Painful flashback: Youkilis sparks memories of Lowell


Painful flashback: Youkilis sparks memories of Lowell

By Art Martone

So why do I think that, any day now, the Red Sox are going to announce that Kevin Youkilis has been shut down for the season?

Because we've seen this act before.

Youkilis is (admirably) attempting to play throw both bursitis in his hip and a sports hernia, though he's not doing it very successfully; he's only 6-for-40 (.150) since coming off the disabled list at the beginning of the month. Plus his range in the field is greatly diminished, as anyone who's seen him attempt to play third base these last few weeks can attest.

So when the Sox announced after Thursday night's loss that Youk is being given Friday night off -- even though they're locked in a life-and-death playoff struggle with the Rays, even though every game is beyond important -- two words leapt to mind.

Mike Lowell.

Lowell also attempted to keep on keeping on in September 2008, even though a hip injury that would eventually require surgery -- and, really, end his days as an everyday player -- had hobbled him to the point that he could barely move. The Sox tried to make it work, but eventually they succumbed to the obvious. He left the lineup on Sept. 16 (kismet!), made one more attempt to come back (playing three innings on Sept. 26), then sat out the rest of the way.

Sound familiar?

The two differences: Youkilis' injuries may not be quite as debilitating (though you couldn't tell by the way he's been playing) and the '08 Sox had options the '11 Sox don't. In '08, they moved a then-healthy Youkilis to third base and played Mark Kotsay and Sean Casey at first. Now, with Jed Lowrie also hurting, the Sox will be forced to go with Mike Aviles at third in some of the biggest games of the year.

Still, after hearing Terry Francona last night -- "He's sore . . . We'll watch him. He's nowhere near pulling the plug onthe season, or anything like that. But it's pretty obvious he'sstruggling out there." -- it just brought back memories of '08.

And led us to contemplate a stretch run with a utility guy from Kansas City in the starting lineup.

Art Martone can be reached at

WORLD SERIES: Kluber, Perez, Indians beat Cubs 6-0 in Game 1


WORLD SERIES: Kluber, Perez, Indians beat Cubs 6-0 in Game 1

CLEVELAND - Corey Kluber got the Cleveland Indians off to a striking start and Roberto Perez put away Chicago in the Cubs' first World Series game since 1945.

Kluber dominated into the seventh inning, Perez homered twice and the Indians beat the Cubs 6-0 in the opener Tuesday night. AL Championship Series MVP Andrew Miller escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the seventh and got out of trouble in the eighth, preserving a three-run lead.

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Dombrowski, Red Sox making adjustments in wake of recent departures


Dombrowski, Red Sox making adjustments in wake of recent departures

In recent days and weeks, the Red Sox have lost their general manager, their vice president of amateur and international scouting, an assistant director of amateur scouting, a member of their analytics department and their mental skills coach.

But Dave Dombrowski, the team's president of baseball operations, insists that the team is not in danger of "brain drain.''

"No, not at all,'' said president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski in a conference call with reporters. "We've lost some good people, but it's also a situation where we have a lot of good people and I think when you have a good organization, if you're winning and you expose people to situations, (a certain amount of exodus) happens. I think the other part of it is that we're more than capable of filling some of those roles from an internal perspective. We've got some quality people and I think the thing that's great about it is, it allows people to grow.''

Dombrowski announced that, in the wake of the departure of Amiel Sawdaye, the former VP of amateur and international scouting who left Monday to become assistant GM of the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Sox were promoting Eddie Romero, formerly the vice president of international scouting, to the position of senior vice president/ assistant GM.

Romero, the son of former Red Sox utility infielder Eddie Romero Sr. will help Dombrowski in personnel matters and player development, while Brian O'Halloran, who has the same title as Romero, will continue to handle administrative matters including salary arbitration and contactual negotiations.

After the departure of Mike Hazen, who left to become GM of the Diamondbacks last week, Dombrowski interviewed Sawdaye and Romero as Hazen's potential replacements before determining that neither had the necessary experience yet to become a major league GM.

Dombrowski said there would be additional internal promotions and adjustments to announce in the coming weeks. He added that senior advisors Frank Wren and Allard Baird, each former general managers, would see their responsibilities increase when it comes to conducting trade talks with other organizations.

Sawdaye's departure is one of several this off-season for the front office. Earlier this month, Steve Sanders, who had been the team's assistant director of amateur scouting, left to become director of amateur scouting for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Also, Tom Tippett, a longtime member of the team's statistical analysis staff, will leave soon too pursue other opportunities. The team recently informed mental skills coach Bob Tewksbury that his contact would not be renewed, according to the Boston Globe.

Dombrowski indicated that Laz Gutierrez would be promoted to take the place of Tewksbury.

In other news, Dombrowski revealed that the entire coaching staff -- hitting coach Chili Davis; assistant hitting coach Victor Rodriguez; first base coach Ruben Amaro Jr.; third base coach Brian Butterfield; bullpen coach Dana LeVangie; pitching coach Carl Willis; and bench coach Torey Lovullo -- had all agreed to return for 2017.

That, of course, is subject to change since Lovullo is believed to be a target of Hazen for Arizona's managerial vacancy.

Dombrowski said the Diamondbacks had yet to request permission to speak with Lovullo, though that may happen soon now that Hazen has hired Sawdaye to fill out his front office.

When Hazen was hired by the Diamondbacks, he was limited to hiring just one member of the Red Sox' Baseball Operations staff. But, Dombrowski added, that limit didn't apply to uniformed staff members such as Lovullo, who would be leaving for a promotion.