Shane Victorino is ready to assume his role as starting right fielder for the Red Sox. (Elsa/Getty Images)FORT MYERS, Fla.



FORT MYERS, Fla. — David Ortiz has made it perfectly clear why he chose to publish 2,300-plus-word, March 26 article on the Players’ Tribune web site defending himself against allegations of using performance enhancing drugs.

FORT MYERS, Fla. — David Ortiz has made it perfectly clear why he chose to publish 2,300-plus-word, March 26 article on the Players’ Tribune web site defending himself against allegations of using performance enhancing drugs.

He wanted to attempt to have what he hoped would be the last say on the matter.

“People are always focused on things that really don’t matter. I just want to make myself clear that I don’t want to keep talking about this,” Ortiz told WEEI.com Monday afternoon. “People are always bringing the subject to me, over and over. People look at me, like why does he keep bringing this subject back? It’s not me, bro. I get that question asked. Every year, people come and ask me the same question. I’m just tired of it, bro. That article that came out, hopefully it’s the last time I talk about it.”

But while Ortiz was satisfied with the overall presentation of the article, he did regret how one part was represented.

The three sentences Ortiz felt an obligation to clarify while sitting in front of his locker prior to Monday’s game at JetBlue Park were: “I grew up in a house where my father used to hit my mother. There was a fight in my house pretty much every other day. It was normal.”

Ortiz explained the message he intended to relay regarding his upbringing.

“The one part where it said that my dad [Enrique] used to beat up my mom [Angela Rosa] and stuff, that was wrong. What I was meaning to say was that in my house, it was an argument all the time, fights and stuff.

“There were things that you don’t want to see as a child. But it wasn’t that my dad was an abuser, because my mom was a tough lady. I’m not going to give too much of the details into that, because that’s my personal life. My dad has always been a great dad. I don’t want people to look at him like he was the wrong person.

“My whole thing was based on the argument they used to have. At some point my mom and dad ended up divorcing and that was the end, everyone went on their own. Then, once they were away from each other, the true respect that you expect from a husband and wife started showing up even more. Their relationship got better, even if they weren’t together. But that’s the way I was raised, though. To make myself clear, I was basically just saying I grew up in a tough situation.

“I don’t want people to think that my dad was an abuser, because my dad is the reason I am who I am, besides God. He’s a good man who taught me how to the right thing. It was just the kind of relationship that, they didn’t agree with a lot of things. That brings a fight. A fight’s not just when a man hits a woman. Arguments can be called fights.”

To read the entire article, click here.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

FORT MYERS, Fla. — As spring training games go, Monday night’s 14-2 pummeling of the crosstown Twins was about as good as it gets for the Red Sox.

David Ortiz singles in Mookie Betts in third inning Monday night in Fort Myers. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

David Ortiz singles in Mookie Betts in third inning Monday night in Fort Myers. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

FORT MYERS, Fla. — As spring training games go, Monday night’s 14-2 pummeling of the crosstown Twins was about as good as it gets for the Red Sox.

Exactly one week before the season opener in Philadelphia, John Farrell rolled out a lineup that fans can expect to see against the Phillies (and hopefully most of the season). And that lineup produced just as Red Sox management hoped when they put together the new offense over the winter.

Leadoff hitter Mookie Betts continued his scorching spring with two more hits, including an RBI double high off the Monster in a six-run fourth. He scored twice and is now batting .467 on the spring.

Mike Napoli looks as comfortable as anyone in the lineup not named Betts. He has also carried a blazing bat in spring, even when he’s breaking it in half and homering as was the case in the fourth. He muscled up and clubbed a solo homer that carried over the Monster in straightaway left. The barrel of the bat wound up in the dirt next to the third base bag and he ran around it as he circled the bases on his fourth homer of the spring.

The solo shot must’ve inspired the rest of the order as Shane Victorino followed with a double. It was the second of seven straight hits by Red Sox regulars off a Twins staff comprised mostly of relievers for the game. In all, the Red Sox had consecutive RBI hits from Xander Bogaerts, Humberto Quintero, Mookie Betts, Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz in the six-run fourth.

After his seventh strikeout of spring, Ortiz broke out of a mini-slump with an RBI single in the third that got the scoring underway. He followed that with a smooth swing that produced a sinking liner to left-center, scoring Dustin Pedroia. He finished 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs, bringing his average up to .259 this spring in 10 games.

Masterson allowed five hits and one run over his 5 2/3 innings and ended his night on a strong note when he got Torii Hunter to ground into a 6-4-3 double play. The starter who projects to start the season as a starter somewhere behind Clay Buchholz and Rick Porcello struck out four and walked one while generating seven ground ball outs. He could’ve had an eighth except for a rare Dustin Pedroia error in the third.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

FORT MYERS, Fla. — John Farrell took a fun swipe the constant questions about his roster Monday before the game with the Twins at JetBlue Park.

