Gedman delighted to be back with the Red Sox


Gedman delighted to be back with the Red Sox

By Maureen Mullen

BOSTON More than 20 years after his last game in a Red Sox uniform, Rich Gedman is returning to the organization with which he made his big league debut.

On Monday, he was named hitting coach of the short-season Lowell Spinners, one of the Sox' Class A affiliates.

I think its wonderful, Gedman said. Im happy for the opportunity and looking forward to the opportunity and I hope that I can help.

Joining Lowell, the likelihood of which was first reported by, is a little bit of life coming full circle, he said, working with players not much older than he was when he first signed with the Sox.

Its a chance to get back with the team that I started with, said Gedman, now 51. So, if that means full circle, yes. Its kind of neat. And I actually never played in the New York-Penn League, so Im excited to get an opportunity to be part of it, and get a chance to work with the kids and help them and take some of the things that people taught me and try to share it with someone else and hopefully help in their progress.

Undrafted out of Worcesters St. Peter-Marian High School, Gedman signed with the Sox in 1977 as a 17-year-old amateur free agent. He made his big league debut on Sept. 7, 1980, at Fenway Park, pinch-hitting for Carl Yastrzemski in a 12-6 loss to the Mariners. He spent 11 of his 13 big league seasons, and 906 of 1,033 games, with the Sox.

In 1981 he finished second in American League Rookie of the Year balloting behind the Yankees Dave Righetti, just ahead of teammate Bobby Ojeda. His best offensive season was 1985, when he hit .295 with 18 home runs and 80 RBI in 144 games. He hit a career-best 24 home runs in 1984. In 1990 he was traded to the Astros, and later joined the Cardinals as a free agent. His final major-league game was Oct. 4, 1992.

He will always be a part of Red Sox lore. On April 18, 1981, he was the starting catcher in the Pawtucket Red Sox 3-2, 33-inning win over the Rochester Red Wings, the longest game in professional baseball history.

On April 29, 1986, he caught the first of Roger Clemens 20-strikeout games. The next day, he had 16 putouts, for a total of 36 in two games, a record for a catcher in consecutive games. He was also the catcher in the 10th inning of Game Six of the 1986 World Series against the Mets when Bob Stanley unleashed what was ruled a wild pitch with Mookie Wilson batting, allowing Kevin Mitchell to score the tying run. Red Sox fans dont need to be reminded what happened after that.

Gedman was a victim of owners' collusion when he became a free agent after the '86 season and, receiving no offers from other teams, had to wait until May 1, 1987, to re-sign with the Red Sox.

He was traded to the Astros during the 1990 season, after appearing in just 10 games with the Sox, hitting just .200 in 15 at-bats. He signed as a free agent with the Cardinals before the 91 season, ending his career, a two-time All-Star with a .252 average, 88 home runs, and 382 RBI, in 1992.

Gedman has been coaching and managing in the independent Can-Am League since 2003. For the past six seasons, he has managed his hometown Worcester Tornadoes.

Prior to that he was the hitting coach for the North Shore Spirit in Lynn, Mass. He led Worcester to a league championship in 2005, its inaugural season, being named the leagues manager of the year.

I love the daily routine, he said. I love going to the ballpark and being around the game, talking the game. Theres a routine to it that you miss when youre not around it all the time. Its a great game. Its not a good game. Its a great game. And some people, their education takes them to other things. Ive been fortunate enough to be able to stay in baseball. Im glad for a second opportunity with the Red Sox.

Gedman will be part of an entirely new coaching staff with the Spinners, joining manager Carlos Febles, pitching coach Paul Abbott, and athletic trainer Mauricio Elizondo. He knows he has challenges ahead of him, getting to know the players, gaining their confidence.

I think its just being around them, being there, he said. "Theyre not going to know me. So it's going to take me a while to get to know them and the way we do that is spend time together, whether it be in the cage or on the field, trying to get to know them, and how they feel about themselves and their swing, and what theyre trying to do, and where theyre trying to go. So, Ill ask around with other people that are in the organization, get a little heads-up on things. Ill find my way. But I look forward to working with them in the cage, and on the field, and watching them take swings, evaluating their swings, just finding a way to help them deal with the game.

The not knowing until I get there, the anticipation of it, once I see the guys,
the game is the game. Are there going to be challenges? I dont know what they
are but I know theyll be there.

Hell be passing on what he learned from his own mentors.

That Im here for you, he said. Im here every day to help you get better. You want to work, you wont have to look far. Thats the way Walter was when I was in Boston, hitting instructor Walter Hriniak. He was always there for you, teaching you the game, helping you work, teaching you the right way. So Im just going to pass it along.

Gedman was informed of his new job Monday afternoon, while he was giving lessons.

