Red Sox broadcaster Don Orsillo acknowledges the fans during his final home game. (Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)

Red Sox broadcaster Don Orsillo acknowledges the fans during his final home game. (Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)

NESN has attempted to add some clarity to its approach toward not airing the Don Orsillo tribute video shown on the Fenway Park Jumbotron during the eighth inning of Sunday’s home finale.

The network sent out the following release:

“Yesterday’€™s Don Orsillo tribute by the Red Sox was designed to be an in-ballpark celebration for the fans in attendance.

“NESN already had separate plans underway to recognize Don during our last telecast of the season this Sunday (Oct 4).

“We look forward to celebrating Don’s career at NESN throughout that game.”

Click here to read more on the Orsillo tribute.

Blog Author: 

NEW YORK — Hanley Ramirez‘ offseason has begun early.

NEW YORK — Hanley Ramirez‘ offseason has begun early.

The Red Sox first baseman has returned to his Miami-area home, leaving the Red Sox for the remainder of the regular season. It had already been announced last week that Ramirez was being shut down due to continued soreness in his right shoulder.

Red Sox physical therapist Dan Dyrek will meet with Ramirez in South Florida Tuesday to begin to the rehab schedule for the 31-year-old.

Ramirez, who hasn’t played in a game since Aug. 26, finishes his first season with the Red Sox having played in 105 games, totaling a .249 batting average and .717 OPS with 19 home runs.

The other big Red Sox free agent signee from last offseason, Pablo Sandoval, has remained in Boston while battling pneumonia. While there is a slight chance the third baseman could join the team for its final series in Cleveland over the weekend, such a reunion isn’t likely.

– Another Red Sox player shut down for the season, closer Koji Uehara, took a positive step in his comeback from a broken right wrist.

Uehara played catch for the first time since suffering his season-ending injury Aug. 7 Sunday, and then repeated the activity at Yankee Stadium Monday.

Uehara remains optimistic he will be able to hit the ground running when next season’s spring training rolls around after continuing his training in Tokyo during the final few months of the offseason.

The 40-year-old is signed for one more year beyond 2015.

– Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo said prior to Monday night’s game that Rusney Castillo is dealing with a sore right quadriceps muscle, but could be back in the lineup Tuesday.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford
Eduardo Rodriguez

Eduardo Rodriguez

Following an impressive weekend series in which they did not allow a single run in three games against the Orioles, the Red Sox will look to continue their success in a four-game set against the Yankees. The Sox will send rookie Eduardo Rodriguez to oppose Ivan Nova in the series opener Monday night.

Rodriguez (9-6, 3.97 ERA) last started a week ago against the Rays. He went six innings and allowed three runs (all of which came in the first inning) on six hits and two walks with four strikeouts as the Sox won 8-7 thanks to an eighth-inning grand slam from Xander Bogaerts. After the erratic first inning, Rodriguez settled in and threw five straight scoreless innings.

“For me, in the first inning, all my pitches were in the middle of the plate,” Rodriguez said after the game. “I tried to go outside, and they’d go to the middle. Same with the inside corner. After that, all my pitches were working pretty good to both sides of the plate.”

The 22-year-old left-hander likely will be making his final start of the season, as interim manager Torey Lovullo stated prior to last week’s start that Rodriguez would pitch 10-14 more innings in 2015.

Rodriguez has faced the Yankees three times this season, putting together a 2-1 record with a 2.45 ERA over 18 1/3 innings with a .265 opponents batting average. Rodriguez earned the win the last time he saw the Yankees, going five innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on seven hits and three walks with four strikeouts in Boston’s 4-3 victory on Aug. 31.

Rodriguez will be making his second career start at Yankee Stadium, where he owns an 0-1 record with a 2.57 ERA.

Ivan Nova

Ivan Nova

Nova (6-9, 4.87 ERA) is coming off a solid outing in the Yankees’ 4-0 loss to the Blue Jays last Wednesday. He went 5 2/3 innings and allowed one run (which scored after he left) on four hits and two walks with six strikeouts.

“He did a tremendous job for us,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “It’s unfortunate we weren’t able to score him any runs.”

The right-hander was relegated to the bullpen on Sept. 16 following a rough stretch, but he was returned to the rotation after Masahiro Tanaka strained his hamstring running the bases against the Mets on Sept. 18.

The Yankees are 1-5 in Nova’s last six starts, and in all of them he received a decision. The 28-year-old Dominican has a 7.31 ERA in that stretch.

