In the end, Drake Britton’s potential was too good to part ways with quite yet.

Dan Butler

Dan Butler

In the end, Drake Britton’s potential was too good to part ways with quite yet.

The Red Sox have designated catcher Dan Butler for assignment to clear up room on the 40-man roster for newly-signed Craig Breslow.

The decision always appeared like it would come down to either Butler or Britton. The case for keeping the catcher was that if something happened to Ryan Hanigan or Christian Vazquez early in the season, the former undrafted free agent out of the University of Arizona would be needed. Top prospect Blake Swihart is the only other catcher on the Red Sox 40-man roster, and he wouldn’t seem to be a major league option until later in the season.

Britton also was out of options, meaning if he didn’t make the team in spring training he couldn’t be sent down to the minor leagues. Butler does have options.

But with the Red Sox needing another lefty in the bullpen, and with Britton bouncing back from a horrific minor league campaign in 2014 to impress in his seven outings with the Sox at the end of the year (6 2/3 innings, 5 hits, 0 runs), the value of the reliever was too much to part ways with quite yet.

Butler, who could re-sign with the Red Sox on a minor league deal, was one of the best Sox stories in ’14. The 28-year-old made his major league debut, ultimately appearing in seven games in which he hit .211 with three doubles.

The Breslow announcement comes after the lefty agreed to a one-year, $2 million deal with the Red Sox Dec. 19. The lefty passed his physical, which was taken Monday. (To read about how Breslow landed back with the Red Sox this offseason, click here.)

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday, after falling short of election to the

Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday, after falling short of election to the Baseball Hall of Fame, and the former Red Sox star said he believes some writers won’t ever vote for him because of his political leanings. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Schilling received 39.2 percent of the vote, well short of the 75 percent needed for election. Four players were elected: Randy Johnson, John Smoltz, Craig Biggio and former Sox star Pedro Martinez, whose surprisingly low 91.1 percent result was more evidence to Schilling that something is wrong.

“The process isn’t flawed; stupid people do stupid things,” Schilling said. “I’ve seen so many in the past, voters making their vote into a news article, protesting this or protesting that, except just voting the player on his playing merits. And that’s normal, I guess, because we’re human, we all have bias, we all have prejudice. When Pedro gets 91 percent, that tells you something’s wrong.”

A case could me made that Schilling’s statistics are comparable to those of Smoltz, yet the Braves legend received 240 more votes. Schilling said Smoltz deserves enshrinement, but he noted that Smoltz’s political views are more consistent with many media members.

“I think he got in because of [Greg] Maddux and [Tom] Glavine. I think the fact that they won 14 straight pennants. I think his ‘Swiss army knife versatility,’ which somebody said yesterday, I think he got a lot of accolades for that, I think he got a lot of recognition for that. He’s a Hall of Famer,” Schilling said. “And I think the other big thing is that I think he’s a Democrat and so I know that, as a Republican, that there’s some people that really don’t like that.”

A proud conservative, Schilling has been outspoken in his support for Republican candidates. He also received heavy criticism when he moved his video game company from Massachusetts to Rhode Island to take advantage of government assistance and then the company went bankrupt.

Schilling said there’s no question that he would have received more votes had he been more mainstream in his beliefs and less outspoken and controversial.

“Absolutely,” he said. “Listen, when human beings do something, anything, there’s bias and prejudice. Listen, 9 percent of the voters did not vote for Pedro. There’s something wrong with the process and some of the people in the process when that happens. I don’t think that it kept me [out] or anything like that, but I do know that there are guys who probably won’t ever vote for me because of the things that I said or did. That’s the way it works.”

Roger Clemens has said he no longer pays attention to the Hall of Fame voting. Schilling didn’t take it that far, but he insisted it’s not something he obsesses about.

“I don’t know about it mattering,” Schilling said. “The funny thing was people were asking me yesterday about this, and about what are you thinking about, and I said, ‘Listen, it’s already done, it was done a month ago.’ We just found out yesterday, everybody’s already done their thing. I can’t spend my time being concerned about people’s opinions of me that I’ll never meet. I don’t want to diminish or degrade the accomplishment because the Hall of Fame, the greatest players in the world are there, but there are Hall of Fame players that aren’t there that if I don’t get in, I’ll be OK. Dale Murphy and Fred McGriff, I know there are guys, Jeff Bagwell, there are guys that aren’t in that are Hall of Famers, so I’ll be all right.”

