Matsuzaka, Okajima affected by Japanese quake


Matsuzaka, Okajima affected by Japanese quake

By Maureen Mullen

FORT MYERS, Fla. The effects of the massive 8.9 earthquake that hit Japan today could be felt inside the Red Sox clubhouse at City of Palms Park as Red Sox players and personnel from Japan tried to get news from home.

Hideki Okajima said his parents are in Kyoto and he has family in Kansei, away from the area that was hardest hit. But he's more concerned with his wifes family in Kanto, closer to the earthquake.

Its not a good situation, to say the least, said Okajima, whose wife is in Boston now.

His parents are in Kyoto.

Not sure, but they are probably okay, he said through team interpreter Jeff Cutler. Theres probably some sort of damage to their house or living situation."

Hes also concerned about his house in Tokyo.

Theres quite a bit of damage in Tokyo, too, Okajima said.

Daisuke Matsuzakas parents are in Tokyo. He said his parents are fine, although within their house it was a mess.

But he is concerned about his grandmother.

I havent been able to get in touch with my grandmother, who lives . . . close to where the earthquake was, he said.

Its difficult being so far from home and waking up to such devastating news.

It was definitely shocking waking up and hearing the news, Matsuzaka said, through Cutler. But just receiving an e-mail and reading it, I wasnt able to take in exactly what it was. But once I turned on the television and saw what was going on it was quite shocking, very scary to see that.

Mikio Yoshimura, the teams Japanese media liaison, said his family is okay, but he was waiting to hear news about his extended family.

Cutler also has family in Japan.

Theyre all all right, he said. But my brother lives in the city, in Tokyo, and he had to walk home 2 12 hours to get home and its usually a 20-minute train ride. Its definitely scary.

Kenta Yamada, a team interpreter, has family in Japan.

I talked to my family. Theyre fine. Theyre in Tokyo, he said. But, my brothers wifes family is from the area where the earthquake hit and they havent heard from them yet. Its pretty scary.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Bradley, Betts, Pedroia are A.L. Gold Glove finalists


Bradley, Betts, Pedroia are A.L. Gold Glove finalists

Jackie Bradley Jr. in center field, Mookie Betts in right and Dustin Pedroia at second base are the Red Sox' finalists for the American League Gold Glove awards.

The Blue Jays’ Kevin Pillar and the Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier are the other A.L. center field finalists. The White Sox’ Adam Eaton and Astros’ George Springer are A.L. right field finalists. Joining Pedroia as second base finalists are the Mariners’ Robinson Cano and Tigers’ Ian Kinsler.

Peoria has won four Gold Gloves. Bradley and Betts have yet to win one.

The full list of finalists is here.  The awards will be presented on Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. on ESPN

The Red Sox sent out a series of tweets backing each player’s candidacy.

Betts is also a front-runner for the American League Most Valuable Player.


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.