BOSTON — Red Sox chairman Tom Werner doesn’t seem to be the biggest fan of the the Yankees, MLB disciplinarian Joe Torre, and players who can’t take criticism from broadcasters.
In a spot Thursday with WEEI, Werner made clear David Price’s handling of Dennis Eckersley was unprofessional.
“Boston is a tough place to play,” Werner said on WEEI’s Ordway, Merlonia and Fauria. “Some players thrive here, and some players don’t. Get a thicker skin. My feeling is, let the broadcasts be honest, be personable, informative, and get over it if you think a certain announcer took a shot at you.”
“I thought there was a way of handling that. It wasn’t handled appropriately. If I’ve got a problem with Lou [Merloni], and I hear something he says on the radio, I’ll say to Lou, ‘That wasn’t fair.’ ”
Werner also called the team’s relationship with the Yankees “frosty” following the public sign-stealing saga that resulted in fines for both clubs.
“The fact is, I do think this was a minor technical violation,” Werner said. “I start with the fact that this was unfortunately raised to a level it never should have been raised to.”
Werner also insinuated he did not approve of how MLB and Torre handled the disciplining of Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez, who receieved a four-game suspension for his part in a fight against the Tigers (reduced on appeal to three games).
“Do you think Gary Sanchez got an appropriate punishment?” Werner asked.
Spygate, it wasn't. Deflategate, it wasn't.
To the disappointment of people like Jon Heyman -- who wanted Major League Baseball to force the Red Sox to forfeit all of this season's victories over the Yankees because of "cheating" -- Watchgate came to an anticlimactic ending Friday when commissioner Rob Manfred fined the Red Sox an undisclosed amount of money over the sign-stealing incident reported to MLB by the Yankees several weeks ago. The Yanks complained the Sox were using an Apple watch in the dugout to relay signs, which were deciphered by the team's video workers in the clubhouse, to hitters.
Manfred -- who pointed out that the stealing of signs is not illegal, though using on-field electonic devices to relay them is -- said the money from the fine would be used to help hurricane-relief efforts in Florida.
The Yankees didn't escape unscathed. The Red Sox had filed a countercomplaint, accusing them of using their YES Network cameras to steal signs, and though Manfred said there was "insufficient evidence" to punish them for that, he did fine them an undisclosed amount for violating a rule governing the use of dugout phones.
So there were no suspensions or firings of individuals involved in the scheme, as some had called for, nor was there any forfeiture of draft choices. But Manfred warned "all 30 Clubs have been notified that future violations of this type will be subject to more serious sanctions, including the possible loss of draft picks."
The Red Sox open the 2018 season on Thursday, March 29 against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg in their earliest opener since 2008 when they began the regular season in Japan.
The 2018 schedule, released Tuesday, marks the sixth time in the past seven seasons the Sox have opened on the road. Every MLB team opens on March 29. It's the first time since 1968 that all teams have opened on the same day. In recent years, there's been an ESPN Sunday Night Baseball matchup to open the season before other teams get underway the next day or two.
The Sox' home opener is April 5 against the Rays following a two-game interleague series in Miami against the Marlins. Boston is matched up with the National League East in interleague play in 2018. They play the Braves (May 25-27), the Phillies (July 30-31) Marlins (Aug. 28-29) and Mets (Sept. 14-16) at Fenway.
Interleague road games include a July 4 visit to Washington and the Nationals (July 2-4). The first Yankees series is April 10-12 at Fenway and the Sox first visit Yankee Stadium May 8-10 and close the season with the Yanks at Fenway Sept. 28-30.
The early start allows for three to four more off days as mandated by the new collective bargaining agreement and allows to World Series to be finished in October.
The full schedule: