unless they left early because of traffic and a late Patriots deficit. Or because they couldn’t bear the thought of watching an NFL game on a beautiful September Sunday because the entertainers didn’t do what they wanted them to do before the performance began.

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The whole thing’s complicated. I understand why people take offense at those who don’t stand for the anthem.

I understand why others want to deliver a symbolic message about their American experience.

I completely understand why, two days after President Trump thought it appropriate to use the phrase “son of a bitch” to refer to someone making a silent, reflective statement, many NFL players felt challenged, backed into a corner and somewhat dehumanized. The message delivered was, in essence, “Shut up and dance.”

Personally, I prefer to stick to sports. I don’t think I’m equipped to talk politics because I don’t know policy, legislation, constituencies and special interests – all the things that I define as politics – well enough to drone on at anybody.

As for sociology – which is what this is about rather than politics – I have my experiences and others have theirs. I’m trying to mow my own lawn over here. You do you. I’ll do me. As long as you don’t encroach on me doing me while you do you, I’m fine. When I’m not completely self-absorbed, a respectful exchange of ideas can make me see things in a different light.

It didn’t surprise me some people at Gillette Stadium had a visceral and vocal reaction to players kneeling. The pot was brought to a boil all weekend, the lid was just lifted and it bubbled over.

But the irony of how the afternoon played out – that Brandin Cooks, a player booing fans were screaming at to stand three hours earlier brought them to their feet with his toe-tapping last-minute touchdown – was perfectly symbolic.

Ultimately, everyone was there for the football – the players, coaches, media and fans – and in the end it was the football that brought the unified response that stood in contrast to the divided reactions in the stands and on the field before the game.

“That’s what sports is,” said Patriots safety Devin McCourty. “That’s what sports does. That’s what makes them great. They bring out what we have in common.

“I don’t think people look at us as human,” McCourty said. “I don’t think they ever have. We’re just the entertainment. They don’t understand that there’s a human behind it. People want to shake your hand or have their picture taken with you but they don’t want to know you. That’s reality.”

Maybe. Or maybe people feel their voices aren’t heard. They don’t have a column they can write or a TV or radio show to spout off on. They don’t have the chance to demonstrate their individual feelings at their cubicle before the workday starts.

All they know is they spent $500 or more to get to and into with a belly full of steak tips and beer and they don’t need to feel like being reminded about somebody else’s societal oppression on their day off, thank you very much.

It’s not so much about who does what during the Star Spangled Banner as much as it is that a lot of people don’t appreciate the intrusion. That, and they’re tired of hearing how bad everyone else has it when it’s really no damn picnic for most people these days.

Believe me, there’s not unanimity of opinion in the Patriots locker room any more than there is in your office, home, dorm or neighborhood. Players of different races, backgrounds, economic circumstances and ways of expressing themselves are thrown in a pot together and told to work for a common goal and rely on each other.

The mish-mash of ways in which players responded during the anthem on the Patriots sideline, the reticence of some players to dip a toe in the conversation, McCourty’s opening statement at the podium and then his declining to take questions and Bill Belichick’s comment that he would “deal with that later” all seemed to indicate that the team itself is still working through how it expresses itself as a whole.

It’s complicated for them too.

But in the end, it was the football that bound them together. It was the game that left them jumping on each other and the fans standing and screaming and nobody thinking at all about who did what when the song played before the game.

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