First Pitch: The latest Sox newsrumorsspeculation


First Pitch: The latest Sox newsrumorsspeculation

By ArtMartone

Welcome toFirst Pitch, aquick spin around the world of Major League Baseball . . . or at leastthe corner of it that most concerns the Red Sox.

MOVING CLOSER: John Tomase of the Boston Herald says "signs out of Fenway Park on Thursday indicate that all sides are working cooperatively and without rancor toward a solution" to the Theo Epstein-to-Chicago? saga . . . though whether "that meant granting Epstein permission to talk to the Cubs orpromoting himsigning him to an extension to stay in Boston remains tobe seen".

As for official word . . . well, don't hold your breath.

Given the chance to clarify the situation this morning on WEEI Radio's 'The Dennis and Callahan Morning Show', Red Sox owner John Henry and CEO Larry Lucchino refused to even acknowledge that the Cubs have asked permission to speak to Epstein, let alone whether or not they've granted that permission.

"We don't mean to sound evasive on this, but this is one subject in which we don't think there should be full disclosure," said Lucchino.

All righty, then.

But lack of word doesn't mean lack of news . . .

Sean McAdam reports a new name -- Brewers coach Dale Sveum, who served as third-base coach in Boston from 2003-05 -- has emerged in the Red Sox managerial search. (

Did you watch Doug Fister beat the Yankees last night? The Red Sox tried to acquire him in July (ESPN Boston), but the asking price -- Kyle Weiland, Ryan Kalish and two lesser prospects -- was too rich for the Sox' tastes.

If you're thinking about Padres manager Bud Black -- who interviewed with the Sox in the 2003-04 offseason -- about coming here, don't. (Sign On San Diego)

AND FINALLY . . . Lack of news leads to things like Starlin Castro-for-Theo Epstein trade rumors. (

Art Martone can be reached at

Ortiz wins Hank Aaron Award as top hitter in American League


Ortiz wins Hank Aaron Award as top hitter in American League

CLEVELAND -- David Ortiz is heading into retirement with some more hardware.

The Boston Red Sox slugger captured the Hank Aaron Award on Wednesday as the top hitter in the American League this season. Budding Chicago Cubs star Kris Bryant was honored as the top hitter in the National League.

The award was presented before Game 2 of the World Series between the Cubs and Cleveland. It was determined through a combination of fan voting and a panel that includes Aaron and other Hall of Fame players.

The 40-year-old Ortiz hit .315 with 38 home runs, 127 RBIs and 48 doubles in the 20th and final season of his major league career. His 541 career home runs rank 17th all-time.

The 24-year-old Bryant hit .292 with 39 home runs and 102 RBIs while helping the Cubs cruise to the NL Central title and eventually a spot in the World Series. Shortly after being honored, Bryant singled in the first inning for his first Series hit.