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About Rob Bradford

Rob Bradford joined WEEI.com 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.

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MOST RECENT COLUMNS
06/21/16 07:08 EST
Dave Dombrowski walked by Clay Buchholz late Monday afternoon, having just finished his meeting with he media. The pitcher was still soaking wet from a recent workout and was now back in the home team's Fenway Park dugout, contemplating his start the next night. "Go get 'em tomorrow," the Red Sox president of baseball operations shouted the way of Buchholz while passing by the righty. Buchholz, as he is wont to do, politely responded, "Yes, sir." It might seem like just another late June start. But both men know it's much more. What this game against the White Sox and their ace, Chris Sale, represents is the beginning of Buchholz's last chance to make a run at proving himself as a starter for this year and beyond. And for Dombrowski, it will go a long way in shaping exactly how much he has to sacrifice to fix what ails his team's starting rotation. "I still feel he has the stuff to be a successful starting pitcher at the major league level," Dombrowski had
06/20/16 09:46 EST
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Blame it (at least partly) on Jose Abreu. When we digest the Rusney Castillo situation -- with the outfielder dropping further on the Red Sox depth chart after being taken off the 40-man roster -- it's important to remember back to the middle of October, 2013. That's when the White Sox reeled in Abreu with a six-year, $68 million contract, almost immediately changing the conversation for the next guy. That next guy was Castillo. "I think in our industry, we see teams following what we think is the next thing is," said one American League general manager. It's hard to argue. Go back to the Daisuke Matsuzaka phenomenon that led to Kei Igawa's deal with the Yankees. Or last season's success of Pittsburgh's Jung Ho Kang, which seemingly opened the door to more robust contracts for a few South Korean hitters." And then there was the case of the Cubans. The process of evaluating Cuban hitters has always been a bit tricky due to access, as was evident in the cases of Yasiel Puig
06/17/16 10:11 EST
Casey Janssen didn't want to change the conversation. He thought he knew what worked, because it had worked. From 2012-14, Janssen was one of the more reliable closers in the American League, converting 81 of 91 opportunities while managing a 2.94 ERA with the Blue Jays. His thing was control. Few were better. During the three-season stretch, he walked just 31 batters in 162 innings. But after being cut loose by the Padres this year at the end of spring training, he was faced with a reality -- maybe he had better join a different kind of conversation, one which Major League Baseball is embracing. "I believed in my ability. I believed in my success," said Janssen by phone. "But a lot of the criticism people have had about me has been about my velocity. I'm a control and command pitcher that doesn't rely on velocity. But the game is starting to trend in a different pattern, which is all about velocity and strikeouts and all the sabermetrics stuff. I figured I could either be
06/15/16 01:39 EST
If the Red Sox are going to be the first-place team, they have to beat the first-place team. And they also have to start beating the other teams that are on the doorstep of first place. If they are truly going to be the be-all, end-all in this division, the Red Sox best start showing someone who's boss. In short, they have to go next-level. David Ortiz concurs. "You have to just keep on playing better," the designated hitter said following the Red Sox' 3-2 loss to the Orioles on Tuesday night. "If you don't play better it doesn't matter how much you piss on your territory. They're still going to take your lion away from you." The "lion" of which Ortiz speaks is that spot atop the American League East the Red Sox sat upon all day Tuesday until just before 10 p.m. The Red Sox can say they have the pieces. They can fill Fenway Park with optimism. They can have all the pundits predicting they're the ones to beat. That will all certainly help mark their



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