Red Sox

Source: Benintendi not involved in agent taping allegation

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Source: Benintendi not involved in agent taping allegation

As of Wednesday night, Andrew Benintendi was not involved in the allegations against suspended player agent Jason Wood, a source with direct knowledge of the Major League Baseball Players Association’s investigation said. 

Benintendi was one of Wood’s most prominent clients. Wood has been fired from CSE Talent, the agency he joined in April, and has been suspended as an agent by the players’ union pending an investigation into allegations he filmed at least one player in the shower at his St. Louis home.

MLB, the MLBPA and the Red Sox declined to comment. 

Wood released a statement on Wednesday.

“The allegations that have surfaced today are absurd and untrue,” Wood said, via Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. “Over the past 13 years I have worked tirelessly to build a successful agency through integrity and hard work. I am disappointed that there are those who have chosen to spread such irresponsible and harmful rumors.” 

CSE confirmed Wood’s dismissal on its website. A source with knowledge of the investigation confirmed the nature of the allegation. FanRag Sports was first to report that Wood allegedly filmed players in the shower.

“For over 32 years, CSE Talent has prided itself on our moral and ethical standards and have built a solid reputation within the industry. We take pride in working with people who represent these values,” Danny Martoe, President of CSE Talent, said via a statement on the agency’s website. “It’s unfortunate that CSE Talent aligned itself with someone who didn’t uphold these same standards and therefore we chose to terminate with cause Wood’s employment.”

A source said that as of Wednesday night, law enforcement had not been involved.

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Sale has a plan to increase durability in 2018

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Sale has a plan to increase durability in 2018

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. — With spring training less than a month away, Chris Sale has a concrete idea of how to extend his dominance throughout all of 2018.

For Sale, a lot of talk at the end of the season centered on durability and rest. He led the majors in pitches per game at 107.1. The left-hander was incredibly successful early last season and started the All-Star Game for the American League for a second year in a row. Still, September and the postseason were out of character.

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One explanation Sale offered: he was, in essence, too amped up for his first year in Boston. 

“It’s just the gradual rise of my throwing program,” Sale said Saturday afternoon at Red Sox Winter Weekend at Foxwoods of what he can change. “I was new here last year. I came in and I felt like I had to prove something. I hadn’t thrown a single pitch in front of you guys, in front of any of the fans. So I felt, part of me felt I had to come in and say, ‘Hey, this is what you’re getting.’ And you know, I showed up to spring training really ready to go. You know, my arm was in almost season-form, and I think we’re going to gradually build that up this year instead of you know, coming out hot out of the gate.

“Started a bit later trying to ease into it a little more. In terms of working out, started working out earlier, doing Pilates. The same things I’ve been doing conditioning and strength wise, just kind of dialing back my throwing program.”

A plan has been formulated with Sale and the Red Sox staff, including pitching coach Dana LeVangie and manager Alex Cora.

Sale crossed the 300-strikeout plateau for the first time in his career in 2017 and probably would have taken over the team record from Pedro Martinez (313 Ks in 1999) had he made one more start. Sale finished with 308. 

“Yeah, I took some time in the offseason to kind of look back and you know appreciate the season as a whole,” Sale said. “Briefly, though. I mean those are things that like I said you don’t want to get stuck on that. Those aren’t things that are important. I mean they’re cool, they’re flashy but, you know strikeouts don’t get you championships. So, I appreciate it, I know I put a lot of hard work into it. I know it’s not easy to do but, I’m not going to be hung up on that."

The strikeout numbers may diminish some as Sale focuses on fewer wasted pitches. Theoretically, fewer wasted pitches could mean he’ll bring on more contact. But it doesn’t sound like he plans to take any velocity off (more than he does as a normal course of pitching).

"I don't know if it's less effort. It's never less effort,” Sale said. “For me, it's just more focus. I don't need to dial it back, I just think I need to eliminate waste pitches. I'd love to be able to get to the sixth inning on a very regular basis with 80, 85 pitches. Easier said than done and it looks good on paper, but those are kind of the things that we've been talking about. Throwing more effective pitches and things like that.”

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Hanley wants to play '10 more years'; E-Rod pleased with surgery

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Hanley wants to play '10 more years'; E-Rod pleased with surgery

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. — In absence of any actual changes to the Red Sox, there has been a lot of talk of potential internal improvements, many of which are reasonable to expect. Health issues contributed to drop-offs left and right.

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Among the players who went for surgery this offseason were Hanley Ramirez and Eduardo Rodriguez, two players at very different points in their careers but with one shared thread: there's optimism for both after they were operated on by Dr. James Andrews to start their offseason.

Ramirez, 34, had a left shoulder arthroscopy and debridement, Rodriguez a right knee patellofemoral ligament reconstruction. For Rodriguez, the surgery was done to stabilize a knee that kept suffering subluxations. 

Ramirez’s confidence hasn’t waned.

Among the proclamations he offered Saturday morning at Foxwoods, where the Red Sox are holding Winter Weekend (and where Ramirez referred to himself as “Miami Hanley”): 

• On his 2019 vesting option, based on plate appearances this season (he needs just shy of 500): “I'm not thinking about the 500 at-bats. Definitely, I want to stay here. This is the team that signed me when I was 16. The first thing we have to do is just win and see what happens after.”

• On the possibility the Red Sox add J.D. Martinez: “I know I can hit and I’m gonna hit, it’s not gonna affect me. You just got to be a good teammate and be ready to go wherever they need you to.”

• On how much longer he wants to play: "Maybe 10 more years.” A reporter expressed disbelief. ”Oh, I'm kidding? 40, 43. Only myself knows how I feel. After surgery, my mind, my body, everything just relaxed. I feel different now.”

• As a follow-up, Ramirez was asked if his interest in playing so long would make him the Dominican Ichiro. “I'm going to be Miami Hanley doing damage on the field.”

Ramirez was bothered by both his shoulders in his 2017. He didn’t play first base because his right shoulder on his throwing arm was bothersome too. He did not have that throwing shoulder operated on, however. 

“We got the left shoulder take care of it. It’s strong and definitely way better,” Ramirez said. “The other was one weak. I just got to strength — that’s what we did, this past, what two, three months and it feels good. And the left one is way better. And then I’m going to be what I want to be.”

Ramirez said he’s already started to throw long toss, compared to a year ago, when he had not yet thrown. It was never clear how to Ramirez exactly what caused his throwing shoulder to be so bothersome, but he wanted to start throwing early this offseason.

More first base is a possibility, as he sees it.

“And I would [play more]. And I would,” Ramirez said. “Right shoulder’s feeling good. I’ve been throwing, hitting, so everything’s ready to go. Should be ready to go from the first day, from Day 1. Throwing, I’ve been throwing long toss.”

Rodriguez, meanwhile, has not thrown off a mound or run yet, but it sounds like the mental strain of always worrying about his knee has been lessened. 

Likely, he won’t really know until he’s throwing off a mound again.

“They just did a surgery. I just feel way better now,” Rodriguez said. “I feel like my kneecap isn’t going pop out anymore. That’s a good thing because I feel comfortable now. 

“You’ll see, bro. It happened like three times already. I was trying to fight to pitch with a knee like that. And I did it. Sometimes downs and up. Now, I’m down just fine. I got my surgery. Now it’s time to get back to the guy I was before I got the surgery.”

Rodriguez isn't expected to be ready for Opening Day, but some time in late April or early May appears reasonable.


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