Red Sox

Ortiz only Red Sox named to All-Star Game

798122.jpg

Ortiz only Red Sox named to All-Star Game

SEATTLE -- David Ortiz was selected for his eighth All-Star Game appearance Sunday, but the honor never gets old.

"It's always exciting," said Ortiz. "It's the one time of the season where (some) fans who never get the opportunity to watch you play and they take the time to come and enjoy their favorite players. Being voted to the All-Star Game is something that a lot of never get a chance. There's an appreciation from the players to the fans for voting us and wanting to come and watch us play.

"It's an honor to go back to the All-Star Game and put on a good show for the fans that's the most important thing."

Ortiz is the lone representative from the Red Sox, marking the first time since 2001 (Manny Ramirez) that only one Red Sox player made the roster.

Said Bobby Valentine: "David's played like an All-Star. Maybe it's fitting that he's the only All-Star (from the Sox) because he's played so consistently well the entire time and he could get the notice, get the spotlight. David's been consistently excellent. When he comes to the plate, everything stops and usually something good happens. For the first part of the season, there's nothing more that anyone could ask out of any one player."

"We've been dealing with a lot of things," said Ortiz of the Sox. "The guys that haven't been able to do what they normally do, they're dealing with injuries, too. It's hard. This is my first time going to the All-Star game by myself. Hopefully, it doesn't turn out boring. I always like to hang out with my (teammates).

"You don't see this ballclub having just one player going. But like I said, there's been a lot of injuries and a lot of stuff that we've been dealing with. That's the major reason why, because we have a lot of All-Star players, through the years, always representing this ballclub. This is my first time going myself; we always go as a group and we always have so many guys playing well, doing their thing and being voted by the fans. So, hopefully, this is the last time (only) one player will be going."

Ortiz went into Sunday's action batting .305 with 21 homers and 53, leading his team in most offensive categories, while leading all American League hitters in extra-base hits and ranking second in the league in OPS.

At 36, he's shown no signs of slowing down.

"Age is a state of mind," shrugged Ortiz. "Age, if you take care of yourself and do the right things, age isn't going to matter. In baseball, I really believe that the longer you prepare youself to play and if you take care of yourself and you have the ability to play the game, you're going to put up numbers."

Ortiz, who was the captain of the American League team for last year's Home Run Derby, will sit out the competition this month.

"I'm going to enjoy myself now, just watching the guys performing out there," said Ortiz. "I always enjoy the guys hitting bombs. My dad always tells me, 'You look like a little kid out there when you see guys going deep.' It's fun. But I'm going to be like the Godfather now -- I'm just going to sit down and watch.

"I got worn out last year, man. I got so tired and I think it caught up with me later on during the season. I ran out of gas. For the
first time, I felt like I was really tired. I guess age was catching up with Papi. I guess I need to save my energy for the second half now."

Brad Ausmus interviews with Red Sox, but Alex Cora appears frontrunner

Brad Ausmus interviews with Red Sox, but Alex Cora appears frontrunner

BOSTON — Brad Ausmus was the second person to interview to replace John Farrell as Red Sox manager, baseball sources confirmed Monday afternoon. The Sox are expected to interview Ron Gardenhire, the Diamondbacks' bench coach, as well.

But the net might not be cast too wide. More and more, it sounds like the Sox already know whom they want.

Astros bench coach Alex Cora, who met with Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski in New York on Sunday, appears the frontrunner to take the reins next year. The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal has reported that to be the case multiple times, and for some inside the Sox organization, that's a growing feeling as well.

MORE:

The criteria the Sox value most isn't hard to guess: a strong connection with players, an ability to incorporate data and analytics; and someone who can handle the market.

"I knew Alex for a couple of years before getting a chance to work with him and had tried to recruit him to work a few years ago and he had other options," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said Monday in New York, before Game 3 of the American League Championship Series against the Yankees. "To watch him develop relationships with the players, he's all about baseball. He's all about the competition and small advantages within the game, one of the brightest baseball intellects that I've been around. And to see him pass some of that on and transition from player to TV personality to coach, he's had a ton of impact.

"He challenges people. He challenges me. He's someone who's all about winning. And I think to watch our players respond to him, he's got a lot of respect in that clubhouse because of the work he puts in and the attention to detail that he brings. That's why he's the hottest managerial candidate on the planet and deservedly so."

Cora joined the Astros before this season.

Ausmus, whom Dombrowski hired in Detroit ahead of the 2014 season, grew up in Connecticut and went to Dartmouth. The 48-year-old spent 18 seasons as a big-league catcher, the last in 2010. He was working for the Padres before Dombrowski gave him his first shot at managing the Tigers. 

Ausmus went 314-332 in four years managing the Tigers, a more veteran team than might have been ideal for him as a first-time manager.

Ausmus pulled out of the running to interview with the Mets, per Jon Heyman of Fan Rag while Cora was expected to interview with the Mets on Monday or Tuesday, per the New York Post's Mike Puma.

What could change from here? One baseball source indicated a second interview with Cora was expected. Asked if he plans a second round of interviews generally, Dombrowski did not say.

"We have started the interview process," Dombrowski wrote via email. "I do not have any specific time frames at this point. Will wait and evaluate as we go through the process."

The Boston Herald's Chad Jennings first reported Ausmus' interview.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Smart 'not worried' about lack of contract extension with Celtics

Smart 'not worried' about lack of contract extension with Celtics

CLEVELAND – For the third year in a row, a first-round pick of the Boston Celtics is unable to come to terms on a contract extension prior to the deadline.

That means Marcus Smart will become a restricted free agent this summer. Last year it was Kelly Olynyk (now with the Miami Heat) and in 2015 it was Jared Sullinger (now with Shenzhen Leopards of the Chinese Basketball Association).

Both the Celtics and Smart's camp intensified their discussions in recent days as the October 16th 6 p.m. EST deadline drew near.

MORE:

While there was progress made, there wasn’t enough to get a deal done.

Smart has repeatedly indicated that he wants to re-sign a long-term deal to stay in Boston.

And the market for the 6-foot-4 guard became clearer based on the contracts that some of his fellow rookie class of 2014, were receiving.

Denver’s Gary Harris agreed to a four-year, $84 million contract after establishing himself as one of the better young two-way talents in the NBA last season. And at the other end of the financial spectrum, you would have to look at Phoenix’s T.J. Warren who signed a four-year, $50 million contract.

More than likely, Smart’s deal next summer will fall somewhere between the deals those two players received.

As much as Smart would have preferred to get a deal done heading into the season, it’s not something that he’s going to cause him to lose any sleep.

“Get it done now, or get it done in six months, I’m OK either way,” he told NBC Sports Boston. “I’m not worried about it.”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE