Sean McDonough. (Rich Barnes/Getty Images)

Sean McDonough. (Rich Barnes/Getty Images)

Former NESN play-by-play man and current ESPN broadcaster Sean McDonough joined the Dennis & Callahan show on Thursday morning to talk about Don Orsillo’s contract not being renewed by NESN. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

McDonough was also let go by NESN before Orsillo ended up replacing him in 2001. He said it was really difficult for him when he first found out back then, so he knows how upset Orsillo is now.

“It was heartbreaking, and it took me a long time to stop being emotional about it,” McDonough said. “I remember Kevin Dupont called me a day or two later and I basically sobbed on the phone. As soon as I heard the news the other day, I guess it broke on your show, I left Don a message and got a very nice text back from him, and I know he’s devastated and it is devastating. When you are a guy like Don who this is, since you knew you wanted to be a sports broadcaster, the job you wanted to have, and you put your heart and soul into it, and you think you’re good at it, and you don’t see this coming at all and all of a sudden you’re gone, it’s a really difficult thing.”

“I’m sure he won’t have any trouble finding a job because he’s a terrific guy, and he’s a talented guy,” he added.

There’s been a tremendous amount of support from Red Sox fans who want Orsillo to stay on with announcing partner Jerry Remy, including a petition circulating around social media. McDonough said he experienced a similar kind of support, but the way the business is formatted caused him to be grateful for his opportunity, although it took him awhile to be able to put things in perspective.

“When I left, I was really appreciative of the nice things people said, and I’m sure Don is too,” he said. “But eventually that goes away and you’re left with the reality that you’re not going to do this job anymore than you grew up dreaming about doing and I just, with hindsight, came to appreciate I was very fortunate to do that for 17 years. Very few people are blessed to do what they always wanted to do, and I had the opportunity for 17 years for a job that most people in broadcasting would die to do, so I hope with the passage of time, Don comes to appreciate that he was blessed.

“It doesn’t make it any less of an injustice than it is, but when you get into this business … there’s no scoreboard. It’s totally subjective, and you get new management, somebody that doesn’t like you or somebody else comes along that they think is better, they’re going to make a change and that’s the reality.”

Replacing Orsillo will be WEEI and ESPN’s Dave O’Brien, who in McDonough’s opinion, is one of “the top play-by-play people in America in any sport.” Still, McDonough said Orsillo got the short end of the stick and if it were for a specific reason, he doesn’t know what it is.

“I can understand why somebody would be a fan of [O’Brien’s] and want to hire him, but I just don’t understand why you’d want to replace somebody who is more than capable, obviously very well-liked by the fans, given the response, and [is] a good person,” he said. “Don’s been a really loyal team guy and I feel for him. It brought back a lot of memories, and I could almost hear the hurt in his texts as we were exchanging texts the other night because it really stinks.”

“I really feel bad for Dave,” McDonough added. “He’s in a tough spot, and Dave, in addition to being enormously talented is really one of the really nice and classy people in our business.”

For McDonough, he didn’t get wind of his termination until the offseason, so his situation is a bit different.

While Orsillo has still been calling games since the news broke Tuesday, McDonough said he was informed of his situation by a reporter from the Boston Herald who wasn’t part of the sports section and whose name he didn’t recognize.

“It was one of those things in life you never forget,” he said. “I was sitting in the University of Michigan gym, I had a Michigan-Notre Dame basketball game the next day and was watching one of the teams practice at about 4:00 in the afternoon on a Friday. And they always say, if you want to bury something, release it Friday afternoon and it winds up in the Saturday paper, which nobody reads, so I got a call and the guy said he was calling to ask me my comments about my contract not being renewed by the Red Sox, which came as a surprise because they had led my agent to believe about a month before that I was coming back. By that time, the chance to apply for other jobs had pretty much passed, so it was an interesting way to learn the bad news, that’s for sure.”

