Francona: Dice-K 'didn't look right'

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Francona: Dice-K 'didn't look right'

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- @font-face font-family: "Times New Roman";p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; a:link, span.MsoHyperlink color: blue; text-decoration: underline; a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed color: purple; text-decoration: underline; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1; As a rainy night at Fenway Park unfolded Monday, it didnt look as ifDaisuke Matsuzaka was going to give his team a chance to win.

It had been over a week since Matsuzaka took the mound; eight days to be exact. Manager Terry Francona re-shuffledhis rotation and set up the weekend series against the Yankees with histop three starters . . . and that doesn't include Matsuzaka.

And when Matsuzaka threw his first pitch Monday night, the Orioles' Brian Roberts lined it off his chest for a base hit.

It was a harbinger of things to come, as Dice-K labored through 4 13 innings, allowing five hits and walking seven, before giving way to Scott Atchison with one out in the fifth. The five runs he allowed ballooned his season's ERA from 4.64 to 5.30.

Francona didn't think the poor outing had anything to do with theline drive that hit him.

Im sure that didnt feel good, but I dont think itaffected his pitching, said Francona.

But, the manager added, he thinks something did.

I didnt think that he was letting it go, said Francona.Thats a lot of base runners. Were probably lucky he didnt give up moreruns. It just didnt look like he was allowing himself to getextended."

The poor command and lack of control over his fastball, which only topped out at 89 mph, were a concern.

"I think were going to probably sit and talk to him a little bit, andtry to figure out more, whats going on," said the manager. "Because it just didnt look completelyright.

Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

Pedro Martinez to WEEI: Ortiz will make comeback this season

Pedro Martinez to 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.”