Ortiz, Bard understand Beckett's distractions

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Ortiz, Bard understand Beckett's distractions

FORT MYERS, Fla. In a weekend interview, Red Sox right-hander Josh Beckett claimed there were snitches in the clubhouse and distractions in his personal life.

Baseball players, just as those in all walks of life, will very likely have to deal with personal issues with varying degrees of severity at one time or another. Sometimes they are happy distractions, sometimes unpleasant.

Becketts wife delivered the couples first child the day after the season ended.

Yeah, he just got caught into the distraction thing, said David Ortiz of Beckett. Theres a lot of things going through your head and this is not an easy thing to do. His wife was pregnant and the unexpected can happen. So it can stress you out a lot.

If Beckett was distracted, it wasnt obvious to everyone.

I didnt notice it, no, said Daniel Bard. He looked the same last year as he did the two years before it. It obviously didnt affect him on the field too much. He was a Cy Young contender pretty late into the season. I thought he had a great year. He had a kid on the way and that was awesome for him. But I didnt notice any difference.

How does a player keep issues from his personal life from creeping into the clubhouse and onto the field?

Well, just make sure you have the baby in April, Ortiz said with a laugh.

I don't think you can ever keep it completely out, Bard said. Everybody has their issues. You wouldnt be at this level if you didnt learn how to separate things. Usually if there is something going on off the field, if its serious in nature, it's going to affect you on the field in some way. I just dont think anyone can completely rise above it. But most guys at this level are pretty good at separating personal from professional and getting everything they need to do done every day.

Still, Ortiz would like to have what happens in the clubhouse stay in the clubhouse.

Definitely, Ortiz said. I think that should by the number one rule. So the organization can take over and little stupid things sometimes doesnt blow up and people look at it bigger than what it is. I think everything that happened here in the clubhouse should stay here.

Otherwise?

It happens the way it happened last year, Ortiz said.

Hopefully, this organization, they take care of business with that. But just do the right thing.

Rask given maintenance day as Bruins return to practice

Rask given maintenance day as Bruins return to practice

BRIGHTON -- The Bruns got back to work on Friday, but were without their No. 1 goaltender for practice at Warrior Ice Arena ahead of their biggest game of the season Saturday night against the New York Islanders at the Barclays Center 

Tuukka Rask was given a maintenance day after playing three games in four days, and Matt Beleskey was also missing “on family leave." The off-day for Rask could have very well about getting away from the rink mentally as it was physically; he has a 3-6-0 record during the month of March. 

Interim coach Bruce Cassidy said after practice that he wouldn’t be making a decision on his starting goalie in Brooklyn until Saturday, but it would be stunning if Rask didn't play.

“We’ll see how things clear up . . . and see where we’re at,” said Cassidy of any Bruins lineup changes against the Isles. “We’ll know by then. [The starting goalie] will be determined tomorrow. I don’t want to get out in front of it, to be honest with you.”

Here are the line combos and D-pairings based on Friday’s practice, with Cassidy uncertain of any changes he might make between now and Saturday night: 
 
Marchand-Bergeron-Backes
Stafford-Krejci-Backes
Vatrano-Spooner-Hayes
Moore-Nash-Acciari
 
Chara-Carlo
Krug-McQuaid
C. Miller-K. Miller

Sox' lack of homegrown starters an understandable problem for Yanks' Cashman

Sox' lack of homegrown starters an understandable problem for Yanks' Cashman

The dearth of homegrown starting pitching for the Red Sox is talked about almost as much as every Tom Brady post on Instagram.

Red Sox fans may take some solace in knowing their team isn’t the only one dealing with this problem.

In an interview with MLB.com's Mark Feinsand, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman didn’t talk about his team’s pitching problems in context of the Red Sox. But the explanation the longtime Yanks boss offered should sound familiar. 

In the biggest of markets, time to develop properly is scarce.

“Yeah. It's a fact,” Cashman said when asked if criticism of their pitching development was fair. “I think part of the process has been certainly where we draft. Because we've had a lot of success, we've not been allowed to tank and go off the board and therefore get access to some of the high-end stuff that plays out to be impactful. Part of it is we can't get out of our own way because we don't have the patience to let guys finish off their development, because if you possess some unique ability that stands out above everybody else -- whether it was Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy, now [Luis] Severino and before that [Bryan] Mitchell and Shane Greene -- we're pulling them up before their development is finished.

“Teams like Tampa Bay, for instance, they're going to wait until they have their four pitches down and their innings limits are all exceeded at the minor-league level; they're very disciplined in that approach as they finish off their starters. For us, if I'm looking at my owner and he says, ‘What's our best team we can take north?’ 

“Well, ‘We could take this guy; he's not necessarily 100 percent finished off, but we can stick him in our 'pen. He can be in the back end of our rotation, because he's better than some of the guys we already have,’ and then you cut corners, so I think that probably plays a role in it.”

Not everything is circumstantial, though -- or a deflection. 

“And sometimes we don't make the right decisions, either, when we're making draft selections and signings and stuff like that,” Cashman continued. “On top of it all, playing in New York is a lot different than playing anywhere else.”

We’ve heard that last part about Boston too, here and there.

Cashman was complimentary of his current Sox counterpart, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, whose team Cashman has compared to the Golden State Warriors.

On his feelings when he first heard the Sox were getting Chris Sale:

“When that trade was consummated, that was the first thing I thought about, which was, 'Wow, look at what they've done,' ” Cashman said. “I know how it's going to play out for them. Listen, Steve Kerr does a great job managing that team -- oh, I mean John Farrell. It's a lot of talent and with talent comes pressure to perform. I think Dave Dombrowski has done everything he possibly can to provide that city with a world championship team. They've got 162 games to show it.”