On today's Bradfo Show we talk to Dr Ken Polivy, Spine Surgeon at the Newton Wellesley Orthopedic Associates, about Shane Victorino's recent back surgery.

Former Red Sox first baseman Kevin Millar joined Middays with MFB to discuss Roger Clemens‘ Hall of Fame candidacy and Rob Manfred being elected commissioner.

Former Red Sox first baseman Kevin Millar joined Middays with MFB to discuss Roger Clemens‘ Hall of Fame candidacy and Rob Manfred being elected commissioner. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

The Red Sox inducted Clemens, Pedro MartinezNomar Garciaparra and Joe Castiglione into the team’s Hall of Fame Thursday. The induction of Clemens sparked debate over whether or not he deserves to be in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame despite his link to performance-enhancing drugs.

Millar is one of those who would like to see Clemens inducted in Cooperstown.

“I think the Hall of Fame is a museum,” Millar said. “At the end of the day I want to take my kids to a museum and show them [Barry Bonds] and Clemens and [Sammy Sosa] and [Mark McGwire].

“Who knows is the ultimate question. We can assume, but at the end of the day nobody knows and it’s one of those places where we’re trying to say, ‘Who morally did right?’ There’s guys in there that drank alcohol, that did other things that are in the Hall of Fame. I don’t know.”

He added: “In my opinion, I just want to take my kids and show them the best players of our generation. That was an era that we lived in and there’s questions. If you want to put an asterisk, fine. But my goodness gracious, there’s some great players there, whether there’s questions or not, it’s a museum and I want to take my kids there to show them.”

Red Sox president Larry Lucchino was hesitant to say whether or not he believes former Sox slugger Manny Ramirez deserves to make the team’s Hall of Fame when asked about it on Dennis & Callahan Friday morning. Millar, on the other hand, thinks Ramirez is deserves to be in both the team Hall of Fame and Cooperstown despite the sour end to his tenure in Boston.

“Like Pete Rose, why isn’t he in the Hall of Fame? I get that he gambled on baseball and made a bad decision, made a bad choice, but he’s the all-time hits leader,” Millar said. “I want to take my kid and show him Pete Rose. Manny Ramirez, I’m sorry, I didn’t say he was normal, I didn’t say he’s not bipolar at times and doesn’t want to be traded at every second.

“At the end of the day he hit 40 [home runs] and drove in 130. He made the game look easy. He best right-handed hitter I’ve ever been around. So yeah, he’s in the Hall of Fame.”

Manfred was elected as the 10th commissioner in the history of the game Thursday. One of the changes that’s been discussed throughout this process, based on Lucchino’s conversation with D&C, is finding ways to quicken the pace of games, which could include the installation of a pitch clock.

“I think that’s the million dollar question: how do we speed up the game?” Millar said. “I don’t know what the correct answer is. I don’t know if you put a clock on the pitch as soon as it hits the catcher’s glove. I don’t know if you make the batter stay in the box with one foot, instead of being able to walk around and adjust the batting gloves and look up in the stands, talk to whoever.

“There’s all kinds of ways, there’s all kinds of ideas, but I just think — listen, Rob Manfred, tremendous guy to be in there — there are some decisions that are going to have to be addressed. … I do think speeding up the game is going to be a factor. It’s just how do you do that?”

The Sox have won four in a row and five of their last six games, thanks largely in part to an offensive resurgence led by the newly acquired Yoenis Cespedes.

“I don’t think they’re better, I just think their lineup is much better,” he said. “You added Cespedes, you added Allen Craig even though he’s been hurt. You have a different vibe. Your lineup offensively wasn’t very good, isn’t very good.

“You’ve got to hit. It’s the American League East. … I think the Red Sox look better as an offensive club, but they’re going to have to address their pitching situation.”

Blog Author: 
Nick Canelas
Kevin joins Merloni, Fauria and Benz to talk about the new commissioner in the MLB, as well as his thoughts on ways to speed up the game

[0:00:00] ... Joining us right now as promised right now is former Boston Red Sox player Kevin Millar now of course with the Major League Baseball network and intentional talk Kevin towers thinks a -- for -- anomalous. Up more ...
[0:01:26] ... was just tossed the bottle -- I mean a base course and Pedro Martinez in his prime -- gonna -- next year you know it in my generation of space because he had the devastating changeup. ...
[0:04:25] ... had a stepped around Red Sox hall of fame possibly for -- Manny Ramirez and I -- stepped around it and it. Again like you said it was the morality clause also the Boston Red Sox hall of fame which I don't think it does. -- look at his career I got to put him in a Red ...





Larry joined the show to discuss last nights festivities at Fenway.
Right-hander Matt Barnes threw a career-high eight innings on Thursday for the PawSox. (Jillian Souza/Pawtucket Red Sox.)

