Red Sox

Red Sox's Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi nominated for ESPY awards

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USA TODAY Sports photo

Red Sox's Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi nominated for ESPY awards

Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi will be the Boston Red Sox's representatives at this year's ESPY Awards.

The 2018 World Series champion outfielders have been named finalists to take home even more hardware when the ESPYs take place on July 10. Betts was nominated for both Best Male Athlete and Best MLB Player. Benintendi's nomination is for Best Play, of course for his unforgettable diving catch in Game 4 of last year's ALCS vs. the Astros.

Betts' competition for Best Male Athlete will be Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, golfer Brooks Koepka, and Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo. He'll go up against Milwaukee Brewers slugger Christian Yelich, New York Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom, and Tampa Bay Rays southpaw Blake Snell in the Best MLB Player category.

As for Benintendi, his game-saving grab will be put up against 15 other memorable plays including the Dolphins' "Miami Miracle" vs. the Patriots back in December.

To ensure the "Miami Miracle" doesn't beat Benintendi and that the 2018 AL MVP isn't overlooked, you can cast your votes here.

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Dave Dombrowski 'surprised' he's on hot seat less than a year after Red Sox title

Dave Dombrowski 'surprised' he's on hot seat less than a year after Red Sox title

Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski addressed his future in two separate interviews this week, telling USA TODAY he's surprised to be on the hot seat and telling WEEI "there's no inside information" behind a Boston Globe column that intimated his days at Fenway Park are numbered.

“Well, I don’t want to say too much about it,’’ Dombrowski said of the speculation, in an interview with USA TODAY'S Bob Nightengale conducted over the weekend at Fenway, “but I am surprised. At least a little bit. I mean, we did win three divisions and a World Series."

As for Dan Shaughnessy's speculation in his Globe column recently that he'd be shocked if Dombrowski is back with next season and that the 63-year-old veteran baseball executive has "few friends inside Fenway's walls," Dombrowski dismissed the sources of that information.

“First of all, I’ve learned now throughout my time period that there’s just some writers I don’t read their articles,” Dombrowski told WEEI. “That’s a better way to do it, so you don’t know what they say at times. You hear about it through the grapevine. But it isn’t just related to me, it’s related to other things throughout the time period I’ve been here..." 

“The people that make that type of decision are John Henry, Tom Werner [and limited partner] Mike Gordon, and I know they’re not getting information from them,” Dombrowski said.

Dombrowski told Nightengale the intense media and fan scrutiny has lived up to its billing since he took the job on Aug. 18, 2015. He has a year left on his contract.

“But I get it. This is a tough market. It’s been known as that. Growing up in this game, I was always told there are three markets that are different than everywhere else: Boston, New York and Philadelphia. And I’d have to say it’s probably lived up to be true.

“It’s just a situation where you look back, somebody seems to get blamed for whatever happened. The fans have been great. And so has ownership. It’s just a [media] theme that always seems to take place."

As for criticism that he's depleted the farm system and compromised the Sox' long-term future with some of his trades that brought back major league talent for top minor league prospects, Dombrowski told Nightengale, “I thought that was what it was all about, trying to win championships.’’

And in hindsight, was the five-year, $145 million extension for Chris Sale, whose future is now very much in doubt, premature?

“I’m thrilled that Chris Sale is with us,’’ Dombrowski said. “People say, 'Oh, could they have waited to sign him?' Sure, but what if you wait and can’t sign him for the same dollar figures we put forth. We thought it was a realistic number."

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Alex Rodriguez was 'completely bummed' not to join Red Sox in 2003

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USA TODAY Sports photo

Alex Rodriguez was 'completely bummed' not to join Red Sox in 2003

Fifteen years ago, the Red Sox and Rangers agreed to terms on a deal that would have sent slugging shortstop Alex Rodriguez to Boston and changed the course of the franchise.

The trade fell through at the last minute, however, when the Major League Players Association ruled against Rodriguez taking a voluntary pay cut. Instead, A-Rod ended up with the archrival New York Yankees, and we know how the story goes from there.

Even after enjoying 12 seasons in the Bronx and becoming a World Series champion, Rodriguez explained on "Dale & Keefe" as part of the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon he still thinks "what if?" about a career in Boston.

“Oh my God, yes. I have thought about it a lot," Rodriguez said. "It was such an exciting time for me. I knew how great the Red Sox were going to be. Could I have forecasted four championships? Probably not, but I knew at least a couple in there. I thought that after spending a lot of time with John Henry down here in Florida at my home in Miami and his home in Boca, I knew that this was someone who had incredible passion and knowledge and knew how to put a winning team around him — on the field and in the front office.

"After talking with Theo (Epstein) and Jed Hoyer, and now they have Sam Kennedy, he just surrounds himself with incredible people. I just thought the combination between John Henry, who is a hedge fund wizard, Tom Werner, who is the king of Hollywood and putting great shows together, and then a lawyer like Larry Lucchino, I just thought they were a triple threat. And then they had Theo. I said this is a place that I can win and win for a long time."

A-Rod admitted he initially was upset not to be a part of the Red Sox organization.

"I was completely bummed it collapsed," he said. "It was so depressing never knowing that the Yankees were even an option at that point. And of course, a few weeks later I sat next to Brian Cashman in New York collecting my MVP award. … And then a few weeks later I have my press conference in New York."

Everything ended up working out just fine for both sides. Boston went on to win a championship the very next season (2004) and add three more. Rodriguez made approximately $317 million while with the Yankees and earned a ring of his own in 2009.

Still, it's difficult not to think about what the state of both franchises would be today had the MLBPA not stepped in to prevent the blockbuster trade.

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