First Pitch: Thursday, September 8

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First Pitch: Thursday, September 8

By ArtMartone
CSNNE.com

Welcome to First Pitch, aquick spin around the world of Major League Baseball . . . or at leastthe corner of it that most concerns the Red Sox. For a complete wrapupof Wednesday's action, check out Craig Calcaterra's AndThatHappened(hardballtalk.nbcsports.com).

IF YOU HAVEN'T GOT ANYTHING GOOD TO SAY . . . then we can't really say a whole lot about the Red Sox' ghastly 11-10 loss to the Jays

Except that it means a continuation of Tim Wakefield's Sisyphian quest for his 200th win, thanks mostly to a Daniel Bard meltdown. (All stories and videos csnne.com)

Hmm. Yeah, that's about it.

SOME PEOPLE SAY WHY. I SAY WHY NOT? The Boston Globe's Peter Abraham thinks the place for Clay Buchholz, whenever he returns to action, is the starting rotation. But Curt Schilling doesn't think we'll be seeing much, if anything, of Buchholz come October. (weei.com)

ANOTHER MISSING PERSON: Nor, surprisingly, may we see much of Marco Scutaro at shortstop next month. (csnne.com) Or at least not as much as we'd expect.

I TAKE IT BACK. THERE IS SOME GOOD NEWS: Ex-big league catcher and manager Buck Martinez has seen a world of improvement in Jarrod Saltalamacchia since the beginning of the season. (Providence Journal)

AND A LITTLE MORE: The Sox didn't lose any ground to the Yankees in the A.L. East race, thanks the Orioles' 5-4, 10-inning win. (New York Post)

KEEP ON TRUCKING: More and more, it appears David Ortiz has some productive years left. The question is, will they be in Boston? (Boston Herald)

DON'T LOOK NOW . . . but it appears the Yankees have a better starting rotation than the Red Sox. (foxsports.com) It's one of the reasons the Sox are dropping in cbssports.com's Power Rankings.

BUT I DON'T FEEL THAT BAD: Jeff Francoeur threw out A's rookie Michael Tucker at first base from right field. "You kind of feel bad to do it to a guy playing his fourth game in the big leagues," said Francoeur. "But, hey, that was really fun." (Kansas City Star)

OLD FRIENDS: Victor Martinez has a chance to become the ninth player in the last 50 years to drive in 100 runs with 12 or fewer homers (hardballtalk.nbcsports.com) . . . Kevin Millwood, who spent most of the summer at Pawtucket, has been a feel-good story for the Rockies since joining Colorado, but he finally struggled Wednesday in a 5-3 loss to Arizona (AP) . . . Carl Pavano got his eighth win of the season (twinkietown.com) . . . Carlos Pena may only be hitting .227, but he hit his 26th homer in the Cubs' win over the Reds and is on pace to finish with an OPS over .800 for the fourth time in five years (rotoworld) . . . Yes, that was Coco Crisp's 40th stolen base. (AP)

AND FINALLY . . . Looks like this feud between Nyjer Morgan and the Cardinals is getting interesting. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Pedro Martinez tells WEEI Ortiz will make comeback this season

Pedro Martinez tells WEEI Ortiz will make comeback this season

Never say never?

While Red Sox officials said at the team's annual Winter Weekend at Foxwoods on Saturday that they'd be traveling to the Dominican Republic to talk to David Ortiz about a role with the team, Pedro Martinez told WEEI he sees Big Papi returning to his old role - designated hitter - this season.

CSN's Trenni Kusnierek and WEEI's John Tomase talked to Martinez on their show Saturday at Foxwoods and Martinez said his old teammate would be making a comeback despite the long, emotional farewell tour last season. 

For the full interview with Martinez, click here.

Red Sox executives Tom Werner, Sam Kennedy and Dave Dombrowski made no mention of Ortiz returning as a player when talking about their Dominican trip. Ortiz has repeatedly said he is going to stay retired. 

Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: 'Time for both sides to do something different, I guess'

Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: 'Time for both sides to do something different, I guess'

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- While there’s a deal of anticipation going into Spring training with the four Killer B’s, David Price and Pablo Sandoval’s shot at redemption and Rick Porcello looking to be something similar to his 2016 self, there’s one name that trumps them all.

Chris Sale.

The lankly lefty received an ovation from fans at the Friday night Town Hall, kicking off Red Sox Winter Weekend. With his consistent success, there’s reason to be excited.

But there’s also reason for apprehension given the way Sale’s departure from Chicago was depicted. But he’s made sure to clear the air.

“I wouldn’t say . . . ya know . . . I loved my time in Chicago,” Sale said when asked if it was time to leave the Windy City. “My best baseball memories are there [and] will be there forever. I love the city; I love the people in the organization.

“It was time for both sides to do something different, I guess. I talked to (White Sox Senior V.P.) Rick on the phone, I talked to (White Sox pitching coach Don) Coop (Cooper). We’re all cool, it’s fine. We understand where both of us are, it happens in baseball, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Chicago.”

He didn’t seem irritated discussing the issue, and certainly wasn’t timid -- we all know that’s not in his DNA.

He genuinely seems excited to deal with the large sum of Sox fans and to call a new place home -- in a city his wife’s fond of no less.

But ultimately, he’s focused on winning, nothing else.

“Every time I’m out there it’s gonna be all I got,” Sale said. "Every time, no matter what. Can promise you that.”