FORT MYERS, Fla. — Evidently, the Red Sox starting pitchers are trying to put punctuation one of this camp’s most talked about subjects.

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Evidently, the Red Sox starting pitchers are trying to put punctuation one of this camp’s most talked about subjects.

As John Tomase mentioned in his column Thursday, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington had an interesting comment when asked about the Cole Hamels rumors during the team’s radio broadcast Tuesday, saying, “I think the guys in that group like it, that’s there’s a tension about it and [external] talk about it. I think quietly, behind closed doors, they sort of like it, and there’s some motivation that comes through it.”

Thursday, the motivation came out into the team’s clubhouse.

Clay Buchholz took the initiative to make up t-shirts and hand them out to each member of the starting rotation. Each has the pitchers’ last names and number on the back. But four are light blue with the saying, “He’s the ace” on the front, while one — reserved for that day’s starting pitcher — is gray and says, “I’m the ace.” (Joe Kelly got to be the first to wear the gray one since he gets the start Thursday night in the Red Sox’ Grapefruit League opener against the Twins.)

“It shows the guy that there are no pressure on them,” Buchholz said. “They can just go out and pitch. Everybody has confidence in their ability. It’s one of those things to keep everything loose and have fun with it.”

To read Tomase’s column on the subject, click here.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

Torey Lovullo

Torey Lovullo

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox take on the Twins Thursday night in their Grapefruit League opener. (The game, which will be played at Minnesota’s newly-renovated/renamed spring training complex, CenturyLink Sports Complex, can be heard on the WEEI Sports Radio Network immediately following the Hot Stove Show: Spring Training Edition. It all starts at 6 p.m.)

For Joe Kelly, it will be an opportunity to take the mound for the first time this spring. For Jackie Bradley, the meeting allows for a chance to take advantage of not having to share time with Rusney Castillo while the Cuban outfielder recovers from a strained left oblique. And for Torey Lovullo, it is a reminder of what almost was.

Lovullo was the finalist for the Twins manager job, which ultimately went to Paul Molitor. By all accounts, it was a decision that came right down to the end of the process, with Molitor’s ties with the organization perhaps offering the ultimate advantage.

“I have nothing but the utmost respect for that whole group that’€™s in their front office. I had great interactions,” Lovullo said of the Twins’ decision-makers, which was led by general manager Terry Ryan. “I learned a lot. I learned a lot about them. I know they’€™re going to be pushing in the right direction.

“When it goes as far as it did and you’€™re one of the final two, you’€™re no longer a 10 percent chance because you’€™re one of 10. Now it’€™s 50-50. You start to feel a little bit better and allow yourself to say, ‘€˜You know what, I’€™ve done my job in executing my thoughts to them and it’€™s working so let’€™s keep going.’€™ There was a process that kept going all the way until Paul Molitor was named as manager that made me feel like I had a real legitimate chance.”

Lovullo flew out to Minnesota for his initial injury, but was then forced to conduct a follow-up get-together with the Twins’ brass — including owner Jim Pohlad — near his Southern California home after undergoing hip surgery.

“The common question is if I thought I really thought I had a chance because of Paul Molitor’€™s reputation and connection with the organization. Yeah, because I was told I did and I believed the front office and legitimately I felt like it was a very fair race that I just lost,” Lovullo explained.

The process wasn’t foreign for Lovullo, who has now interviewed for six managerial openings — Dodgers, Indians, Red Sox, Rangers, Astros, Twins. (Note: he would have undoubtedly interviewed with the Cubs prior to the 2014 season if not for an agreement made following Theo Epstein‘s departure preventing non-uniformed personnel moving from the Red Sox to Chicago.)

While Lovullo was considered one of the finalists for the Astros position, it was the Twins job he feels was the closest to becoming a reality.

“I think I’€™ll just continue to talk about the things that are important to me and be open and honest,” he said. “I feel at times that might work against me because I’€™m honest to a fault and when they ask me the question I don’€™t want to hide anything. I think that’€™s the right way to approach that.

“A lot of people have asked me if I would have done anything different. I wouldn’€™t have changed a thing over the course of those three interviews. I felt a lot of respect for all the people I sat down with last year. It just didn’€™t match. I’€™m not here to fast forward anything. I just want to enjoy where I’€™m at right now. When and if the time comes I do get that job I’€™ll be ready for that challenge.”

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

The Cole Hamels trade talk is actually motivating the Red Sox' starters, according to Ben Cherington. (Rob Foldy/Getty Images)FORT MYERS, Fla.



FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox were reminded Wednesday why it’s good to have too many instead of too few.

Rusney Castillo. (Getty Images)

Rusney Castillo. (Getty Images)

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox were reminded Wednesday why it’s good to have too many instead of too few.

With the talk of excess outfielders circulating through camp for the past couple of weeks, the numbers were cut into for the foreseeable future thanks to Rusney Castillo’s strained left oblique.

Castillo hurt his oblique during his third at-bat against Boston College Tuesday. After undergoing an MRI, it was determined the outfielder would be “down for some time,” according to Red Sox manager John Farrell.

Both Farrell and Castillo confirmed the 27-year-old had never previously experienced such an injury. The manager surmised the ailment would keep his outfielder out for more than a week.

“It wasn’€™t any sort of different kind of swing or odd swing, it was just a pitch that was a little in,” Castillo said through translator Adrian Lorenzo. “I took a regular swing on it and felt something there right in the oblique area. That’€™s what it was.”

When asked if he believed the injury would negatively impact his chance to break spring training with the big league team, Castillo said, “I don’€™t think it impacts me in a negative way. We’€™re doing everything we can to recuperate as quickly as possible. I guess we’€™ll see how it goes.”

Castillo noted that there is no timetable for his return, and that the injury felt better than it did Tuesday night.

“It’€™s part of the process, I wouldn’€™t say it’€™s frustrating,” he noted. “I don’€™t know exactly how much time I’€™m going to be out yet but it’€™s all part of it.”

Farrell said Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley will continue to rotate in center field. The manager also passed on that Shane Victorino was scheduled to play in the Red Sox’ Thursday night game against the Twins, but will be in the lineup for the following two games.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

According to multiple reports, Jerry Remy’s Sports Bar and Grill, located just outside Fenway Park, has been closed.

The franchise’s other three locations — Logan Airport, the Seaport District and Fall River (Remy’s hometown) — remain open.

According to multiple reports, Jerry Remy’s Sports Bar and Grill, located just outside Fenway Park, has been closed.

The franchise’s other three locations — Logan Airport, the Seaport District and Fall River (Remy’s hometown) — remain open.

The blog Boston Restaurant Talk reports that the establishment is in bankruptcy and the landlord — the Red Sox — will not renew the lease due to the financial problems.

The restaurant, at 1265 Boylston Street, opened in March 2010. Its roof deck overlooks Fenway Park’s right-field wall.

Remy came under heavy criticism last year when a Boston Globe report detailed how he had enabled and protected his son Jared, who had a long history of violence toward women before pleading guilty to first-degree murder last year in the 2013 killing of his live-in girlfriend.

Remy, who also has battled cancer, took some time away from his job as NESN Red Sox color commentator before returning to the booth.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar

Hanley Ramirez is an impressive physical specimen who has bulked up in anticipation of a move to the outfield. (Brita Meng Outzen)FORT MYERS, Fla. – Bill Monbouquette was pitching coach at short season Oneonta in 2002 when he saw the future.



FORT MYERS, Fla. ‘€“ Observations from the first day of actual baseball this spring, a pair of close victories over Northeastern (2-1) and Boston College (1-0).