FORT MYERS, Fla. — Tom Brady and David Ortiz will be forever linked in Boston sports lore. They have led their respective teams to unlikely championships when many thought they were either incapable or washed up.

Before last season, Tom Brady famously told WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan that he would play “as long as I don’t suck.” Of course, after a 2-2 start that started his critics wondering if that time had come, Brady rebounded nicely to win his fourth Super Bowl title and his third Super Bowl MVP.

Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was paying attention to Brady this season and made reference to the Patriots quarterback Wednesday when asked how much longer he thinks his 39-year-old body will let him play.

‘€œPeople asked the same question of Tom Brady,” he said. ‘€œNow what? I bet you want him to be your quarterback once again. All the trash people were talking about him, this and that bro, I was listening to that in the Dominican. We barely watch football over there. But I watched the Super Bowl. I was like, ‘€˜Man, they’€™re not going to learn in Boston.’€™
We are like wine. Remember that.”

Ortiz is nearly two years older than Brady, who turns 38 in August. He hit 35 home runs last season, his most in any season since hitting 35 in 2007, and is just 34 shy of 500 in his career.

“€œI know I don’€™t have the skills that I used to have, but the ones I still have I put in play and I try to ride with it,” Ortiz said. ‘€œThat’€™s been working for me.”

Ortiz, who will earn $16 million this season, has a vesting option for 2016 if he has 425 plate appearances. On Tuesday, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said Ortiz will be the team’s DH “as long as he wants” to be. On Wednesday, Ortiz said he’s not placing any timeframe on just how long that will be.

“€œI signed a contract last year that basically tells me as long as you do what you do and keep helping us out, you’€™re going to play,” Ortiz said. ‘€œI think it’€™s fair. If I’€™m not having fun the way I do in the season, if I don’€™t keep doing what I do … I need to have that anger. I need to have that cockiness when I’€™m playing. I need to be who I am. I need to play the game at the highest level. A lot of things come with that.

“If that goes away, it’€™s time to go away, you know what I’€™m saying. That’€™s why I have no date, no time, I don’€™t have no years, because we are here today but you don’€™t know what can happen toward the end of the season, you know what I’€™m saying? I’€™m just going to keep on playing, try to win championships. Whenever that goes away, I think it’€™s time to go.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Yoan Moncada crept a little closer to becoming an official member of the Red Sox Wednesday.

Yoan Moncada spent the day with Red Sox personnel at JetBlue Park Wednesday. (WEEI.com photo)

Yoan Moncada spent the day with Red Sox personnel at JetBlue Park Wednesday. (WEEI.com photo)

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Yoan Moncada crept a little closer to becoming an official member of the Red Sox Wednesday.

Moncada, the 19-year-old infielder who has agreed to a $31.5 million signing bonus and minor-league deal with the Red Sox, began the process of formalizing the agreement with an all-day visit to JetBlue Park.

Moncada arrived at the facility at 8:15 a.m. and left at 3:15, heading to the Southwest International Airport for a flight to Boston where he will take his final physical.

If all goes as planned, some are estimating an official announcement will come early next week.

The plan is for the switch-hitter to join minor leaguers for workouts at Fenway South after his deal is done.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Tom Werner never knew a simple masthead could be so troublesome.

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Tom Werner never knew a simple masthead could be so troublesome.

The Red Sox chairman was asked Wednesday about the continued role of Larry Lucchino in the organization after reports surfaced that Fenway Sports Group president Mike Gordon was listed above Lucchino on the corporate masthead, and just below John Henry and Tom Werner.

“I’ve never even seen a masthead in my life until it was shown to us [Tuesday] night,” Werner said. “Mike is involved with FSG and I don’t want to argue about whose name is above whose. But that was a mistake that we’re going to correct.”

The masthead leads one to believe that Gordon carries more power than Lucchino because Gordon is in charge of the parent company of the Red Sox. Gordon is in charge of many financial matters in the organization and helps run Liverpool of the Barclay’s Premier League. Lucchino is his counterpart with the Red Sox. Is there any difference?