I was excited, he said. And now that its official, I feel like a little kid. Thats what baseball does for us even as adults. We remember it as a little kids game and we get into it as grownups. Its really neat that I have this opportunity. I feel like a young guy again. And Ive been around the game. Ive coached in the independent leagues for the last few years. Its just fun to have that feeling.

He had several messages waiting for him when he finished his instructions.

Sox minor league hitting coordinator Victor Rodriguez called me to congratulate me, he said. It was kind of neat to hear from him. So, I dont know how to react outside of Im pretty excited about it, and cant wait to get home and talk to my family and let them know.

Gedman is looking forward to being back in a Red Sox uniform. He wore No. 10 for most of his time with the Sox. Hes not sure what number hell have with the Spinners. But, that matters little.

As long as I have a uniform, he said, Then Im OK.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Mookie Betts' injury likely just a short-term issue

Mookie Betts' injury likely just a short-term issue

BOSTON -- After leaving Friday night’s game with right knee soreness, structural damage has been ruled out regarding Mookie Betts, but he could still be out for a bit.

Testing was done on Betts’ knee, removing any doubt of a deeper issue, revealing it was just build-up of fluid, causing swelling in his knee.

“Day-to-day is the status. It may take a couple for him before he’s back to us.” John Farrell said. “Everything points to this being a short-term situation.”

Betts explained that his condition had improved from Friday night, but -- much like Farrell -- doesn’t know how quickly he can bounce back. He wouldn’t make a definitive statement on whether or not he’d be available Sunday.

“It feels pretty good now,” Betts said. “We’re going to do some treatment on it, make sure everything is good and hopefully get back out there.”

Betts joins the list of pivotal players unavailable in Saturday’s game, including Craig Kimbrel and Koji Uehara who are both on the DL.

Farrell couldn’t commit to a timetable for when he expects Uehara should be back, but hopes he’ll be available during the regular season.

“We’re hopeful of that,” Farrell said when asked if he thought Uehara would be back before the postseason. “There’s no number of day’s that says Koji’s going to put a ball back in his hand . . . To give you a time frame, it’s too early to tell.”

Kimbrel, on the other hand, has bounced back well, and is expected to throw his first bullpen Sunday or Monday. The hope is that he’ll throw twice off the mound before the trip to the West, which would set him up for a simulated game.

“We need to get some PFP involved -- just some change in direction, fielding the position,” Farrell said on Kimbrel. “But in terms of amount of time missed, and that fact that he’s able to as get aggressive right now in long toss. I would think it would be on the shorter end of appearances if it’s even more than one. He feels very good. If he wasn’t making the ultimate decision medically [he’d] probably say ‘Give me the ball tonight.’ That’s how good he feels -- that’s encouraging.”


Saturday's Red Sox-Twins lineups: Betts out with knee soreness


Saturday's Red Sox-Twins lineups: Betts out with knee soreness

Mookie Betts is out of the lineup Saturday after leaving the game Friday night with knee soreness and Brock Holt moves into the leadoff spot for the Red Sox in Game 3 of their four-game series with the Minnesota Twins at Fenway Park.

Manager John Farrell said Betts is day-to-day after the right fielder left the Red Sox' 2-1 loss in the fifth inning with pain in his right knee. There is swelling, but an MRI showed no structural damage.Michael Martinez will start in right on Saturday night. Betts had started in 93 of Boston's 94 games this season. 

Aaron Hill gets the start at third base for the Red Sox in place of Travis Shaw.  

Left-hander David Price (9-7, 4.36 ERA) makes his second start of the second half for the Red Sox. Price took the loss in a 3-1 defeat against the Yankees on Sunday night, allowing 11 hits and three runs in 5 2/3 innnigs. 

Right-hander Ricky Nolasco (4-8, 5.02) is on the mound for the Twins.

The lineups:

Eduardo Nunez SS
Robbie Grossman DH
Miguel Sano 3B
Brian Dozier 2B
Max Kepler RF
Kennys Vargas 1B
Eddie Rosario LF
Kurt Suzuki C
Ricky Nolasco RHP

Brock Holt LF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Aaron Hill 3B
Sandy Leon C
Michael Martinez RF
David Price LHP

Farrell: Betts ‘day to day’ with sore knee


Farrell: Betts ‘day to day’ with sore knee

BOSTON — Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts left the game against the Minnesota Twins in the fifth inning on Friday night with soreness in his right knee.

Manager John Farrell said after game that Betts' had recently had "some treatment" for the knee and it has been something the team has monitored since the All-Star break. The Red Sox announced after Betts left the game that he was considered day-to-day. 

Betts, who led off the game with a home run for the second consecutive night, was replaced in right field by Michael Martinez in the top of the fifth. 

Betts, an All-Star Game starter, leads the Red Sox with 127 hits and is second on the team with 20 home runs and 63 RBI.

Associated Press material included in this story.