Added Schilling: “I don’t think about it like that. I am now done thinking about it until people ask me about it next year. I was around the game so long and I met so many people and I heard so many people talk about the process that a long time ago I became very cool with the fact that it may never happen because human beings are doing the process, they’re involved in the process. And when that happens you have tremendous bias and prejudice in some cases. And that, to me, takes away some of what the Hall of Fame should be. It should be for the greatest players, not the people that were liked the best by some people in the media.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at

On Martinez’s dominance: “I do believe that his run was the greatest run in the history of the game. … [Sandy] Koufax did it in an era when there was some other guys that were really good that did it. But no one touched Pedro. What he did when he did it was never done, never will be done again.”

On if he would choose Johnson or Martinez to pitch in one big game: “I was asked that last night, I’m not sure, I answered me, because I don’t know which one I would take. At his peak, Pedro dominated the game like nobody I’ve ever seen. What he did in that short run, ’99, 2000, in that era, I don’t think anyone’s come close to doing something like that no matter what the era was.”

On Johnson’s personality: “He was miserable. I mean, he was just a miserable, miserable guy. Part of that had to do with the fact that the one thing that you recognized him for, that everybody recognized him for, he didn’t find it funny — the fact that he was that tall. If you think about it, and we talked about it when I first started playing with him, he probably is — or was, when he played — one of the four or five most recognizable people in the world. And for someone that’s insecure or uncomfortable with that, that’s not a great thing.”

On the common thread between the pitchers who were elected this year: “They’re power arms. I said last night, we were talking about it last night, all three of those guys were traded young, and it’s amazing to me when you see guys, the power arms that get traded. I just think it’s stupid. I think the common thread is probably the competitive thing, you’ve got three guys who wanted to be the best in the world. Maybe they’ll give you a different answer, but I think all of it means the same thing. I think these three guys were guys that put it together. If you look at RJ at the beginning of his career, he wasn’t what he was. Hhe was a mess, he was kind of a Nuke LaLoosh and then he figures it out and becomes, for my money, one of the three or four best pitchers of all time.”

On Mike Piazza, who received 69.9 percent of the votes, and how he compares to other players who have been rumored to be involved with PEDs: “I think Piazza’s move up the ladder was an indicator. I think guys are starting to soften up a little bit. One of the differences, though, for me is that Mike Piazza was never named on anything. Everybody that didn’t vote for Mike didn’t vote for him because they think he might have cheated. And I think it’s the same thing that’s killed Bagwell, which is unfortunate, because I think Jeff is a Hall of Fame player. But I don’t think there’s ever going to be enough writers OK with it that [Roger] Clemens and [Barry] Bonds will get in.”

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar

David Ortiz's path to Cooperstown may be a complicated one.</p>
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Pedro sits down with Dale and Holley after learning that he's been inducted into the HoF.

[0:00:03] ... one of the four newest members of the Baseball Hall of Fame Pedro Martinez congratulations Pedro. Thank you somewhat to very happy to be here guy I saw the press conference I saw that smile from ...
[0:04:35] ... at Fenway Park for the 1999 all star game. And you know Ted Williams was out there on that on that mound at one point and watching you work. For me that was the that was ...
[0:08:44] ... a pleasure thank you or Pedro. They care no that is up Pedro Martinez one of the four newest members of the Baseball Hall of Fame it is not up to him today they took that out of the players' hands really after Wade Boggs sold it. To the Tampa Bay Rays. They make the decision now but. It's not even a question of which hat I have on his plaque everybody knows which pat he'll have on. He he won't campaign for a disease and but we know what it'll make. Yet dollars. FF FL he's now right at the Dodgers today that's probably a lot gap probably I think Eddie you know as he said he identifies himself as a Bostonians. I think most people and they think of Pedro Martinez that's what they think. I really think it Wade Boggs would go in with a picture of Wade Boggs on his hat. Our guys I felt something sponsorship. It. You don't pay a Pedro we talked earlier about how much he ...
[0:10:20] ... turning all of this is how this city works out some athletes Carl Crawford it's too much or me. That I don't I don't want all that attention I just want to be a baseball player ...

Full coverage of Pedro Martinez's Boston press conference after being inducted into the MLB hall of fame.

