Red Sox

Drellich: Buck Showalter takes unwarranted shot at Red Sox' flu

Drellich: Buck Showalter takes unwarranted shot at Red Sox' flu

BOSTON -- Buck Showalter might have a head cold himself, because he’s not thinking straight.

The smart, witty and sometimes sharp-tongued manager of the Orioles on Tuesday took a clear shot at the Red Sox, and it was totally unwarranted.

The Red Sox have talked publicly about illnesses that have struck the team — illnesses that, apparently, Showalter thinks should have been downplayed or hidden. Because, apparently, what the Sox are going through is not notable compared to what others are experiencing.

“I don’t know where we are with the flu today,” Showalter told Orioles reporters before Tuesday’s game, including the Baltimore Sun. “I haven’t gotten updated by [head athletic trainer Richie Bancells]. Everybody in the league has had that issue. I’ve had it and it’s a different strain, I’ll tell you. It lingers for a long time. Some of them seem to be a little more noteworthy, it seems like, but our guys have fought their way through it. I know we’ve got a lot of guys that aren’t 100 percent with it, but so do a lot of clubs. So nobody really wants to hear somebody else complain about it. Our guys have done a good job not broadcasting it to the world.”

It’s not an accident Showalter made that comment at Fenway Park before the start of a two-game series. He offered up that commentary without being prompted by a question from Orioles reporters. Showalter's a calculated man, usually.

The only thing the 60-year-old does on accident is forget to use the best reliever in the majors, Zach Britton, in a win-or-go home playoff game. 

(Perhaps Showalter had the flu last October and felt a little dazed, but was too noble to say anything?)

Only one Orioles player has been publicly identified as having the flu, Darren O’Day.

You know why the Sox have identified more? Because they've had to.

This is an apples and oranges discussion. 

There's no way the Sox could have possibly hidden their infirmary. Not when Mitch Moreland is leaving spring early; not when Hanley Ramirez can't even make it to Detroit for a four-game road trip; not when the runner-up for American League MVP, Mookie Betts, is MIA from the lineup. 

Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has nothing but experience in this game. He can't remember something like this in his 40-plus years in baseball. 

The Red Sox have had players quarantined. Quarantined

Staffers — from head trainer Brad Pearson to play-by-play voice Dave O’Brien — have all been affected in some way or another. Players have vomited during games. 

It’s not just the flu the Sox are dealing with, either.

“There’s a stomach flu, there’s a full-blown flu and there’s a respiratory, cold, head, all that stuff,” Farrell said Tuesday when asked to clarify what was going around. “We’ve got a little bit of a MASH unit. But, I mean, the one thing I will say that not anyone has made an excuse. You know, we’ve got to go out and play. No one outside of our walls cares about what we’re going through and we don’t care what others are going through. We’ve got to take care of ourselves and get guys back healthy and we’re getting close to that point.”

Farrell made that comment in his standard 4:20 p.m. pre-game press conference at Fenway Park, which happened before Showalter spoke at Fenway around the time the Orioles stretched an hour later.

It’s almost as though Farrell was trying to head off a possible bad perception. Either word didn’t get back to Showalter, or Showalter didn’t care.

So Showalter wound up taking a really cheap shot, just because the Red Sox didn't have much success this year with the flu shot.

Yawkey Way renaming approved unanimously

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File Photo

Yawkey Way renaming approved unanimously

The City of Boston's Public Improvement Commission unanimously approved the petition to rename Yawkey Way Thursday. 

The street on which Fenway Park is located had been named after late Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey in 1977. His history of racism led current owner John Henry to say he was in favor of the street being renamed. 

The street will be renamed Jersey Street, which was the street's name prior to its 1977 renaming.  

Mookie Betts hits 2 HRs to power Red Sox to 4-3 win over Blue Jays

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USA TODAY Sports Photo

Mookie Betts hits 2 HRs to power Red Sox to 4-3 win over Blue Jays

TORONTO -- After six home runs in his last seven games, it seems Mookie Betts' isn't impressing his teammates anymore.

"We don't care about Mookie, we care about the Bruins," Hanley Ramirez joked in the locker room after Betts' latest offensive outburst helped the Boston Red Sox snap their season-high three-game losing streak with a 4-3 over the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night.

Betts homered twice and drove in three runs as the Red Sox improved to 6-1 in one-run games and got their 18th win of the season, tying the franchise record for victories before May 1.

While the Red Sox outfielder has reached base in each of his last 19 games against the Blue Jays, he said he feels he is starting to tap into the power side of his game.

"I think so. A lot of learning with the new hitting [coaches], and with [new teammate] J.D. [Martinez], just putting things together," he said. "Actually learning how to use my strength versus going off ability."

Betts got the Red Sox on the scoreboard with leadoff homer in the first -- his third such shot of the season and 14th of his career --over the left-field fence. He then put the Red Sox in front for good in the seventh, taking reliever Danny Barnes (1-1) deep over the right-field wall for his eighth homer of the season, a two-run shot that also drove in Brock Holt.

Alex Cora said it is games like this that has Betts keeping the very best of company in the major leagues.

"They're special," the Red Sox manager said. "The Trouts, the Altuves, the more at-bats they get the better you feel about it,"

Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez (3-0) gave up three runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings, throwing a season-high 106 pitches.

One night after giving up a walk-off home run to Curtis Granderson, closer Craig Kimbrel worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his sixth save of the season.

Though Boston has now won all of Rodriguez's four starts this season, after the recent losing skid, the left-hander was more than happy to give credit to the guy who jump-started the offense.

"We needed something like that, somebody to get us in front and do it like he did it today," he said.

However, Yangervis Solarte wasn't handing out much credit after the game. The third baseman's sixth home run of the season into the second deck of left field in the sixth inning gave Toronto its only lead of the game at 3-2.

"I think [Rodriguez] got lucky a couple of times and we didn't take advantage of it," he said. "I think we made the adjustment a little bit. But I think he got lucky more than us getting beat."

Aaron Sanchez lasted six innings for the Blue Jays, giving up just three hits and two runs, while striking out a season-high eight.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: SS Xander Bogaerts might be in the Boston lineup Friday, but lost his chance for another rehab appearance with Triple-A Pawtucket's game rained out on Wednesday and the team off Thursday. Manager Alex Cora said Bogaerts would visit the doctor before making a determination on his availability. He has been out since fracturing his ankle on April 8.

Blue Jays: 3B Josh Donaldson should be ready to begin a rehab assignment later this week, according to manager John Gibbons. The former AL MVP has been out since April 10 with right shoulder inflammation. ... SS Troy Tulowitzki has been cleared to begin light baseball activities, according to a team spokesperson. Tulowitzki, currently on the 60-day DL after having bone spurs removed from both feet during spring training, will be monitored and re-evaluated after four weeks.

OUTRIGHT THIEVERY

With steals of both second and third base in the seventh inning by Andrew Benitendi, the Red Sox have now converted 20 of their last 20 stolen-base attempts against Toronto.

NOT O-K?

The Red Sox struck out 10 times and has now done so in each of their last four games, after reaching that mark just two in their first 19 contests.

HIGHLIGHT REEL

Just missing leading off the bottom of the first with a home run, Steve Pearce instead decided to make a play for second as the ball caromed off the left-field wall. But with left fielder Benitendi making a good, one-hop throw to second, only a nifty hook slide around the tag of Eduardo Nunez prevented the out.

A FOUR-GONE CONCLUSION?

Despite posting a 13-0 record when plating four or more runs, the Blue Jays dropped to 1-9 when scoring less than four.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: LHP Chris Sale (1-1, 1.86) takes the mound for the series finale looking to improve on his 4-1 record with a 0.96 ERA in seven appearances in Toronto.

Blue Jays: RHP Marco Estrada (2-1, 5.32) is looking for his first win against the Red Sox since June 5, 2016, after going 0-1 against them in four starts last season.

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