Blog Author: 
Judy Cohen

A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday:

Jonathan Roof

Jonathan Roof

A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Wednesday:

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (52-80): W, 4-3 in 10 innings, vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Yankees)

— Centerfielder Jonathan Roof lined a two-out single to right-center field in the bottom of the 10th inning to bring home first baseman Allen Craig and gave Pawtucket a walkoff win and a three-game sweep of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Roof, 26, finished 2-for-3 with a double and two walks for his fourth multi-hit game in his last nine contests, as he’€™s raised his average from .189 to .215 over that span. In 36 games in Triple-A this year, Roof is slashing .215/.260/.273 after starting the year with Double-A Portland where he slashed .234/.333/.313 over 47 games.

It was the first sweep of any series in more than three months for the PawSox, since winning all three games in Toledo from May 5-7 and only their third sweep on the year. It is also the first three-game winning streak for Pawtucket since winning four straight from June 10-13.

— Craig, 31, hit the ball hard all night as he finished 2-for-5 with a home run, two lineouts to center and a leadoff single in the 10th inning that was blistered back up the middle. Craig’€™s homer, his fourth of the year in Triple-A and first since June 17, came in the fifth inning on a 3-1 pitch, pulled deep to left to tie the game at three. Through 89 games in Triple-A, Craig is slashing .272/.369/.349 with 30 RBIs and 28 runs scored. He is now hitting .290 in August with 12 RBIs in 25 games this month.

— Pawtucket’€™s offense had 11 hits on the night with other multi-hit games from shortstop Deven Marrero (Boston’€™s No. 10 prospect at MLB.com, 2-for-4, walk, RBI) and second baseman Mike Miller (2-for-4, RBI).

— RHP Pat Light (Boston’€™s No. 22 prospect at MLB.com) earned the victory (2-4, 5.04 ERA) after entering with a man aboard and one out in the top of the 10th inning. After allowing a single, the 6-foot-5 Light recorded a strikeout on a split-finger fastball and then got a fly out to end the frame. Light, 24, has now worked 30 1/3 innings in Triple-A with 34 strikeouts and 26 walks, with opposing hitters batting .239 against him.

— RHP Zeke Spruill started and produced a no-decision final line of: 6 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 SO (106 pitches, 69 strikes). It was the sixth straight quality start for the 6-foot-5 Spruill, who has started eight straight and 12 of his last 15 games after his first 18 appearances came in relief.

— RHP Keith Couch came off the disabled list (thumb contusion) and relieved Spruill with 3 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing no hits and just two walks while striking out three. Couch, 25, has made 24 appearances this year and 21 of them have been starts, with Couch going 4-10 with a 6.24 ERA in 119 2/3 innings this season.

Luis Martinez

Luis Martinez

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (48-82): W, 7-3, vs. New Hampshire (Blue Jays)

— The Portland offense produced 12 hits, with five different players having multi-hit nights and five players driving in runs highlighted by catcher Luis Martinez’€™s two-out, bases-clearing double off the center field wall in the third inning that broke a 2-2 tie and gave Portland a 5-2 lead. Martinez, 30, has hits in seven of his last eight games.

— First baseman Sam Travis (Boston’€™s No. 12 prospect at MLB.com) went 2-for-3 with a triple, two walks, an RBI and a run scored for his third multi-hit game in his last four. Travis, who turns 22-years-old today, is now slashing .301/.378/.431 over 56 games with Portland with three homers, two triples, 14 doubles, 30 RBIs and 30 runs scored. The triple hit by Travis came in the first inning and was just shy of a home run as the ball caromed back into play off of the center fielder’€™s glove and perhaps the wall as the player jumped at the fence.

— Shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin went 2-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored while also stealing his eighth base of the year. Lin, 21, has reached safely in five straight games with four multi-hit games in his last 12.

— DH Tim Roberson (2-for-4, double, RBI, run) and third baseman Dustin Lawley (2-for-3, walk, RBI, run) also had multi-hit nights. Center fielder Manuel Margot (Boston’€™s No. 3 prospect at MLB.com) doubled and scored in the fourth on Lin’€™s single.

— RHP Luis Diaz earned the win (2-10, 5.47 ERA) with a final line of: 5 1/3 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 6 SO (99 pitches, 60 strikes). The 23-year-old Diaz, a 6-foot-3 Venezuelan, gave up two unearned runs in the first after Lawley’€™s throwing error started the inning and a double and wild pitch followed. A solo home run in the fourth produced the other New Hampshire run.

