David Ortiz said he hasn't given his Hall of Fame chances much thought. (Dan Hamilton/USA Today Sports)

David Ortiz said more Dominican Republic players will get into the Hall of Fame in coming years. (Dan Hamilton/USA Today Sports)

Although his career isn’t completely over, it’s getting time to start seriously thinking about David Ortiz’s chances of making the Hall of Fame.

As it stands now, there is one designated hitter — Frank Thomas — and two players from Dominican Republic — Pedro Martinez and Juan Marichal — in Cooperstown, but Ortiz acknowledges that soon will be changing, especially when it comes to Dominican Republic players.

“We’ve got plenty coming. We’ve got plenty,” Ortiz said. “We’ve got Adrian Beltre. I think that guy should be in the Hall of Fame once he’s done with his career. We’ve got Albert Pujols. If he retired tomorrow, he’d be in the Hall of Fame. We’ve got Vladi [Vladimir Guerrero]. He’s going to be in the voting next year, ’17. That guy has Hall of Fame numbers. We’ve got a lot of guys coming. Things are going to change with time. We have been able to progress when it comes down to that, no question about that. The Dominican Republic is developing so many great talents. It has become a masterpiece when it comes down to what we do right here.

“I’m very excited about it. I am one of the guys that, I look up to those guys. We always had conversations. We have a great relationship. I think we are in pretty good shape to have a few more Dominicans at some point, probably 5-10 years from now, 15 years from now, in the Hall of Fame. In my case, I always tell you guys, all I can do is keep on doing what I’m doing on the field right now.

“When it comes down to voting five years from now, I’ll probably start thinking about it a little more, sitting at home, not worrying about all those things I’m thinking about right now. All I want to do is just what I’ve been doing throughout my career, send the right message to everybody and try to do the right thing. It’s going to be up to them.”

Ortiz did admit he’s proud of his career, as he will enter the weekend with a career average of .286 with 540 home runs and 1,765 RBIs over his 20 seasons. He also noted his career story, as he came from seemingly no where.

“I am. I’m super proud of what I have done,” he said. “My story of my career, it has been really good. I’m talking to me about myself, when I think about it, just because, I was a big-time underdog. I was somebody who came to the big leagues with this really ridiculous talent. It wasn’t that bright at the beginning. But I figured one thing out: If you keep working, don’t listen to people, because people are always going to have things to say. People are always going to judge you. People are always going to put you down – not everybody, but some people.

“The reality is that you are the owner of your own future. It’s all about how hungry you are. It’s all about how good you want to be. It’s all about how successful you want to be. That has been my career,and I’m happy and proud of the things that I have done, but that’s all I can control.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

While all the pregame ceremonies to honor David Ortiz for his final season have been nice tributes, the Red Sox’ designated hitter admitted they have been a bit distracting at times, especially in his first at-bats of games which have come mere minutes after the ceremonies.

David Ortiz has appreciated all the pregame ceremonies this year. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports)

David Ortiz has appreciated all the pregame ceremonies this year. (Anthony Gruppuso/USA Today Sports)

While all the pregame ceremonies to honor David Ortiz for his final season have been nice tributes, the Red Sox’ designated hitter admitted they have been a bit distracting at times, especially in his first at-bats of games which have come mere minutes after the ceremonies.

“It has, I’m not going to lie to you,” Ortiz said. “The good thing is that we’re already in the playoffs so for the next three days I don’t really have to worry about it. The best thing about it is that once we go into the playoffs there’s not going to be all these distractions. I like to be focused when I play, especially when I play for a reason. We worked extremely hard in the regular season to get to the playoffs and I don’t want to blow that off.

“It’s not easy going through all these things and playing baseball at the same time. It can cause distraction … I am going to try to enjoy these next three days and be ready to play in the playoffs.”

Ortiz said he’s been so busy to even think about this being his last season, but admitted he never expected things to go like they have with seemingly every away team honoring him this year.

“I was telling Junior in Spanish, he asked me how I feel about everything that has been happening. Everything happened so fast, and I’m like in it, so I haven’t really had the time to drop knowledge on things,” he said. “I never expected everything to be this way. We play during the season, we get involved in everything we’ve got to do. I don’t expect anything ever, but everything is so beautiful, what has been going on.”

Added Ortiz: “Looking forward to the regular season being over with. I know we’re going to have three busy days. It is what it is. Just trying to get prepared for the playoffs and be part of what we’re trying to do during the regular season. I really appreciate all those in the organization taking their time to honor me and make me feel good about what my career has been.

“I think it was super nice what the Yankees did last night, very professional. After this weekend, we’re just going to get prepared for the playoffs.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

It’s now official: when the division series starts next week, Steven Wright won’t be a part of it.

Steven Wright

Steven Wright

It’s now official: when the division series starts next week, Steven Wright won’t be a part of it.

The knuckleballer threw another bullpen on Friday afternoon before the Red Sox opened their final series of the regular season against the Blue Jays, but he won’t throw again until Monday, and manager John Farrell said there’s no longer time to get him ready for the start of the playoffs.

“He wouldn’t be eligible for the first round,” Farrell said. “No, he would not.”

Wright is still recovering from a shoulder injury he suffered in August running the bases against the Dodgers. Farrell said Friday’s bullpen was at roughly 70 percent effort.

“Now it’s just a matter of continuing to build some repetition,” Farrell said. “It’s likely he throws two more bullpens, the next being Monday, before we would look to alter his program. In other words, starting to see hitters or anything along those lines. A step in the right direction for Steven.”

In other pregame news, Farrell explained the decision to drop shortstop Xander Bogaerts to sixth in the batting order.

“I just feel like, and this isn’t centered around Xander, even though he’s the one moving down a little bit,” Farrell said. “This is to try to create a little bit of a spark for us offensively because we’ve been grinding a little bit and also to create a little balance up and down the lineup a little bit more. We’re soon to get out of an expanded roster. So maybe to create a little more balance, that’s where today’s lineup is reflective of it.”

Bogaerts has scuffled in the second half. He’s hitting .227 since Aug. 1, but he went 5-for-14 vs. the Yankees with more of his typical right-field approach.

“I think what he’s shown in the New York series has been the goal of getting him back to that approach,” Farrell said. “And when you see the line drive approach into the right-center field gap, that all-field approach is what he’s working extremely hard to get back to. He’s been pitched to extensively. I want to make it clear, Bogey being in the six-hole isn’t reflective of the second half.”

Blog Author: 
John Tomase

With Xander Bogaerts hitting just .235 in September, manager John Farrell has moved him down in the order. Bogaerts is batting sixth in the series opener against the Blue Jays on Friday night.

Xander Bogaerts

Xander Bogaerts

With Xander Bogaerts hitting just .235 in September, manager John Farrell has moved him down in the order. Bogaerts is batting sixth in the series opener against the Blue Jays on Friday night.

Third baseman Brock Holt, who has been hitting well of late, will bat second as the Red Sox go up against right-hander Marco Estrada. Also, Mookie Betts and David Ortiz have switched, so Ortiz will bat fourth and Betts third.

Sandy Leon will catch Red Sox starter Rick Porcello, who is making his final start of the year before the postseason.

Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:

Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Brock Holt, 3B
Mookie Betts, RF
David Ortiz, DH
Hanley Ramirez, 1B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Sandy Leon, C
Andrew Benintendi, LF
Rick Porcello, RHP

For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Rick Porcello

Rick Porcello

The Red Sox open their final series of the regular season Friday by welcoming the Blue Jays to Fenway for a three-game set. Rick Porcelllo will cap off the best regular season of his career with a final start against Marco Estrada.

Porcello is 22-4 with a 3.11 ERA and a 0.991 WHIP in 32 starts. In his last start on Saturday, he threw 6 1/3 innings, allowing three runs, eight hits and one walk with nine strikeouts in a 6-4 win over the Rays.

“I feel like I had good stuff. I definitely made a lot of mistakes, especially early on in the game and the inning when they scored those runs,” Porcello said (via MLB.com). “I had to settle back down and start executing my pitches better, but definitely had a better four-seam fastball, and it had some more life on it today than in some previous starts.”

Since June 28, the right-hander has gone more than six innings in every outing, which has contributed to him going 14-2 with a 2.49 ERA in his last 16 starts.

Against the Blue Jays, Porcello is 7-7 with a 5.07 ERA and a 1.224 WHIP in 16 games (15 starts). This season against the Jays, he is 3-0 with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.000 WHIP in four starts. His last outing against Toronto was on Sept. 9. He threw seven innings, surrendering just two runs, six hits and one walks with seven strikeouts in a 13-3 Sox win.

Marco Estrada

Marco Estrada

Estrada is 9-9 with a 3.53 ERA and a 1.117 WHIP in 28 starts this season. In his last start on Sunday, he threw seven innings, allowing just one run, four hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in a 4-3 win over the Yankees.

The righty is 4-4 with a 4.15 ERA and a 1.413 WHIP in nine games (seven starts) vs. Boston. This year, Estrada is 2-2 with a 3.47 ERA and a 1.286 WHIP in four starts against the Sox. The 33-year-old native of Mexico last pitched against the Sox on Sept. 9. He lasted only 2 1/3 innings, allowing four runs (three earned), six hits and three walks with two strikeouts in a 13-3 Sox win.

Blue Jays vs. Porcello (RHP)

Jose Bautista (43 plate appearances): .417 AVG./.512 OBP/.667 SLG, 3 home runs, 9 RBIs, 6 walks, 5 strikeouts

Edwin Encarnacion (38): .351/.368/.730, 5 doubles, 3 home runs, 10 RBIs, 6 strikeouts

Josh Donaldson (32): .258/.281/.387, 1 double, 1 home run, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts

Justin Smoak (24): .333/.417/.810, 1 double, 3 home runs, 9 RBIs, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts

Russell Martin (23): .150/.261/.300, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts

Kevin Pillar (22): .286/.318/.476, 4 doubles, 1 RBI, 3 strikeouts

Michael Saunders (17): .063/.118/.063, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts

Troy Tulowitzki (17): .200/.294/.200, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Ryan Goins (14): .143/.143/.286, 1 triple, 1 RBI, 3 strikeouts

Josh Thole (14): .143/.143/.357, 1 home run, 2 RBIs, 3 strikeouts

Ezequiel Carrera (11): .182/.182/.455, 1 double, 1 triple, 2 RBIs, 3 strikeouts

Melvin Upton (11): .111/.273/.111, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts

Devon Travis (10): .222/.300/.222, 2 RBIs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Darwin Barney is 1-for-5 with 1 double and 1 triple.

Dioner Navarro is 0-for-4 with 2 strikeouts.

Dalton Pompey is 0-for-2 with 1 strikeout.

Red Sox vs. Estrada (RHP)

David Ortiz (22 plate appearances): .158 AVG./.273 OBP/.474 SLG, 2 home runs, 4 RBIs, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts

Dustin Pedroia (21): .368/.429/.421, 1 double, 2 RBIs, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts

Xander Bogaerts (20): .105/.150/.316, 1 double, 1 home run, 3 RBIs, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

Hanley Ramirez (19): .313/.421/.438, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 3 walks, 1 strikeout

Mookie Betts (15): .154/.267/.231, 1 double, 2 RBIs, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts

Brock Holt (13): .083/.154/.083, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts

Travis Shaw (11): .286/.455/.286, 2 RBIs, 3 walks, 1 strikeout

Jackie Bradley Jr. (10): .333/.400/.667, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Ryan Hanigan is 2-for-9.

Chris Young is 2-for-9 with 1 home run, 1 RBI and 3 strikeouts.

Christian Vazquez is 1-for-6 with 2 strikeouts.

Sandy Leon is 1-for-4 with 1 RBI and 1 strikeout.

Aaron Hill is 0-for-3.

Blog Author: 
John Hand

David Price has a lot to prove in the postseason.</p>
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On the heels of their second AL East crown in four years, the Red Sox called off the dogs.