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Red Sox Notebook

Werner: Theo not pressured

By Peter Abraham
Globe Staff / June 19, 2012
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Former Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein suggested last week that pressure from ownership may have contributed to roster decisions he regretted during his tenure in Boston, particularly in free agency.

Epstein used the term “monster’’ to describe the expectations he worked under before quitting the team last October to join the Chicago Cubs. Sox chairman Tom Werner rebutted that idea Monday, saying that ownership did not make demands regarding specific players.

“We don’t dictate who Theo or Ben [Cherrington] should sign. What we do is we try to give them the resources to be successful,’’ Werner said on WEEI. “There’s a sense that non-baseball people are telling baseball people what to do, but what we do is we try to create the revenue streams for our baseball operations people to be successful.

“I don’t want to be too critical of Theo. I worked closely with him, we supported him, we’ve had a great run together, and I wish him well in Chicago. But I can tell you the pressure in Boston to win, it comes from all of us wanting to be successful on the field. It’s not coming from NESN, it’s not coming for making money.’’

The idea that Epstein made moves to support the business side of the team was one Werner said he “vehemently’’ disagreed with.

“We are responsible for trying to create enough revenue so we can support the second-highest payroll in baseball,’’ he said. “I don’t make any apologies for that. We can’t say to our fans we’re going to ask you to pay a high price for a ticket but we’re not going to have a competitive team.’’

Ortiz still in lead

David Ortiz remains the leader at designated hitter for the American League in the latest round of voting for the All-Star Game.

Ortiz has 2.39 million votes, well ahead of Michael Young (1.89 million). The only other Red Sox player high in the voting is second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who is in third place.

Ian Kinsler (2.58 million) and Robinson Cano (2.56 million) are ahead of Pedroia (1.3 million).

Jacoby Ellsbury, who hasn’t played since April 13, is 14th among outfielders. Voting in stadiums ends Friday, with on-line voting continuing to June 28. The teams will be announced July 1.

Cook on the job

Righthander Aaron Cook started for Triple A Pawtucket in Syracuse. He gave up three runs on seven hits and one walk in four innings, striking out one. Cook threw 66 pitches, 40 for strikes. Cook, 33, started one game for the Red Sox, on May 5, and suffered a deep cut on his left knee when he was spiked covering home plate. Monday marked the first game of his rehab assignment . . . Pedroia was 2 for 5 with a double and an RBI against the Cubs in Sunday night’s 7-4 victory, and believes his swing is coming back. “I feel a lot better,’’ said Pedroia, who came into the game in a 6-for-45 slump. “I hit the ball hard and a couple of the outs were balls I hit well. Sometimes it takes one game to get locked in. I hope that was it.’’ . . . The Marlins will be at Fenway Park for the first time since 2009 when they start a three-game series Tuesday. In a rematch from last Tuesday, a well-rested Clay Buchholz will face Mark Buehrle. The Red Sox won that game, 2-1. Buchholz went seven innings and gave up one run with nine strikeouts.

Peter Abraham can be reached at pabraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.

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