Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Read into this what you must, but here are the starting lineups for the Red Sox seven-inning games against Northeastern and Boston College:

Game 1 vs. Northeastern: Mookie Betts CF, Dustin Pedroia 2B, David Ortiz DH, Hanley Ramirez LF, Pablo Sandoval 3B, Mike Napoli 1B, Shane Victorino RF, Xander Bogaerts SS, Christian Vazquez C, Clay Buchholz P.

Game 2 vs. Boston College: Rusney Castillo CF, Jemile Weeks 2B, Daniel Nava LF, Allen Craig 1B, Garin Cecchini 3B, Ryan Hanigan C, Travis Shaw DH, Jackie Bradley RF, Deven Marrero SS, Wade Miley P.

Getting the start for the Huskies will be sophomore righty Aaron Civale (Greenland, N.H.), while sophomore right-hander Eric Stone (West Haven, Conn.) will be Boston College‘s first pitcher.

For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly stopped by the Dennis & Callahan show on Tuesday morning to talk about the upcoming season both for him personally, and the starting rotation.

Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly

Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly stopped by the Dennis & Callahan show on Tuesday morning to talk about the upcoming season both for him personally, and the starting rotation. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

At an offseason event, Kelly said on the WEEI airwaves he was going to win the Cy Young. Although the right-hander said there was a little sarcasm in his comments, he is looking forward to having a solid season and feels good about his abilities.

“It’s something I am confident in my abilities and confident in my stuff,” said Kelly. “If I go out there and do what I am capable of, it will be a pretty good year.”

The biggest storyline this spring surrounding the starting rotation is the thought there isn’t a clear-cut ace of the staff. Kelly said that isn’t an issue with the group of five, and they’ve discussed what they want to be known for. The pitcher also noted the emergence of rookie Michael Wacha with his former team, the Cardinals in 2013, as sometimes star pitchers can come out of no where.

“I give an example named Michael Wacha who as a rookie who carried [St. Louis] basically on his back throughout the playoffs when we played the Red Sox and when we played everyone in 2013,” Kelly said. “I don’t think some prospect who got called up could be considered an ace, but he pitched better than everybody in the entire major league baseball. There [are] difference instances where people say, hey, you have an ace or you don’t have an ace. It’s something that we’re going to hear throughout camp and that is OK.

“It’s something we have to stick together as a group of five and not really worry about the outside and try and stay on us and worry about how we’re going to build together as five and work on what we want to be known for. We sat down and talked about that a little bit and we want to be known for being tough competitor pitchers that never back down, pitch some innings and win more games than we lose.”

After being traded to the Red Sox along with Alan Craig for John Lackey at the trade deadline last year, Kelly went 4-2 with a 4.11 ERA in 10 starts with the Red Sox. Kelly said he loved playing in St. Louis, as that was the only organization he’s ever known.

“I loved playing for the Cardinals. It was awesome,” said Kelly. “It was one of the best experiences that I have had so far in my career. I got called up in 2012 and after I made my first start I went to go eat lunch at a restaurant and my meal was paid for. ‘Hey, good start.’ I had only been in the big leagues one day, so it’s kind of like [even if] you’re the 25th guy, you’re the call up, everyone knows who you are.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. For more Red Sox news, check out weei.com/redsox.

On personally not being an ace: “Who said I am or I am not? It’s not a problem. It’s me going out there and trying to do my business out there on the mound. When I was with St. Louis, I was always in and out of the rotation — didn’t really have a spot sometimes. We had a pitcher Jaime Garcia who was one of our guys and when he went down I stepped in and took over that role of coming from a long reliever to a starter and I haven’t really had a full year of starting under my belt and this will be my first — it’s what I am planning on. I’m excited for that.”