“He was a little rough in that first inning but then got into a groove,”€ said Martinez to the Portland Press Herald. “€œHe kept the ball down and threw his breaking ball for strikes.”

— RHP Heri Quevedo, 25, relieved Diaz in the sixth with the bases loaded after Diaz had walked two. The 6-foot-2 Quevedo struck out the first batter and induced a groundout to end the frame, then stayed on to complete 3 2/3 scoreless innings for his third professional save and first at Double-A. Quevedo allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out four, giving him 41 strikeouts and 34 walks in 50 1/3 innings this year.

“€œLights out,” Martinez said in regards to Quevedo’€™s arsenal. “His changeup was working well and he elevated his fastball when he needed to.”

— Outfielder Cole Sturgeon was promoted back to Portland and played right field, going 1-for-4 in his first Double-A start since July 20. RHP Kyle Kaminska was sent back to High-A Salem.

Teddy Stankiewicz

Teddy Stankiewicz

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (58-70): L, 8-4, vs. Lynchburg (Indians)

— RHP Teddy Stankiewicz left after six innings with a 4-3 lead, but the bullpen could not hold it as Stankiewicz ended with a no-decision final line of: 6 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 2 SO. The 21-year-old Stankiewicz gave up single runs in each of the first three innings, walking three batters in the second inning but limiting damage as he induced an inning-ending double play. The 6-foot-4 Stankiewicz then retired 10 of his final 11 batters faced, getting another double play to end his final frame, the sixth.

Selected by Boston in the second-round of the 2013 draft out of Seminole Junior College, Stankiewicz is 3-11 with a 4.11 ERA this year in 23 starts, with 129 1/3 innings of work to go with 69 strikeouts and 29 walks. Stankiewicz now has 11 quality starts this season.

— Salem took a 4-3 lead in the fifth inning on an RBI-single from right fielder Kevin Heller and a three-run homer from first baseman Mario Martinez. It was the fifth homer of the year for the 25-year-old Martinez and first since coming off the disabled list on August 21. Martinez has hits in all three games played since his return and in seven straight all told, as he’€™s hit .367 (11-for-30) over that span with three doubles, six RBIs, and seven runs scored.

Heller, 25, finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored to improve his slash line to .303/.416/.450 over 82 games with Salem. Heller has a five-game hit streak, with two homers, a triple, and a double over that span and now three straight multi-hit games.

— RHP German Tavares suffered the loss and a blown save as he allowed three hits and three walks in the seventh to go along with a throwing error as Lynchburg erased a 4-3 deficit to take an 8-4 lead. Tavares, 22, is now 4-4 with a 5.40 ERA over 28 appearances.

— RHP Chandler Shepherd pitched two scoreless innings to finish the game, with three strikeouts and just one hit allowed. Selected by Boston in the 13th round of the 2014 draft out of the University of Kentucky, Shepherd has not allowed a run in his last five appearances, with nine strikeouts to just one walk over that 8 1/3 inning span.

— The Channel 7 logo from Roanoke’€™s WDBJ7 and a black ribbon was painted next to each of the coaches’€™ boxes on each foul line at LewisGale Field after the tragic Wednesday shooting of two WDBJ journalists.

Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE (65-63): W, 7-0, vs. Greensboro (Marlins)

— Second baseman Yoan Moncada (Boston’€™s No. 1 prospect at MLB.com) smashed his eighth home run of the year on the second pitch he saw in the bottom of the first inning. The homer, pulled to left-center field, bounced off the wall of the apartment buildings beyond the fence at Fluor Field. Moncada, 20, would also walk twice to finish the night 1-for-3 with two runs scored and put his slash line at .293/.388/.468 over 70 games. In the second half of the season, Moncada is slashing .341/.438/.561 over 45 games with seven homers, 15 doubles, 24 RBIs, 43 runs scored, and 37 stolen bases. On the season, Moncada is hitting .323 against left-handed pitching with six homers, and .276 against right-handers.

