Maybe that whole "Home Run Derby ruins your swing" argument is true after all.
In the eyes of Red Sox hitting coach Dave Magadan, it certainly is anyways.
As a guest on Rob Bradford's (WEEI) podcast this week, Magadan was asked about the drop-off in power with Adrian Gonzalez after the All-Star Break. While Magadan didn't point to just the HR Derby as the reason, it was one of them.
"When you are spending the offseason trying to rehab from a major surgery labrum of right shoulder in October 2010 like that, you know, I think he got to spring training and continued his rehab in spring training, didn't start hitting until the middle of March, I think it wore on him as the season went on," Magadan said.
"And when he went to the All-Star Game and took all those swings in home run derby, that amount of fatigue on his body and in general, he was different when he came back. I know he doesn't concur with that, doesn't agree with it, but I saw a difference in his swing. As the second-half started to wear on, he started to I don't want to say complaining, it was bothering him, his shoulder was bothering him."
Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to ESPN's Cristian Moreno. Ventura was 25 years old.
Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners.
Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014.
Ventura is the second major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.
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.