Sox stun baseball world . . . except in the Bronx

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Sox stun baseball world . . . except in the Bronx

By Art Martone
CSNNE.com

The team most affected by the Red Sox' signing of Carl Crawford took the news -- publicly, at least -- in stride.

"Good move," said Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. "Good player. Great player."

Not so the team that thought Crawford would be playing left field for them in 2011 and beyond.

"I'm crushed, man," Angels outfielder Torii Hunter, who had been recruiting Crawford for the Halos, told the Los Angeles Times. "I'm sitting here in a daze right now, like, what the heck just happened?"

Here's what happened, Torii: The Red Sox -- thought to be out of the Carl Crawford market once they acquired Adrian Gonzalez from the Padres -- swooped in and signed the ex-Tampa Bay left fielder to a deal believed to be seven years at 142 million. General manager Theo Epstein hinted something might be up during his nightly meeting with the Boston media, saying "anything was possible" even though his expectation was that nothing would happen.

Most everyone thought "anything" would be, shall we say, less dramatic. The bullpen. Another catcher. Maybe a right-handed hitting outfielder.

Instead, they landed a player who gives them, arguably, the most fearsome lineup in baseball. A player who, until the news broke at around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, was thought to be ticketed to either the Angels (who desperately wanted him) or the Yankees (where he was regarded, at least by the fans and media, as a Plan B fallback if they don't sign Cliff Lee).

"I don't think anyone can argue with the two players they've brought in so far," Rocco Baldelli of the Rays, who played for the Red Sox in 2009, told the Providence Journal. "What else could you possibly do to improve a team?"

Still, the moves didn't blindside the Yankees.

"No," Cashman responded when asked if he was surprised. "Boston has the money, and they had a need."

Not anymore.

Art Martone can be reached at amartone@comcastsportsnet.com.

Dee Gordon homers leading off as Marlins mourn Jose Fernandez

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Dee Gordon homers leading off as Marlins mourn Jose Fernandez

MIAMI - Dee Gordon hit an emotional homer in Miami's first at-bat following the death of Marlins ace Jose Fernandez in a boating accident.

Leading off the first inning Monday night against the New York Mets, Gordon pulled a 2-0 pitch from Bartolo Colon over the wall in right for his first homer of the season.

Gordon circled the bases slowly and was crying when he reached home plate. He tapped his chest and waved toward the sky, and then sobbed as teammates hugged him in the dugout.

Gordon took the first pitch batting right-handed, in tribute to the right-handed Fernandez. Gordon then switched to his normal left side.

Fernandez died Sunday morning, prompting the Marlins to cancel their game that day against Atlanta.