Red Sox

Red Sox have 'a lot to be optimistic about' despite early postseason exit


Red Sox have 'a lot to be optimistic about' despite early postseason exit

Some 14 hours after having had their season ended in unceremonious fashion by the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS, the Red Sox gathered at Fenway to pack belongings, say goodbyes, and reflect on the 2016 season.

Even in the light of day and the benefit of a night's sleep, a three-game sweep seemed no more palatable. But the day after, it was easier for the Red Sox to recognize what had gone well over the course of the long season.

"It kind of sucks that it ended the way that it did,'' said lefty Drew Pomeranz, "but it's part of the game. I'm very confident in the future; this team is great. This is probably the closest team I've been on. There's a lot of great young people. They all care about each other and they all want to win.''

Indeed, the foundation for a competitive team is in place. The Red Sox entire outfield returns, with only Chris Young older than 26.

In the infield, the Sox are set with Dustin Pedroia and Xander Bogaerts in the middle of the infield. Veterans Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval return, as does the five-man rotation and three catchers under 30.

"We have a lot of good young players,'' said Bogaerts, "good teammates, good guys. We have a lot to be optimistic about.''

Losses -- with the obvious exception of David Ortiz -- will be minimal. A few veteran relievers (Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa, Brad Ziegler) are eligible for free agency, but the vast majority of the roster remains under team control.

It should help, too, that a number of veteran players have now had the benefit of a season or two in Boston and know what to expect.

"If you come in here and you perform and you play hard and you play well,'' said David Price, "they're going to love you. And if you don't play up to their standards, it's definitely a different feeling because of the expectation of our fans. They expect almost as much as we do from ourselves and that's not very common in the sports world.''

Price, Rick Porcello, Hanley Ramirez and Craig Kimbrel now have a greater sense of what playing in Boston requires.

And disappointing as the quick first-round exit was, the Sox will likely reap the benefits of its core of young players (Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Andrew Benintendi, Christian Vazquez, Travis Shaw) getting their first exposure to the demands of the postseason play.

"This is the first time I've been in the playoffs, personally,'' said Pomeranz. "Some of the other guys on the team, it's their first time. You definitely learn and you don't want (a disappointing loss) to happen again. I think a lot of guys will really be thinking about this during the off-season, including myself.''

"You learn from stuff like this,'' said Bogaerts. "Hopefully, next year, you're better prepared.''


Wright suspended 15 games for violation of domestic-violence policy

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Wright suspended 15 games for violation of domestic-violence policy

Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright will be suspended 15 games for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy, NBC Sports Boston has learned. The league is set to make the announcement Friday.

Wright, working his way back from right knee surgery, has to serve the suspension when healthy. Potential time on the disabled list to begin the season would not count. Wright is not expected to appeal.

Wright was arrested at his Tennessee home in December following an incident involving his wife, Shannon. Wright was charged with domestic assault and preventing a 911 call, which are misdemeanors in Tennessee, and released on a $2,500 bond.

The case in December was retired by the Williamson County courthouse. If Wright commits no other offenses for a 12-month span, the charges are expected to be dropped.

Fifteen games matches the lowest suspension MLB has given out in relation to a domestic violence case since the league and players union agreed to a policy in 2015. Mets pitcher Jeurys Familia was suspended 15 games in March 2017.

"It's a situation that, it sucks not only for me, but for my family, for the team," Wright told reporters in Florida on Thursday. "But I try not to think about it. When MLB comes out with their discipline, or if there's going to be discipline or not, it's just going to go from there."

Wright said this spring that he did not harm his wife.

“We’ve been going to counseling. We’ve been working through it,” Wright said. “We’ve been trying to do as much as we can to put it past us, but it’s hard. Because MLB is doing their investigation and it’s in the limelight. It’s really hard on a personal level to get past something that’s constantly being thrown at you. But I did it to myself. It’s one of those things that I’ve got to live with the consequences that came from my actions that night.”


John Farrell joins ESPN’s ‘Baseball Tonight’ as analyst

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John Farrell joins ESPN’s ‘Baseball Tonight’ as analyst

John Farrell can add another job to his resume.

The former Boston Red Sox manager has joined the crew for ESPN's "Baseball Tonight," according to The Boston Globe. His debut will be on Wednesday for a season-preview show.

The Red Sox fired Farrell on Oct. 11, 2017 despite a second-straight A.L. East crown. Alex Cora will begin his first season in Farrell's old role during the 2018 season.

Farrell added the broadcast work after the Cincinnati Reds hired him as a scout and adviser with a focus on pitching. He interviewed this offseason for the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals managing jobs, but both teams passed on him.