You may have heard Donald Trump’s name in the news today. Apparently the Cubs want no part of that (bleep)-show.

According to Mary Ann Ahern of NBC, the Cubs will be honored at the White House on Monday, before President Obama leaves office. President Trump will be inaugurated on Friday, Jan. 20.

The Ricketts family, which owns the Cubs, has an up-and-down history with Trump. Todd Ricketts, who sits on the team’s board of directors, was recently named deputy secretary of commerce for the new administration. But Trump has also clashed with the family over political donations to groups dedicated to stopping him during the election, and he threatened to spill dirt on the family in a tweet from last February.

Cubs president Theo Epstein, the Brookline native and former Red Sox general manager, is a known supporter of Democratic causes. While it is often reported that he skipped the White House visit after the Red Sox won it all in 2004 and George Bush was president, he actually just chose not to appear on stage with the team, instead sitting in the audience. He did, however, skip the team’s second visit after winning in 2007, citing family reasons.

Obama is a Chicago native who grew up rooting for the White Sox.

Blog Author: 
John Tomase
David Ortiz

David Ortiz

David Ortiz may be retired, but he hasn’t been forgotten on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

Speaking at the confirmation hearings of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, who has been nominated for attorney general by President-elect Donald Trump, Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse invoked Ortiz while questioning Sessions’ history of questionable racial positions.

“We have a vibrant Dominican community, who look at Big Papi, David Ortiz, swinging his bat for the Red Sox, and wonder why you said, ‘Almost no one coming from the Dominican Republic to the United States is coming here because they have a provable skill that would benefit us,'” said Whitehouse in reference to a 2006 speech that is available on Sessions’ official website.

In response to Whitehouse, Sessions explained that he was referring to the fact that most immigration is based on family connections, rather than proof of skills that could be useful in the U.S.

“The immigration flow from almost all of our countries, frankly, is based on family connection and other visas, rather than a skill-based program, more like Canada has today,” Session said. “And that’s all I intended to be saying there. . . . Please don’t see that as a diminishment or a criticism of the people of the Dominican Republic.”

Red Sox fans would certainly question Sessions’ opinions on the issue.

Blog Author: 
John Tomase

A case can be made that Mookie Betts was the best all-around player in baseball last year. He’s certainly the game’s best right fielder.

Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts

A case can be made that Mookie Betts was the best all-around player in baseball last year. He’s certainly the game’s best right fielder.

That is the conclusion of ESPN’s Buster Olney in his latest positional roundup, conducted via a poll of industry evaluators, which places Betts ahead of even former NL MVP Bryce Harper among all right fielders in baseball.

Olney cites Betts’ emergence as a WAR monster (9.6) last year, when he hit 31 homers, stole 26 bases in 30 chances, won a Gold Glove with an astounding 32 runs saved, and stepped forward as one of the best young players in the game’s history.

If that sounds like hyperbole, consider this:

From Sarah Langs of ESPN Stats & Information: Betts had 9.6 WAR in 2016 in his age-23 season. The only Red Sox player with more WAR in an age-23 season or younger was Ted Williams, who had 10.6 in 1941 in his age-22 season and 10.6 in 1942 at age 23. The only position players overall with higher WAR in age-23 or younger seasons were Williams, Trout, Harper, Willie Mays, Ty Cobb, Eddie Collins, Cal Ripken and Rogers Hornsby.

Those are all Hall of Famers or future ones. Betts is off to one heck of a start.

Blog Author: 
John Tomase

Red Sox fans can’t quit David Ortiz. It’s understandable.

What makes far less sense is the frenzy Ortiz whipped them into on Monday night when he tweeted a blank message at the Boston Globe.

Red Sox fans can’t quit David Ortiz. It’s understandable.

What makes far less sense is the frenzy Ortiz whipped them into on Monday night when he tweeted a blank message at the Boston Globe.

What did he mean to say? That he’s coming out of retirement to lead the Red Sox to one more World Series title? That he has decided to outlast Tom Brady? That he wants Isaiah Thomas to be an All-Star?

Or maybe it’s just that he never got his paper today.

We may never know, because despite over 600 retweets — as well as a response from the Globe reminding him, “You can tell us anything!” — Ortiz hasn’t clarified what he meant, if it was an accident, or what. Maybe he never will.

In any event, we breathlessly await an update.

p.s. He’s definitely staying retired. Let’s stop being a bunch of idiots.

Blog Author: 
John Tomase

You might not be very familiar with Brian Bogusevic, one of the newest players to agree to a minor-league deal with the Red Sox. But the players taken just before and after him in the first-round of the 2005 will ring a bell.

Former first-round pick Brian Bogusevic has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Red Sox. (Steve Mitchell/USA Today Sports)

Former first-round pick Brian Bogusevic has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Red Sox. (Steve Mitchell/USA Today Sports)

You might not be very familiar with Brian Bogusevic, one of the newest players to agree to a minor-league deal with the Red Sox. But the players taken just before and after him in the first-round of the 2005 will ring a bell.

Back in 2005, Bogusevic was a left-handed pitcher out of Tulane University who was good enough to be taken with the 24th overall pick by the Houston Astros. (He ultimately switched to outfielder in 2008).

The pick before him? The Red Sox’ selection of Jacoby Ellsbury. The two picks after? Matt Garza went to the Twins before the Red Sox made their second selection of the draft, taking pitcher Craig Hansen. The Sox would go on to take Clay Buchholz and Michael Bowden to round out their four-pick first-round.

Bogusevic would ultimately get his best chance in the major leagues in 2012 when he appeared in 146 games, primarily playing in right field for the Astros. Unfortunately for the outfielder, he wasn’t able to take advantage of the opportunity, hitting just .203 with a .596 OPS.

The lefty hitter went on to sign with Cubs for 2013, playing in 47 games. Chicago would deal him to the Marlins prior to the 2014 season in exchange for Justin Ruggiano.

His last major league experience came in 2015 with the Phillies, getting in 22 games. Last season Bogusevic played for the Orix Buffaloes in Japan, hitting just .183 in 193 plate appearances.

The 32-year-old figures to offer the Red Sox some much-needed outfield depth at the Triple-A level, with Bryce Brentz, Rusney Castillo and non-roster invitee Junior Lake joining Bogusevic in currently making up the likely PawSox’ outfield.

Bogusevic will participate in major league camp. The Red Sox are expected to announce a few more minor-league agreements in the coming week, with Lake, catchers Jake DePew and Dan Butler and former first-rounder, infielder Matt Dominguez, serving as the position payers already locked up.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

There is a long way to go before the Red Sox actually set their starting rotation for the 2017 season. But you have to start somewhere. Now we know where Dave Dombrowski is starting.

Drew Pomeranz is still considered a front-runner to remain in the Red Sox' rotation. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Drew Pomeranz is still considered a front-runner to remain in the Red Sox’ rotation. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

There is a long way to go before the Red Sox actually set their starting rotation for the 2017 season. But you have to start somewhere. Now we know where Dave Dombrowski is starting.

Appearing on Buster Olney’s “Baseball Tonight” podcast, the Red Sox president of baseball operations offered some insight into how the team views fitting six legitimate starters into five spots.

After Chris Sale, Rick Porcello and David Price, it appears the two pitchers who are out of options will enter spring training with the upper-hand.

“We have three guys basically battling for those spots, but if everybody is healthy come the start of the season it’s a great situation to be in because Steven Wright and Drew Pomeranz both made the All-Star team last year and they’re penciled in fourth and fifth, along with Eduardo Rodriguez, who we think is one of the best young pitchers in the game,” Dombrowski said. (Click here for the entire podcast.)

It has yet to be determined if Rodriguez will be playing in the World Baseball Classic, as the lefty originally planned. But after tweaking his right knee while playing in winter ball, there might be some adjustments when it comes to the original blueprint.

If all the starters do stay healthy, and the spring training performances of Pomeranz and Wright don’t take a downturn, it would make sense that Rodriguez keeps evolving while in Triple-A considering the need for roster flexibility.

Some would point to Pomeranz as a potential out of the bullpen, with the lefty displaying a much more formidable fastball in his three relief appearances at the end of 2016 season. But the potential he showed as a starter, ultimately convincing Dombrowski to surrender the Red Sox’ top pitching prospect (Anderson Espinoza) to the Padres, is considered enough for the organization to keep going down that road.

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Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford