Red Sox

Alex Cora clears up controversy with Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman

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Alex Cora clears up controversy with Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman

Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman got into a bit of a kerfuffle with the Red Sox during Tuesday night's game, and it continued Wednesday on Stroman's Twitter account.

Some Red Sox players, including Chris Sale and Michael Chavis, took exception to Stroman's antics on the mound which included a quick-pitch during Chavis' at-bat. Alex Cora said after Tuesday's game that Stroman "competes a certain way and people don't like it." Stroman didn't take too kindly to that comment, saying Cora "is probably still made he chose USA Baseball over Puerto Rico" in the World Baseball Classic.

Wednesday on WEEI's "Ordway, Merloni & Fauria," Cora gave his side of the story.

"I wasn’t actually complaining about the quick-pitch," Cora said. "I was actually telling the umpire because Stroman goes to [Michael] Chavis and he talks to him and then somebody from the dugout is screaming at Stroman and Alan Porter right away jumps on our guy. I was actually screaming at the umpire, but if people want to feel like I was screaming at Stroman and that’s a story so be it. I don’t have anything against the kid."

The Red Sox manager went on to clarify what he meant regarding Stroman's competitive style.

“It’s the Stro-show, you know? He’s on the mound and he has his antics and he gets under people’s skin and all of a sudden he pitches six innings," Cora said. "I was with the Astros and people from the dugout were screaming at him and with the Red Sox people in the dugout are screaming at him. It’s part of it. I said he competes a certain way. Some people like it and some people don’t. But, as you guys know in the media there’s always somebody writing the headline and those are the ones that get you in trouble. Thank you again to the guys that wrote the headlines and now there’s something going on here in Toronto.”

As for Stroman's tweet about Cora being salty about his World Baseball Classic team choice, Cora shrugged it off and raved about his experience with the Puerto Rico team he had the privilege of managing.

"He even tweeted that I am still mad he didn’t pitch for Puerto Rico in the WBC," Cora said. "I had the best time of my life with that team and he wasn’t part of it. Highlight of my career. He pitched six innings and he did an outstanding job for Team USA in the finals and I had a blast with the team that I had."

Although Cora does a nice job of cooling things off in this bizarre feud, it'll be worth keeping an eye on Stroman's active Twitter account to see if he has anything more to say about the situation.

The Red Sox will look to respond on the field with victories in the final two games of their four-game set vs. Toronto.

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How Mookie Betts impressed new Dodgers teammates with team meeting speech

How Mookie Betts impressed new Dodgers teammates with team meeting speech

The Boston Red Sox lost an MVP-caliber talent in outfielder Mookie Betts.

But they also lost a strong leader in the clubhouse.

Just ask the Los Angeles Dodgers, whom Betts addressed for the first time in a recent team meeting after his trade from Boston earlier this month.

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According to Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, Betts' speech to the clubhouse was reminiscent of Kirk Gibson, who chewed out his Los Angeles teammates and demanded a new level of excellence when he joined the team as a free agent in 1988.

Except Betts delivered his message without putting anyone on blast.

"When you stand up in front of the team on the first day and essentially call everyone out, says he wants to hold everyone accountable for their effort -- not just in the game, but in the workouts -- that’s like, all right, you learn what he’s about really fast,” said Turner said Sunday of Betts, via MLB.com's Ken Gurkick

"Same principle [as Gibson’s speech], just not critical of us. This was him saying this before he knew anybody. Just signs of leadership, it jumps out at you."

Betts' passion surprised Turner, who took the 27-year-old outfielder for the quiet type.

"Just kind of assumed he was a quiet guy who goes about his business," Turner said. "Then Day One, you realize you were way off. He was proactive, let’s get in front of this -- Day One is as urgent as Game 7 of the World Series. It was awesome, actually."

Dodgers utility man Enrique Hernandez used the same adjective after hearing Betts' speech.

"It was awesome," Hernandez told Gurkick. "It was, 'this is how I play the game,' and I respected the heck out of him for that."

Betts had made strides as a leader in Boston since David Ortiz retired in 2016, setting an example with his play but also holding his teammates accountable. The Dodgers will need that accountability this season as they attempt to live up to massive expectations as clear World Series favorites.

As for Betts' work on the field, he went 0-for-2 with a sacrifice fly Sunday in his Dodgers spring training debut.

Red Sox claim RHP Phillips Valdez off waivers, place Dustin Pedroia on 60-day IL

Red Sox claim RHP Phillips Valdez off waivers, place Dustin Pedroia on 60-day IL

The Boston Red Sox have made yet another move to bolster their pitching depth.

On Sunday, they claimed right-hander Phillips Valdez off waivers from the Seattle Mariners. To make room for Valdez, they placed veteran second baseman Dustin Pedroia on the 60-day injured list.


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Valdez, 27, only has 11 games worth of major league experience under his belt. In 2019, he posted a 3.94 ERA and 1.62 WHIP in 16 innings pitched with the Texas Rangers. Valdez was claimed off waivers by the Mariners in November, then designated for assignment on Saturday.

Pedroia suffered a "significant setback" during his knee rehab, so his placement on the 60-day IL doesn't come as a surprise. The 36-year-old did not report to spring training with the Red Sox.

Along with Valdez, Boston has added Chris Mazza, Martin Perez, Trevor Hildenberger, to its pitching staff this offseason.