Red Sox

Drellich: Why can't the Red Sox admit mistakes?

Drellich: Why can't the Red Sox admit mistakes?

NEW YORK — The trouble the Red Sox have publicly acknowledging reality this season is baffling, in part because their hooey is so pervasive.

Bad base running. Plane confrontations. Beanball wars. 

They don’t always say “It’s not me, it’s them,” but there are too many “It’s not me” moments.

Look, the Sox can pretend their mistakes aren’t mistakes all they want as long as they end up on top of the division at the end of the regular season. But in the meantime, the team wide posturing tied to most everything questionable makes it harder to take them at their word.

If they don’t own up to obvious truths consistently, why believe what they say otherwise?

Here's one: The Red Sox are making too many outs on the bases. They entered Friday with 14 more than any other team, per They had the fourth-best extra-base taken percentage, at 44 percent — but that’s still five percentage points off the leader, Torey Lovullo's Diamondbacks.

Eduardo Nunez made a mistake in Friday’s stinging 5-4 loss to the Yankees. He shouldn’t have run on Aaron Hicks’ cannon while Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman was on the ropes, making the second out of the ninth inning at third base. 

Why couldn’t anyone simply call it that: a mistake?

You can be aggressive, as the Red Sox are, and make a mistake. Many mistakes. Too many.

“We have talked with our guys routinely and prior to every series in our advance meetings we talk about opportunities to look for, to take advantage of the running speed that we do have,” manager John Farrell said. “But I do believe there’s a means to an end with this. And while the outs are going to be glaring, I still feel like when we can put pressure on the defense, we’re going to look to set that tone.”

And at a certain point, Farrell sounds tone deaf.

No one is decrying the benefits of aggressiveness as a general philosophy, or suggesting it hasn’t paid off at moments. But the Red Sox are about to blow past their number of outs made on the bases last season with 47 games to go. One more ties last year’s mark of 65.

You can make tremendous contributions since joining the team, as Nunez has, and slip up. No player’s been praised more, nor deserved more praise, than the Godsend for a lineup that needed a lift in a big way.

“If it happened tomorrow, I would take the chance tomorrow again,” Nunez said. “That’s how we play the game. That was a great throw, that was a great pick for Frazier, and an amazing tag. Have to give the credit to them.”

Does Nunez really believe that? Is someone going to tell him on Saturday that he should not make the same attempt again, if given a chance? Doesn’t sound like it.

“That [choice is] on the runner right there,” Farrell said. “He’s not going to have time to look and see if [third-base coach Brian Butterfield] is giving him the go-ahead, that’s something that’s prepared for, that’s something that’s discussed prior to, because in the moment, that’s a split-second decision.”

It’s not an easy decision for any runner. Farrell always errs on the side of protecting his people. But he’s going overboard. As his base runners have, as David Price did on that plane.

It’s OK for people to admit fault. The manager, the players, whoever. Accountability may be a two-way street, but the Red Sox don't know where it is.

Kimbrel back in camp, but infant daughter on his mind

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Kimbrel back in camp, but infant daughter on his mind

Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel has returned to Fort Myers after spending the past three weeks in Boston, where his infant daughter Lydia has undergone multiple heart surgeries at Boston Children's Hospital.

On Monday, an emotional Kimbrel spoke to reporters in Florida, including The Boston Herald's Michael Silverman, about the ordeal after throwing a batting practice session.  

"We’ll be in and out of Boston Children’s Hospital the rest of her life but for this stay, hopefully, a couple more weeks," Kimbrel said. “She’s in the recovery process but life-threatening wise, she’s in a good place that I can be down here." 

Kimbrel said he and his wife Ashley "can't say enough about how amazing Boston Children's Hospital has been." 

"There's no denying it's been the toughest thing we've ever been through," Kimbrel said.  

"In the last week, her recovery has been unbelievable and she's showing great signs and we're very blessed and we want to thank the Red Sox and Alex [Cora] for understanding they've been through this and working with us," Kimbrel said. 

He said Lydia, born in November, will need another surgery when she's around 3 or 4 years old to help ensure normal development. 

"It's been tough, I can say that. We're definitely, me and my wife, we've had each other and we've had our family, we've had a great support. Everyone is sending out prayers that have definitely been heard. Now, I'm back down here. The other day I threw a live BP up at Babson [College in Wellesley, Mass.], and me and her got to talking and seeing where Lydia is, and how she's progressed, she's in a good, comfortable place for me to be down here. If she wasn't, I wouldn't be here.

"My family comes first and then baseball comes. I have to thank the Red Sox for letting me be there with my family and then helping me continue to prepare while I was at home. Stepping away for a few hours was definitely a release. It did help to get in the weight room. It did help to throw the ball. But that's not going to take away the emotions we went through in the hospital."

Kimbrel said he and his wife talked about how fortunate they were to be in Boston and its world-class healthcare facilities. 

"We believe that everything in life happens for a reason, even if we don't understand it at the time," he said. "There's a lesson to be learned and something to be shared through every step you go through in life. As difficult as this is, and I know it will take time, hopefully, this experience and everything we've been through, we can share that with others, try to impact someone else's life. Because I know for a fact my daughter's going to be able to do that one day."



Kimbrel returns to Red Sox after daughter's heart surgery

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Kimbrel returns to Red Sox after daughter's heart surgery

All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel returned to Fort Myers on Sunday after his 4-month-old daughter underwent successful heart surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital, and the Red Sox are confident he'll be ready for Opening Day.

“Oh, yeah. Plenty,” manager Alex Cora replied when asked if Kimbrel had time to get ready for the March 29 opener against the Rays in St. Petersburg. “With him it’s a different schedule, anyway. He’ll be ready.”

Kimbrel's daughter, Lydia Joy, was born with a heart defect. He left the team Feb. 28 to be with her and his family in Boston, but pitching coach Dana Levangie said Kimbrel was on a pitching program during that time.

“The most important thing is that the family is okay with [Kimbrel returning to the Sox],” Cora said. “If they’re okay with it, we’re okay with it.”