MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- Flashback to January 2016, it’s the first night of Red Sox Winter Weekend, where fans welcome Rick Porcello with a vanilla reception -- no different than that of any one of the coaches. The right-hander is coming off a disappointing 2015, where he’d been given a four-year extension before throwing a regular season pitch and didn’t exactly perform to the level he’d hoped.
Now flash foward to Friday night, same event, just a year later. Porcello is introduced at the Town Hall event at Foxwoods to kick off the weekend and receives a welcome truly rivaled only by the AL MVP runner-up, Mookie Betts.
“You know, they were both pretty similar,” Porcello joked with reporters when comparing his 2016 reception to Friday’s.
Makes sense. Winning a Cy Young Award can change public perception.
But after his dominant 22-4 regular season, Porcello -- along with the rest of the starting rotation -- couldn’t deliver in the postseason. While he was visibly upset during and after his lone 2016 postseason start, Porcello is taking the Bill Belichick approach and says he's moving on from the outing -- and his memorable regular season, too.
“Just like any other start, you’ve gotta find ways to get over that stuff,” Porcello said. “It doesn’t feel good to go out there and not win Game 1, but I’m on to 2017 now -- and really everything that’s happened in 2016 is behind me. The season that I had, the postseason I had and we’re on to this year and what we can accomplish this year.”
“Moving on” from struggling times and great successes tends to bode well for athletes and players in this town. Maybe that’s what made all the difference for Porcello in making the jump from 2015 to 2016.
John Farrell can add another job to his resume.
The former Boston Red Sox manager has joined the crew for ESPN's "Baseball Tonight," according to The Boston Globe. His debut will be on Wednesday for a season-preview show.
The Red Sox fired Farrell on Oct. 11, 2017 despite a second-straight A.L. East crown. Alex Cora will begin his first season in Farrell's old role during the 2018 season.
Farrell added the broadcast work after the Cincinnati Reds hired him as a scout and adviser with a focus on pitching. He interviewed this offseason for the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals managing jobs, but both teams passed on him.
In this corner, the challenger out of Scranton, Pa., Joltin' Joe Biden...In the other corner, straight out of Queens, the President of the United States, Dandy Donald J. Trump!
The venue: LeLacheur Park, Lowell, Mass., home of the Red Sox Class-A affiliate, the Lowell Spinners.
Ladies and gentlemen, it's The Slasher at LeLacheur!
After the former Vice-President told a crowd at the University of Miami earlier this week of the current President, "If we were in high school, I'd take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him, President Trump fired back on Twitter Thursday morning.
The Spinners, the Sox' short-season New York-Penn League affiliate, have offered to host a boxing match between the Republican President and Democratic former Vice President on Aug. 17 by the flagpole at LeLacheur. Former light-welterweight champ and Lowell native Micky Ward has agreed to referee.
No word yet if Trump, who'll be 72 by then, or Biden, 75, have accepted the invitation.
The Spinners' press release announcing the invitation says that if the two do accept, "the boxing match will take place regardless of the weather, no matter how stormy it may get."