Notes: Crawford return set for Monday at Baltimore

191542.jpg

Notes: Crawford return set for Monday at Baltimore

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Outfielder Carl Crawford worked out at Fenway on Thursday and will join the Pawtucket Red Sox for a two-game rehab stint, then travel to Baltimore Sunday in anticipation of being activated Monday for the three-game set with the Orioles.

Crawford is scheduled to play left field for both games with the PawSox.

"I told him to just get comfortable," said Francona.

"There's no reason for him to play nine (innings). It's completely up to him."

Crawford has been on the DL for the last three weeks with a strained hamstring and the Sox didn't want to risk having him return to Tropicana Field which has an artificial playing surface.

Jon Lester, who has been sidelined with a lat pull suffered on July 5, began a throwing program Thursday at Fenway and is due to rejoin his teammates here Friday.

Meanwhile, Clay Buchholz, on the DL with back spasms, was to be examined Thursday by the training staff. He'll begin long-tossing here this weekend and gradually begin re-building his arm strength.

The Red Sox won six in a row and 10-of-11 before the break and the hope is that they can continue that momentum even in the face of a four-day layoff.

"It's still all part of the same season," Jason Varitek said. "This team slowly has developed into who we are. It didn't start off too well but we've been able to maintain that consistency lately.

"But the week before that, we lost six-of-eight. When we pitch well, first and foremost, it presents us with lots of opportunities. We don't have to score 10-15 runs per game (to win)."

Francona was asked if the American League's 5-1 loss in the All-Star Game "concerned" him, since it means the National League champions will have home field advantage in the World Series.

"No, because it's July," he said. "I hope that someday it does concern me."

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam.

Sale: “Time for both sides to do something different, I guess”

sale-redsox.png

Sale: “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.”

Kennedy in pursuit of Drake for concert at Fenway

drake.jpg

Kennedy in pursuit of Drake for concert at Fenway

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- Quick, if you could have one artist perform at Fenway Park, who would it be?

Florida Georgia Line or Carrie Underwood?

Kanye West?

Maybe a little throwback with Eminem?

Let’s stick to artists who go by one name actually. Red Sox President Sam Kennedy seems to think that’s a good idea.

“We’ve been approaching Drake, this year, we would love to have Drake come,” Kennedy said at Red Sox Winter Weekend. “We understand he’s not doing a big summer tour, but that’s an example of someone we’ve proactively gone out after.

“We’d love to have him come to Fenway Park, given his popularity.

Fenway will already play host to New Kids on the Block with Paula Abdul and Boysz II Men, James Taylor and Billy Joel, with the possibility of adding more.

“I’m not a huge music person,” Kennedy said. “We’ve tried to bring in as many different types of acts as we can to appeal to different demographics. The reality is with the baseball schedule, with the way it lays out, we’re sort of at the mercy of the touring and who’s out.

“We love having these events in Boston. It’s good for the economy, it’s good for Fenway . . . The city has been a very supportive partner in bringing events into town.”

From what Kennedy and his staff have gathered, it appears Drake is looking to do one-off shows instead of a tour. That’s just enough for the ever-persistent Red Sox President to keep working on bringing in the superstar.

“We’re not gonna give up,” Kennedy said.