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About Rob Bradford

Rob Bradford joined after serving as a Red Sox beat writer for the Boston Herald and the Eagle-Tribune (Lawrence, Mass.). Prior to manning the Red Sox beat, he spent several years at the Lowell Sun. He has written two books: “Chasing Steinbrenner,” following the front offices of the Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays through the 2003 season, and “Deep Drive: A Long Journey to Discovering the Champion Within,” which he co-authored with Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell.

05/27/15 11:39 EST
MINNEAPOLIS -- Statistics. Conspiracy theories. Personal problems. Personnel problems. They all have been surfaced when attempting to decipher what is going on with this Red Sox team. Stop searching. Look no further. There are two reasons: underperformance of foundation players, and flawed expectations. For what it's worth, that's it. Let's start with No. 1 ... Take the players you have committed the most money to and analyze their contributions. It's the same formula that anyone could have leaned on back during the 2012 demise, or 2013 championship ascension.Last year? Same deal. The Red Sox are paying nine players $9.5 million or more for this season. Of that group, you could make the case that one (Dustin Pedroia) is close to living up to expectations. No matter what level your team's payroll, this is the group that has to drive the bus. You simply can't win if they are stalled more times than not. In '12, with all the chaos that circled around Bobby Valentine, the main reason that Red
05/26/15 01:48 EST
MINNEAPOLIS -- It took just about 30 minutes, but the message served as the foundation for how the Red Sox are approaching their centerpiece. John Farrell isn't changing the way he views David Ortiz. "John always wants to know how I'm doing because he knows I'm frustrated a little bit. He's seen me working really hard, working on my things. He knows things are going to get better," the designated hitter said. "He just wants to make sure I'm doing OK." After his third straight 0-for-4, the Red Sox designated hitter has found himself in his biggest late-May slump since 2009. He is hitting .221 with an OPS (.694) that hasn't been this low at this point in the season since six years ago. But thanks in part to his Sunday morning meeting with the manager, Ortiz has been reassured that he has not only earned a healthy dose of patience and support. "We talked a little bit of everything," Ortiz said shortly after his get-together with Farrell in the Red Sox' manager's
05/22/15 01:09 EST
If you're a baseball scout, at some point you're going to get the Mike Trout question. It's a rite of passage Ray Fagnant knows all too well. "I got into a discussion with a random fan at a game and they were saying, 'How smart can you guys be? You missed the best player on the planet,' " said the Red Sox' Northeast region scout. "I just said, 'You want to hear the real story?' " It's a good question. How does the guy currently considered by many as the best baseball player on the planet last until the 25th pick in the 2009 Major League Baseball amateur draft? Or how about this one: Why wouldn't the Red Sox have selected Trout if he slipped to them four spots later? (A reality confirmed by multiple decision-makers involved in the Sox' draft at the time.) "Nobody," Fagnant said, "could have predicted how good he would be." With Trout ready to run around Fenway Park for the next three games, it is interesting to reflect on how the Red Sox, and the
05/19/15 11:28 EST
The six-hour flight back from Seattle was setting up to be torturous for Mike Napoli. Not only was he carrying a .162 batting average back from the 10-game road trip, but he had turned in another 0-for-4 in his team's series finale against the Mariners. Then Dustin Pedroia started pulling up video of some of Napoli's old at-bats on his phone. "I looked at some video. Actually Pee Wee showed me," said Napoli, referencing the second baseman. "We were just talking about hitting and he pulled up a swing analysis and he saw me taking a good swing in 2013. And I looked at spring training and I was doing exact thing, the good part. And then I looked at my video of what I had been doing and it haven't been the same. I've been able to see what I'm not doing and what I need to do, which is just my hands getting into a good firing position. "We looked at a couple of swings. We were looking online because we were on our phones. Pee Wee would find a video and he goes to this spring

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