“That’s a fair question,” Werner said in an attempt to clarify. “It’s not like I have reviewed the club directory. It probably was a mistake. We don’t have an FSG masthead. We should’ve created one. I really do think it’s a bit of tempest in a teapot.”

“And that was not a club directory,” Lucchino added. “It was a listing put out by the central office, trying to figure out where FSG goes and where the Red Sox go. The official club directory comes out in the press guide, which is due out in a week or so.”

Overblown. That’s the way the two view the entire controversy over the power structure in the organization. Lucchino, who will turn 70 this season, feels his role is still the same.

“Tom and John are probably the best ones to talk about it,” Lucchino said. “To me, there’s not much of a story there. You’re better off hearing it from Tom or John. Mike Gordon’s role has evolved over time, to be sure. I was just saying to Tom that two years ago we were down here talking about Dustin Pedroia‘s contract, and Tom and I and Mike Gordon and Dustin’s representatives had a dinner together so he’s been involved in things over the years. I really don’t …”

Then a funny thing happened. Lucchino’s cell phone in his back pocket went off. The ringing gave Werner a chance at comedic relief.

“Is that Mike calling?” Werner joked, before adding, “I think a lot has been made of this story but basically John and Larry and I have the same relationship today, now in our 14th year, as we started in [2002]. Mike has a significant role at FSG. That really does not impact the Red Sox very much. He’s got a more important role in Liverpool but he’s a very valuable partner. We also seek counsel, and we haven’t talked about this much, from a lot of our partners. A lot of partners are very astute and they give us advice in a whole bunch of matters. But as regarding the Red Sox, it’s the same structure.

“And another thing, it’s a very collegial structure. When we are talking about very important decisions, we welcome smart input from Mike and other partners as well.”

Lucchino agreed.

“If anything we have the advantage of an additional voice,” Lucchino said. “Mike’s a very astute guy when it comes to financial matters, present value calculations and structure of contracts. He was very helpful in that [Pedroia contract]. As Tom said, this is a team. Things evolve. Some days, some guys are involved and some days, other are more involved. It’s not really any kind of power [struggle]. That’s just not the right way to read it.”

Lucchino doesn’t think there are too many voices in the Red Sox organization.

“I think you should just look at our track record for 14 years rather than hear me say things about how we’re doing or how well it works,” Lucchino said. “I think it works. Like Tom said, it’s a collegial group. We operate with a lot of debate and dialogue. The proof is in the pudding. I don’t there are too many voices.

“I think Tom and Mike have been involved for a couple of years in trying to reform aspects of the game, day-to-day [operational] practices, speed of game, pace of game, length of game. That’s been going on. All I’m saying, I can understand the interest in palace intrigue and there just isn’t much palace intrigue to report and Mike’s role has evolved over time and plays a very helpful role, as do other partners.”

“I think it’s a very collaborative group,” Werner said. “Again, there are a lot of things that we probably don’t talk about. All of us are involved in league matters. I think the Red Sox play a significant role in a lot of the issues that come up that are league issues, whether they deal with issues like pace of play or [MLB.com] or trying to bring in a new generation of fans so I think we bring a lot to the table and I think it’s good for our fans.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

FORT MYERS, Fla. — When Major League Baseball, in conjunction with the Players Association, announced last week new rules and guidelines for speeding up the pace of games starting this season, one Red Sox batter immediately took offense.

And on Wednesday, the whole world found out just how ticked off David Ortiz is with rules designed to make sure batters keep one foot in the batter’s box while the pitcher has the baseball between pitches.

Ortiz was asked about the new rules Wednesday and it didn’t take much to get him started.

“Is that new? [Shoot], it seems like every rule goes in the pitcher’s favor. After the pitch, you have to stay in the box, basically? One foot?”

Told baseball executives were just trying to speed up the game, Ortiz wasn’t buying.

“I call that [bull crap],” Ortiz said. “Bro, when you come out of the box, you’re thinking about what the [pitcher] is trying to do. This is not like you go to the plate with an empty mind. When you see guys pitch and guys are coming out the box, we’re not doing it just for doing it. Our minds are speeding up. I see one pitch, I’m thinking what is this guy going to try to do to me next. I’m not walking around just because there are cameras all over the place and I want my buddies to see me and this and that. It doesn’t go that way.

