My colleague Nick Cafardo wrote in the paper today that he thought Jacoby Ellsbury would return to the Red Sox.
This topic is one Nick and I have disagreed on over the last few years and we'll have to again. There was more of a chance that Carl Crawford would light the Christmas tree at Faneuil Hall than Ellsbury would come back.
Ellsbury followed the Jonathan Papelbon plan to perfection. Refuse all offers for a contract extension, go to free agency, sign with the first team that offers you big money and never look back at Boston.
Like Papelbon, Ellsbury didn't even bother to call the Red Sox and tell them he was leaving. Team executives found out the same way you did, via the media.
That's all fine, too. Every player has a right to determine his worth on the open market and Ellsbury took full advantage of that. Just because Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester, and Clay Buchholz showed loyalty to the organization that drafted them and signed extensions doesn't mean Ellsbury had to.
Players prioritize different things. Ellsbury's priority was getting every dime he could, and good for him. All of us, no matter what we do for a living, want what we're worth. In this market, he was worth $153 million to the Yankees, an aging third-place team that built a stadium they can't fill very often.
He was not worth that to the Red Sox, a team with a smaller payroll and a significantly better farm system. The Red Sox learned their lesson with Crawford that paying for a fast player to get old is risky.
I never got the impression Ellsbury much liked Boston. He rarely interacted with fans or in the community. Think about it, when was the last time you saw a photo of him in something other than a baseball uniform? This was the team that happened to draft him, that's all. Strictly business.
And it was good business for both sides. For $20 million over seven seasons, the Sox got a 21.0 WAR out of Ellsbury and two World Series titles that he played a major role in. The player got a stage to showcase his talents and land a big contract.
Many fans were outraged that he signed with the Yankees. That's not paying close attention. In word and deed, Ellsbury made it clear he was setting himself up for a payday. As Scott Lauber of the Herald wrote on Twitter, Ellsbury would have signed with North Korea if they offered the most money.
Ellsbury was an excellent mercenary. But then, so were plenty of Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics, and Patriots who fled their teams to come to Boston for big money. If you want to avoid outrage, root for the laundry and not the people inside.
Be heartened with the knowledge that the Red Sox are better off long-term. Jackie Bradley Jr. will give the team 75 percent of the production Ellsbury did at, literally, 2 percent of the price for the next three years. The Sox can take the money and better spend it elsewhere. Extending Lester would be a good place to start.
Ellsbury will be a solid player for the Yankees but he's no superstar. He made the All-Star team once in his career and is a leadoff hitter who doesn't walk enough. Scott Boras somehow got Ellsbury a contract befitting a No. 3 hitter and MVP candidate. That Boras let a client of his sign so early in the process was a sign of how ridiculous the offer was.
Young players, depth, and roster flexibility are what matter in baseball's post-steroid era. The Red Sox will be well-served to play Bradley, Xander Bogaerts, Brandon Workman, and the rest of their kids. Some of those guys will stick around because they'll love Boston and the atmosphere. Others will leave.
There are two roads for a player to take. One is to make it clear you want to stay, like Pedroia. The other is to leave as soon as you can, like Papelbon. For Ellsbury, there was never really a question which path he would take.
A.J. Pierzynski passed his physical and the Red Sox announced his signing to a one-year contract. Terms were not announced, but sources said Pierzynski received $8.25 million.
Here's the release from the team:
The Boston Red Sox today signed catcher A.J. Pierzynski to a one-year contract through the 2014 season. A two-time All-Star and former Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Award winner, Pierzynski hit .272 with 17 home runs and 70 RBI in 134 games with the Rangers last season. He started 111 games at catcher.
Pierzynski, 36, is a career .322 hitter (39-for-121) in 33 games at Fenway Park (regular and postseason).
The left-handed hitter ranked fifth among American League catchers last season in home runs, the third-highest total of his career behind 2012 (27) and 2005 (18). He is the only major league catcher to reach double digits in home runs in nine of the past 11 years.