“We’ve got some short-term questions with health that are apparent that we’ve talked about a lot,” Farrell said with a smile.

But the Red Sox manager certainly understands the daily queries about his roster given the health of Koji Uehara, Joe Kelly and the loss of Christian Vazquez. Those three changes alone have exponentially increased the complexity of his roster decision in the last week of spring training.

But there are still quality cogs on the roster that Farrell think can be part of the offensive machine that carries his team. On top of that, Farrell beamed about what he’s seen from his projected rotation this spring, starting with Clay Buchholz and Rick Porcello. He’s also seen enough from Wade Miley and Justin Masterson.

He made it clear Monday that all four plus Kelly is what he projects heading into the season with as a starting staff.

“I like it. But I like our team,” Farrell said. “I think our rotation is going to pitch well, I really do. We’ve had some performances in spring training that, with guys in the bullpen, give us weapons to match up. Getting Koji back will certainly be a boost. We’re not a perfect team but I like our team.”

Farrell indicated that he was not inclined to keep an extra outfielder, even with the health questions of Uehara and Kelly.

What exactly does he like from the group?

“On the whole, they like to work quick, and I’m a big fan of that,” Farrell said.

“I don’t know that anything is a real surprise. Our goal was to make sure we have five guys healthy, and we’re dealing with one situation that we’ll bring along. But Joe will get to us in time. Whether that’s next week or beyond, that remains to be seen. What I like about it is there’s five guys that have been in the big leagues and they have track records that we get some sense of known commodity or dependability out of them, and we can work with that.”

“You see it little by little and in combination with understand and knowing the work that’s going on with Chili prior to BP, I think we all want adjustments to happen more readily but hey, things will happen in time and you can see the adjustments being attempted at the plate. A couple of balls the other day that find their way to base hits, gives him a chance to relax a little bit and let some of the work being done really start to gain some traction.”

While Farrell said all the outfielders on the current roster would remain in the organization on Opening Day, he admitted he has no idea how it will play out when the decisions are made this weekend.

“[It’s] not an issue,” Farrell said. “We have a roster decision to make that’s looming by the time we break on Saturday, and there’s nothing that’s been definitively made.”

If the Red Sox are indeed set on keeping all of their outfielders, that would likely mean Jackie Bradley Jr. and Rusney Castillo would be optioned to start the season, with Allen Craig and Daniel Nava still on the roster.

Barring any late injury or setback, Farrell reiterated Monday that Shane Victorino is the starting right fielder, meaning Nava and Craig are the backup outfielders.

Other notes from Monday: Farrell announced that reliever Matt Barnes, who last pitched Saturday in Port Charlotte against the Rays, would be out of commission for a day or two as he recovers from food poisoning.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

FORT MYERS, Fla. — After Koji Uehara again felt something in his sore hamstring after a 30-pitch bullpen Monday, John Farrell can count on his closer not being ready for the start of the season.

Koji Uehara

Koji Uehara

FORT MYERS, Fla. — After Koji Uehara again felt something in his sore hamstring after a 30-pitch bullpen Monday, John Farrell can count on his closer not being ready for the start of the season.

“I don’t think there’s anything to suggest that come next Monday he’s in our bullpen,” Farrell said Monday. And that was before Uehara threw 30 pitches in a bullpen session that was far from 100 percent.

“Same as last time. It’s the same. I feel something in the same area so I’m not throwing as hard as I want to be,” Uehara said.

The question now is just when might the 39-year-old right-handed closer return to action.

“I don’t know when I’ll be back,” Uehara said Monday. “It’s a day-to-day process. I have to do what I have to do to get ready.”

Uehara hasn’t pitched since March 14. He has allowed seven hits and two earned runs in three one-inning stints this spring.

“I think I’m going to start on the DL just because I haven’t had the games,” Uehara said. “If that is the case, if I start on the DL, it certainly will be a disappointment. I knew from the beginning that it’s going to be a slow process. It’s from my experience.”

It would appear all but certain that Uehara will start the season on the disabled list as the Red Sox and Farrell try to patch together the backend of their bullpen, which starts with moving Edward Mujica into the closer’s role for the time being.

“I don’t have seven names to give you right now,” Farrell said of his uncertain bullpen. “We’ve still got some things to determine how we’re going to form the rotation, whether we go with an additional left-hander or right-hander, what the ramifications coming out of the mix for the short run, does that likely move Edward back into the closing role, and you’re down to a couple of right-handers, likely three, with two being a little bit better against righties.

“All of these things are factored in. I do know this that we’re in a point in time in camp where guys are throwing the ball as expected, that includes Robbie Ross, Matt Barnes. Brandon Workman’s last time out was encouraging so as we get to final week of camp here, the guys we felt would be in contention for spots are moving in the right direction.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

Red Sox manager John Farrell has some decisions to make on his final roster.</p>
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — With so many moving parts at once right now, it would be hard to blame manager John Farrell for choosing his words very carefully when asked to project his roster, including the catching position.