Red Sox

Book details 2017 argument between Dave Dombrowski, John Farrell that led to changes

Book details 2017 argument between Dave Dombrowski, John Farrell that led to changes

Manny Machado's rough slide in 2017 didn't just effectively end Dustin Pedroia's career. According to a new book, it also marked the beginning of the end for John Farrell as Red Sox manager when it led to a shouting match with president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski.

The scene is laid out in "Homegrown: How the Red Sox Built a Champion from the Ground Up," by Boston Globe baseball writer Alex Speier. It details the tense confrontation between Farrell and Dombrowski after the Red Sox failed to exact retribution against Machado for his April slide that had left Pedroia injured.

It happened following a 5-2 loss to the Orioles on May 1, 2017. That's the night Baltimore outfielder Adam Jones heard epithets from the center field bleachers, igniting a national outcry over racial tolerance in Boston.

Matt Barnes had already thrown a pitch behind Machado's head in the series, which led to Dylan Bundy drilling Mookie Betts in what the Red Sox considered retaliation. An irate Dombrowski confronted Farrell in his office after the game.

From the book:

"The two got into a shouting match related to that night's game, particularly the team's handling of retribution, and whether the Red Sox needed to settle the score by hitting Machado with a pitch after their best player, Betts, had been drummed. The confrontation became sufficiently intense that Farrell essentially challenged Dombrowski: if the president of baseball operations took such issue with how the club was being run, then he should fire him."

The exchange was loud enough to be audible in the clubhouse, and some players crept closer to better hear the blowup. By the end of it, Farrell knew he was on borrowed time. He and Dombrowski later conducted a more civil discussion, Farrell told Speier, "and that's when we kind of really recognized that maybe things didn't align."

Writes Speier:

"At the end of the exchange, the manager had a new view of his job. If there was any doubt that he wasn't Dombrowski's guy, by the end of the conversation, it was gone."

Players noticed their strained relationship and the impact it had on Farrell's clubhouse standing. "Trouble, trouble, trouble," Xander Bogaerts said of the dynamic in the book. "It definitely ain't good."

Farrell was fired after the 2017 season, paving the way for the hiring of Alex Cora, who won the World Series in 2018.

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Report: Former Red Sox infielder Eduardo Nunez to join Mets as non-roster invite to spring training

Report: Former Red Sox infielder Eduardo Nunez to join Mets as non-roster invite to spring training

Midway through the 2019 MLB season, the struggling Boston Red Sox made an attempt to shake things up on their bench and get them back into the playoff race. That decision involved designating Eduardo Nunez for assignment.

Nunez spent parts of three seasons with the Red Sox after he was acquired at the 2017 MLB trade deadline. Nunez quickly endeared himself to Boston fans by batting .321 and smashing eight homers in 38 games with the team.

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But after his first season, Nunez's production tailed off. He was still productive during the team's 2018 World Series run, though he was hampered by a knee injury, before things bottomed out in 2019. He was hitting just .228 at the time of his release and his defensive range was declining because of his balky knee.

Now, after remaining out of MLB work for almost half a year, it looks like Nunez is getting one more shot at sticking around in the MLB.

According to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez, the New York Mets have invited Nunez to join them as a non-roster invite at spring training in 2020. 

It may be tough for Nunez to ultimately win a spot with the Mets, who also have former Red Sox shortstop/third baseman Jed Lowrie on the team. But he is going to be on a minor league deal as a result of this signing.

And if injuries strike and Nunez proves himself, perhaps he could eventually earn a roster spot.

We'll soon see what happens with Nunez, but it is nice to see the 32-year-old get another chance to play at the MLB level, even if it is just a spring training invite.

Dodgers president on Red Sox, Astros sign-stealing: 'I'd like to have answers'

Dodgers president on Red Sox, Astros sign-stealing: 'I'd like to have answers'

Los Angeles Dodgers team president Stan Kasten, in his first public comments on the sign-stealing scandal that has rocked baseball, lamented that he still has many unanswered questions after Major League Baseball's punishment of the Houston Astros. 

Kasten noted that the investigation isn't over, with MLB continuing to look into the Red Sox' alleged sign-stealing using video - a system that Alex Cora reportedly brought to Boston as manager after serving as Astros bench coach.

"This investigation isn't over," Kasten said, via Evan Drellich of The Athletic, who along with colleague Ken Rosenthal broke the stories detailing the Astros' and Red Sox' schemes.  "I’d like to have answers to many questions about what happened, by whom and when."

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Kasten saw his Dodgers lose World Series in 2017 to Houston and 2018 to Boston, only to have those two championships called into question after MLB's report on the Astros' tactics led to the firing of manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow. Cora also parted ways with the Red Sox amid the controversy and Carlos Beltran, a player on the '17 Astros involved in the scheme, was fired just months after being named manager of the New York Mets.  

Houston was also fined $5 million and docked draft picks. The Red Sox could face similar penalties.

Here are Kasten's full comments, via Drellich:

Earlier this week, baseball commissioner Rob Manfred shot down suggestions that the World Series titles could be stripped from the Astros and Red Sox, a request made by, among others, the L.A. City Council. 

Speaking specifically about losing to the Astros in the 2017 Series, Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, at the team's Fan Fest on Saturday, questioned the legitimacy of Houston's title.  

"We know how hard it is to win a World Series," Turner said. "We know that it's something you really have to earn, and with the commissioner's report and the evidence and what they had, it's hard to feel like they earned it and they earned the right to be called champions."