“When you force a hitter to do that, 70 percent you out because you don’t have any time to think. And the only time you have to think about things is that time. So, I don’t know how this baseball game is going to end up.

“It don’t matter what they do, the game is not going to speed up. That’s the bottom line. When you argue for the pitch and then they have to go review it, that takes some time. Is that our fault? No. It’s their fault. But we still have to play the game.”

The for an infraction is $500.

“I might run out of money,” Ortiz said. “I’m not going to change my game. I don’t care what they say. My game is one [way] and I’m going to keep it that way. It’s not like I go around and do all kinds of stupid [crap]. I’ve got to take my time to think about their guy is going to do against me. And I’m pretty sure every single hitter at this level is on the same page.

“They put their rules together but they don’t talk to us. ‘As a hitter, how do you feel about this?’ Why don’t you come and ask questions first and then we can get into an agreement. But just like ‘Oh, you’ve gotta do this just because I say so.’ Oh buddy, it doesn’t work that way, trust me.”

Ortiz says he knows how he’ll respond to the first umpire that tells him to get in the box.

“Just tell [the pitcher] to throw the ball,” Ortiz said. “Hey look, this game has been going on for 100 years and the nature of the game, I don’t care who you are, you’re not going to change it. That is our nature. Pitch comes through, you come out of the box, you go back in it. But you throw a pitch and [batter] has to stay there until the pitcher is ready? I don’t know about that.”

Ortiz feels there are other ways to speed up the game.

“Of course. It’s not on us,” Ortiz insisted. “It seems like every time they want to speed up the game, they focus on the hitters. Have you noticed that? How about the pitchers that around the mound and do all that bullshit. How about all that? Why don’t you tell the pitcher to throw the pitch and stay on the mound and don’t move?”

What really bothers Ortiz is that the pitcher is not held up to the same standard, whether it’s his own teammate in Clay Buchholz or anyone else around baseball.

“I’m talking about everybody in general. If they have it on us, they should have it on the pitcher, too. We’re not the only ones in the game. Every time they talk about shortening up the time, they’re talking about the hitters, nobody else.”

“I face guys that I’m like, ‘C’mon man, make a [freaking] pitch.’ Does that count? Nobody talks about that, right? I don’t think it’s fair. That’s the bottom line.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Hitters aren’t the only ones who can speed up the pace of play in baseball. Pitchers can do their part, too, according to Red Sox manager John Farrell.

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Hitters aren’t the only ones who can speed up the pace of play in baseball. Pitchers can do their part, too, according to Red Sox manager John Farrell.

Major League Baseball recently unveiled changes designed to speed up the pace of play, from batters keeping one foot in the box at virtually all times, to managers staying near their dugouts during challenges.

“I’€™ve always subscribed to the fact that if you ingrain (the idea) into a pitcher of working fast, changing speed and throwing strikes, that’€™s a recipe for success for a number of years,” Farrell said. “I think that will assure a steady flow of the game, but that’€™s not always the case and that’€™s why these changes are being implemented.”

One Red Sox pitcher who could stand to work a little faster is right-hander Clay Buchholz, who recently acknowledged that he wants to speed up his tempo this year.

“If any part of it is on the pitcher, you’ll have to step up your pace a little bit,” Buchholz said. “Actually, I’ve been trying to work on that anyway, getting the ball and getting back on the rubber and letting the hitter determine whenever I throw the ball, instead of me lagging.”

Farrell described the benefits for a quick worker.

“If you have a good tempo on the mound, the game should flow,” Farrell said. “We recognize the TV broadcast is going to drive a lot of this with the time in between innings, but that’€™s an area we can adhere to more strictly, is make sure we start on time coming out of an inning break.

“I think it needs to be given a chance to let it play out and see what happens. I’€™ve talked to a number of pitchers in the offseason when it was focused on the pitch clock. They thought, ‘Why is it always us being targeted?’ I think everybody is going to look upon themselves as ‘Why me?’ a little bit, but I think it’€™s important to let these changes take hold.”

Blog Author: 
John Tomase

FORT MYERS, Fla.