Right-hander Matt Barnes threw a career-high eight innings on Thursday for the PawSox. (Jillian Souza/Pawtucket Red Sox.)

A brief look at the action in the Red Sox system on Thursday:

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 5-1 WIN AT GWINNETT (BRAVES)

(BOX)

– Right-hander Matt Barnes tossed a career-high eight innings, scattering seven singles, walking none and striking out three. After entering the All-Star break with a 5.06 ERA in 15 outings, the 24-year-old has gone 2-1 with a 1.95 ERA in five starts since the season resumed, lowering his ERA for the year to 4.12. His strikeout totals have remained relatively modest throughout the run, sitting at 7.0 per nine innings (up a tick from 6.9 per nine prior to the break), but his walk totals have been trimmed from 3.7 per nine innings to 2.8 per nine and hitters are managing just a .161 average against him, down from .297 before the All-Star break.

PawSox pitching coach Rich Sauveur, in this episode of Minor Details, explained that Barnes has been working to remain compact in his delivery, rather than “getting really long and tilting his back,” in an effort to keep his arm in a higher slot with better direction to the plate. Those efforts have been paying off in recent outings for the 2011 first-rounder, with the results to show the improvement.

– Feats of Mookie: Streaking (again). Mookie Betts went 2-for-5 to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. He has three multi-hit games in his last four contests to improve his line in 42 games in Pawtucket this year to .339 with a .423 OBP and .509 slugging mark.

– First baseman Travis Shaw was 2-for-4 with his first homer since July 28, his 10th in 69 games since his promotion to Pawtucket. He now has a career-high 21 homers along with 50 extra-base hits through 116 games in Portland and Pawtucket this year, forging a .286/.358/.497 line.

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 4-2 LOSS, 1-0 LOSS VS. AKRON (INDIANS)

(BOX GAME 1, BOX GAME 2)

– Outfielder Keury De La Cruz continued his strong August run, going 3-for-5 with a homer and a walk in the double header. In 12 games this month, he’s hitting .333/.408/.524 with six walks in 12 games. The walk total is double the number of free passes (3) the 22-year-old had negotiated in 43 games in June and July. He’s now hitting .289/.315/.408 for the year.

– Right-hander Justin Haley, 23, tossed six shutout innings before permitting a solo homer in the seventh for the lone run he allowed. He delivered 6 1/3 innings allowing the one run on six hits and five walks (his second straight five-walk outing after he hadn’t permitted more than three in any of his first 20 starts) while punching out three. Though Haley has walked more (12) than he’s struck out (11) in his three starts since moving up to Portland, and is winless in Double-A, he has a 0.98 ERA at the higher level, with three straight outings of at least six innings and one or no runs.

– Right-hander Luis Diaz had his third straight outing of four or more runs allowed, permitting that number in 5 2/3 innings. He has now given up 13 runs in his last three starts spanning 16 innings, a run in which he’s had nine and seven days off between starts, at a time when he’s blown past previous career innings highs. He is up to 128 1/3 innings this year after not ever throwing more than 101 innings in a season.

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 2-1 WIN, 3-1 WIN AT POTOMAC (NATIONALS)

(BOX GAME 1, BOX GAME 2)

– Right-hander Simon Mercedes tossed six shutout innings, allowing four hits (all singles), walking two, punching out three and recording eight groundball outs. The six innings matched a season-high for the 22-year-old, who has been a groundball machine this year, with 52.2 percent of balls put in play against him having been on the ground (according to MLBfarm.com). The combination of that groundball rate with his 7.5 strikeouts per nine innings and mix of mid-90s velocity with a changeup and curveball suggest that Mercedes has prospect status that exceeds his 3-9 record and 4.64 ERA.

– Outfielder Kendrick Perkins rebounded from a three-strikeout game in the first contest of the double header by launching his first homer in High-A in the nightcap. In 10 games with Salem, the 22-year-old is hitting .194/.242/.323 after posting a strong .296/.353/.473 line in 51 games in Greenville.

– Right-hander Heri Quevedo, in his first start of 2014 in High-A (the level where he spent nearly all of 2013), tossed five scoreless innings with seven punchouts and two walks while allowing five hits. The seven strikeouts matched his highest total in High-A, and fell one short of the career high he had four weeks ago in Lowell.

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 4-0 LOSS AT SAVANNAH (METS)

(BOX)

– Outfielder Manuel Margot extended his hitting streak to 13 games this month by going 1-for-4. He’s hitting .446/.492/.696 in August to boost his season line to .286/.355/.449 with 10 homers and 39 steals. According to multiple industry sources, Margot will be promoted to High-A Salem for the duration of the season.

The promotion underscores what has been an impressive developmental year. Margot has shown a fairly complete skill set, with strong center field defense (including a strong arm), a good approach that has netted a 9.0 percent walk rate and a modest 11.9 percent strikeout rate, the ability to impact the baseball for average with some power (35 extra-base hits, including eight in 13 games in August), and the ability to influence the game on the bases (his 39 steals rank 17th in the minors).

His speed/power combination as a teenager is rare. He is one of seven players in all of minor league baseball who has at least 10 homers and 30 steals. No other player in that group is younger than 21. Indeed, the Red Sox have two of the three players who are 21 or younger in all of minor league baseball (Margot and Mookie Betts) to have the 10/30 double (the other is Astros prospect Teoscar Hernandez).

Margot will be the third youngest position player in the Carolina League, with his promotion underscoring the notion that he is one of the top handful of position prospects in the Red Sox system.

– Right-hander Ty Buttrey had his best start of the season, tossing six shutout innings in which he allowed two hits, walked three and punched out six. In four outings since his return from the DL, the 21-year-old has a 3.66 ERA with 18 strikeouts and 10 walks in 19 2/3 innings. Prior to his hand injury, he had an 11.91 ERA with eight strikeouts and eight walks in 11 1/3 innings.

SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS: 5-1 LOSS AT BROOKLYN (METS)

(BOX)

– Shortstop Mauricio Dubon had his third multi-hit game of the week, going 2-for-4 to boost his average to .297, eighth in the New York-Penn League. The 20-year-old has a .297/.322/.380 line that suggests the ability to make contact with a line drive stroke that, in tandem with his solid shortstop defense, makes him an intriguing position prospect.

– Center fielder Joseph Monge went 2-for-4 for his first multi-hit game since July 28. The 19-year-old is hitting .280/.345/.320 in 15 games with the Spinners since his promotion from the GCL.

ROOKIE LEVEL GULF COAST LEAGUE RED SOX: SUSPENDED (RAIN) AT GCL ORIOLES

DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE RED SOX: 13-7 WIN AT DSL REDS

(BOX)

Luis Alejandro Basabe, who entered the game with one extra-base hit in 24 games, went 2-for-3 with a double, triple and walk. He now has 23 walks and 20 strikeouts on the year, giving the 17-year-old a .421 OBP despite a .244 average.

– Catcher/third baseman Roldani Baldwin went 2-for-5 with a triple and a walk, boosting his line to .281/.362/.406.

Blog Author: 
Alex Speier

Red Sox president Larry Lucchino joined Dennis & Callahan Friday morning to discuss the commissioner election results, Roger Clemens

Red Sox president Larry Lucchino joined Dennis & Callahan Friday morning to discuss the commissioner election results, Roger Clemens and the state of the team. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Major League Baseball owners elected Rob Manfred to succeed Bud Selig as commissioner of the sport, beating out Red Sox chairman Tom Werner by a final 30-0 vote on the sixth ballot.

“I absolutely thought there was a possibility that Tom could win it,” Lucchino said. “He was not some kind of protest candidate. He was a guy that was there full of ideas. He made, in my opinion, the best presentation of the group and had some real passionate support so I think there was indeed a possibility of him being elected.

“Having said that, it went several ballots. I think the selection that we made, as Tom said very graciously afterwards yesterday, was a very good one. [Manfred] is a very experienced person and I think he benefitted, as the league did, from the process because a lot of the issues and threats to the game, challenges facing us in the future that were articulated by Tom, I think that dialogue will lead to a better game of baseball going forward.”

Manfred has been MLB’s chief operating officer since the end of the 2013 season and has worked in the game full-time since 1998. He becomes the 10th commissioner in the history of the sport.

“Certainly he’s a different person than Bud Selig,” Lucchino said. “As a person with a different temperament, different background, it’s hard to predict specifically what will be different. But his management style will be different, the league office and commissioner’s office will be anchored in New York City. As a witness to the general notion of the debate yesterday, I think Rob will feel a mandate to bring about some change in the way baseball governs itself.

“Tom articulated five challenges facing the game and I think there was general agreement with Rob in several of them. I think you’re going to see a change in the product coming forth; I think you’re going to see a serious drive for a younger and more diverse fan base; I think you’re going to see a more modern approach to technology and a general effort to grow the game.”

One of the biggest ideas Lucchino said Werner presented in his display was the implementation of a pitch clock to help quicken the pace of play, something Manfred told USA Today after his election that he would be open to.

“That was actually part of the Tom Werner platform, considering more aggressive action such as a pitch clock or between-innings clock to make sure the breaks didn’t last longer than they were scheduled to make,” Lucchino said. “And I’m glad to hear that. Rob did not say that in his breakdown presentation to the smaller group that I was in so I didn’t know that he had adopted that, or at least has an open mind toward that.

