Pedro Martinez will be the guest of honor at Thursday night’s Boston Baseball Writers Dinner, which will be held at Boston University’s Agganis Arena.

Pedro Martinez is one of the leading candidates on the Hall of Fame ballot that was announced Monday. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Pedro Martinez will be honored at Thursday’s writers dinner at BU. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Pedro Martinez will be the guest of honor at Thursday night’s Boston Baseball Writers Dinner, which will be held at Boston University’s Agganis Arena.

Martinez, who was just elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, will receive the Judge Emil Fuchs Award for long and meritorious service to baseball.

One of the most colorful players in Red Sox history, Martinez retired with the third-highest winning percentage in modern history (.687). He won two of his three Cy Young Awards with the Red Sox, and with the exception of an injury-shortened 2001, finished no worse than fourth in any of his seven seasons here.

Other current and former Red Sox expected to be in attendance include infielder Brock Holt, outfielder Mookie Betts, general manager Ben Cherington, and manager John Farrell. Bernie Carbo will be on hand to honor the 40th anniversary of the 1975 Red Sox, who lost a classic World Series to the Reds in seven games.

Also expected to be in attendance are Dan Duquette and Buck Showalter of the Orioles, whom the writers voted their Executive and Manager of the Year, respectively, as well as Marlins closer Steve Cishek, the Falmouth native voted the New England Player of the Year.

Boston is one of just three cities left that holds a Writers Dinner, along with New York and St. Louis. This is the 76th annual edition of the dinner, which is presented in partnership with the Sports Museum. Tickets remain available for $200 and can be purchased by contacting Renee Quinn at (617) 624-1231 or by e-mailing rfraker@dncboston.com.

Blog Author: 
John Tomase
Chris Mortensen, ESPN, reports on Twitter that the "NFL has found that 11 of the Patriots footballs used in Sunday’s AFC title game were under-inflated by 2 lbs each, per league sources." He went on SportsCenter to talk about his report. Mut and his callers reacted to the breaking news

[0:01:28] ... do so in the meantime. We'll await the no it away with Troy Vincent who's the senior executive vice president of football operations said the investigation should be up in about two or three days. But ...
[0:02:13] ... but some. They knew we were we've heard talk this guy like Aaron Rodgers like two goals as you all over inflated. So you hear talk about this but they'll buy league regulations. That each team ...
[0:08:08] ... hall eat played are you or. Or you know them discussing our Aaron Rodgers told them that you like to balls or burned sweetie yup. So back off thinking. You've heard these inspections are bogus before. ...
[0:14:37] ... target I'm sure it is. Bella checks should be suspended from the Super Bowl my opinion. Get ready folks. He thought was bell will bond said take the pats out of the Super Bowl. You thought it was Allan Gregg oil that it. Get ready. This story is not going anywhere this is the continuation of ...






Max Scherzer is finally off the market. Because this is Boston and we only care about things as they relate to us, let's examine the impact of this move through the local lens.



The Red Sox avoided arbitration with right-handers Rick Porcello and Junichi Tazawa on Friday night and announced that each had agreed to one-year deals.

Junichi Tazawa

Junichi Tazawa

The Red Sox avoided arbitration with right-handers Rick Porcello and Junichi Tazawa on Friday night and announced that each had agreed to one-year deals.

According to an industry source, Porcello signed for $12.5 million, while Tazawa will be paid $2.25 million.

The Red Sox have two arb-eligible players remaining — outfielder Daniel Nava and left-hander Wade Miley. Miley has requested $4.3 million and the team has countered at $3.4 million, numbers first reported by CBSSports.com.

Porcello earned $8.5 million last year while going 15-13 with a 3.43 ERA. He has won at least 10 games in all six of his big league seasons, and is expected to compete with Clay Buchholz and Miley to be Boston’s starter on opening day.

As for Tazawa, he has emerged as one of the most reliable arms in John Farrell‘s bullpen, a late-innings power arm with excellent command. He went 4-3 with a 2.86 ERA last season.

Blog Author: 
John Tomase

For two guys with barely 60 games between them, Mookie Betts and Rusney Castillo project to play major roles on the 2015 Red Sox.

Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts

For two guys with barely 60 games between them, Mookie Betts and Rusney Castillo project to play major roles on the 2015 Red Sox.

The two worked out at Harvard on Friday at the team’s rookie development program, though it’s fair to say they were in very different places than the rest of the prospects in attendance.

In Betts, the Red Sox have the player they believe can take the torch from Jacoby Ellsbury and become their leadoff hitter for the next five or 10 years. In Castillo, they boast an athletic center fielder who will likely start the year at the bottom of the batting order, but is more than capable of hitting atop it.

Betts and Castillo represent energy and excitement, two dimensions last year’s team sorely lacked.

‘€œ(The Red Sox) will take care of what they need to take care of, which is the Red Sox,’€ Betts told reporters. ‘€œThey’€™re going to put the winning nine out there. If I’€™m not a part of it, that’€™s fine. I’€™ll be ready and on the bench to go. And if I am, that’€™s great as well.’€

As for Castillo, he’s coming off a successful winter ball stint in Puerto Rico, as well as a nice run in the Arizona Fall League, and is raring to get to spring training and begin his big league career in earnest.

‘€œIt’s gone really well actually,’€ he said through translator Adrian Lorenzo. ‘€œIt’s helping me build some experience and on top of that, when I got back to Miami after playing in those leagues, I really stepped it up with my preparation and my training so I feel really good going into this season and this spring training.’€

Betts hit .291 with an .812 OPS at age 21 in 52 games with the Red Sox last year. Castillo arrived in mid-September and hit .333 with a pair of homers in 10 games.

If they make an impact in 2015, the Red Sox will be in business.

‘€œThe first thing that stands out about playing in Boston is the difference in the size of the crowds, playing in front of tens of thousands of people is an obvious difference,’€ Castillo said. ‘€œBut I guess I was able, especially towards the end of my stint, I was able to do well in controlling that and keeping the nerves down and I think that’s something I’ll take to help me out moving forward.’€

Blog Author: 
John Tomase

Blake Swihart’s time is coming. But he won’t be rushed.

Blake Swihart’s time is coming. But he won’t be rushed.

The team’s No. 1 prospect ‘€“ and one of the top prospects in baseball ‘€“ is on the cusp of the big leagues. He’s everything a club could want in a developing catcher, a switch hitter with legit power potential, a live arm, and an athletic build that’s reminiscent of Giants MVP Buster Posey.

Blake Swihart

Blake Swihart

The Red Sox have resisted including Swihart in deals for established talents like All-Star left-hander Cole Hamels of the Phillies, because they believe he has the chance to be something special.

The 22-year-old has only played 18 games at Triple A, though, and the Red Sox have learned from the problems that a number of their prospects faced last year. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Swihart spends most or all of this season in the minors. Quicker isn’t always better.

“That’s always a goal, but no matter where I’m at, I need to just play where I’m at and do what I know I can do,” Swihart told reporters on Friday at Harvard, where he was one of 10 prospects to take part in the team’s rookie development program. “There’s always opportunities. You’ve got to take them in stride and take advantage of them.”

There’s plenty to like about Swihart, who hit .293 with 13 homers and an .810 OPS between Double A Portland and Triple A Pawtucket last year. Drafted in the first round as a raw high school talent out of New Mexico in 2011, Swihart has slowly but surely improved while ascending through the minors.

He has grown as a game caller, and last year he threw out an impressive 45.6 percent of opposing base stealers (31 for 68).

“Just the knowledge of catching,” Swihart said when asked how far he had come. “Like you said, I was new when I first came in. Now that I’m more grown into it, I guess you’d say, I’ve developed in overall aspects. I know how to call pitches now. I know how to get chemistry with my other pitchers. That’s what it takes, is get your chemistry going and get your feet wet and now everything’s running smoothly.”

Farm director Ben Crockett knows the team struggled integrating Jackie Bradley Jr. and Xander Bogaerts into the lineup last year. Without speaking directly about Swihart, he said the club plans to be sensible about promoting its prospects, while also cautioning against being over-cautious.

‘€œThere were a lot of areas that, organizationally, from our end and on the field, it could be done better,’€ Crockett said. ‘€œWe try to learn from that. At the same time, we’re not going to be shy or hesitate to trust the next young player to make an impact and to have an important part on the team.”

Blog Author: 
John Tomase