Red Sox

Rodriguez benched -- and he has something to say about it

Rodriguez benched -- and he has something to say about it

BOSTON -- For nearly his entire major league career, Alex Rodriguez has seemingly been a magnet for controversy.

He's publicly feuded with teammates and foes alike, famously sued both his employer and Major League Baseball and has been embroiled in several PED dramas.

So perhaps it's not fitting that in this, what appears to be his final week as a major leaguer, controversy continues to find Rodriguez.

On Tuesday, he repeatedly expressed disappointment that he was not in the starting lineup for the series opener with the Red Sox and is set to sit again Wednesday night.

Rodriguez will be in the starting lineup Thursday in the series finale, but that appeared to be cold comfort.

"I'm disappointed,'' said Rodriguez. "When I heard (manager Joe Girardi) say I can actually play in all four games, I was really excited to get some at-bats. I don't know what happened. I did talk to (manager Joe Girardi) about it. I wanted to play Wednesday and Thursday. I thought it would be a great way to end here at Fenway.''

Instead, Girardi said the Yankees were trying to win games and remain in the playoff race. Without saying to, Girardi intimated that the slumping Rodriguez (.204/.252/.356) wasn't going to help toward that goal.

So even though the Sox are throwing lefthander Drew Pomeranz Wednesday and Rodriguez has been marginally ore effective against lefties (.219/.275./.397), he'll sit -- which wasn't what Girardi said in Sunday's press conference in New York.

But things changed.

"I'm an emotional guy," Girardi said. "My heart can get tugged at. I think I got caught up in the emotions. I'm human. There is a human element to me. There is a human element to Alex. I'm not saying he won't play these next two days and that he won't be in there. I'm managing to try to win the games. That's what I have to do. This is a very important series for us. This is one of the teams that we are chasing.''

Instead, Girardi went with lefthanded-hitting Brian McCann as the DH against Red Sox righthander Rick Porcello.

So Rodriguez was left to discuss his past, his involvement in the rivalry between the two franchises and his treatment over the years by Red Sox fans. He noted his personal interaction with fans in Boston had been largely positive.

At the ballpark, with his uniform on, has always been a different story.

"(This week is) a chance for them to give me one great loud boo on the way out,'' he said.

But is he out for good? Rodriguez, who is being officially released after Friday's game with the Yankees, has yet to use the "retirement'' word, seemingly keeping his options open elsewhere in 2017.

Asked if he could say definitively that Friday would be his final game as a player, Rodriguez hedged his bets.

"I don't know that answer right now," Rodriguez said. "I'm content with how this week has gone down."

Strong Grapefruit League debut for Price

Strong Grapefruit League debut for Price

David Price's Grapefruit League debut was nearly perfect.

The Red Sox left-hander pitched four scoreless innings, allowing a hit and a walk and striking out five in a 7-5 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in Fort Myers, Fla.

Price threw 55 pitches, 34 for strikes. He cruised through the first on nine pitches. He allowed the single and walk in the second.  

"It feels good. This is March 15 and I've never been able to have a four-pitch mix on March 15," Price told reporters after his start. "I've never been this far along in spring training even though I've only thrown in one game. I'm excited about that."

The Red Sox open March 29 at Tampa Bay, with Chris Sale likely to start. Price will likely pitch the second game of the season, March 30 at Tropicana Field.