Red Sox

Ex-Red Sox pitcher Sammy Stewart dies at age 63

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Ex-Red Sox pitcher Sammy Stewart dies at age 63

HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. -- Former major-league pitcher Sammy Stewart, who helped the Red Sox win the 1986 American League penant before falling into a life of crack cocaine addiction and arrests, has died. He was 63.

The Henderson County Sheriff's Office said Stewart was found dead Friday at a residence. No cause for his death had been determined as of Sunday.

Known as the "Throwin' Swannanoan" for his hometown in North Carolina, Stewart broke in with the Orioles in 1978 became an instant hit in Baltimore. The right-hander with a big fastball set a record by striking out seven straight batters in his major-league debut, against the White Sox at Baltimore's old Memorial Stadium.

With flowing hair and a bushy mustache, a country twang and a penchant for telling funny stories, Stewart was widely popular with his Baltimore teammates.

"We had some incredible days with this guy," former catcher Rick Dempsey said alongside Stewart during an Orioles telecast in 2016.

Stewart enjoyed plenty of successful days on the field, too, especially in the postseason.

Stewart had a 0.00 ERA in four World Series games, spanning 7 2/3 innings. He threw three times in the 1983 championship victory over Philadelphia.

In a picture that captured his personality, Stewart was shown holding an umbrella as a teammate poured champagne after the Orioles clinched the 1983 AL East title with a win at Milwaukee.

"I never did get down," Stewart said during that TV interview with Dempsey.

Stewart went 59-48 with 45 saves and a 3.59 ERA in 10 seasons - the first eight with Baltimore, then one each with Boston and Cleveland. He pitched in 359 games, including 25 starts.

Stewart threw 956 2/3 innings, striking out 586 and walking 502.

His career ended in 1987 and off the field, his life spiraled out of control. Many who knew him said Stewart declined after the death of his son at 11 to cystic fibrosis.

Stewart was arrested dozens of times as he dealt with addiction to crack cocaine. He pawned his championship ring, was homeless and spent more than six years in prison before being released in 2013.

Stewart stayed in touch with teammates and did autograph shows with them after getting out of prison. He had worked as an instructor at a baseball and softball center in North Carolina in the past year.


John Farrell joins ESPN’s ‘Baseball Tonight’ as analyst

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John Farrell joins ESPN’s ‘Baseball Tonight’ as analyst

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.


Red Sox minor league team invites Trump, Biden to settle it in ring

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Red Sox minor league team invites Trump, Biden to settle it in ring

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."