Red Sox

Cameron a strange goat on a strange night


Cameron a strange goat on a strange night

By MaureenMullen

BOSTON -- For Mike Cameron, Wednesday (and Thursdays) 13-inning, 5-3 loss to the Angels was one of the more bizarre games in his 17-year career.

For example, when a rain delay of 2 hours, 35 minutes began in the fifth inning, the Red Sox had no hits. When the game finally ended at 2:45 a.m., after 13 innings, they had 11.

It was that kind of strange night. And Cameron was involved in its strangest play.

The Sox trailed, 3-1, going into the bottom of the ninth, with Angels closer Jordan Walden on the mound. Jed Lowrie opened the inning with a walk. Cameron, who went 1-for-6 in the marathon game, singled to left, with Lowrie taking second.

With Carl Crawford batting, Walden unleashed a wild pitch, and Lowrie and Cameron both attempted to advance. Catcher Hank Conger, attempting to nab Lowrie, threw wildly past third baseman Alberto Callaspo. The errant throw, which seemed destined for left field, caromed off umpire John Hirschbeck.

Lowrie scored on the play, making it 3-2, and Cameron thinking the ball was heading to the outfield attempted to advance to third.

But shortstop Erick Aybar quickly retrieved it and threw to Callaspo to cut down Cameron.

Crawford then doubled into left-center, which would have scored Cameron with the tying run had he stayed put. Then, after Jason Varitek struck out, Jacoby Ellsbury singled to right, scoring Crawford. It tied the game . . . but it could have won it.

Dustin Pedroia grounded into a force out, ending the Sox threat.

Instinctively, thats what you try to do is run, Cameron said. And the shortstop made a good play. It hit off the umpire, kind of kicked back to Aybar. Yeah, I just instinctively saw the ball get away and ran. Thought it was going down the third-base line, and hit off the umpire . . .

"Tough one. Tough one to lose tonight.

Cameron made the right play, though, said manager Terry Francona.

Well, the ball hits the umpire, he said. I thought Aybar made a pretty good play. Hes running full speed, barehands it. When that ball goes by third, Cams going, and thats unfortunate, because if it doesnt hit the umpire, it probably rolls into the corner. But its unfortunate. But its hard to blame Cam for running right there.

With a game time of five hours, plus the long delay, the game did not get over until 2:45 a.m. The fatigue from the long night showed on Cameron, who stood at his locker inside the clubhouse after the game.

It was a battle all night tonight, he said. Crazy, crazy game.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp:twitter.commaureenamullen

Report: Ex-Red Sox reliever Reed gets deal with Twins


Report: Ex-Red Sox reliever Reed gets deal with Twins

He was dubbed "Closer B" by Red Sox manager John Farrell when acquired at the trade deadline last summer, now Addison Reed is "Closer B Gone" the Twins.

The right-handed reliever, 29, has agreed to a two-year, $16.75 million free-agent deal with Minnesota, pending a physical, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and reports. 

Reed began last season with the Mets and had 19 saves and a 2.57 ERA before being traded to the Red Sox, where he had a 3.33 ERA in 29 games (27 innings) without a save as a setup man for Craig Kimbrell.  

Red Sox, Mookie Betts far apart on salary and heading toward arbitration


Red Sox, Mookie Betts far apart on salary and heading toward arbitration

The Red Sox and star right fielder Mookie Betts intend to go to an arbitration hearing in February, and there were signs this was coming even a year ago.

Betts was the only arbitration-eligible player on the Red Sox who did not settle on a contract with the team on Friday, when a deadline arrived for all teams and arbitration-eligible players to exchange 2018 salary figures. Jackie Bradley Jr., Xander Bogaerts and Drew Pomeranz were the biggest names to avoid hearings.

Betts filed for a $10.5 million salary and the Red Sox filed at $7.5 million.  Betts and the Red Sox agreed previously that if no figure could be settled on by the Friday deadline, they would proceed to a hearing, assistant general manager Brian O'Halloran said. 

A three-person panel of arbitrators therefore is set to determine what Betts makes in 2018: either the $7.5 million figure the Sox filed or the $10.5 million figure Betts' camp submitted. The arbitrators won't settle on a midpoint for the parties. 

O'Halloran noted to the Globe there are no hard feelings involved.

Nonetheless, such a large gap would seem to provide incentive to settle. The parties technically could still decide to do so, but that would take a change of course from the present plan. The idea was to settle any time before Friday, and they did not. 

Betts is asking for near-record money for a first-year arbitration eligible player. Kris Bryant set the record Friday with a $10.85 million settlement.

The hearings can be difficult for player-team relations because teams have to make the case in front of the player that he is worth less money than he wants.

Betts, 25, hit .264, with 24 homers, 102 RBI, 25 stolen bases and a .803 OPS in 2017, numbers that fell from his American League MVP runner-up performance in 2016, but were nonetheless very strong and coupled with first-rate defense.

This offseason is Betts' first of arbitration eligibility. In the first three years of service time in a players' career, there's no recourse if you don't like the salary a team is offering. Teams can pay players anything at league minimum or above. 

The only option a player has in those first three years is to make a stand on principle: you can force the team to technically "renew" your salary, which notes to everyone that you did not agree to the salary. Betts and his agents did that in 2017 when the Sox paid him $950,000, a very high amount relative to most contract renewals.

Some of the standard thinking behind forcing a team to renew a contract is that if an arbitration case comes up down the road — and one now looms for Betts — it's supposed to show the arbitrators that the player felt even in seasons past, he was underpaid.

Still, the Sox may have effectively combatted that perception by paying Betts almost $1 million on a renewal. Per USA Today, that $950,000 agreement in 2017 was "the second-highest one-year deal ever for a non-arbitration-eligible player with two-plus years of big league service." Mike Trout got $1 million in 2014.