— DH Michael Chavis (Boston’€™s No. 11 prospect at MLB.com) went 2-for-4 with two doubles, an RBI, and two runs scored, while left fielder Bryan Hudson went 3-for-4 with two doubles and a run. Third baseman Rafael Devers (Boston’€™s No. 2 prospect at MLB.com) and center fielder Andrew Benintendi (Boston’€™s No. 6 prospect at MLB.com) each reached base twice with a single and a walk, with Benintendi stealing a base (his second with Grenville) and scoring two runs.

— LHP Jake Drehoff, 23, made his sixth start of the season and pitched six scoreless innings to earn the victory (3-1, 2.74 ERA) with a final line of: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO (65 pitches, 45 strikes). Selected by Boston in the 12th round of the 2013 draft out of the University of Southern Mississippi, the 6-foot-4 Drehoff started in all 14 of his appearances last year for short-season Lowell (3-4, 3.54 ERA) before moving into a long relief role for much of this season. As a starter, Drehoff has a 2.30 ERA with seven earned runs allowed over 27 1/3 innings to go with 22 strikeouts and just one walk.

— RHP Jeffry Fernandez, in his first bullpen appearance of the year, and RHP Ryan Harris combined to complete the shutout, with Fernandez allowing a hit and a walk over two innings and Harris allowing one hit over his one inning of work.

Tate Matheny

Tate Matheny

SHORT-SEASON SINGLE-A LOWELL SPINNERS (33-31): W, 8-4, vs. Vermont (Athletics)

— Center fielder Tate Matheny snapped an 0-for-15 skid with a bases-loaded, two-RBI single in the sixth inning to snap a 3-3 tie, driving in first baseman Josh Ockimey and left fielder Tyler Spoon. Selected by Boston in the fourth round of this year’€™s draft out of Missouri State University, Matheny is slashing just .166/.228/.205 over 41 games, with 15 RBIs and 19 runs scored.

— Ockimey, 19, launched a three-run homer in the third inning, estimated at 380-feet over the right field wall, giving Lowell a 3-1 lead. Ockimey also walked twice and scored two runs, raising his slash line to .266/.356/.442 with four home runs, three triples, nine doubles, 28 RBIs and 26 runs scored over 45 games. Selected by Boston in the fifth round of the 2014 draft, Ockimey has now homered in two of his last three games.

— Spoon (2-for-4, double, run) and shortstop Jeremy Rivera (2-for-4, walk, run) had multi-hit games for Lowell, with third baseman Victor Acosta and catcher Jhon Nunez picking up RBIs.

— LHP Javier Rodriguez, 20, started and pitched 4 2/3 innings, allowing three earned runs on four hits and two walks while striking out three. RHP Daniel Gonzalez, 19, earned the win (3-2, 3.07 ERA) in relief with 4 1/3 innings allowing one unearned run, with five hits, one walk, and three strikeouts. The 6-foot-5 Gonzalez has struck out 49 and walked just 15 over 55 2/3 innings this year.

Raiwinson Lameda

Raiwinson Lameda

ROOKIE GULF COAST LEAGUE RED SOX (40-17): W, 3-2, vs. GCL Orioles

— Pinch-hitter Raiwinson Lameda drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning with a double that plated catcher Isaias Lucena as the GCL Red Sox won their seventh game in their last eight, as they maintain the best record in the Gulf Coast league with three games remaining in the season. The GCL Red Sox have already clinched a berth in the four-team GCL playoffs, which features two one-game semifinals and then a best-of-three championship round for the winners.

— Third baseman Roldani Baldwin went 2-for-3 as he reached safely for the 18th straight game, with hits in 17 of the last 18. Baldwin, 19, is slashing .296/.370/.408 with three homers, eight doubles, 25 RBIs and 18 runs over 46 games played.

— LHP Logan Allen started and pitched four scoreless innings, with two hits, no walks, and four strikeouts. In seven starts, the 18-year-old Allen is 0-0 with a 0.90 ERA (two earned runs over 20 innings) with 24 strikeouts and one walk. The 6-foot-3 Allen was selected by Boston in the eighth round of this year’€™s draft.

RHP Yankory Pimentel, 21, picked up the victory (4-0, 1.64 ERA) in relief with three innings pitched, allowing two earned runs with a walk and four strikeouts. Pimentel retired the final seven batters he faced. LHP Carlos Garcia finished the game with two scoreless innings, striking out three.

Blog Author: 
Ken Laird

Is it worth having Hanley Ramirez on the roster next season? (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)If Hanley Ramirez were a movie monster, he'd have about a dozen tentacles.



CHICAGO — Whatever Rick Porcello did during his time away, it worked.

Rick Porcello

Rick Porcello

CHICAGO — Whatever Rick Porcello did during his time away, it worked.

Making his first start since July 29 — when he allowed six runs on 10 hits in just two innings to the White Sox — the righty befuddled Chicago for seven innings Wednesday night on the way to leading the Red Sox to a 3-0 win at U.S. Cellular Field.

Porcello, who was coming off the 15-day disabled list after a battle with triceps soreness, didn’t allow a run or walk while giving up five hits and striking out five. It was the second time in the pitcher’s Red Sox career he got through his start without giving up a run, having pitched seven shutout innings against Tampa Bay May 5.

The effort lowered Porcello’s ERA to 5.47, having come into the game at 5.81. It was also just the starter’s second win since May 16.

By the time Porcello threw his last pitch of the night, he was still staring at a scoreless tie thanks to the equally as dominant effort by White Sox starter Chris Sale.

But the Red Sox were able to take advantage of the White Sox going to their bullpen when Travis Shaw launched his seventh homer of the season over the left field wall against reliever Nate Jones. The blast cleared the left field wall, and scored Xander Bogaerts for the first two runs of the game.

The Sox added an insurance score in the ninth thanks to Josh Rutledge’s sacrifice fly, plating Blake Swihart.

Robbie Ross Jr. and Junichi Tazawa pitched the final two innings to close out the Red Sox’ 58th win of the season (58-69).

For a complete box score, click here.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

The Red Sox are hoping Hanley Ramirez will be all smiles after a month of work at first base. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)



Interim manager Torey Lovullo made his weekly appearance on the Dale & Holley show on Wednesday afternoon before the third game of the Red Sox‘ series with the

Torey Lovullo

Torey Lovullo

Interim manager Torey Lovullo made his weekly appearance on the Dale & Holley show on Wednesday afternoon before the third game of the Red Sox‘ series with the White Sox. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

Though Hanley Ramirez only began taking ground balls at first base Tuesday, Lovullo said that the discussion to move him there “had been taking place for a period of time.” It wasn’t until Dave Dombrowski joined the organization that those discussions actually came to fruition.

“Dave came on board and thought a little bit more of it and gave his perspective and we just thought once we could move forward and try and figure out what’s best for the Boston Red Sox,” Lovullo said. “We wanted to have this option. We wanted to see what it looks like, we want to get him over there and just get him familiar with the position and see where it leads.

“Part of the equation was to bring Hanley in on that. True to form, Hanley’s on board. He said he’ll do anything to help the ball club move in a good position, and we’ll see where we’re at. Nothing is imminent, there’s no time frame, we just want to get him familiar with it. It also would allow us to get a good look at three of the young outfielders that are very exciting and on the rise, so a lot of reasons for it, what direction it goes has not been determined, but it’s an option that we’d like to have.”

That decision wasn’t Dombrowski’s alone, but Lovullo said he brought it up almost immediately upon his arrival and brought it to the foreground.

“It was one of the first things that he talked about,” he said. “He presented to us, and he wanted to know what we thought about, and he comes into these conversations brand new with an experienced set of eyes. The one thing that he stated was that, from the other side of the dugout, Hanley Ramirez is a very potent offensive force. When he’s swinging the bat well, he’s a middle-of-the-lineup run-producer, and Dave brought that to our attention and said that we have that guy right now, so he kind of threw it on us that he felt strongly that we should take a look over there. And like I said, before Dave came on board, it was a discussion that we would have internally and something that we were kicking around, but with his expertise and new set of eyes, it made it a little bit clearer for all of us.”

