Notes: Crawford shows off his speed

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Notes: Crawford shows off his speed

By MaureenMullen
CSNNE.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. The Red Sox got their first glimpse of Carl Crawford's speed Monday when he and Kevin Youkilis engineered a double steal in the first inning.

Well . . . hopefully, Crawford stealing bases will happen a lot, said manager Terry Francona.

It was a good day for Oscar Tejeda, who is hitting .500 (8-for-16) with two triples and six RBI this spring. He got the only hit off Jon Lester in the simulated game and went 1-for-2 with two runs scored, including the winning run, on Yamaico Navarros two-out ninth-inning single, to beat the Orioles.

The Red Sox have split-squad games Tuesday. They travel to Jupiter to play the Cardinals, with the Astros coming to City of Palms Park. Josh Beckett, Jonathan Papelbon, Daniel Bard, Dennys Reyes, Matt Fox and Matt Albers are scheduled to pitch the home game. Stolmy Pimentel Brandon Duckworth, Jason Rice, Clevelan Santeliz, and Tony Pena are scheduled to pitch against the Cardinals. Regulars among the position players traveling to Jupiter are David Ortiz, Jacoby Ellsbury, Kevin Youkilis, and Darnell McDonald.

Before Mondays game, Red Sox players met with representatives of the Major League Baseball Players Association, including executive director Michael Weiner and former Sox first baseman Tony Clark, for about 90 minutes. The expiration of the current collective bargaining agreement, which is set for Dec. 11, is a large portion of Weiners presentation to the players Most of my talk is about how bargaining works and what role players will have, how they stay informed, how they have input, Weiner said. We do some updates on union matters, but its mostly just explaining to them how bargaining works. This is a big year.

Revenue sharing is one of the major topics in the negotiation sessions with the owners, which are ahead of schedule, Weiner said.

We spent as much time on bargaining revenue sharing in the last four rounds or last here rounds of bargaining as any issue, he said. From our perspective, its crucial because the industry of baseball is driven by local revenue unlike some of the other sports.

Theres not a particular issue that stands out . . . Theres a broad range of issues . . . I dont think theres a particular issue that will stand out over the others.

Other topics that could be part of the negotiations include the drug testing program, a potential world-wide draft, rules changes regarding the disabled list, and expanded playoffs.

Lester and Clay Buchholz have new charity wines, CabernAce and ChardonClay, respectively, from Longball Cellars. All money raised will benefit a charity. For Lesters vintage, proceeds will to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; Buchholzs will go to the Jimmy Fund. For more information, visit charitywines.com.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp:twitter.commaureenamullen

Bogaerts' "maturity is clearly taking hold"

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Bogaerts' "maturity is clearly taking hold"

NEW YORK -- Xander Bogaerts enjoyed a terrific 2015, his second full season in the big leagues.

He finished second in the American League batting race, established himself as a solid defender at short and generally showed immense promise.

The only thing he didn't do was show much home run power, limited to just seven homers.

This past spring, both manager John Farrell and Chili Davis expressed confidence that the home runs would come, and that they would come organically.

And so they have. In Thursday night's loss to the New York Yankees, a solo homer in the fifth by Bogaerts represented the only Red Sox run of the night in a 5-1 loss. It also gave Bogaerts 21 homers for the year, exactly triple his output from a year ago.

"The maturity is clearly taking hold," said John Farrell of Bogaerts' growth. "You start to get a couple thousand at-bats at the major league level, you're starting to understand your swing, you're picking out certain counts in which to leverage a little bit more. He's been able to do that.

"Home runs are up across the board. But with Xander in particular, he's physically maturing and he's maturing as a major league player as well."

Bogaerts took the advise of Davis and others and didn't set out to try to hit more homers this year. He knew they would come in time.

"Maybe not this quick," he said of the big increase, "but probably in the future, yeah. That's what I did in the minor leagues, so it's kind of something that I thought might translate to the big leagues, too."

Bogaerts is hard-pressed to put his finger on any on factor to explain the big uptick. After all, he didn't change his swing or his stance.

Rather, the homers came as a result of him understanding himself better as a hitter and consistently taking the right approach at the plate.

"It's just (a matter of) taking good swings in good counts," he offered. "Sometimes, you're looking for one. But overall, it's just being a more mature hitter and looking for the right spots to pick and choose."

It hasn't hurt that he's surrounded by quality hitters in the Red Sox lineup, with Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia ahead of him earlier in the year, and now Pedrioa ahead of him and David Ortiz behind him.

In addition to seeing better pitches because of who's surrounding him, Bogaerts has also benefitted from listening to Ortiz, who watches his at-bats and offers advice when called for.

Still, most of the credit belongs to Bogaerts himself, who has grown into his power naturally -- just as his manager and hitting coach forecast.

Quotes, notes and stars: "It seems like everybody was happy that I'm leaving"

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Quotes, notes and stars: "It seems like everybody was happy that I'm leaving"

NEW YORK -- Quotes, Notes and Stars from the Red Sox' 5-1 loss to the Yankees:

QUOTES

* "It seems like everybody was happy that I'm leaving." David Ortiz, unaccustomed to ovations and cheering at Yankee Stadium.

* "I thought he threw a high number of strikes. There was good swing-and-miss to his changeup and he took the opportunity and showed well." John Farrell on Henry Owens.

* "It's just taking good swings in good counts. It's just being a more mature hitter and looking for the right spots to pick and choose." Xander Bogaerts, who has tripled his homer output since last year.

NOTES:

* With his fourth-inning homer, Xander Bogaerts tripled his home run total from last year, improving from seven to 21.

* The season series between the Red Sox and Yankees ended with the Sox winning 11 of the 18 games.

* The Boston bullpen has given up eight runs in the last two nights after allowing only seven this month before Wednesday night.

* The Sox suffered only their second sweep of the season. They were also swept by the Tigers in July.

* Jackie Bradley Jr. has reached base safely in his last 13 games.

* Junichi Tazawa has contributed seven straight scoreless outings.

* Robbie Ross Jr. allowed a season-high three walks -- all in the same inning.

* Henry Owens has a career ERA of 8.53 against the Yankees.

* David Ortiz went hitless (0-for-11) in his final series at Yankee Stadium.

STARS:

1) CC Sabathia

Sabathia turned back the clock and looked like a far younger version of himself, pitching into the eighth and allowed just a run on four hits while striking out eighth.

2) Jacoby Ellsbury

Ellsbury had a hand in the first Yankee run -- walk, stolen base, run scored -- and doubled home the second run in the fifth inning.

3) Xander Bogaerts

The Sox had little offense on the night, but Bogaerts smoked a solo homer in the fourth to account for their only run.