Red Sox

Drellich: Pedroia unconvincing -- but humorous -- on sign-stealing allegations

Drellich: Pedroia unconvincing -- but humorous -- on sign-stealing allegations

BOSTON — Dustin Pedroia was amusing but unconvincing Wednesday afternoon when addressed sign-stealing allegations involving him and his team.

“I don't have anything to say about anything,” Pedroia said at Fenway Park, as his interview ended. “We're here to play baseball games. We've got a 3 1/2 game lead in our division. Other than that, nobody gives a [expletive]. We're trying to win baseball games."

The Red Sox second baseman did, however, have some things to say before that point, including that he was unaware of the rules for the use of electronic devices.

“I don't really know what the rule book says on that,” Pedroia said. “I know we have iPads in the dugout. So I'm not sure what the — I mean, is that a false thing too? Are we not supposed to have iPads in there?”

Pedroia might have been referencing screenshots Barstool's Dan O'Mara published showing Yankees relievers using iPads to stream games in the bullpen, not the dugout. 

But surely, Pedroia does know the rules on electronic devices at this point, if he didn’t previously. 

The second baseman’s always been sarcastic and dismissive. His on-field dexterity translates in interviews as well. He just doesn’t have much wiggle room here. 

If Pedroia came out and declared his innocence, he’d be taking a big risk if, in fact, he is in the wrong. The New York Times reported the Sox have already admitted to using an Apple Watch to help steal signals. 

From The Times: “Red Sox assistant athletic trainer, Jon Jochim, is seen looking at his Apple Watch and then passing information to outfielder Brock Holt and second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who was injured at the time but in uniform. In one instance, Pedroia is then seen passing the information to Young.”

Was Pedroia up to no good? Well, depends on whom you want to believe.

The second baseman said he was just working on getting himself healthier. That's going to be a hard one to sell.

“[MLB] had a good picture of me, Brock, and CY hanging out though,” Pedroia said. “I do know that. And I was talking to the trainer about what time I'm rehabbing the next day because I'm on the DL, I was on the DL. And they had a nice [picture] of Doug [Fister] with an earpiece in. It was his mouthguard.”

That was a reference to a CSNNE story from Wednesday, which noted that the Yankees complained to MLB because they thought Fister was using an audio device when it actuality he just had his mouthguard around his ear.

“So I mean, it's baseball, man,” Pedroia said. “We already played them 19 times. They beat us how many, 11? They beat us. I'm not going to cry to anybody about it. That's baseball. Right now we're playing the Blue Jays, we're focused on that, and whatever is talked about is talked about. You can't control that. We're just going to try to play the game we love and play to win and that's what our organization does.”

That’s not all the organization does. They countersue. Pedroia, like Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski a day earlier, pointed out there is an investigation looking into the Yankees as well.

“MLB is doing an investigation on both sides,” Pedroia said. “Obviously, I've played against the Yankees for 11 years. It's part of the game, so our adjustment to that stuff is to go out to the mound and change the signs. So, we just keep it at that. It's baseball. It's part of the game. It's been around a long time. 

“I mean, we were [stealing signs] at Douglas Junior High School where I played, so I don't think this should be news to everybody. So whatever MLB [determines], I'm sure it's — I know the players on both sides I'm sure, probably don't think it's from them. But you know, whatever.”

Red Sox open spring training with wins over Northeastern and Boston College

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Red Sox open spring training with wins over Northeastern and Boston College

The Red Sox started off spring training with a doubleheader on Thursday, beating both Northeastern and Boston College.

Boston beat Northeastern 15-2 in the opener, scoring seven runs in the first inning. Highlights included a grand slam from minor league outfielder Kyri Washington, an RBI triple from Blake Swihart, and RBI doubles from Brock Holt and minor league catcher Austin Rei.

In game two, the Red Sox beat Boston College by a score of 4-2. Sam Travis contributed with an RBI double.

Boston takes on the Minnesota Twins on Friday at JetBlue Park.

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Blake Swihart would benefit from a trade, and his trade value may never be higher

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Blake Swihart would benefit from a trade, and his trade value may never be higher

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Blake Swihart would be better off in another organization. The best time to trade him could be now, as well.

He might have a lowered chance of a World Series ring in the immediate future if he's sent away. But for Swihart's personal development, the Red Sox are not his ideal base. 

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Naturally, the Sox have to prioritize their needs. To do that with Swihart, they need to examine the future.

A switch-hitter staring at a bench role with the Sox, Swihart's value remains high because other teams see his potential as a catcher. He turns 26 years old on April 3. A year in a utility role in the majors would not kill him, but it would not help him blossom as a catcher — and therefore, would not help his trade value in the future. He's not old, but he's getting older.

If Christian Vazquez is the Sox’ catcher of the present and the future, Swihart today might well be more valuable to another team than he is to the Sox. It would be up to a potential trade partner to prove as much.

Swihart has said he wants to catch, and has also said he’ll do whatever the team wants. He’s doing catching drills every day in Florida. He also does one of either outfield work or infield work daily, on top of the backstop drills. So far, he hasn't ventured beyond first base on the infield.

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Alex Cora and several members of the coaching staff coordinate on Swihart’s plan. 

“They’re in touch [about] what they have planned for me, so they don’t kill me out there catching a ton of bullpens,” Swihart said Thursday. “I think everyone is kind of involved.”

But the Sox must realize they run the risk of creating a jack of all trades and a master of none. Maybe in the short term, that's what they want. But if so, there is a potential cost in the future: slowed development. Super utility players are nice, but catchers with Swihart's skillset are probably nicer.

Someone, somewhere, is going to carry Swihart on a major league roster this year.

If the Sox have one position-player injury in spring, they can carry all three of Swihart, Brock Holt and Deven Marrero on their opening day roster. Without an injury, the Sox would appear to have three players for just two spots. Swihart and Marrero are both out of minor league options.

“Yeah. I’m not really thinking about that, but yeah,” Swihart said when asked if being out of options is a good thing. “I’ve got to prove myself, still. I’ve got a job to do.”

Swihart’s upside is tantalizing and hard to part with. He tripled and walked twice Thursday in a 15-2, seven-inning win over Northeastern, the Sox’ first game of the spring

Whether it was intentional or not, Holt batted behind Swihart and Marrero directly followed Holt. Swihart’s triple was immediately followed by one of Swihart’s two hits, a double. Marrero, whose value lies in an extraordinary glove, went 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts.

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Results are virtually meaningless now, but after injuries held Swihart back the last two years, he seems rejuvenated. 

"Especially when I’m healthy, I love playing," Swihart said Thursday. "If I can go out there and get as many reps as I can, it’s almost like a tryout for me. I want to go out there and treat it like that, just go out there and do everything I know I can do.”

Other teams know what he can do, too — behind the plate particularly.

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