Nova made his first start of the season on June 24 after undergoing season-ending Tommy John surgery in April of 2014. He’s seeing the Sox for the third time this season, putting together an 0-2 record with a 4.97 ERA over 12 2/3 innings in the first two outings.

Nova is 3-5 with a 6.35 ERA in his eight starts at Yankee Stadium this season, and just 1-4 with a 9.41 ERA in his five in the Bronx.

The Yankees have a magic number of three to clinch a postseason berth. Their next win will be the 10,000th in team history.

Red Sox vs. Nova (RHP)

David Ortiz (29 plate appearances): .400 AVG/.483 OBP/.760 SLG, 3 doubles, 2 HRs, 5 RBIs, 4 walks, 1 strikeout

Dustin Pedroia (14): .333/.429/.500, 2 doubles, 2 RBIs, 2 walks

Xander Bogaerts (12): .182/.250/.182, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Ryan Hanigan (10): .300/.300/.900, 2 HRs, 4 RBIs, 1 strikeout

Pablo Sandoval (9): .222/.222/.333, 1 double, 1 strikeout

Jackie Bradley Jr. (7): .429/.429/.429, 2 strikeouts

Mookie Betts (6): .333/.333/1.000, 1 double, 1 HR, 2 RBIs

Brock Holt is 1-for-6 with a strikeout.

Rusney Castillo is 0-for-3 with a strikeout.

Travis Shaw is 0-for-2 with a strikeout and a walk.

Yankees vs. Rodriguez (LHP)

Jacoby Ellsbury (10 plate appearances): .444 AVG/.444 OBP/1.111 SLG, 2 HRs, 2 RBIs, 1 strikeout

Alex Rodriguez (10): .444/.500/.889, 1 double, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Didi Gregorius is 4-for-8 with an RBI.

Chase Headley is 1-for-6 with a walk, HBP and 2 strikeouts.

Chris Young is 1-for-8.

Brett Gardner is 1-for-6 with a strikeout.

John Ryan Murphy is 0-for-5 with a strikeout.

Brendan Ryan is 1-for-5 with 3 strikeouts.

Carlos Beltran is 1-for-2 with a double and an RBI.

Greg Bird is 1-for-3 with a strikeout.

Brian McCann is 0-for-1 with 2 walks.

Rob Refsnyder is 0-for-2.

Blog Author: 

It was one seemingly innocuous at-bat. A simple first-inning fly ball to left field in Game No. 155.

But for David Ortiz it certainly held some significance.

It was one seemingly innocuous at-bat. A simple first-inning fly ball to left field in Game No. 155.

But for David Ortiz it certainly held some significance.

The plate appearance was the 39-year-old’s 600th for his season, triggering the final stage of his option for 2016. By stepping to the plate for that first time Sunday afternoon against Baltimore starter Ubaldo Jimenez, Ortiz guaranteed himself that he would be making $16 million the following year.

“I earned my [expletive],” he said when notified of the milestone.

While making an extra million bucks in one day is nice — (with his vesting option for ’16 having clicked in at 425 plate appearances and progressively going up at five checkpoints) — what the moment symbolized meant just as much.

“When I signed my last contract I wanted the team to be happy. But the most important thing was that for all the people who talked [expletive] about me talking about a contract, I wanted them to shut the hell up, too. I did something so I could earn it,” he said. “Some people say the team always gives me things and I don’€™t earn it. I’€™ve heard people say I sound greedy when I talk about contracts. But it’€™s not greedy, it’€™s just the way it is.

“When you get older it’€™s not like you want to ask for anything crazy. Once you get to my age, it’€™s at a point where a player needs to earn things. You don’€™t know how your performance is going to be. So me and the team, we both did something we feel comfortable with.”

Ortiz signed his current contract extension during the 2014 spring training, after his momentous 2013 postseason run. He was already locked up to make $11 million in ’14, but this guaranteed him $16 million for this season and then the identical team/vesting options for ’16 and ’17.

The club options for each of the next years would be for $10 million if he failed to reach 425 plate appearances. But if the thresholds were met, Ortiz would make $11 million for 425 plate appearances, $12 million for 475, $13 million for 500, $14 million for 525, $15 million for 575, and, finally, the max of $16 million (or the value of the qualifying offer) for his 600th trip to the plate.

“Basically this was my year that I asked for and then the option were the team saying, ‘€˜Why don’€™t we do this so we don’€™t have to talk contracts anymore?’€™ That was fine,” Ortiz said. “I like earning my [expletive]. Nobody has given me anything. Anything I had I’€™ve earned it. So what was the problem with earning it again? So I got myself prepared in the offseason so I can earn my shit, and here we are.”

