Current road trip blast from the past for Francona


Current road trip blast from the past for Francona

By Maureen Mullen Follow @maureenamullen

PITTSBURGH This nine-game road trip to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Houston is a homecoming of sorts for Red Sox manager Terry Francona. He grew up in New Brighton, Penn., just outside Pittsburgh. His father, Tito, still lives in the area. Francona had a large contingent of family and friends at the three games at PNC Park.

In Houston hell be reunited with Astros manager Brad Mills. The two have been friends since their days together at the University of Arizona. Mills was Franconas bench coach with the Sox before getting the Astros job last season.

The trip to Philadelphia may be a little different, though. Francona managed the Phillies for four seasons, from 1997 2000, to a record of 285-363, finishing third in 98 and 99, last the other two seasons.

Well I dont think theyre going to have a parade in Philly, unless things have changed, Francona quipped. You know what, I got to see my dad here, which is great. I saw some familiar faces . . . Just kind of going where they tell us. I havent been in Philly for a long time. So, that is over and done. Kind of more interested in winning. But this has been fun. Ive seen a lot of people that I grew up with so this has been cool.

I didn't grow up there. And they dont like me. Im not sure if they like me here but some of the people I grew up with at least. I dont know. Just more concerned about winning games.

Philadelphia was Franconas first managerial experience. It wasnt always easy, he said, but it was a good place to learn.

I was realistic. I knew why I got the job, he said. I was lucky to get an opportunity. Did the best I could.

I think its great training. I was learning on the run. I dont think I ever thought I wasnt. But its good experience. Its not always fun but its good experience.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Ortiz quells comeback speculation: 'My playing time has expired'


Ortiz quells comeback speculation: 'My playing time has expired'

Forget that cryptic Tweet to the Globe. David Ortiz isn't walking through that door, fans. At least not as a player.

"My playing time has already expired," Ortiz told ESPN Deportes. "Baseball is not something that you wake up today and you say, 'I'll play tomorrow.' Baseball is something that carries a lot of sacrifice, a lot of preparation, and there is a reason why we train the entire year to play it, practice every day, especially during the season, because it is a sport of consistency."

No one really thought he was contemplating a comeback, but last week he Tweeted this . . .

. . . and that raised hopes that he'd changed his mind.

Not so.


Red Sox avoid arbitration with Bogaerts, Holt with 1-year deals

Red Sox avoid arbitration with Bogaerts, Holt with 1-year deals

Facing a 1 p.m. Friday deadline to avoid arbitration, the Red Sox reportedly agreed to a one-year, $3.6 million deal with center field Jackie Bradley Jr., and also avoided hearings with six other players.

Shortstop Xander Bogaerts, utilityman Brock Holt, pitchers Joe Kelly, Robbie Ross Jr., Tyler Thornburgh and catcher Sandy Leon also agreed to one-year deals.

Terms of the deals were not announced.

It leaves left-handers Fernando Abad and Drew Pomeranz as the only arbitration-eligible Red Sox without a deal.