Last year, his 44 RBI over his final 70 games (starting July 7) led American League catchers. He hit .302 with runners in scoring position, and has hit at least .300 in those situations in three of the last four years.
Pierzynski has a combined .462 slugging percentage over the last two seasons, tops among American Leaguers who primarily caught. His 44 home runs in that two-year span rank second among AL backstops, one shy of Baltimore’s Matt Wieters (45).
Pierzynski has caught at least 110 games in each of the last 13 seasons from 2001-13, establishing the longest such streak in major league history. The native of Bridgehampton, NY, leads active major leaguers with 1,678 career games behind the plate and his 14,172.2 career innings caught rank 12th in MLB since the start of the divisional era in 1969.
His .995 career fielding percentage is the best all-time among catchers with at least 1,000 games at the position. Last year, he set a Rangers record for catchers with a .998 fielding percentage (2 errors/959 chances), leading AL backstops for the third time in his career (also .999 in 2005 and .995 in 2011). He also topped AL catchers in double plays (8) and tied for second in assists (65) in 2013.
Nailing baserunners, Pierzynski finished strong in 2013, throwing out 16 of his last 39 runners (41 percent). Overall, he threw out 17 of 66 (26 percent), fifth best among AL qualifiers. Rangers pitchers had a 3.60 ERA with Pierzynski behind the plate last year, the catcher’s best mark in 13 full seasons in the big leagues.
Originally selected by Minnesota in the third round of the 1994 June draft, Pierzynski has played parts of 16 seasons in the major leagues with the Twins (1998-2003), Giants (2004), White Sox (2005-12), and Rangers (2013). In 1,763 career games, he has hit .283 with 356 doubles, 22 triples, 172 home runs, 800 RBI, and 729 runs scored, including a lifetime .290 average against right-handed pitching. His 172 career roundtrippers rank second among active catchers to Brian McCann’s 176.
Pierzynski earned his first career Silver Slugger Award in 2012, when he set career highs while leading AL catchers with 27 home runs and a .501 slugging percentage. He was selected to his first All-Star team in 2002 with the Twins in his second full big league season, and returned to the Mid-Summer Classic as a member of the White Sox in 2006.
While with Chicago, he caught Philip Humber’s perfect game on April 21, 2012 at Seattle, and caught Mark Buehrle’s no-hitter on April 18, 2007 against Texas.
In 30 postseason games, Pierzynski has a .300 average, five doubles, one triple, five homers, 17 RBI, and 10 walks. His .892 postseason OPS is the best ever mark as a catcher (min. 100 PA). He hit .262 (11-for-42) with four doubles, three homers, and nine RBI as the starting catcher in all 12 games of the White Sox’ run to the 2005 World Series Championship.
While with the White Sox, Pierzynski was involved with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and was honored as one of 25 'Heroes of Hope' by the organization’s Illinois chapter. He was also named White Sox Player of the Year at the March of Dimes’ 2009 Charity Dinner.
With the acquisition of Pierzynski, the Red Sox’ 40-man roster is now at 39.
Red Sox fans have read this story before. A popular and speedy center fielder becomes a free agent and decides to switch sides in baseball's most heated rivalry and sign a big contract with the hated Yankees.
Johnny Damon did it in 2005 and Jacoby Ellsbury followed the same template Tuesday night, agreeing with the Yankees on a seven-year deal worth $153 million, according to major league sources.
Ellsbury was scheduled to arrive in New York for a physical on Wednesday morning. The contract includes a $16 million option for 2021.
The Yankees, because of their payroll, were always considered contenders for the 30-year-old Ellsbury despite claims they planned to control spending on free agents. The Rangers and Mariners were considered more likely destinations.
After initially negotiating with Carlos Beltran over the weekend, the Yankees turned to Ellsbury and the agreement came together quickly.
Ellsbury’s contract was a coup for agent Scott Boras in that it eclipsed the seven-year, $142 million deal the Red Sox signed Carl Crawford to before the 2011 season.
