Phillies

MLB Notes: Red Sox honor David Ortiz by retiring his No. 34

Phillies

BOSTON -- David Ortiz stepped up to the microphone, wiped the tears from his eyes and waited for the sold-out Fenway crowd to shout "Papi!" a few more times.

The Red Sox waited at the top of their dugout. The Los Angeles Angels tipped their caps. Friends and family and dignitaries from two countries lined the infield. Three World Series trophies glistened in the twilight sun.

Hall of Famers Carl Yastrzemski, Pedro Martinez, Wade Boggs and Jim Rice -- whose numbers preceded Ortiz's to the Fenway facade -- were the only ones who could know how he felt.

"It's an honor to get to see my number right next to all those legends," Ortiz said before his No. 34 was unveiled along the right-field roof boxes on Friday night.

"I remember hitting batting practice on this field; I always was trying to hit those numbers. But I never thought about having my number up there," he said. "Every player that is up there did things that are very, very special for this ballclub and this community" (see full recap).

Braves: Freeman progressing from broken wrist
ATLANTA -- Braves slugger Freddie Freeman says his broken left wrist is healing much faster than expected.

After undergoing a CT scan and meeting Friday with team physician Dr. Gary Lourie, Freeman was told his wrist is 80-90 percent healed, up from 50 percent last week.

 

The improvement led Freeman to move up the timetable of his return from July 14, the day after the All-Star break against Arizona, to July 6 at NL East-leading Washington.

"They're all pretty shocked it got to that point, too, especially with me stressing it the last couple of days catching balls and all that stuff," he said. "It's actually great news."

Freeman's prognosis was a surprise, though maybe not as much as his announcement Wednesday that he's moving from first to third base to keep Matt Adams in the lineup.

Even so, Lourie's report was encouraging enough that Freeman was cleared to swing a bat for the first time since getting hit by a pitch on May 17. Freeman hopes to begin a three- to four-game rehab assignment next weekend.

"Everybody's been saying they really didn't think I was going to be back in eight to 10 weeks," he said. "Obviously I had a different mindset going in to it. But we're just at two days over five weeks right now so I'm pretty ecstatic with how the recovery has gone" (see full story).

Marlins: Jeb Bush, Romney join forces to pursue purchase of team
MIAMI -- Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has switched sides in pursuit of the Miami Marlins, and he's trying to beat out former teammate Derek Jeter.

Bush has joined forces with businessman Tagg Romney in a group trying to buy the Marlins, two people familiar with the negotiations said Friday. The people confirmed Bush's new role to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the parties involved in the sales talks aren't commenting publicly.

One of the people said South Florida businessman Jorge Mas has contacted the Marlins to say he's leading a group interested in buying the franchise, meaning at least three groups are pursuing a deal.

Bush and Jeter, the 14-time New York Yankees All-Star shortstop, led rival groups earlier this year. They then joined forces, but Bush dropped out in May.

Now they're rivals again, and Jeter is still exploring financing options.

The Romney-Bush group also includes Quogue Capital investment fund founder Wayne Rothbaum, Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Glavine and former Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart.

The Romney and Jeter groups have bid about $1.3 billion to buy the team from Jeffrey Loria but have not yet raised the money needed. Jeter met Thursday with Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred and Marlins president David Samson, and told them he doesn't yet have the necessary money and is still seeking help from other investors.

Loria bought the Marlins for $158.5 million in 2002 from John Henry (see full story).

Gore: Padres agree to $6.7 million signing bonus
SAN DIEGO -- Left-hander MacKenzie Gore, the third overall pick in this year's amateur draft, has agreed to a minor league contract with the San Diego Padres that includes a $6.7 signing bonus.

 

San Diego called a Saturday news conference with Gore, general manager A.J. Preller and director of scouting Mark Conner to announce the agreement.

An 18-year-old from Whiteville High School in North Carolina, Gore was 11-0 with 0.19 ERA this year as a senior. He struck out 158 strikeouts and walked five in 74 1/3 innings.