Notes: Ortiz launches appeal of suspension


Notes: Ortiz launches appeal of suspension

By Sean McAdam Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- David Ortiz has launched an appeal of his four-game suspension, handed down Thursday after his role in a bench-clearing brawl last week, but sidestepped any comments about the punishment.

"I can give you an answer after I go through the whole thing,'' said Ortiz. "I can't really talk about it right now. But I'm appealing and whenever I hear back from (MLB and MLBPA) I can let you know.''

Ortiz was hopeful that the appeal will be held soon.

"I can't really talk to you guys about it right now. But I will. I'll tell you what I was thinking, what I thought was right and I'll tell you what I'm going to get.''

He was unsure whether the appeal might be heard before Monday night when the Red Sox open a three-game series against the Orioles in Baltimore.

"I don't know,'' he said. "I haven't heard anything.''

Asked if there was the potential for a carryover from the last series when the teams meet next week, Ortiz said: "Hopefully not. Not from my side. You saw what happened already. You saw another guy (Mike Gonzalez) throw (behind) me (Sunday) and you saw my reaction. I was surprised they were still carrying it over (two days later).

"But let's see. Major League Baseball is always doing the right thing to make sure we don't get into that too much. Hopefully, everyone can turn the page.''

Ortiz joked that in an effort to not be hit, he "got skinny as (Andrew) Miller,'' when Gonzalez threw behind him Sunday.

Reflecting back on the series with the Orioles, Ortiz said: "Sometimes you get put in situations and you either act like you don't care or you do what you've got to do. I got caught up in a situation and you just move on.

"I don't want anyone looking at you like you're a punk. I'm a grown-ass man. I respect everybody and that's why I have a lot of friends around the league because that's the way it's supposed to be.

"When we cross the lines, you've got to play the game the way it's supposed to be and that's about it.''

- Shortstop Jed Lowrie (bruised shoulder nerve) feels improvement though there's still some fatigue in the area.

"He's doing better,'' said Terry Francona. "I bet you he's not too far off from starting to swing a bat. Maybe in Baltimore; maybe that's a little too quick. But I bet you in the not-too-distant future.''

- Jon Lester, who is on the DL with a strained lat muscle, threw Friday afternoon from a distance of 90 feet at Tropicana Field and will stretch out to 120 feet Saturday. After a day off, he'll throw a side session in Baltimore Friday.

Lester is eligible to come off the DL Thursday and has told the team he think he'll be able to go Friday when the club begins a homestand.

Francona, however, thinks that might be a little premature.

"I think he thinks he's going to be ready to do that,'' said Francona. "I don't know. When he pitches, we're not going to mess it up. There are a few things to think about. He feels he's going to be more than ready, so that's good news."

- Yamaico Navarro got the start in left field, with Darnell McDonald in right field against Tampa Bay lefty David Price.

"We've got some lefties,'' said Francona. "Some of it's going to be determined by how he hits and how other guys hit. Carl (Crawford) is going to be back in a couple of days; until then, we're just trying to get as much production as we can.''

Francona said Navarro "looks real comfortable (in the outfield). It's actually pretty impressive. Wherever you put him, he's got that nice feel. There's no panic. He's really athletic. He looks go out there.''

- Daisuke Matsuzaka was in the clubhouse, traveling up from nearby Fort Myers, where he's rehabbing following his recent Tommy John surgery.

"He just wanted to check in,'' said Francona. "He looks good. He's got nice range of motion (with his right arm); it's nice to see him.''

Sean McAdam can be reached at Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Cubs reach first World Series since 1945


Cubs reach first World Series since 1945

CHICAGO -- Cursed by a Billy Goat, bedeviled by Bartman and crushed by decades of disappointment, the Chicago Cubs are at long last headed back to the World Series.

Kyle Hendricks outpitched Clayton KershawAnthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras homered early and the Cubs won their first pennant since 1945, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 Saturday night in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series.

The drought ended when closer Aroldis Chapman got Yasiel Puig to ground into a double play, setting off a wild celebration inside Wrigley Field, outside the ballpark and all over the city.

Seeking their first crown since 1908, manager Joe Maddon's team opens the World Series at Cleveland on Tuesday night. The Indians haven't won it all since 1948 - Cleveland and Cubs have the two longest title waits in the majors.

"This city deserves it so much," Rizzo said. "We got four more big ones to go, but we're going to enjoy this. We're going to the World Series. I can't even believe that."

All-everything Javier Baez and pitcher Jon Lester shared the NLCS MVP. Baez hit .318, drove in five runs and made several sharp plays at second base. Lester, a former World Series champion in Boston, was 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two starts against the Dodgers.

Deemed World Series favorites since opening day, the Cubs topped the majors with 103 wins to win the NL Central, then beat the Giants and Dodgers in the playoffs.

The Cubs overcame a 2-1 deficit against the Dodgers and won their 17th pennant. They had not earned a World Series trip since winning a doubleheader opener 4-3 at Pittsburgh on Sept. 29, 1945, to clinch the pennant on the next-to-last day of the season.

The eternal "wait till next year" is over. No more dwelling on a history of failure - the future is now.

"We're too young. We don't care about it," star slugger Kris Bryant said. "We don't look into it. This is a new team, this is a completely different time of our lives. We're enjoying it and our work's just getting started."

Hendricks pitched two-hit ball for 7 1/3 innings. Chapman took over and closed with hitless relief, then threw both arms in the air as he was mobbed by teammates and coaches.

The crowd joined in, chanting and serenading their team.

"Chicago!" shouted popular backup catcher David Ross.

The Cubs shook off back-to-back shutout losses earlier in this series by pounding the Dodgers for 23 runs to win the final three games.

And they were in no way overwhelmed by the moment on Saturday, putting aside previous frustration.

In 1945, the Billy Goat Curse supposedly began when a tavern owner wasn't allowed to bring his goat to Wrigley. In 2003, the Cubs lost the final three games of the NLCS to Florida, punctuated with a Game 6 defeat when fan Steve Bartman deflected a foul ball.

Even as recently as 2012, the Cubs lost 101 times.

This time, no such ill luck.

Bryant had an RBI single and scored in a two-run first. Dexter Fowler added two hits, drove in a run and scored one.

Contreras led off the fourth with a homer. Rizzo continued his resurgence with a solo drive in the fifth.

That was plenty for Hendricks, the major league ERA leader.

Hendricks left to a standing ovation after Josh Reddick singled with one out in the eighth. The only other hit Hendricks allowed was a single by Andrew Toles on the game's first pitch.

Kershaw, dominant in Game 2 shutout, gave up five runs and seven hits before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the sixth. He fell to 4-7 in the postseason.

The Dodgers haven't been to the World Series since winning in 1988.

Pitching on five days' rest, the three-time NL Cy Young Award winner threw 30 pitches in the first. Fowler led off with a double, and Bryant's single had the crowd shaking the 102-year-old ballpark.

They had more to cheer when left fielder Andrew Toles dropped Rizzo's fly, putting runners on second and third, and Ben Zobrist made it 2-0 a sacrifice fly.

The Cubs added a run in the second when Addison Russell doubled to deep left and scored on a two-out single by Fowler.


Maddon benched slumping right fielder Jason Heyward in favor of Albert Almora Jr.

"Kershaw's pitching, so I wanted to get one more right-handed bat in the lineup, and also with Albert I don't feel like we're losing anything on defense," Maddon said. "I know Jason's a Gold Glover, but I think Albert, given an opportunity to play often enough would be considered a Gold Glove-caliber outfielder, too."

Heyward was 2 for 28 in the playoffs - 1 for 16 in the NLCS.


Kerry Wood, wearing a Ron Santo jersey, threw out the first pitch and actor Jim Belushi delivered the "Play Ball!" call before the game. Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder and actor John Cusack were also in attendance. And Bulls great Scottie Pippen led the seventh-inning stretch.