The Yankees are taking a calculated risk. Ellsbury is a dynamic player who finished second in the American League MVP voting in 2011, hitting .321 with 32 home runs and 105 RBIs.
But in the two years since, Ellsbury has hit 13 home runs and driven in 79 runs over 880 at-bats. Going back to 2010, Ellsbury has played in 384 of a possible 648 regular season games, 59 percent.
Cracked ribs limited Ellsbury to 18 games in 2010. In 2012, a shoulder injury led to a three-month stint on the disabled list. Ellsbury broke a bone in his right foot last season and missed 16 games in September.
Ellsbury rebuilt his value last season, hitting .298 with a .781 OPS. He had 48 extra-base hits and stole 52 bases in 56 attempts. He bounced back from the foot injury to hit .344 in the postseason with 14 runs scored and six steals in seven attempts to help lead the Red Sox to the World Series.
The Red Sox tried for several years to sign Ellsbury to an extension knowing all the time that he would likely go to free agency to determine his value. Negotiations continued after the season with the Red Sox hoping to stay at approximately $100 million. But that was something the Yankees soared past.
The Red Sox will receive a supplemental first round draft pick as compensation, as Ellsbury was a qualified free agent.
The Red Sox could turn to 23-year-old Jackie Bradley Jr. as their new center fielder. But they have engaged in talks with the Los Angeles Dodgers regarding two-time All-Star Matt Kemp.
General manager Ben Cherington has said he prefers to keep Shane Victorino in right field. But the Sox have the option of obtaining a right fielder and shifting Victorino to center, a position he has played for the bulk of his career.
The top free agent center fielders are Shin-Soo Choo and Curtis Granderson. But both would require the Red Sox giving up their first-round draft pick, something Cherington would like to avoid.FULL ENTRY
Jarrod Saltalamacchia has agreed to terms with the Miami Marlins on a three-year deal worth $21 million, according to a major league source. The former Red Sox catcher selected the Marlins over the Minnesota Twins.
Saltalamacchia resides in Wellington, Fla., about 70 miles from Marlins Park.
Red Sox pitcher John Lackey, who had a 3.52 earned run average in 29 regular-season starts, has been voted the winner of the 24th Tony Conigliaro Award. The honor is presented to a major league player who has overcome adversity through the attributes of spirit, determination, and courage that were trademarks of Tony C.
Members of the Conigliaro family will present the award at the 75th Boston Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s dinner on Jan. 23 at the Westin Copley Place in Boston. Major league teams submit nominations and an independent 12-person panel does the voting.
Despite missing all of 2012 recovering from Tommy John surgery, Lackey put together one of the best seasons of his 11-year major league career in 2013. He finished second on the team with 189.1 innings pitched.
The Red Sox began the award in 1990 in memory of Conigliaro, who had died that February following an eight-year struggle to come back from a massive heart attack.
Let's be honest, the public image of new Red Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski is that he's a pain in the butt. He has tangled with teammates and opponents over the course of his 16-year career and built a reputation for being irksome.
Pierzynski throws his helmet, he curses, and he talks trash. He is known to be an avid fan of pro wrestling and he enjoys playing the heel. In the oh-so-sensitive world of baseball, Pierzynski makes waves.
It won't take you long to find YouTube.clips of him brawling or the poll from Men's Journal in 2012 that named him the most hated player in baseball.
But that's a simple-minded approach. The guess is that the Red Sox looked well beyond Google in assessing whether Pierzynski would fit into their clubhouse.
Pierzynski played five years with David Ortiz when both were with the Twins and is a player Ortiz has long spoken highly of as a teammate.
Jake Peavy also played with Pierzynski. Peavy, in fact, once had a little dust-up in 2011. You can be sure the Red Sox checked in with Peavy on this.
Red Sox pitching coach Juan Nieves was with the White Sox for five years as bullpen coach when Pierzynski was their primary catcher. He offered a strong recommendation, according to insiders.