“I think that’s a very positive step. We have a rule that says the pitcher is supposed to pitch within 12 seconds of the time he receives the ball when there’s nobody on base. As far as I know I can’t remember the last time it was ever enforced, but that’s in the rule book.”

Clemens was one of four inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame on Thursday. When asked if the Sox will retire his number, Lucchino said, “There has been no discussion on that subject that I have been a party to.” Lucchino was also mum when asked whether or not he believed Clemens used performance-enhancing drugs.

“I don’t have an answer to that question,” Lucchino said. “I did go down to see him at one point when we were trying to bring him back here when we arrived here in 2002 and 2003, and his workouts were legendary. He showed us an indoor basketball court and weight room that he had at his place and the pace and intensity of his workouts was a subject of discussion. I heard from other folks, third parties about it too.

“So I do think he worked extremely hard and intensely. But I’m not going to the question of whether or not there is any evidence or admission about PEDs.”

Following are more highlights from the interview. For more on the Red Sox, go to weei.com/redsox.

On the reports of the Sox making an aggressive offer for Jon Lester in the offseason: “Even that, I think, is too close to the [tampering] line. We love Jon Lester, I’ll say that. We wish him good luck. When he’s a free agent we’ll be free to talk about it.”

On the possibility of next season’s ace being acquired in the offseason: “That’s a hard question because there are so many young pitchers in our organization, some of whom we’ve only seen a little bit of and gotten a sense of their future possibilities and their high ceilings.

“Certainly we haven’t seen Henry Owens. I’m not projecting him to be at the top of the rotation, but he has top-of-the-rotation stuff. And there’s other pitchers we may obtain on the trade market. It’s actually impossible to say, but I do think it’s possible to have Clay Buchholz returning to his career norm or there’s a possibility of a younger pitcher stepping up.”

On whether or not Manny Ramirez should be in the Red Sox Hall of Fame: “I don’t know. I think he was an extraordinary player when he was here, and I think he certainly should be a candidate. That’s all I’ll say.”

Blog Author: 
Nick Canelas

Appearing Friday morning on “The Hill-Man Morning Show” on WAAF, former Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester explained the thought process behind his recent comments to the Boston Herald regarding not necessarily taking the highest offer as a free agent in the upcoming offseason.

Appearing Friday morning on “The Hill-Man Morning Show” on WAAF, former Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester explained the thought process behind his recent comments to the Boston Herald regarding not necessarily taking the highest offer as a free agent in the upcoming offseason.

“The whole point behind that was ‘€¦ The question behind it was, ‘€˜Hey, are you going to be basically wooed by the highest bidder?’€™ My point behind that is that I don’€™t need to go to the highest bidder if that isn’€™t going to make me happy,” he said. “I’€™m not going to just take the highest bid, the money, the most years just because it’€™s in front of you. To me, that’€™s not how I make decisions. I make decisions based on me and my family and is this place ‘€“whether it’€™s Boston or one of the other 29 teams ‘€“ is this place going to be good for me and my family? If that’€™s the case, you leave money on the table for that decision. That being said, it may be the highest bidder you end up going to. But for me you make the informed decision of, ‘€˜Hey, is this place going to make me happy? Is this the right situation for me?’€™ And then you just go from there. If it’€™s the most years and the most money than that’€™s what it is.”

Some other topics discussed by Lester …

Any hard feelings with Red Sox?

“I understood where the starting point was. It wasn’€™t like they offered that and things stopped. The offer was closer to end of spring training so we had a little bit of time to negotiate, we used that time to the best of our ability and just couldn’€™t come up with a deal from there. No, there’€™s no animosity. There’€™s no hatred or anything like that. Those guys didn’€™t get to own the Boston Red Sox by being stupid and just starting at a point where you kind of laugh at them as far as too high or too low. They know what they’€™re doing and that’€™s how they wanted to start negotiations. But there are no hard feelings behind that.”

On comments made by Red Sox that they were going to make aggressive offer

“You can only hope at this point what they say is true, and that they want to be competitive and they want to make an offer and they want me back.”

On the hug with Red Sox principal owner John Henry upon leaving Fenway Park

“A little awkward. It was a weird gig. I was pulling out of the lot, had the truck in drive, went to move and he was just standing next to my car. I didn’€™t know where he came from, didn’€™t see him walk up. He kind of surprised me. So I get out of the truck and I thought he was just coming to shake my hand, and give me a hug and say goodbye. I kind of went in for the hug before he wanted the hug. He pulled me aside. He wanted to talk to me, which I thought was very nice. I appreciate everything he told me. Behind close doors, where there were no photographs or bystanders, we actually shook hands and had kind of a normal hug. But at that time, yeah, it was a little awkward.”

Is his cable still active in his Boston home?

“That is accurate. We’€™re still paying bills at the house”

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford