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06/20/2012 - 1:20pm
Olney: Communication issues dog Sox

Joining Mut & Merloni for his weekly conversation Wednesday morning, ESPN baseball analyst Buster Olney talked about his story on the "toxic" atmosphere in the Red Sox clubhouse and the backlash from manager Bobby Valentine.

Olney said when Valentine and the players defended the clubhouse Tuesday, they were being asked about something Olney didn't write about.

"I didn't write that the players were having a problem with each other at all and I absolutely don't believe that," Olney said. "Based on what I saw I don't think there's any indication for that."

Explained Olney: "What I wrote was, and I 100 percent stand behind it, is that there's an incredible unhappiness in that clubhouse with issues of communication and how some situations have been handled. That absolutely I stand by 100 percent. It's to a degree that I have rarely seen in covering this sport for 25 years."

Olney...

06/20/2012 - 9:33am
Iglesias (back) close to return to games

Red Sox shortstop prospect Jose Iglesias, out since May 25 with a stiff lower back, likely will return to game activity within the next few days, according to an industry source. The 22-year-old could start a minor league rehab assignment as soon as Friday with the Lowell Spinners, after they return from a brief two-game road trip.

Iglesias is hitting .269 with a .317 OBP, .317 slugging percentage and .634 OPS this year. However, he'd been on a tear in May at the time of his injury, hitting .341/.364/.427/.790 during the month. He has also demonstrated his characteristic flair for spectacular defense while returning to Triple-A Pawtucket for the second straight year.

For complete Red Sox coverage, visit weei.com/redsox.


06/20/2012 - 8:36am
Sox prospect Shaw named All-Star MVP

Red Sox minor league first baseman Travis Shaw was named team MVP for the Carolina League All-Stars after going 1-for-2 with a walk and a two-run homer in the Carolina League vs. California League All-Star Game. The game continued a tremendous slugging run by Shaw, who hit just one homer in his first 39 games this year but has since exploded for 10 homers in his last 25 Carolina League contests (not including the All-Star Game).

For the season, Shaw -- a 2011 ninth-round pick out of Kent State by the Red Sox -- is hitting .335 (third in the High-A Carolina League) with a .424 OBP (fourth), .591 slugging mark (first) and 1.016 OPS (first). His 11 homers are tied for third in the league.

For more Red Sox coverage, visit weei.com/redsox.


06/20/2012 - 7:57am
Mashup: Rays reliever ejected for pine tar

Rays pitcher Joel Peralta was ejected from Tuesday night's 5-4 victory over the Nationals after umpires found "a significant amount of pine tar" on his glove when he entered the game in the eighth inning. Peralta, who pitched for the Nationals in 2010, appears to have been exposed by a former teammate, as Washington manager Davey Johnson requested the inspection after "a rumor that he liked a little pine tar."

Peralta tipped his cap to the Nationals dugout as he left the field.

"Good for them," he said later. "They still lose the game."

Rays manager Joe Maddon insisted that it's a "common practice" for pitchers to use pine tar, and he called Johnson's actions "cowardly." Maddon also requested a check of Nationals reliever Ryan Mattheus' glove in the ninth inning (umpires found nothing).

"Insider trading, man. It's bush," Maddon said. "It's bogus. That's way too...

06/19/2012 - 10:34pm
Valentine: Pedroia 'more fearful than injured'

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said that second baseman Dustin Pedroia was removed from Tuesday night's game against the Marlins after suffering what he initially feared to be a recurrence of the torn adductor muscle in his right thumb that sidelined him for a week. Pedroia was jammed by a 95 mph fastball from right-hander Ryan Webb, and while leaving the field after fouling out to first base, he shook his hand on the way to the dugout.

Valentine -- who said that general manager Ben Cherington talked to the second baseman during the game -- suggested that the Sox had not yet made a conclusive determination about the injury to the three-time All-Star, who went 1-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt.

"It’s early for a complete update, of course. He said -- this is third-hand -- that he was more fearful than he was injured," Valentine said. "The ball was an inside pitch that pushed the bat back in his hand the way he didn’t want it...

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