Nieves wields considerable influence in the Red Sox' decision-making process, something that was evident in the deals for Matt Thornton and Peavy. There is little chance the Red Sox would have signed a catcher their pitching coach thought was a bad guy.
The Red Sox just won the World Series and have a team of veterans, including tone-setters like Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia. In John Farrell, they also have an authoritative manager with a low threshold for nonsense. Pierzynski's personality likely won't be an issue, and if it becomes one, it'll be settled quickly.
Pierzynski has a reputation for intelligence, durability, playing hard, and playing to win. That sounds a lot like the players Ben Cherington gathered up last winter.
The bigger story here is the signal Cherington is sending. In refusing to sign Jarrod Saltalamacchia for three seasons, the general manager is showing faith in a farm system that is making a significant impact on the franchise.
In Pierzynski and David Ross, the Red Sox will start next season with two 37-year-old catchers signed for one year. For 23-year-old Christian Vazquez, 27-year-old Dan Butler, and 21-year-old Blake Swihart, opportunity is their Christmas gift. The Red Sox clearly believe Vazquez can become their catcher by 2015.
For 26-year-old Ryan Lavarnway, however, it's another roadblock. He has little left to prove in Triple A and seemingly no place on the major league roster. The Sox should do Lavarnway a favor and trade him. But he could linger as insurance.
The next step for the Red Sox should be the return of Mike Napoli. Now that they're set at catcher, more moves are coming.
The Boston Red Sox announced that “Sox Pax” and single-game tickets for April and May games will go on sale Dec. 14 at 10 a.m. Registration for the chance to attend the 11th annual Christmas at Fenway event begins today.
“Sox Pax" are four games with a variety of game and seat options, including interleague games, summer weekend games, and games against the Yankees. Single-game tickets will include all April and May home games with the exceptions of Opening Day, Patriots Day, and Yankees games.
Sox Pax will be available online at redsox.com and at the Christmas at Fenway event held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Fenway Park. There will be a limit of three “Sox Pax” of up to four tickets each per person.
For single game tickets, fans can purchase up to 12 tickets per transaction online at redsox.com, by phone at 888-REDSOX6.
Registration for the chance to attend Christmas at Fenway begins today and continues through Monday. The annual event gives randomly selected fans from a pool of registrants a chance to enjoy holiday festivities at the ballpark and guarantees the opportunity to purchase tickets for the 2014 season.
Christmas at Fenway will include discussions with Red Sox officials and interviews with current players and legends. Attendees will be randomly selected throughout the day for special prizes and giveaway experiences.
The Red Sox have agreed to terms with veteran catcher A.J. Pierzynski. The one-year deal is worth $8.25 million.
Pierzynski will be playing for his third team in as many years. After spending 2005-2012 with the White Sox, he joined the Texas Rangers last season and hit .272 with a .722 OPS. He had 17 homers and 70 RBIs. Pierzynski started 111 games behind the plate.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported the deal was in place. On Monday night, the Globe reported that the Red Sox were moving on from Jarrod Saltalamacchia, their primary catcher last season. Saltalamacchia was seeking a three-year contract.
But Pierzynski is far from a perfect solution. He had a .297 OBP last season thanks to drawing only 11 walks over 529 plate appearances and saw an average of only 3.27 pitches per plate appearance, the lowest in the majors.
Pierzynski turns 37 in December and Ross turns 37 in March. By going with a tandem of older catchers, the Red Sox will not block prospects Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart.
Vazquez, 23, finished last season with Triple A Pawtucket. The strong-armed catcher hit .289/.376/.395 for Double A Portland last season. Swihart, 21, was a first-round pick in 2011 and is expected to open the 2014 season in Portland after hitting .298/.366/.428 for High A Salem.
Pierzynski has a league-wide reputation for having a difficult personality, something Red Sox executives said in recent weeks was overstated. Pierzynski also will be entering a clubhouse with leaders in place and playing for a strong manager in John Farrell. Any personality issues figure to be extinguished quickly.
