David Ortiz was very outspoken earlier in the week when he became aware of the new MLB rules regarding hitters in

David Ortiz was very outspoken earlier in the week when he became aware of the new MLB rules regarding hitters in the effort to speed up the overall pace-of-play.

Commissioner Rob Manfred responded to Ortiz’s comments, and the new rules in general on Friday when speaking at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston.

Ortiz said during his press conference that he didn’t feel the players were given much input in the changes. Manfred said the MLB Players Association as a whole worked together with the league on it, and he added he doesn’t “foresee the kind of problems” that Ortiz does.

“I think that, across the unit, across the bargaining unit, we will get really good cooperation on pace of game,” Manfred said. “We made the agreement with their certified bargaining representative, and I don’t foresee the kind of problems that Mr. Ortiz does.”

Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal (via Twitter on Thursday) reported the first violation of the new rules would result in a warning followed by the next four being different increments of fines. Rosenthal added there was a possibility of even suspending players if they continue to show “willful disregard” of the rules.

Manfred doesn’t expect to see this action used, at least this season.

“I think that we’re going to work into the pace-of-game rules and you’re not going to see that type of disciplinary action at the outset,” said Manfred.

The Commissioner also said he contacted the union after hearing Ortiz’s comments earlier in the week.

“I’ve had a conversation with his bargaining representative about it,” Manfred said. “I’m sure they’ll reach out to him. I expect at the end of the day we’ll get cooperation there as well.”

For more Red Sox news, check out weei.com/redsox.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli spent two years in Texas with Josh Hamilton when the outfielder was at the height of his powers.

Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli spent two years in Texas with Josh Hamilton when the outfielder was at the height of his powers. He knows what a tremendous talent Hamilton is on the field, which made the news about Hamilton’s looming suspension ‘€“ reportedly for a drug relapse involving cocaine and alcohol ‘€“ all the more sad.

“It’s unfortunate, man. It’s just tough,” Napoli said. “A lot of people deal with things in different ways. Obviously there’s something wrong where he keeps relapsing, but it’s sad. I feel for him and his family. I just wish him the best and hope that he gets better.”

Hamilton had been one of the feel-good stories of baseball, a former No. 1 overall pick who drank and drugged his way of the game before a renaissance in Texas from 2008-12. Since signing with the Angels before the 2013 season, however, Hamilton’s star has burned less bright, and his latest transgression is sure to earn him a lengthy suspension.

Napoli doesn’t remember Hamilton struggling to stay on the straight and narrow in Texas.

“It just seemed like he was living his normal life,” he said. “It was never talked about. We were just regular people. We weren’t talking about what he used to do or whatever. When I was there, he had (accountability partner) Johnny Narron, who took care of him and stuff on the road. There was never any sense that he was going to relapse and go down that path.”

Napoli recalls the Rangers altering their celebrations en route to the World Series in 2011 to accommodate Hamilton’s lifestyle.

“We celebrated with ginger ale, and then he’d leave and we’d all celebrate (with champagne),” Napoli said.

In the end, Napoli hopes his former teammate can find himself again and overcome his addictions.

“Some people just have that personality, where they just feel like they need it,” he said. “It’s hard. I feel for him. I hope he gets on the right path to get back to being a star baseball player, because when he’s right and healthy and on the right path, he’s another league above this as a talent. It’s sad.”

Blog Author: 
John Tomase

David Ortiz (left) beat Hanley Ramirez in the finals of the 2010 Home Run Derby, and they renewed that rivalry in BP on Friday. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)FORT MYERS, Fla.



FORT MYERS, Fla. — When three of his projected starting pitchers wound up on the first pitching rotation charts of spring training inside the JetBlue clubhouse Friday morning, John Farrell had some explaining to do. Clay Buchholz and Rick Porcello were listed to pitch against Northeastern in the spring debut Tuesday afternoon, with Wade Miley set to take the hill against Boston College hours later in the nightcap.

Was it a grand conspiracy to hide who he feels is the club’s No. 1 starter from the group of Porcello, Buchholz and Miley?

“Camouflage, it’s a big thing,” Farrell joked.

Farrell then offered the more serious explanation in advance of spring games.

“We also have a doubleheader,” Farrell said. “It’s a matter of getting a number of guys to the mound as early as we can.”

Joe Kelly will start the Grapefruit League opener on Thursday against the Twins and Justin Masterson, who throws live BP on Monday, would be expected to start against the Marlins on Friday.

“We’ve got an overall plan with getting all five guys, really 10 or 11 guys stretched out as starters, to a point in camp where innings are going to be a little less available outside the initial five. We’ll get into that in due time,” Farrell said.

Farrell was asked what will matter most this spring when determining the order of his starters.

“Merit is one. You factor in what’s taken place either the year or years before,” Farrell said. “That’s one factor. You’re also looking at, when you start to slot guys in, if there are pitchers that have anticipated higher innings projections you try to stagger them so you’re not potentially over-taxing a bullpen on consecutive days. And then you’re trying to break things up. If you’re in a three-game series, are giving different looks, based on the style of that starter.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Edward Mujica was bad in his first two months with the Red Sox. Now we have an idea why.

Edward Mujica

Edward Mujica

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Edward Mujica was bad in his first two months with the Red Sox. Now we have an idea why.

Speaking prior to the Red Sox’ workout Friday morning, Mujica explained that besides adjusting to the American League, a probable cause for a subpar April and May was a neck issue.

According to the reliever, he was diagnosed with his C1 vertebrae being out of place by Red Sox medical personnel while taking his physical upon signing a two-year deal. Mujica insisted that it was an issue that wasn’t cleared up until midway through the 2014 season.

“My neck was bothering me when I got here, I got treatment and in spring training I felt good because of the weather,” said Mujica, who carried a 7.29 ERA after his first 22 appearances. “But then I felt sore in the neck because of the cold weather. I was also adjusting to the American League, all the teams have pretty good hitters 1-9. I just kept working every single day, watching videos, got that [physical] adjustment and got going in the second half.

“The figured it out in spring training. The CI was a little moved out of place, but they put it in the right place in spring training to get through the season. With treatment every single day it helped me a lot after the first two months.”

Mujica turned it around in the final three months, posting a 2.30 ERA in his final 34 outings. He also went 6-for-6 in save opportunities after assuming the closers role during Koji Uehara’s performance/injury-induced hiatus.

There was some thought prior to Uehara signing his deal, that Mujica might have crack at competing for the closers role. He will instead once again serve a set-up man to start ’15.

“Last year they gave me that opportunity at the end of the season and I did my job,” Mujica said. “It’€™s out of my hands. It’€™s their decision what they’€™re going to do. I’€™m going to be ready for whatever situation.

“Right now I feel pretty good. I don’€™t think about that. That’€™s their decision. I’€™m going to be out there working hard, trying to do my best when they call me to the mound. Same thing in the season. I’€™m going to be ready to go in whatever situation.”

Daniel Nava continues to work on hitting exclusively from the left side. (WEEI.com photo)

Daniel Nava continues to work on hitting exclusively from the left side. (WEEI.com photo)

- Daniel Nava isn’t officially leaving switch-hitting behind, but he is dabbling with the idea of batting left-handed against lefty pitching.

The approach was evident Thursday when Nava was put in a batting practice group that faced lefty pitchers, including southpaw reliever Dana Eveland.

“Right now he’s trying to figure out what he thinks is going to be difficult for him with a lefty-lefty matchup,” said Red Sox hitting coach Chili Davis. “The strike zone doesn’t change. It’s how you’re going to pick up the ball from a guy’s release point. You’re going to have to start reading pitches and seeing pitches.

“The beauty about Nav is that he’s a very patient hitter and if that carries over to what he’s doing this year, that’s going to be a benefit to him. He doesn’t swing at a lot of things. He’s not one of these guys who over-swings. I think in spring training we’re going to try and get him some at-bats against lefties, including some minor league lefties we can take him over to get work against.”

– The Red Sox posted their pitching rotation for the first few spring training games, with Clay Buchholz starting against Northeastern, with Rick Porcello coming in relief against the Huskies. Wade Miley is slated to start the nightcap vs. Boston College, followed by Steven Wright.

Joe Kelly will go against the Twins in the Red Sox’ Grapefruit League opener Thursday, with Justin Masterson likely to start Friday at JetBlue Park against the Marlins.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford