Red Sox

Ortiz urges Red Sox to acquire Encarnacion, Fernandez

Ortiz urges Red Sox to acquire Encarnacion, Fernandez

SAN DIEGO -- David Ortiz isn't sure what he's going to do after he retires, but on Tuesday night, following his final All-Star game, he seemed interested in perhaps becoming a baseball executive.

In a 20-minute press conference after he came out of the game following two plate appearances, Ortiz openly wished that both Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Fernandez bring their talents to Fenway Park.

Encarnacion, the Toronto Blue Jays DH, is a free agent after this season. When Ortiz came out of the game in the top of the third inning, Encarnacion went into the game to run for him at first base.

And that, apparently, got Ortiz to thinking.

"The Red Sox know also they need to bring a force in the middle of the lineup (after Ortiz retires),'' said Ortiz. "And sorry, Blue Jays, but who better than Encarnacion to do that?''

Ortiz also turned his attention to the Red Sox starting rotation.

Fernandez had promised Ortiz Monday that if he got a chance to face Ortiz in the game, he would serve him straight fastballs. Fernandez has repeatedly said that Ortiz was his favorite player growing up.

In the actual at-bat, Ortiz jokingly complained that Fernandez started him off with a changeup, though Fernandez later insisted it was a batting practice-speed fastball.

Competitive juices took over after that and any fastballs Ortiz saw were of the high-octane variety, clocked at 95-96 mph.

"At first, I was throwing fastballs and fastballs and fastballs,'' recounted Fernandez. "Then I said, 'I gotta mix in a breaking ball here and see what happens.' It was amazing (facing Ortiz). I was nervous. I couldn't believe that I was actually pitching to him.''

And then Ortiz put his GM hat on again, speaking of Fernandez.

"I thought he was going to end up playing with me this year,'' said Ortiz with a smile. "You never know. I want him in my starting rotation. We need a little bit of help and hopefully that will happen at some point. Who knows?''

Fernandez is under the Miami Marlins' control for the next two seasons after this one.

Tuesday marked the second time in the last month that someone associated with the Red Sox publicly envisioned Fernandez pitching for the Red Sox. Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez, who has an advisory capacity with the Sox, tweeted that he could picture Fernandez in a Boston uniform, only to be rebuked by MLB officials for tampering.

"It's an honor for Pedro and everyone to be saying that,'' said Fernandez. "I think a lot of people see that when I pitch, I give my heart out there and give everything that I have when I'm ever out there. I love and respect this game and wherever I'm going to be pitching, for the rest of my career, anywhere that is, I'll be doing the best that I can for my team to win.''


As expected, it's Sale, Price and Porcello to start Sox season

As expected, it's Sale, Price and Porcello to start Sox season

New Red Sox manager Alex Cora has announced that, as expected, left-hander Chris Sale will be the Opening Day starter when the Red Sox begin their season nine days from now against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla. David Price will pitch the second game and Rick Porcello the third. 

Cora told reporters in Fort Myers, Fla. that Eduardo Rodriguez would be in the fourth starter's spot if he's ready as he continues to recover from off-season knee surgery and left-hander Brian Johnson is preparing to be the fifth starter for now.

In Price's second Grapefruit League start on Tuesday, he pitched five innings and allowed two runs on three hits, walked one and struck out four in the Red Sox' 12-6 victory over the Pirates. Third baseman Rafael Devers, hitting .349 this spring, hit his third home run of the spring. Andrew Benintendi (.405) had a double and two RBI and first baseman Sam Travis drove in three. 

Sale had a much rougher outing Monday, giving up four runs on five hits, with three walks and six strikeouts in five innings against the Phillies. 



Red Sox, Yankees working to play in London in 2019

Red Sox, Yankees working to play in London in 2019

Mookie Betts and Aaron Judge are about to go global.

Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy on Monday confirmed the Sox are interested to play the Yankees in London during next year's regular season. Bloomberg reported the clubs are nearing an agreement to play two games there in June 2019. Discussions are indeed taking place, but a deal is not done.

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“We would love to participate in a series in London against the Yankees but this is a decision that MLB and the MLBPA will make," Sox CEO Sam Kennedy said.

Bloomberg reported the games would be played at London Stadium, which was the main facility for the 2012 summer Olympics.

MLB has not played any games in Europe before. The Red Sox have made trips before, including to Japan before the 2008 season.