Notes: Red Sox looking at 100 wins in 2011

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Notes: Red Sox looking at 100 wins in 2011

By SeanMcAdam
CSNNE.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- For the past week, giddy Red Sox players have begun talking about the possibility of the 2011 team winning 100 games -- something no Red Sox team has done since 1946.

Josh Beckett was the first to raise the prospect and Mike Cameron Thursday morning echoed the sentiments.

General manager Theo Epstein was asked Thursday if some of the players weren't getting a little ahead of themselves. Epstein didn't exactly slam the brakes on the enthusiasm, but he did managed to tap them once or twice.

"I think it's nice that those players feel good about themselves and their teammates and what we have here," said Epstein. "But let's be honest. We haven't done anything yet. All we have is a bunch of guys in the clubhouse here, trying to set out to do a job.

"We've got a lot to prove. We've got to prove we're not a third-place team. We've got to prove we can stay healthy. We've got to prove we can have repeat performances, what guys have done in the past -- come out and do it again in 2011 or improve upon that. We've got to prove we can come together as a team.

"We don't have win No. 1 yet. We have a lot to prove and the work has just started. That said, I like that these guys feel good about themselves and their teammates and our chances. I don't think they're getting ahead of ourselves."

Over the offseason, even after obtaining two superstars and a 160 million payroll. Epstein said there isn't necessarily a perfect solution to every problem.

Case in point: the team's catching depth.

The Sox intend to have Jarrod Saltalamachia as their primary catcher, with Jason Varitek as his backup. But if injuries or performance issues arise, the team doesn't have much in the way of major league-caliber catching in the system.

"We have a lot of young guys who we feel pretty good about," said Epstein, "who are on the cusp of being major league-ready, so we're going to take this camp in the early part of the season and determine which of them, if any, are big league ready in case of injury."

The Sox also signed journeyman catcher Paul Hoover, 35, who has played 40 major-league games over seven seasons with Tampa Bay, Florida and Philadelphia.

"That's an area we'll monitor closely and continue to scout other camps as the need arises. We hope to first have internal answers; if not, we can always go outside the organization."

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

Pedro Martinez tells WEEI Ortiz will make comeback this season

Pedro Martinez tells WEEI Ortiz will make comeback this season

Never say never?

While Red Sox officials said at the team's annual Winter Weekend at Foxwoods on Saturday that they'd be traveling to the Dominican Republic to talk to David Ortiz about a role with the team, Pedro Martinez told WEEI he sees Big Papi returning to his old role - designated hitter - this season.

CSN's Trenni Kusnierek and WEEI's John Tomase talked to Martinez on their show Saturday at Foxwoods and Martinez said his old teammate would be making a comeback despite the long, emotional farewell tour last season. 

For the full interview with Martinez, click here.

Red Sox executives Tom Werner, Sam Kennedy and Dave Dombrowski made no mention of Ortiz returning as a player when talking about their Dominican trip. Ortiz has repeatedly said he is going to stay retired. 

Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: 'Time for both sides to do something different, I guess'

Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: '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.”