Red Sox pitching coach Juan Nieves worked closely with Pierzynski when both were with the White Sox. Pierzynski also came up with the Twins organization with David Ortiz. The two were teammates in Minnesota from 1998-2002.
Pierzynski is a two-time All-Star and has 30 games of playoff experience. He helped lead the White Sox to a World Series title in 2005. Pierzynski is a lifetime .322/.328/.424 hitter at Fenway Park, but does not have a home run.
Two major league sources said Monday night that catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia is unlikely to return to the Red Sox.
Saltalamacchia is the top catcher remaining on the free-agent market and is expected to command at least a three-year contract. The Red Sox have held at two years and are prepared to move on.
The Miami Marlins and Minnesota Twins have been negotiating with Saltalamacchia. He is a native of West Palm Beach and could find the Marlins attractive. The Twins are seeking a catcher after shifting Joe Mauer to first base.
Saltalamacchia hit .273 with an .804 OPS for Sox last season. His 54 extra-base hits were the most for a catcher in the American League.
But after serving as the primary catcher for much of the regular season, Saltalamacchia lost playing time to David Ross in the postseason. Ross started the final three games of the World Series. Saltalamacchia was angry with the demotion and that helped spur his willingness to look elsewhere.
Ross, who turns 37 in March, is signed through next season. The Red Sox also have Ryan Lavarnway, who started 18 games last season. If the Sox look outside the organization, free agent A.J. Pierzynski is an option. Or they could make a trade.
The Sox have great faith in the ability of 23-year-old Christian Vazquez. But he has played only briefly in Triple A and would likely need more seasoning before bring ready for the majors.
For righthanded reliever Andrew Bailey and outfielder Ryan Kalish, the last few seasons have been marked by long stretches on the disabled list and major surgeries. On Monday night, the Red Sox made them free agents.
The two were not offered contracts by the midnight deadline and are now free to sign with any team, the Red Sox included.
The Red Sox offered deals to the other unsigned players on their 40-man roster including five who are arbitration-eligible: righthander Burke Badenhop, first baseman/outfielder Mike Carp, lefthander Andrew Miller, lefthander Franklin Morales and righthander Junichi Tazawa.
Bailey was eligible for arbitration for a third time and stood to make at least $4 million next season. But the righthander underwent extensive surgery on his throwing shoulder in July and is not expected to return until after the All-Star break.
The Red Sox could retain Bailey on a minor league deal but he is expected to investigate what major league options he has first. Bailey could simply wait until he is healthy and make a decision then.
Bailey had two difficult seasons with the Red Sox after being obtained from Oakland before the 2012 season. He appeared in only 49 games and had a 4.91 ERA with the Sox. Thumb surgery cut short his first season.
Kalish, 25, is a story of lost potential. He made his debut with the Red Sox in 2010 after shining in the minor leagues and impressed team executives with his athleticism and feel for the game.
But Kalish injured his left shoulder playing for Triple A Pawtucket early in the 2011 season and has not been the same player since.
He returned to play 10 minor league games in August before returning to the disabled list with a bulging disc in neck that required surgery. Kalish then had shoulder surgery in November.
Kalish returned in 2012 and played in 36 major league games, looking little like the player he once was. He had surgery on his right shoulder last January and spinal fusion surgery in August.
Kalish has not played since Sept. 2012 and his future is uncertain. The Red Sox are open to signing him to a minor league deal.
Kalish said via text message that he expects to be ready to play by spring training and will look at what opportunities are available, including the Red Sox.
"Absolutely," he said.
Under arbitration rules, Badenhop, Carp, Miller, Morales and Tazawa are considered signed for 2014. If a deal cannot be worked out, a hearing would determine their salary for next season.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have hired former Red Sox star Nomar Garciaparra as an announcer.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Garciaparra would leave ESPN for a new role with the Dodgers.
Garciaparra, 40, is a southern California native and played three seasons for the Dodgers near the end of his 14-year career. Garciaparra was with the Red Sox from 1996-2004.
