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Boston Red Sox Open Spring Training with Afternoon Doubleheader

March 3rd, 2015 at 11:21 AM
By Sean Penney

We may still be covered in snow here in the North East, but baseball begins down in sunny Fort Myers when the Boston Red Sox open spring training with a doubleheader against a pair of college teams from Boston.

The Red Sox take on the Northeastern University Huskies in Game 1 of the twin bill. It's the 11th straight year that the teams have met to open spring training and the 13th season overall, with the Red Sox remaining undefeated in those contests. Clay Buchholz will be on the mound to lead the rotation into the first start of the spring. Even if it's only an exhibition game, fans will surely be excited for their first glimpse of newcomers Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez in action.

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Los Angeles Angels Could Look at Boston Red Sox Outfield Surplus for Josh Hamilton Replacement

March 2nd, 2015 at 2:57 PM
By Sean Penney

Josh Hamilton's fate now rests in the hands of Major League Baseball. The former MVP may face a suspension after reportedly suffering a drug relapse, which could leave the Los Angeles Angels in need of a replacement in their outfield. It just so happens that the Boston Red Sox have a surplus of outfielders, which could make the teams a trade match.

The New York Daily News reported last week that Hamilton was summoned to meet with MLB regarding a disciplinary issue concerning his relapse involving alcohol and cocaine. Hamilton has a well-documented history of substance abuse dating back to his minor league days and had been suspended from February 2004 through June 2006 for issues related to his addictions. It's another troubling setback for a player that had seemingly come a long way in battling his demons to establish himself as one of the best hitters in the game. Injuries have held him back since he signed a 5-year, $125 million with the Angels in 2013, but his latest relapse potentially puts his career in jeopardy.

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Rusney Castillo is Already Familiar with New MLB Rule

February 27th, 2015 at 4:05 PM
By Sean Penney

We already know that David Ortiz is unhappy with Major League Baseball's new rules that prohibit hitters from stepping out of the batter's box, but perhaps getting some insight from one of his teammates would help settle his concerns. Rusney Castillo is already familiar with this rule from his time spent playing in his native country of Cuba.

The governing body of Cuba had the same idea to help speed up the game a couple years ago, so players like Castillo that were around when the rule was implemented have already experienced the transition. While players like Ortiz are taking a stand against the new rule, Castillo assures that the adjustment wasn't actually that bad.

"The game used to be really long, but about two years ago they implemented the rule we're trying to implement, with the hitter staying in the box," Castillo explained to WEEI. "That sped the game up a bit.

"It did mess with some hitters, but for me, if I've got to do it, I've got to do it and I didn't think about all that much. It wasn't all that difficult for me, personally."

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Larry Lucchino: Boston Red Sox are Different from the New York Yankees

February 26th, 2015 at 1:14 PM
By Sean Penney

Boston Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino wants to make one thing clear – despite the massive spending spree the team has been on lately, the Red Sox are nothing like the New York Yankees.

Lucchino has repeatedly mocked the Yankees in the past for their seemingly limitless payroll budgets and reckless spending. He once famously labeled his team's most bitter rival the "Evil Empire" after the Yankees swept in and stole Cuban defector Jose Contreras right from under their noses. The Yankees have a long history of opening their checkbooks to lure in the biggest names in free agency, but now that Boston has been among the biggest spenders this winter, it has left some wondering if they are now emulating the Yankees methods.

"Boy, there are a lot of things people could get me to say, but I could never admit to that," Lucchino told reporters on Wednesday. "I could never admit to that, not in my mind, at least.

"We are different. We run our club differently. There's a commonality in our willingness to invest in sizable sums for baseball players, whether they be short-term additions or long-term development projects. So in that sense, we, like the Dodgers, the Giants – a lot of successful clubs – are willing to pay the price and write checks."

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David Ortiz Remains Motivated to Help the Boston Red Sox Win

February 25th, 2015 at 3:13 PM
By Sean Penney

David Ortiz doesn't want to think about his legacy because that would mean he's thinking about retiring. That's the furthest thing from his mind, as the 39-year old DH prepares for the upcoming season. A fired up Ortiz arrived to spring training as motivated as ever to help the Boston Red Sox win.

Ortiz is entering the final guaranteed season on his contract, which includes two option years that automatically vest based on the number of plate appearances he makes. When asked by reporters in Fort Myers how much longer he wants to play, Ortiz countered by reminding them that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was asked the same question early in the season. The Patriots of course rebounded from a slow start to capture their fourth Super Bowl championship of the Brady era. Ortiz, who has three championship rings of his own, seems eager to keep pace. His desire to catch up to Brady with a fourth title is what motivates him as his career inevitably winds down.

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