Pedroia not thinking about captaincy


Pedroia not thinking about captaincy

FORT MYERS, Fla. Dustin Pedroia was asked if he would like to be team captain, given Jason Variteks unlikely return to the team.

I dont even think about that stuff, Pedroia said. Its Day One for me. I just want to have a good practice and help the team.

Which is probably a good thing. Manager Bobby Valentine is not sold on the concept of team captain, citing the 2011 World Series champion and captain-less St. Louis Cardinals.

Pedroia, who was very close to former manager Terry Francona, is starting his first big league season with a new manager.

Its different. Its the only thing Ive known, Pedroia said. Things change. Its tough to see him go especially the way it ended. Hell always be a close friend whatever he chooses to do forward. Im pulling for him.

He is still getting to know Valentine. The two talked a couple of times in the offseason, and had dinner together in Arizona.

I dont know, Pedroia said. Ive been here a day and half. Ive met him a couple of times. From what I hear he is thinking about baseball nonstop and thinking about fundamentals and getting this team where it needs to be. Its going to be exciting.

Valentine is just one of many new faces in camp. How does Pedroia see the team developing the necessary chemistry to win?

It takes time, he said. dont know these guys that well. The guys who do know each other stick together and the more your relationship builds with the new guys it will be that much stronger.

We got some guys who have been here a while. Well play hard. Thats what we do.

Like most of those teammates who were here last season, Pedroia is eager to put 2011 and the September collapse behind him, focusing on a fresh start for this season.

Im excited to go play again, he said. Last year the end was tough but we have to regroup together and come out and play good baseball all year long.

Play the game the right way Thats basically it. I dont have answers to what went on last year. Last year is over. It was tough. Theres not a day that goes by that I dont think about it. You have to try to turn the page and not think about it and play well and play for your teammates.

It remains to be seen, though, with whom Pedroia will be turning double plays. Mike Aviles, Nick Punto, and Jose Iglesias are candidates, after Marco Scutaros trade to Colorado in January.

Its going to be fine, Pedroia said. Scoot did a great job but we have Mike and Nick to step up and play good ball for us. Well be fine.

On Jacoby Ellsburys 2011 season, finishing second in American League MVP voting, Pedroia said:

He had an unbelievable year. We need him to do the same thing. I get on him all the time and tell him anybody can do it once. Hell be fine. Hes motivated, trust me.

What makes a good manager? Rangers GM Jon Daniels explains


What makes a good manager? Rangers GM Jon Daniels explains

Across the way from John Farrell in the Rangers dugout this series is a manager who was voted the American League’s best in his first year at the helm, 2015.

Jeff Banister is one of three full-time skippers Rangers president Jon Daniels has had in his time running the Rangers.

Much has been made about how Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski views the manager’s job: that in-game management isn’t the most important, but running the clubhouse is.

How does another top baseball exec look at it? Daniels explained on the CSNNE Baseball Show podcast.

“I think manager’s an enormous role,” Daniels said. “Huge importance, I don’t buy into any of the sort of snarky commentary. … What I think sometimes gets a little blown out of proportions, at times whether it’s lineup construction, some of those — the in-game stuff, bullpen management’s very real. 

“Certainly the knowledge of the game is big. I think the ability to teach the game is big. But the No. 1 separator, in my opinion, is managing people. It’s really the word ‘manager.’ Helping to mold the culture in the clubhouse. Getting everybody on the same page. Young players, older players, everybody’s got different self-interests and to be able to get all those unique self-interests enough on the same page for a common goal while representing the club publicly, with the media, with the fans, and doing it under a pretty intense spotlight — I think that’s the biggest piece. Probably the hardest to truly evaluate unless you’re like, in the clubhouse or around the clubhouse on a daily basis and have a sense for who’s good at it, who’s not. That for me is like where guys really separate themselves.”

Asked if he’s ever surprised by player sensitivity, Daniels underscored what stage of life most ballplayers are in.

“Everybody’s different, right?” Daniels said. “So everyone has different insecurities, everyone has different level of ego, grown up in different circumstances. At the end of the day everybody wants a few basic things. You want to be like kind of communicated on a pretty forthright, direct way. You want to be treated with respect. Some guys can handle a little more criticism than others. 

“Some guys can handle a little more criticism from their peers than others can. I think that’s a manager’s job, to understand kind of the different approaches. Players, the guys are in their 20s. Think about where you were when you were first out of college … a few years off that, and your maturity level and really your lack of life experience in a lot of ways. And, kind of like evaluate under those circumstances: you’re going to be somewhat sensitive when you’re in that time period in your life.”

How well a manager handles a clubhouse isn’t something the Rangers, at least, have tried to quantify.

“More anecdotal for me. There may be ways,” Daniels said. “I haven’t really been part of that. If there is [a way] we haven’t figured it out, and we haven’t really tried to do, to be honest with you.”

For the full interview, listen to the podcast below

Brown (hip) and Johnson (shoulder) will play in Game 5

Brown (hip) and Johnson (shoulder) will play in Game 5

BOSTON – The Boston Celtics are far from being healthy heading into tonight’s must-win Game 5, but they will have all of their players available with the exception of Isaiah Thomas (hip).

Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown (right hip) was questionable heading into tonight’s game, but he told earlier that he was planning to give it a go tonight.

Boston head coach Brad Stevens confirmed later on that the 6-foot-7 rookie would in fact play tonight.

His presence tonight is one of the many keys to Boston’s efforts to keep their season alive.

They trail Cleveland 3-1 in the best-of-seven series, with a loss tonight ending their season and with that, sending the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals for the third straight season.

Boston’s Amir Johnson (right shoulder) did not play in Game 4, but will be in uniform and available to play tonight. Stevens said the 6-foot-9 veteran was healthy enough to play in Game 4 but Stevens elected to keep him out of the game because he wanted Johnson to have more than one day to rest his shoulder before potentially playing him again.

In other injury-related news, Stevens confirmed comments made earlier in the day by Danny Ainge regarding Isaiah Thomas’ right hip injury which led to the Celtics shutting him down for the playoffs after the injury proved to be too much for him to play through at halftime of Boston’s Game 2 loss.

Speaking during 98.5 the Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show, Ainge said there was “a lot” of inflammation around the affected joint on Thomas’ right hip.

“It had gotten worse from the MRI’s he had before,” said Ainge who added that it would have been “irresponsible to allow him to play anymore.”

Said Stevens: “It sounds to me like the course of action right now … is let the inflammation go down a little bit.”

Ainge said earlier that because of the inflammation, it will likely be at least a couple weeks before Thomas and the Celtics will know if he will require surgery or whether another form of treatment will be needed.

Because of that uncertainty, Ainge stressed that Thomas would not return to play in this series even if it were closer.

“No. No way. He’s done (for the season),” Ainge said.