That being said, Ramirez has not yet played his final game in left field, according to Lovullo. He said they don’t want to move him to first too soon and put him in a position that would leave him susceptible to injury and discomfort. It also has a little bit to do with the outfield rotation.

“He is still currently our left fielder, and there’s two parts to that question, and Hanley is going to continue to play left field until he’s comfortable enough to get to first base,” Lovullo said. “If that happens before the season, we’re going to address that, but what we don’t want to do is put Hanley out there before he’s not 100 percent comfortable or in an area where he may get hurt. There’s a lot of footwork around the bag, there’s people running by you at full speed, and you don’t want to get clipped. The one thing we can go back to with Hanley is that he was a really gifted shortstop for a lot of years so there are some natural ingredients there that would lead us to think he would be successful at first base.

“Now the second part of it is those young outfielders. They are in a rotation, we know what they’re capable of doing, everything’s mapped out for them. They know what their roles are and it’s been very productive for us. We’re really excited about the potential for those three guys.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.

On skipping Eduardo Rodriguez’s start: “I’m not going to say we’re really skipping him, we’re just going to push him back a few days, and that’s how we’re looking at it. Eduardo threw 140 innings two years ago, 120 last year. I think he’s around 145-plus, and we just want to make sure we don’t ramp him up to 200 innings, and he probably could handle it, but we’re not going to do him any good when it comes to taking care of these guys, putting their health and well-being in the forefront, we’ve got to make sure that we don’t ramp things up too quickly. So pushing him back, giving him a little breather, catch up with some strength made sense and also to control his innings. Also, a lot of these young players are going through the six months of baseball for the first time. The minor league season ends at the end of August, that September, for everybody who’s played a game, you remember that that first September that you play in is a very grinding month, period. Whether you have the strength or not, it’s just a mental grind, so we’re going to try to control the environment the best that we can for some of these young players moving forward for that last month of September.”

On where Rusney Castillo is trending: “It was brought to my attention that the five-RBI game was the anniversary of him signing, so he’s been here a little over one year. What we saw when he first came on board was a very gifted ‘tryout camp’ style of player. He had all of the necessary tools, but things were geared towards the BP of somebody throwing 65 miles an hour instead of 95 miles an hour. All of those ingredients were inside of him, they just hadn’t been in organized baseball for a little bit of time, but we knew we had a very, very gifted athlete and we were going to have to be patient. We were going to have to kind of play it out a little bit, let this thing develop with playing time, whether it be at the minor league level or the major league level, but we would see it in spurts last year and we got really excited about it. Now the consistency is finally coming. He was banged up early this year in the minor leagues, missed some playing time, but the excitement we see is someone who is slowly figuring out how to operate at the major league level against major league players and it’s very simple for him. He’s a gifted athlete, the swing is shortened up, he’s starting to learn the Boston Red Sox concepts, and those at the beginning were very, very foreign to him, but we have some concepts here that we want these young players to adapt to and he’s putting those all in place right now.”

On the most difficult part of stepping into role of manager this late in the season: “It’s a tricky balance. John Farrell is the manager of this ball club, obviously some health concerns that he’s trying to work through and he’s in our thoughts every single day, so being able to do the things here while he’s away, keeping him abreast of what’s going on, it’s a creative balance, it’s very ticklish. I want to do the things that I know he’s kind of built into this ball club, but also put my own twist on it, so it’s a combination of things. But by and large, what we do is we communicate daily, we make sure we don’t get too far away from what is most important and that’s these kids and playing and putting them in a good situation to be successful.”

On how John Farrell‘s doing: “He’s doing just fine. I talk to him daily, I had a couple texts with him this morning. He’s doing well. He is beginning the second part of his first round of treatments. He’s doing well, we’re able to have great conversations. I haven’t seen him in a couple days, but I will say to everybody that when I do see him, he’s acting normal, he’s smiling, he’s laughing and that’s always good to see.”

Blog Author: 
Judy Cohen

ESPN baseball analyst Buster Olney made his weekly appearance on Merloni & Fauria on Wednesday afternoon to talk about Dave Dombrowski and how the