A few notes while we wait for official word on the Red Sox tender decisions:
• The catching market is growing thinner with the news that Dioner Navarro has signed a two-year, $8 million deal with Toronto. The Red Sox did not have great interest in Navarro.
The Blue Jays will non-tender J.P. Arencibia if they cannot first trade him. Arencibia hit 15 home runs last season but had a .227 OBP.
Outside of Jarrod Saltalamacchia, the only free agent on the market that would seem acceptable to the Red Sox is A.J. Pierzynski , who turns 37 later this month. Pierzynski is a lefthanded hitter and theoretically would be a good match with David Ross.
The Sox could make a trade, too.
• ESPN Chicago reported that Daniel Bard will be non-tendered by the Cubs. No surprise there, given his monumental struggles. There is a good chance that Bard will sign a minor league deal with the Cubs and continue his search.
• Righthanded reliever Manny Delcarmen has signed a minor league deal with the Nationals. The Hyde Park native has not pitched in the big leagues since 2010. He has been with the Rockies, Mariners, Rangers, Yankees, and Orioles since the Red Sox traded him in 2010.
The sixth annual David Ortiz Celebrity Golf Classic will be Dec. 12-15 in the Dominican Republic. The event supports the David Ortiz Children’s Fund, which provides critical pediatric healthcare for children in the Dominican and the Boston area.
Through Dec. 14, there's an online auction with a variety of unique packages and memorabilia including:
• Hitting lessons with Ortiz.
• Tickets to Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit launch party in February in New York.
• Round of golf with NFL Hall Of Famer Lawrence Taylor.
• Dinner at Boston’s Strega Waterfront with actor and comedian Lenny Clark.
• Tickets to Sports Illustrated’s “Sportsman of the Year” event in December.
• Dinner for eight at celebrity chef Ming Tsai’s Blue Ginger in Wellesley.
For a full list of items in the auction visit: www.events.org/ortizauction.
Follow @OrtizClassic on Twitter for all the latest news surrounding the event and the auction.
Monday is the deadline for teams to offer contracts to players eligible for salary arbitration. Any player not tendered a contract would become a free agent.
For the Red Sox, that means decisions on six players, five of them relief pitchers.
Righthander Andrew Bailey will be offered a contract, according to a report by the New York Post on Sunday. That comes as a bit of a surprise. Bailey has a 4.91 earned run average and 1.46 WHIP over parts of two seasons in Boston and has pitched in only 49 games because of various injuries.
Bailey underwent extensive shoulder surgery in July and is not expected to return until midway through the coming season. Based on his service time and previous accomplishments, Bailey would command a contract worth approximately $4.3 million.
General manager Ben Cherington said last month that one of his goals would be to stockpile bullpen arms. The cost of Bailey could be worth his being available in late July.
Lefthander Franklin Morales is another question mark. He has a 5.06 ERA in his last 31 appearances going back to 2012 and has been dealing with an assortment of injuries along with a drop in velocity.
Morales was on the roster for the entirety of the postseason but was not used in the World Series after pitching poorly in the Division Series and ALCS. But Morales, who turns 28 in January, can be retained for less than $2 million.
Righthander Burke Badenhop, first baseman/outfielder Mike Carp, lefthander Andrew Miller and righthander Junichi Tazawa are all expected to be offered contracts. Carp, Miller and Tazawa all played significant roles last season and Badenhop was obtained from the Brewers on Nov. 22.
Major League Baseball and the Major League Players Association put out their joint 2012-2013 Major League Baseball drug report.
Here's the transcript:
The report covers from the 2012 offseason to the end of the 2013 Major League Baseball post-season. The report is specific to Players who compose forty-man rosters for Major League Baseball Clubs.
1) The total number of drug tests that were conducted for the presence of Performance Enhancing Substances and/or Stimulants during the time listed above was 5,391 tests. The number of urine samples that were collected and analyzed for the presence of Performance Enhancing Substances and/or Stimulants was 4,022. The number of blood samples that were collected and analyzed for the presence of human growth hormone was 1,369.