It marks the third straight season Ortiz has reached 600 plate appearances, with his 1,872 PAs over the past three seasons serving as the most of any Red Sox player, and 27th-most among all major leaguers.

“I get prepared to play the game. Whatever happens, happens, but the goal is to go above [600 plate appearances]. You get 600 and that means you’€™ve played the whole season,” he noted.

“I feel good. When you know you’€™re not going to the playoffs it’€™s something, in my case, it sucks. I want to be part of the big stage. But it is what it is. Get ready for next year, and hopefully the front office puts a good team together for next year and try and to make it happen.”

And while making his 600th plate appearance is a fine accomplishment, producing on the field is the other important piece of that equation. With seven games to play this season, he is sitting on 36 home runs with an .898 OPS, having exactly matched last year’s total of playing in 142 games with 518 at-bats.

Only five players have a better combined OPS over the last three season than Ortiz’ .920, with Chris Davis and Nelson Cruz serving as the only two to have hit more home runs than the Sox’ DH’s 106 over that span.

“I’€™m happy about it because I’€™m not going to hear people talk [expletive] about my contract. I’€™ve earned it,” Ortiz said. “Now I’€™ll get ready for next year.”

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

NESN's Don Orsillo has remained a class act to the end. (Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)No matter how tightly NESN squeezes its eyes, it can't make its Don Orsillo problem go away.

Don Orsillo broadcast his final Red Sox game at Fenway Park on Sunday and was honored with a  video tribute that concluded with the beloved play-by-play man tapping his heart in salute.

Red Sox broadcaster Don Orsillo acknowledges the fans during his final home game. (Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)

Red Sox broadcaster Don Orsillo acknowledges the fans during his final home game. (Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)

Don Orsillo broadcast his final Red Sox game at Fenway Park on Sunday and was honored with a  video tribute that concluded with the beloved play-by-play man tapping his heart in salute.

Orsillo, whose contract will not be renewed, was shown on the scoreboard after the seventh inning. The team ran a highlights package of some of his most memorable calls, and then focused on him in the NESN booth as Orsillo pointed and waved to the crowd and the Red Sox dugout.

“I was glad to see the response and the reception he had,” said interim manager Torey Lovullo. “Personally speaking, I know Don is a caring and kind man who is connected to his city. He’€™s been in a lot of living rooms for a long time. And I know this city is going to miss him. It was nice to see everyone acknowledge him and he’€™s going to be missed.”

Orsillo remained largely expressionless throughout the tribute and hasn’t commented on his ouster since it was announced in late August, though fans have responded angrily, circulating a petition that has topped 60,000 signatures. He’ll be replaced by WEEI radio play-by-play man Dave O’Brien.

Red Sox players, however, spoke for him and addressed what he has meant to the organization.

“Every time we watch a highlight, we hear his voice,” said reliever Craig Breslow. “He’s always had a great relationship with the players, they respect him. They recognize that obviously he has a job to do, but it seems as though he’s on our side, and that’s important.”

Second baseman Dustin Pedroia saluted Orsillo’s presence.

“He’s been first-class, man,” he said. “We’re going to miss him. We wish nothing but the best for him. We’re around him all the time. He’s been great to all of us.”

Right-hander Clay Buchholz, who has known Orsillo as long as just about anyone in the clubhouse, said players have always appreciated the self-deprecating way he’ll joke with guys like former manager Terry Francona.

“He’s been here longer than just about everybody in this clubhouse,” Buchholz said. “To see someone go, that you recognize their voice without even having to see them on TV, he’s been through thick and thin with this organization, and he’s very good at his job. It’s not going to be very hard for him to find another situation that’s going to treat him as well as this one did. It’s going to be a little different, but the montage, the video and everything was pretty cool to see.”

The fans gave Orsillo a prolonged ovation that reverberated through the park even after play resumed.

“Seemed like it was a really indicative and kind gesture by the fans, and it seems like he was sincerely and genuinely touched,” Breslow said. “It’s a relationship that’s gone on for many years here, and he’s been a part of some of the greatest moments in the franchise’s history. He’ll always be remembered for some of those calls. As you can see from the outpouring of support from fans, they’re definitely sad to see him go.”

Blog Author: 
John Tomase

The Red Sox began the season without an ace. They’re ending it with hope for the starting rotation.