Red Sox

Terry Francona shows love for David Ortiz, discusses their unique bond

Terry Francona shows love for David Ortiz, discusses their unique bond

Terry Francona and David Ortiz spent eight seasons together and won two World Series with the Boston Red Sox. They go way back.

So when Francona, now manager of the Cleveland Indians, learned his former player had been shot in the Dominican Republic on Sunday, he understandably was concerned.

But Francona said Tuesday his concerns were somewhat allayed when he learned Ortiz had been transported to Massachusetts General Hospital on Monday for further treatment.

"I know he’s in great hands," Francona told reporters Tuesday. "I actually spoke to the doctor today and he couldn’t be in a better place or with better people."

Francona would know. The 60-year-old manager, who has dealt with an irregular heartbeat and other health problems over the years, said he spoke to the same doctor who treated him several years ago.

"That was sort of our inside joke," Francona said. "(The doctor) said he's medevaced two people: me and David."

Ortiz underwent a second surgery late Monday night and showed signs of progress Tuesday as he recovers from a gunshot wound he suffered in what's being called an attempted murder.

The former Red Sox slugger has received an outpouring of support during his recovery, and Francona was happy to pile on.

"He’s a very special person, not to just to me, to a lot of people," Francona said of Ortiz. " ... Extremely endearing. He could light up a room or put a room at ease with his smile."

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Chris Sale's illness-related setback a 'gut punch' to Red Sox ace

Chris Sale's illness-related setback a 'gut punch' to Red Sox ace

The Boston Red Sox need a new Opening Day starter.

Chris Sale will begin the 2020 season on the injured list as he recovers from the pneumonia he contracted earlier this month, Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke told reporters Thursday.

Sale had hoped to be ready for Opening Day as he works back from an elbow injury that shut him down last August. But the 30-year-old missed two weeks of rehab due to his pneumonia, which means his first start of 2020 will be pushed back two weeks.

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"We didn’t think four starts in Spring Training was fair to him to make him start the season," Roenicke told reporters, via WEEI's Rob Bradford. "He’ll open up on the DL. We can backdate it three days. We’ll try to figure out exactly where that puts him."

The good news is that Sale's elbow appears to be in a good place: He's set to throw to live batting practice Saturday, and if he follows Roenicke's timeline, his 2020 debut could come April 6 in Boston's home game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

But someone other than Sale will start for the Red Sox on Opening Day for the first time since 2017, which isn't sitting well with the veteran hurler.

"It was a gut punch," Sale said, per Bradford. " ... The only thing that hurts is my ego, and that doesn't matter."

" ... Do I like it? Absolutely not. Do I respect it? 100 percent."

Sale's setback also is an unfortunate development for a Red Sox rotation that already lost David Price and Rick Porcello this offseason.

Eduardo Rodriguez figures to make his first career Opening Day start in Sale's stead, while Nathan Eovaldi and Martin Perez are Boston's only other healthy starting pitchers.

The Red Sox still don't have a fifth starter, and Roenicke's club may have to operate with just three legitimate starters for the first two weeks of the season.

That's not exactly a promising scenario for a team that's already taken plenty of lumps this offseason.

Yankees' Giancarlo Stanton 'will be down for a bit' with calf injury

Yankees' Giancarlo Stanton 'will be down for a bit' with calf injury

Wednesday was another tough day on the injury front for the New York Yankees.

Manager Aaron Boone revealed slugger Giancarlo Stanton "will be down for a bit" due to a Grade 1 right calf strain. The news comes one day after it was announced right-hander Luis Severino will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the entire 2020 campaign.

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Injuries have been par for the course with Stanton ever since he first donned Yankee pinstripes in 2018. The former National League MVP has played in only 176 of 324 regular-season games with New York due to bicep, shoulder, and knee ailments.

The Yankees still boast a well-rounded roster that can survive Stanton's absence for a while, but his presence in the middle of the lineup is key to their success. If the 30-year-old indeed misses time, it could be Clint Frazier, Miguel Andujar, or Mike Tauchman taking his spot in the lineup.

New York's 2020 season begins March 26 vs. the Baltimore Orioles.