On attitude with team right now: “The energy in the clubhouse right now is awesome. It’s always kind of like that early in camp, everyone is excited to be there after a long offseason. Everyone is excited to see the new faces, new teammates, meet and greet guys. It’s going to be interesting how the middle of camp, the end of camp where everything gets monotonous, you’re doing the same thing every day, what kind of energy level our team can bring. So far we’re meshing pretty well as a team and our starters are having some fun. We’re playing some golf together, we’re eating together, we’re talking some baseball — it all depends on how our team meshes and so far so good. It looks great. There is no big ego in the clubhouse who is like, ‘No, I’m doing it my way. I am not listening.’ Everyone is listening to the coaches, manager, front office, trying to nit pick and learn everything from anybody.”

On working on throwing a four-seam fastball again: “Not working on it, I’ve had it. It’s just something I’ve never used. Going up in the Cardinals organization it’s something — I don’t know if you know who [pitching coach] Dave Duncan is — you get taught sinkers over there mostly and I came as a college closer to a starter. Mostly in the beginning my transition my first year was to try to build innings, try to build pitchers and get my arm strong. Then, I had some success there and they kept starting me, putting an emphasis of getting ground balls and I went from throwing four-seamers in college as hard as I could at 100 miles per hour to trying to pitch.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling joined Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday morning to talk about the vulgar tweets he received after tw

Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling joined Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday morning to talk about the vulgar tweets he received after tweeting his daughter will be playing college softball at Salve Regina University next year, and the course of action he’s taken. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Schilling wrote a lengthy blog post on his personal blog Sunday night addressing, and even publishing some of the tweets he received. The former big league pitcher reached out to some of the schools some of the tweeters attended, including coaches of teams the men played college sports for. He said some hockey, lacrosse and soccer players have been kicked off teams for good, or suspended for the year.

Additionally, Brookdale Community College suspended one of its students for his comments, and the Yankees have reportedly fired a part-time employee for his comments.

“It’s not a mistake,” Schilling said. “People talk about making mistakes as a kid — listen, I’ve made a million mistakes — these are conscious decisions because a mistake is saying you know what, ‘You’re a tool,’ and going on and saying, ‘Oh gosh, I shouldn’t of said that’ and going back and deleting it. This was over and over and over. You could see at some point they all thought what the hell is he going to do to me and they got worse and eventually it got to the point where I said OK, I need to fix this.”

“A couple of these guys, this stuff will follow them around for the rest of their lives because I am going to make sure it does,” he added.

The current ESPN analyst said at the time of the original tweet he expected a few tweets from trolls, but nothing to the point it has reached. It was then Schilling decided something needed to be done.

“I expected the trolls,” he said. “The one kid kind of came at me and said, ‘I can’t wait to take your daughter out.’ Kind of borderline stuff, which again, I expected. I’ve been on the internet since, I started playing on computers in 1980, so I understand how it works and I knew there would be stuff. The stuff that they did, that is not bad or vile, it’s illegal. It’s against the law.

“When that started — again, I thought it might be a one-off, but then it started to steamroll. And then [my daughter] started to get private correspondence and then I said OK, this needs to get fixed. This generation of kids doesn’t understand, and adults too, doesn’t understand that the internet is not even remotely anonymous.”

Schilling said this isn’t a matter of political beliefs, or which team you may root for — this is a issue for everyone and something he vows to try have as many people hear about it as he can.

“Here is the thing, we all know I don’t care if you’re a liberal, conservative or a Republican, Democrat, Independent, Yankees, Red Sox whatever fan, or if you don’t like me — every single woman on this planet is bothered by this,” said Schilling. “When I talk to Michelle Malkin or when I email and text the link to Ann Coulter, they are going to get the word out. This is one of those kind of elephants in the room as a society now.

“I am a guy. Since I’ve been here I’ve said a million things I wish I hadn’t, but this is not being a guy. There is nothing about this that is manly.”

The former pitcher wouldn’t comment if he is pressing criminal charges, but did say, “This is not over by any stretch, no.”

He added: “Should I choose to pursue all of them, [they] could be followed around the rest of their lives with a sex offender tag. Those people have to register everywhere they go. They have to inform everyone they ever apply for a job with. Every community — go to the sex offender website, look at it. Every one that tweeted the stuff that I am talking about could be labeled and criminally labeled a sex offender, forever.”

Schilling admitted he never expected things to go this far on a national scale, and he didn’t even think about that when he decided to address the matter. He added there were even more vulgar tweets other than the ones he published.

“I didn’t think about that part of it — honest to God I didn’t,” Schilling said. “I thought about my daughter. The letter that I posted has been edited by me about 46 times because the first letter I wrote was basically, I am going to find you and kill you. It was the dad response, but then at some point as I kept looking at it, I realized I have three sons. If I want to teach my boys about being real men then there needs to be a learning moment in all of this. My oldest son is in college, he’s a freshman and my two younger sons wanted to tweet back every one of these guys in language I’ve never heard them speak before.”

Schilling said although he’s forgiven the men, this will stay with them the rest of their lives because of the power of the internet in today’s society.

“I’ve forgiven them, but they are never going to be able to out live this,” he said. “This is with them for the rest of their lives. This is not a mistake. Let me be very clear, these kids didn’t make a mistake. They made conscious decisions to talk about rape, and sex and defiling a 17-year-old girl. What part of the news are these people not seeing on a daily basis where kids on a daily basis are killing themselves from being cyber bullied?”

As for his daughter, Schilling said she was originally mad at him for what he did, but after sitting down and speaking with her, she has a better understanding of the situation and Schilling’s reasons and is doing well.

“She’s doing good,” he said. “My daughter has I’d like to think the intestinal fortitude or whatever you want to call it, that I have in the sense that she was unbelievably distressed and distraught and wanted nothing more of this to happen. Initially she was very mad at me for responding and I sat her down and explained to her as stupid as you think I am — and she thinks I am as stupid as anyone on this planet — there are certain things that can’t ever happen.

“No one is every allowed and OK to talk to you like this, in person or in private, ever. You better know that the opportunities for you out there are no different for you because you’re a woman. People like this are so intimated by you and your potential success that this is the only thing they got. That is one of the reasons why I taught my daughter self-defense. We live in a world that is — look across the ocean — we live in a world that in some cases despises women.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

FORT MYERS, Fla. — So, here’s the deal …

Both the Red Sox and Boston College baseball team will honor Pete Frates Tuesday night. (Getty Images)

Both the Red Sox and Boston College baseball team will honor Pete Frates Tuesday night. (Getty Images)

FORT MYERS, Fla. — So, here’s the deal …

The Red Sox will actually start playing baseball games Tuesday, with their usual pair of seven-inning tilts at JetBlue Park against Northeastern and Boston College, respectively. The first baseball of the spring will be thrown by Clay Buchholz at approximately 1 p.m. against the Huskies, with the matchup with BC kicking off about 30 minutes after the completion of the first of the two seven-inning games.

(Lucky for you, we will be broadcasting both games on WEEI-AM 850, so listen in.)

The scheduled order of Red Sox pitchers for Game 1 are as follows: Buchholz, Rick Porcello, Eduardo Rodriguez, Zeke Spruill, Dana Eveland, Anthony Varvaro and Mitchell Boggs. Game 2 pitchers will be: Wade Miley, Steven Wright, Craig Breslow, Brandon Workman, Edwin Escobar, Dalier Hinojosa, Keith Couch and Noe Ramirez.

(For a list of which game each position player is assigned, see the bottom of this post.)

We may (and should) remember the day for the Sox and Eagles honoring former BC baseball player Pete Frates, who continues to fight ALS, with both clubs donning Frates’ No. 3. (To read more about the tribute, click here.)

From the perspective of building this year’s Red Sox roster, however, there are interesting elements you should be listening for. (Again, that’s listening for, since neither game is televised.)

– This marks the first time Hanley Ramirez has experienced game action in left field, getting the start against Northeastern.

He doesn’t seem nervous.