[0:00:00] ... Good afternoon everyone. Thanks for joining us here at Fenway Park. The Boston Red Sox are very excited. To introduce to you one of the newest. Elect keys to the national Baseball Hall of Fame. Pedro Martinez. Now before we begin to take any questions. Pedro elect to make some opening remarks. But the ball. I'll like. The thing ...
[0:12:38] ... appreciate what I did Robby you spent. Twenty years. It's so much John Smoltz. You put rugby and I together. And we have the same stuff. Probably John Smoltz. Biggio 3000 hit all kinds of records. Made switches on a decision the decision. Sober so open players. Along the polls of ...
[0:16:40] ... a great owner. Who's to become part of history. I know that bill hall of Famer. It's got to be so proud right now to the that's going and just like I. I'm to be honest ...

Playing in the era that he did, Pedro Martinez could look to make excuses for a few of the home runs he gave up, a few games he lost, etc.

Pedro Martinez earned 91.1 percent of the vote to become the 16th first-ballot Hall of Famer. (Ryan Hannable/

Pedro Martinez earned 91.1 percent of the vote to become the 16th first-ballot Hall of Famer. (Ryan Hannable/

Playing in the era that he did, Pedro Martinez could look to make excuses for a few of the home runs he gave up, a few games he lost, etc.

After all, he did play in the height of the steroid era, but that isn’t who Martinez is — he embraced it and wouldn’t have wanted it any other way — and that is why Martinez was voted into the Hall of Fame Tuesday on his first year on the ballot.

Martinez received 91.1 percent of the votes (500 of the 549) and will be inducted along with Randy Johnson, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio on July 26 in Copperstown. He became one of 50 players ever to be inducted on their first-ballot and one of 16 first-ballot pitchers.

“I appreciate the fact that I had to face probably the toughest matchup out there, and guess what? I didn’t want it any other way,” Martinez said Tuesday at a press conference at Fenway Park. “I wouldn’t want it any other way. I wanted to beat the best. I wanted to be the best I could be every time I went out there. I wanted to embarrass the best team out there. I wanted to. I meant to. Sometimes the embarrassed me, but when I got a hold of them, I did embarrass them.

“Anytime I had an opportunity to embarrass any team in the big leagues, including the ones that used PEDs, it was a great honor to do it. The same way every homer I surrendered, every game I lost, I am proud of. I am proud that I did it in an era that the challenge was at the top.”

The right-hander was a three-time Cy Young Award winner and an eight-time All-Star. During his 18-year career he went 219-100 with a 2.93 ERA. His career .687 winning percentage ranks second among modern major leaguer’s since 1900. Among pitchers with at least 2,500 career innings in the majors, only Nolan Ryan (.204) has a lower opponent batting average than Martinez (.214).

Martinez said he had plenty of chances to go the “long way” and not be “clean,” but instead he chose to miss two or three starts a year, which sometimes came with criticism in the media. He said that is all worth it now.

“I went the long way, the way I had to go,” said Martinez. “The way that the integrity my mom and dad taught me to have, led me to. And when I said I kept it clean — I did it clean — I did it the only way I know. I didn’t believe in anybody’s choice to go out there and I wanted to do it clean. I had an opportunity more than once, [probably every day] to take the short path to a more successful year and escape the criticism from the media and being singled out for someone who is going to miss two or three outings a year. Yes, I chose to miss those three outings and now have the respect and appreciation guys are having for me today.”

The pitcher became the second Dominican player to make to the Hall of Fame, joining Juan Marichal. He is also the first player born in the 1970’s to be inducted.

“First ballot Hall of Fame, thank you for appreciating for how I did it. The fact that you guys believed in the way I did it is the main reason proof that you won,” he said. “Doing it this way led me to going into the Hall of Fame as a first-ballot. If I didn’t do it that way — I would have probably gone in eventually — but the fact that I did in that era, in a different era that was probably the most difficult era that baseball has ever faced.”

Martinez admitted he never thought he would ever be in the Hall of Fame, and has so much respect for the guys he will be going in with, but he did kept coming back to doing it clean, and that is what led him to being a no doubt, first-ballot Hall of Famer.

“Super, super players,” he said of Johnson, Smoltz and Biggio. “I wasn’t supposed to be, but because of the fact I did it the way I did it and the integrity I carried while doing it, is probably what mattered to me going into the Hall of Fame on the first-ballot.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

To nobody’s surprise, former Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez has been voted into the