Ochoa leaning toward not returning to Boston

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Ochoa leaning toward not returning to Boston

Alex Ochoa, the Red Sox first-base coach in 2012, is leaning toward not returning to the organization for 2013. But Ochoa, who has been with the Red Sox since 2010, says his decision, which is "not etched in stone," is based on lifestyle and life issues.
 
His father, Carlos, who immigrated to the United States from Cuba in 1971 with Alexs mother, is ill.
 
My mom has a little bit of help but its always nice to be around, Ochoa said Monday morning. So, Ive been thinking more of life than baseball, actually.
 
Ochoa has not talked with new manager John Farrell  He spoke with Allard Baird, the Sox vice president of player personnel, about 10 days ago and general manager Ben Cherington about a month ago. So far, bullpen coach Gary Tuck is the only holdover to be added to Farrells staff, which also includes bench coach Torey Lovullo, pitching coach Juan Nieves and third base coach Brian Butterfield.
 
All the coaches from the 2012 staff were given permission to look for jobs elsewhere. Ochoas people skills and ability to communicate in three languages (English and Spanish, along with some Japanese he picked up in his six years playing there) would make him an attractive addition to a staff.
 
I really liked the Red Sox organization and I really didnt want to go to somebody else to start over again, Ochoa said. I had some inquiries with some other teams, but I wasnt interested.
 
Instead, Ochoa is considering joining his former agent, Scott Boras, calling it 'Plan B.'
 
Ive been with Scott since my second year in pro ball so we have a really, really good relationship, Ochoa said. Hes been wanting me to work for him since I stopped playing. So, well see what happens.
 
I have a good relationship with Boras and I wanted a chance to stay home more.
 
Ill be helping out in South Florida with the company, just being part of the East Coast team that he has, mostly down here in South Florida.
 
Ochoa -- who had been seen as tied to former manager Bobby Valentine, and as such probably not returning --  stressed that the Sox' disastrous 2012 season did not go into his decision making.  Hes leaving the door open for the Sox.

"Im just waiting to see what they think," he said. "A lot of things have to do with how I feel if they do make an offer, if I want to be away for seven months again. But Im lucky to have options. A lot of people dont. Im blessed in that aspect."
 
Ochoa, 40, was a third-round pick of the Orioles in 1991 out of Hialeah-Miami Lakes High School in Florida. He played parts of eight seasons in the major leagues for the Mets (including one season whenValentine was the manager), Reds, Brewers, Twins, Rockies, and Angels. 

He also played six seasons in Japan. In 2007, he was a non-roster invitee of the Sox, appearing in 24 games for Triple-A Pawtucket.  He joined the Sox' baseball operations department in 2010 as a special assistant.

In 2011, he was the hitting coach for High-A Salem. This past season was his first year on a major league staff.

NFLPA tells rookies to be like Rob Gronkowski

NFLPA tells rookies to be like Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski is a model citizen in the NFL. In fact, the NFL Players Association is advising rookies to be more like Gronk, according to The Boston Globe

The New England Patriots tight end has developed a name for himself on and off the football field. With that attention comes branding. And at the NFLPA Rookie Premiere from May 18 to 20, the NFLPA encouraged rookies to develop their own brand -- much like Gronkowski.

“Some people think he’s just this extension of a frat boy, and that it’s sort of accidental,” Ahmad Nassar said, via The Globe. Nassar is the president of NFL Players Inc., the for-profit subsidiary of the NFLPA. “And that’s wrong. It’s not accidental, it’s very purposeful. So the message there is, really good branding is where you don’t even feel it. You think, ‘Oh, that’s just Gronk being Gronk.’ Actually, that’s his brand, but it’s so good and so ingrained and so authentic, you don’t even know it’s a brand or think it.”

Gronkowski's "Summer of Gronk" has indirectly become one of his streams of income. The tight end makes appearances for magazines and sponsors. Because of his earnings from branding and endorsements, he didn't touch his NFL salary during the early years of his career.

Gronk was one of three players who were the topics of discussion during the symposium. Dak Prescott and Odell Beckham were also used as examples of players who have been able to generate additional income from endorsements. Beckham, in particular, has been in the spotlight off the football field. He's appeared on the cover of Madden, and just signed a deal with NIke which is reportedly worth $25 million over five years with upwards of $48 million over eight years. His deal, which is a record for an NFL player, will pay him more than his contract with the Giants.

“A lot of people talk to the players about, ‘You should be careful with your money and you should treat your family this way and you should treat your girlfriend or your wife.’ Which is fine. I think that’s valuable,” Nassar said, via The Globe. “But we don’t often give them a chance to answer the question: How do you see yourself as a brand? Because Gronk, Odell, none of those guys accidentally ended up where they are from a branding and marketing standpoint.”

Morning Skate: Sidney Crosby has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation

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Morning Skate: Sidney Crosby has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wishing everybody a safe and relaxing Memorial Day weekend. 

*Apparently Nashville Predators head coach Peter Laviolette has yet to try Nashville’s hot chicken despite his time behind the Preds bench. It’s okay, I have yet to try it either in my handful of visits to Music City. 

*Good stuff from PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough. Apparently it wasn’t so easy to make Wayne Gretzky’s head bleed when it came time for director Doug Liman to cut Swingers together

*Sidney Crosby cares about the history and the issues of the game, and has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation despite the hate that always comes with such responsibility. 

*Puck Daddy examines Crosby’s performance in the playoffs, and the odds of him winning another Conn Smythe Trophy. 

*The Penguins have made it to the Stanley Cup Final without Kris Letang for their playoff run, and that’s an amazing accomplishment. 

*Erik Karlsson said that he will be tending to his injured foot next week, and expects a full recovery for next season after a brilliant run with his Ottawa Senators

*Larry Brooks again rails against the Stanley Cup playoff structure and it’s relation to an “absurd regular season.” Say what you will, but the fact the Penguins are there for a second straight season shoots down some of the absurdity stuff in my mind. The best team from the East is where they should be and they did it without Kris Letang to boot. 

*Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex Debrincat is confident his abilities will translate to the NHL despite his size after taking home honors as the best player in junior hockey this season. 

*For something completely different: Apparently there’s a hard core comic book geek gripe that “The Flash” is burning through bad guys too quickly. This would make sense if they couldn’t revisit these bad guys at any point, but they absolutely can go back to a big bad like Grodd anytime they want.