How much can you really gather from spring training, while the players are working themselves into shape and the games don't count?
Maybe not much. But in the case of Jonathan Papelbon, who turned in the worst season of his career last year, an impressive spring would have gone a long way to silence his doubters.
Instead, he spent the last month battling inconsistency and a subpar fastball, and the questions still linger: Will he be able to turn it on once the games start to mean something?
Sean McAdam and Lou Merloni answer.
Of the 34 players on the 2017 Hall of Fame ballot, 19 are tied to the Red Sox or New York Yankees. Who deserves a nod this year?
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Forget that cryptic Tweet to the Globe. David Ortiz isn't walking through that door, fans. At least not as a player.
"My playing time has already expired," Ortiz told ESPN Deportes. "Baseball is not something that you wake up today and you say, 'I'll play tomorrow.' Baseball is something that carries a lot of sacrifice, a lot of preparation, and there is a reason why we train the entire year to play it, practice every day, especially during the season, because it is a sport of consistency."
No one really thought he was contemplating a comeback, but last week he Tweeted this . . .
. . . and that raised hopes that he'd changed his mind.