“I don’€™t put pressure on myself. I’€™m ready for anything,” Ramirez said. “I’€™ve put in a lot of work. I don’€™t have any negative thoughts. Everything is positive. I’€™m just going to be ready for everything.”

Red Sox first base/outfield coach Arnie Beyeler — the man who has been charged the molding the first-time outfielder — offered more detailed picture of where Ramirez stood heading into his inaugural test in left.

“We’€™ve kind of done all we can do out here. He has to play,” Beyeler said. “He has to job on and off the field. He has to look for signs. We have to get game speed rolling a little bit. He’€™s drilled-out. He’€™s tired, which is a good thing because he’€™s working so hard. He’€™s not moving really well right now because he’€™s tired, which is a great thing because he’€™s working so hard. I think the first part of next week we can start talking fielding situations and what he’€™s thinking out there. We can start getting into game-speed things. Right now we can’€™t talk about that because he doesn’€™t know, and we don’€™t know. It will be kind of fun watching and see how he evolves.”

One subtle part of Ramirez’s new lot in life is simply not getting to bored while playing in the outfield. Remember, his previous position, shortstop, mandated that he be involved in numerous elements of reacting to any ball put in play.

“After [Tuesday] we’€™ll be able to talk about that,” Beyeler said. “I don’€™t think until he goes out there and physically realizes that this is kind of boring out there, then we’€™ll take about it a little bit.”

– The player residing to the left of Ramirez, center fielder Mookie Betts, is also still a work in progress despite his experience in the outfield last season.

One aspect of playing the position Betts and his coaches feel he has improved upon is throwing, as was evident during situational drills Monday when the center fielder routinely made strong accurate throws into home.

“Mookie is stretching his arm out a little bit,” Beyeler explained. “He’€™s getting a little more of a circle working, a little more extension and he’€™s starting to feel it. There’€™s a guy who has been doing it now all winter. It’€™s taken him a little time to lengthen it out because as an infielder you’€™re short. He’€™s starting to get a better feel for it. You see his ball getting some carry. You probably won’€™t see that on Hanley yet for another month or two because I don’€™t think his arm is in shape yet.”

“I’ve been trying to get longer in my throwing to get a little more carry. It’s something I worked on in the offseason,” Betts said. “I’ve got a little more carry on my ball now, but it’s still nothing compared to some of these guys. As long as it’s functional.”

– It will be interesting to see Porcello’s debut in a Red Sox uniform, although the starter warned earlier camp that spring training isn’t necessarily the best time to make judgments on his abilities.

As Porcello noted, he experienced his worst spring training of his career a year ago — finishing with a 7.85 ERA while giving up 27 hits in 18.1 Grapefruit League innings — but finished with the best regular season of his career.

– One of the radar gun readings to keep an eye on is surprisingly Breslow. The lefty believes has made some subtle adjustments that potentially could make a difference. “It feels like I’m throwing harder,” he said. “But we’ll see [Tuesday].”

– Another pitcher in the BC game, Workman, has seemingly made strides in fixing what had been a bread-and-butter four-seam fastball. That, along with the understanding that his role is to pitch just an inning or two, allows for some newfound optimism regarding the righty.

“The way he pitched last year physically, in one-inning stints, his stuff plays up a little bit more with power,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “A little bit more swing-and-miss ability with his fastball and his mentality is one that embraces those higher leverage type of innings.

“Last year because he was trying to manufacture some velocity it started to get a little rotational which would cause his hand to get on the outside of the ball and cause that cutting so the fact that he’€™s able to stay behind and create that 12-6 rotation it gets back to him being fresh and not having to overwork to create velocity.”

– Getting to see some of the prospects we’ve heard so much about is always a bonus. In this case one of the participants that should garner a fair amount of attention is Rodriguez, the pitcher the Red Sox got for Andrew Miller last non-waiver trade deadline.

“Very good. A left-hander that everyone can kind of see the kind of stuff he has,” said Farrell regarding his early impressions of the lefty. “But what’€™s been even more of a positive is you get an understanding of the aptitude, the intelligence that’€™s’€™ there. His ability to communicate and express things he’€™s dealing with on the mound or making a subtle adjustment. He’€™s a bright looking young prospect.”

– Here is how the Red Sox are breaking down the position players:

Northeastern: Christian Vazquez, Humberto Quintero, Luke Montz, Jeff Bianchi, Xander Bogaerts, Sean Coyle , Brock Holt, Bryan LaHair, Mike Napoli, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Pablo Sandoval, Mookie Betts, Bryce Brentz, Hanley Ramirez, Shane Victorino.

Boston College: Ryan Hanigan, Matt Spring, Blake Swihart, Garin Cecchini, Deven Marrero, Travis Shaw, Jemile Weeks, Daniel Nava, Allen Craig, Rusney Castillo, Jackie Bradley, Quintin Berry.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

Join Kirk Minihane of the Dennis and Callahan Show for a live chat, Tuesday morning starting at 11. Get your questions in now …

Live Blog Kirk Minihane live chat
 

Blog Author: 
WEEI

FORT MYERS, Fla. — David Ortiz can understand Curt Schilling‘s frustrations.

FORT MYERS, Fla. — David Ortiz can understand Curt Schilling‘s frustrations.

Not only is Ortiz also living the life of a high profile sports figure immersing himself in the world of Twitter, but he has experienced the good and bad when it comes to using the social media tool for personal recognition.

It’s why Ortiz exhibited a passionate response when informed of the Schilling saga, in which the former pitcher’s post congratulating his daughter, Gabby, led to some vicious tweets directed at the high school senior.

(To read more about the Schilling situation, click here for columns by John Tomase and Jerry Thornton. Schilling is scheduled to appear on the Dennis and Callahan Show Tuesday morning.)

“It’€™s personal,” said Ortiz. “I tweeted about my daughter graduating a while ago and most everybody was supportive. I think one or two people put up something stupid and you try to not pay attention to that but you see it. Every man would want to congratulate their kids. When you talk about your son or your daughter graduating, you’€™ve made it. You put a lot of work into it so your kids can be somebody in the future for society. Every time I heard somebody’€™s kid graduating I feel proud because I know how much it takes. So for anybody to criticize that, it’€™s wrong.

“Now I’€™m going to dig into it because I’€™m going to support him 100 percent. If you have some personal issues with Curt about something he has done before, that’€™s your problem. But now, when he’€™s tweeting about his daughter, you respect that because if you’€™re the one tweeting about your daughter graduating you like to hear good things.”

Ortiz explained that the best course of action for Twitter trolls is to look the other way, but often times that’s easier said that done.

For instance, just recently he was put to the test with what would appear to be a seemingly congratulatory post for his native country’s birthday.

“The other day I tweeted something about Indepedence Day back in [the Dominican Republic],” Ortiz said. “I tweeted in Spanish and English. I first tweeted it in Spanish and then English because I wanted everybody to understand what I was trying to say. This jerk comes out of nowhere telling me that wrote it wrong in Spanish. But the way he wrote it was wrong. It pissed me off because, first of all, he didn’€™t know how to write something in Spanish, and No. 2, you’€™re trying to get me to write something in Spanish when you can’€™t even in Spanish. I put something back, but I took it off.

“It’€™s hard, I’€™m not going to lie to you. The best thing to do is just leave it alone but there are always going to be jerks out there trying to get your attention.”

Still, as much as Ortiz understands the dynamic of social media criticism, when ridicule of family members enter into the conversation then he — like most — still has a difficult time understanding such actions.

“It’€™s kind of hard,” he said. “I know there are a bunch of [expletives] out there just waiting for you to say something or to do something so they can criticize you no matter what you say or what you do. Why would you criticize guy that has been through the whole thing he’€™s been through, and then they’€™re talking about his daughter who is graduating, for God’€™s sake? Really. Why would you criticize something like that. It makes you angry.”

(To view David Ortiz’s Twitter account, click here.)

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford