This week, Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen was asked by TMZ whether he concurs with CC Sabathia’s recent comments that the 62 black players in Major League Baseball “expect” racial harassment from fans when they play in Boston.
McCutchen, who played in Boston for the first time in his career when the Pirates opened the season at Fenway Park, said he had a positive experience.
“I don’t know. I mean, I never had to really deal with it,” McCutchen said of racism in Boston. “I don’t play for that side or that division, either. That was my first time playing there earlier this year. I didn’t experience any of that. You get your occasional ‘you sucks’ and stuff, but past that, everyone was pretty cool, pretty normal. I made some friend some friends with a few people and got some boos too, but it’s cool.”
Asked if he took issue with Sabathia speaking for all black players when McCutchen’s experience was different from the one he described, the veteran outfielder didn’t begrudge the Yankees pitcher.
“I don’t know, man. Everyone has different experiences in different divisions,” McCutchen said. “CC’s been around longer than I have and he’s played in a different division, so he’s probably experiences it a lot more than I have, so I’m sure that he probably expects that it’s going to happen. You hate that you have to think that way, but sometimes that’s part of it. You’ve just got to turn the other cheek and just move on.”
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.”
0:21 - With less than two week before the beginning of the 2018 season, the Red Sox don’t have all of the answers for their rotation. Lou Merloni and Evan Drellich project their Opening Day rotation and discuss the lack of depth in it.
4:39 - Will Boston’s version of the ‘Killer B’s’ return in full force this season? Lou and Evan analyze the performances of Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Andrew Benintendi.
10:07 - Buy or sell? John Farrell will find another managerial position this season; J.D. Martinez will have a better season than Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton; Dave Dombrowski has put the best possible team out there for 2018.
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