2) Eight tests were reported by the testing laboratory for having an adverse analytical finding that resulted in discipline. All were for Stimulants. The substances reported were as follows: Adderall: 7; Methylhexaneamine: 1
3) 13 non-analytical positives resulted in discipline.
4) 122 Therapeutic Use Exemptions were granted. The diagnoses were as follows: Attention Deficit Disorder: 119; Hypogonadism: 3
Jeffrey M. Anderson, MD
Independent Program Administrator
Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program
The Red Sox are well-represented on 2014's Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.
The list of former Red Sox under consideration for the first time includes starting pitcher Hideo Nomo, relievers Mike Timlin, Todd Jones, and Eric Gagne, and first basemen Sean Casey and J.T. Snow.
Billerica native Tom Glavine, who won 302 games for the Braves and Mets, is on the ballot for the first time, along with stars such as four-time Cy Young Award winner Greg Maddux and two-time AL MVP Frank Thomas. Also debuting on the ballot is former Boston foe Mike Mussina, who earned 270 wins for the Orioles and Yankees.
The 36-player ballot also includes former Boston players Lee Smith, Curt Schilling, and Roger Clemems, as well as one-time Red Sox prospect Jeff Bagwell.
Baseball Writers’ Association of America voters have until Dec. 31 to make their selections, and results will be announced Jan. 8.
For the full ballot, visit the Baseball Hall of Fame online.
The Red Sox got the red carpet treatment Monday night in Boston.
The official 2013 World Series DVD by MLB Productions goes on sale Tuesday, less than a month after the Red Sox celebrated a championship after beating the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6 at Fenway Park. On Monday night, the Red Sox hosted a red carpet premiere for the film at the Citi Performing Arts Center Wang Theatre.
Among those who stopped by for the film debut were catcher David Ross, third baseman Will Middlebrooks, Red Sox principal owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner, team president Larry Lucchino, and GM Ben Cherington.
The film goes far beyond showing unique views of game footage. You'll get an inside look at the sights and sounds of the Red Sox ride to the championship -- what was going on behind the scenes, the player interaction in the dugout and clubhouse. Shane Victorino was wired for his Game 6 Series-clinching heroics. And you get to listen in on David Ortiz's pep talk during Game 4 in St. Louis that led to Jonny Gomes hitting a three-run homer to lead Boston to a 4-2 victory.
"We don't get here everyday," Ortiz is overheard saying during the Game 4 rally speech. "Let's relax and play the game the way we know how. We better than this right here. Let's loosen up. Let's play the game the way we do."
Ortiz was also interviewed about the impromptu meeting in the dugout in the film.
"As a veteran, I pretty much pulled everybody to the side and told them, 'Hey, look. Let's just go back to the basics and not try to overdo things," the World Series MVP said. "The guys got the message. It was the one kind of speech that, sometimes you need it."
Ortiz was also mic'd-up prior to Game 2 of the ALCS against the Tigers when he talks about swinging at bad pitches against Anibal Sanchez the night before and how Game 2 would be different. Next you see the prediction come true when Ortiz launches the eighth inning grand slam laser into the bullpen in right field, taking Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter over the fence along with the ball.
You'll also see commentary from Ross where he talks about Mike Napoli planting a kiss on his neck as promised when Victorino belted a grand slam in Game 6 of the ALCS.
Boston icon Ben Affleck does a workman-like job narrating the story that goes beyond what took place on the field. The 90-minute beautifully shot film begins on April 15, when two bombs exploded on Boylston Street during the Boston Marathon as the Red Sox were heading to Cleveland, and takes you through the Game 6 win over the St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway.
Players interviewed reflected on the Marathon bombing and the days afterward when the Red Sox spearheaded the Boston Strong spirit and went beyond being a team and became a family during that trying time in April.
There are plenty of laughs along the way as well.
"Do you think I'm mentally there after just knowing me for a few days?" Dustin Pedroia quips to Napoli during spring training in Fort Myers.
