Another lineup shuffle: Sox move Crawford to leadoff

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Another lineup shuffle: Sox move Crawford to leadoff

By JoeHaggerty
CSNNE.com

BOSTON The lineup carousels continues to spin for the Red Sox, and the latest version -- to be rolled out Friday in the Sox' opener against the Yankees -- has Carl Crawford in the leadoff spot.

There was some thoughtCrawford didnt really enjoy hitting out of the top spot in the lineupdespite his obvious athleticism and blazing speed, but manager TerryFrancona attributed that to a message put out early in Crawfordscareer when Lou Piniella was managing the baseball team formerly knownas the Devil Rays.

The move was designed to sparkCrawford after a 4-for-23 start with one run and one RBI in the firstsix games, and to ease some of the pressure off Jacoby Ellsbury bymoving him down to the No. 8 slot.

Ive been sayingall along that when Ellsbury is swinging good, we want him to hitleadoff, said Francona. Hes not been swinging terribly good, but alot of guys havent.

Its not so much a demotion asI wanted to get Adrian Gonzalez up into the three hole so he hits inthe first inning," continued the manager. "That was the best way to do it. I talked to Carl onthe plane last night. Obviously were trying to settle into somethings. I kind of explained it to him and said, How do you feel aboutthis? He said, Ill do anything you want. I thought he meant it. Idont want him to be somebody thats going up there to take somepitches. I want him to be himself and create somehavoc.

Crawford has not hit in four different spots -- 1, 2, 3 and 7 -- in the Red Sox' first seven games.

Francona saidthe 0-6 start had taken some of the coolness out of the OpeningDay pageantry, but that it was a fine balance between buildingintensity and creating a tightly wound group of baseballplayers.

For anybody that likes baseball, OpeningDays are so cool, but Id be lying if I said that we werent too happyabout where were at. It takes away from some of the pageantry. Youvegot to remind yourself that its a long year, and its ourresponsibility make it a good one. Not to be hanging our heads, poutingand feeling sorry for ourselves.

When stuff likethe overhead jets happens during the pregame ceremonies, Im usually by then thinking Lets go.Lets pitch. Get those planes the hell out ofhere.'

JoeHaggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Red Sox outfield "Win, Dance, Repeat" celebration finds its way on MLB the Show 17

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Red Sox outfield "Win, Dance, Repeat" celebration finds its way on MLB the Show 17

Mooke Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and a mix of Andrew Benintendi, Brock Holt, Blake Swihart and Chris Young brought postgame celebrations to a new level last season.

Most Sox fans are familiar with the outfield victory "Win, Dance, Repeat" where the trio would dance and pretend to photograph the game's best player between them. The celebration ended with a pose at first, but as seen the MLB the Show 17's freshly released trailer, a few more wrinkes were added in.

In fact, here's a taste of the celebrations and what else to expect from Playstation's 2017 MLB game:

Report: Red Sox DH target Beltran agrees to 1-year deal with Astros

Report: Red Sox DH target Beltran agrees to 1-year deal with Astros

Carlos Beltran, the 39-year-old switch hitter who was a potential target of the Red Sox as a DH, agreed to a free-agent deal with the Houston Astros, ESPN's Buster Olney reported.

FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal reports that it's a one-year, $16 million deal. 

Beltran played for the Astros in 2004. He was dealt from the New York Yankees to the Texas Rangers at the July 31 trading deadline last season. He totaled 35 homers, 101 RBI and hit .295 in 2016. 

The Red Sox, looking to fill the void left by David Ortiz's retirement, will be looking for a DH at the Winter Meetings that begin next week. One possibility is the return of Mike Napoli, who played for the A.L. champion Cleveland Indians last season.

More on the Winter Meetings here from CSN Red Sox Insider Sean McAdam.