Red Sox

Why Red Sox' Eduardo Rodriguez is one of MLB's best pitching bargains

Why Red Sox' Eduardo Rodriguez is one of MLB's best pitching bargains

Whenever the 2020 Major League Baseball season begins, there's a good chance the Boston Red Sox will roll out a pitcher making less money than seven of his teammates.

It's a result of Chris Sale's elbow injury that Eduardo Rodriguez is expected to be the Red Sox' Opening Day starter. But Rodriguez quietly has done a good deal to earn that role.

The 26-year-old left-hander went 19-6 with a 3.81 ERA last season over a league-leading 34 starts, serving as the workhorse in an otherwise unstable rotation.

Rodriguez put up those numbers while earning just $4.3 million in his second year of arbitration, fractions less than prominent hurlers Sale, David Price, Rick Porcello and Nathan Eovaldi.

In fact, if you expand the scope to all of baseball, Rodriguez has given the Red Sox exceptional value.

With 32 wins since the beginning of 2018 -- fourth-most in MLB behind Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Zack Greinke -- Rodriguez has cost the Red Sox just $208,594 per win, by far the lowest among that quartet, per Boston Sports Info.

New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole is the only player in the same ballpark as Rodriguez, with 35 wins while making $20.25 million over the last two seasons.

But the 29-year-old just inked a historic nine-year, $324 million contract that will make him baseball's highest-paid pitcher in 2020, so needless to say, his cost per win will jump exponentially.

Meanwhile, Rodriguez still is on his rookie deal making $8.3 million this season and won't hit unrestricted free agency until 2022.

The sixth-year left-hander has a ways to go to become an elite pitcher -- he issued a career-high 75 walks last season and owns a career 1.296 WHIP -- but he's providing exceptional value for a club that's already focused on keeping costs down after trading away Price and Mookie Betts.

Relive Manny Ramirez's greatest moments on Red Sox legend's 48th birthday

Relive Manny Ramirez's greatest moments on Red Sox legend's 48th birthday

One of the most entertaining players ever to don a Boston Red Sox uniform was born 48 years ago today.

That would be Manny Ramirez, who celebrates his birthday on May 30. In honor of the special occasion, Major League Baseball tweeted an awesome video that includes some of Ramirez's greatest moments:

Watch below:

That cutoff of Johnny Damon's throw never gets old.

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Ramirez joined the Red Sox in 2001 after spending the first seven seasons of his career with the Cleveland Indians. From there, he became a key contributor to two World Series titles (2004 and 2007) and furthered his legacy as one of the best right-handed hitters of all time.

He isn't done yet, either. Ramirez announced just a couple of months ago he is hoping to find a roster spot in Taiwan's Chinese Professional Baseball League. More "Manny Being Manny"? That sounds great to us.

We wish a very happy birthday to one of the greatest (and most interesting) players in Red Sox history.

Ever Wonder Series: Why did the distance of Fenway Park's Green Monster change?

Ever Wonder Series: Why did the distance of Fenway Park's Green Monster change?

Of all of Fenway Park's quirks, my favorite might be how the 315-foot sign on the Green Monster suddenly became 310.

It's possible I love this story because the sportswriter gets to be the hero.

In 1995, the Globe's Dan Shaughnessy decided to settle one of the most persistent rumors of his career. He remembers hearing it as a cub reporter during the 1975 World Series, when the Reds insisted to a man that Fenway's famed left field fence couldn't possibly be 315 down the line.

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They all believed it was closer, but no one could prove it, because the Red Sox resisted periodic efforts to measure and answer the question once and for all.

That didn't stop the Globe from accessing the park's original 1912 blueprints, which showed the wall at 308 feet. They enlisted a World War II reconnaissance pilot to examine aerial photos, and he pegged it at 304. The author George Sullivan crawled up the foul line with a yardstick and settled on 309-5.

None of those numbers ever became official, though, because 315 by that point had been well-established as part of the park's lore. Fenway opened in 1912, was extensively renovated in 1934, and added bullpens in 1940, giving us the dimensions we essentially recognize today. For more than 60 years, the 315 sign at the base of the foul pole beckoned right-handed sluggers, terrified pitchers, and lived in what felt like perfect accuracy.

But Shaughnessy had other ideas. He finally decided to take matters into his own hands in March of 1995. His friends on the grounds crew looked the other way as he hopped a fence in an empty Fenway and unfurled a 100-foot Stanley SteelMaster tape measure.

It only took a matter of minutes to prove his hunch correct: 315 wasn't 315 at all.

It was 310, or 309-3, to be precise. Shaughnessy wrote about his findings in late April, and within a month, the Red Sox had quietly changed the sign to 310, which it remains to this day.

"My whole life looking at that wall, it was 315," Shaughnessy said. "Shortly after the story appeared, they changed it to 310, which surprised me. It was very un-Red Sox like in those days, and these days.

"Now when I see 310, I take some pride in that."