Before the film debut, Ross -- who said the beard is coming off in early December and he's not selling the shavings as a bear ball, Middlebrooks -- who has been all over Boston this offseason and expects to be back at third base next season, and the Red Sox brass spoke at the premiere.
"A couple of us that are going to be back and already have contracts negotiated, we're trying to sell some other people," Ross said. "We're trying to get [Napoli] and some of those guys back. [Ellsbury] is going to be expensive, but we're putting bugs in his ear. We're already talking about winning again next year, there's already been text messages in the group talking about doing it again, what a great group we have, can't wait to embark on that journey again next year."
Middlebrooks spoke about spending time in Boston this offseason and what winning the championship means to the city.
"I realized how important it was to these people, not only baseball but every other sport," he said. "Any sport, the passion here is unbelievable. People are so proud to be a part of Boston so I wanted to experience that. I wanted to stick around for the winter and see what everything was about."
The DVD package also includes bonus features, including President Barack Obama's congratulatory call to manager John Farrell and a music video called "This Beard Came Here to Party."
Red Sox players Brandon Workman and Jackie Bradley Jr. will be the special guests at the 2014 Portland Sea Dogs Hot Stove Dinner Jan. 17 in South Portland.
The event takes place at the Sable Oaks Marriott and benefits the Maine Children's Cancer Program. Additional guests will be announced.
Tickets ($50) are on sale now. They can be purchased in person at the Hadlock Field ticket office, by phone at 207-879-9500, or online at www.seadogs.com.
Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with a silent auction running until 7 p.m. A buffet dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. Everyone who attends will receive an autographed 8x10 photo of both Bradley Jr. and Workman.
The Yankees have a five-year, $85 million deal in place with catcher Brian McCann. The deal includes a vesting option for a sixth season worth $15 million and a full no-trade clause.
The Rangers and Rockies were players for McCann until the Yankees wrapped him up. For the Yankees, McCann will be a significant upgrade over Chris Stewart and Austin Romine. McCann, who turns 30 in February, hit .256 with a .796 OPS last season.
The Red Sox were involved with the negotiations for McCann but did not approach that level of commitment according to major league sources.
With Carlos Ruiz and McCann off the market, the Sox still have plentiful options for a catcher. They remain engaged with Jarrod Saltalamacchia, their primary catcher last season and now a free agent. Saltalamacchia is seeking a three-year contract but the Red Sox would prefer two.
A.J. Pierzynski and Dioner Navarro also are free agents. Or they could pursue a trade, something general manager Ben Cherington has hinted at.
That McCann had a deal with the Yankees was first reported by the Dallas Morning News.
The Red Sox on Friday obtained righthanded reliever Burke Badenhop from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for 20-year-old Rookie League lefthander Luis Ortega.
Badenhop, who turns 31 in February, appeared in 63 games for Milwaukee last season, going 2-3 with one save. Over 62.1 innings, he allowed 62 hits and struck out 42 against 12 walks.
Righthanded batters hit .229 against Badenhop with a .574 OPS. In 163 plate appearances, righthanded batters drew only four walks against Badenhop.
Over the last two seasons, Badenhop has thrown 124.2 innings and issued only 15 non-intentional walks.
Badenhop is eligible for salary arbitration for the third and final time and is projected to make $2.1 million this season. That was likely part of Milwaukee's incentive to trade him. For the Red Sox, he represents a short-term investment
This marks the fourth time Badenhop has been traded since 2007, the third time in the last three years. Drafted by the Tigers in 2005 out of Bowling Green University, Badenhop was one of six players traded to the Marlins in 2007 for Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis,
New Boston teammate Andrew Miller also was part of that deal.
Florida traded Badenhop to Tampa Bay for a minor leaguer in 2011. The Rays traded Badenhop to the Brewers last December, also for minor league outfielder Raul Mondesi Jr.
Ortega was 3-3 with a 2.45 ERA in 12 appearances in the Gulf Coast League last season.