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Adrian Gonzalez on Boston: ‘When you’re traded like we were, they spin it to make you sound like a bad guy’ 02.27.13 at 1:23 pm ET
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When Adrian Gonzalez joined the Red Sox via a trade with the Padres after the 2010 season, the first baseman insisted he always wanted to play in Boston. Now, however, Gonzalez insists Los Angeles is where he was “meant to be.”

In an interview with the Orange County Register from Dodgers spring training in Glendale, Ariz., Gonzalez spoke of how content he is in L.A.

“This is the best situation for me. I couldn’t be happier,” Gonzalez said. “[The Red Sox] almost did me, in a way, a ‘€¦ [They] put me in a situation I wouldn’t be in coming from San Diego. I don’t know if that trade could have happened — coming from San Diego to here. It’s almost like it was meant to be.”

Following last season’s monumental trade that sent Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto to the Dodgers, Gonzalez was the target of some criticism for his lack of leadership in a fractured Red Sox clubhouse.

“It’s a situation — I guess most places are like that — when you’re traded like we were, they spin it to make you sound like a bad guy,” Gonzalez said. “I think at the end of the day, I had a great time. I had a great experience. I’m really happy for the opportunity to play there. But now, I’m really really happy and excited to be here and really excited about where the team is heading and what we have an opportunity to do here.

“At the end of the day, it’s about winning, and we didn’t make the playoffs [in Boston] and that’s what people focus on. If we had made the playoffs, it would have been an amazing year for me [in 2011]. … Then last year, it wasn’t a good enough year because I didn’t help the team be in contention. That’s what led to the trade. When a team’s not playing well, there’s changes that are going to be made.”

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Red Sox chairman Tom Werner on Terry Francona’s book: ‘It’s a good piece of fiction’ 02.15.13 at 12:59 pm ET
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Red Sox chairman Tom Werner, in an interview with WEEI’s Lou Merloni at spring training in Fort Myers, Fla., acknowledged he has read former manager Terry Francona‘s book and called it “fiction.”

“I read the book. Fortunately I didn’t have to pay for it — it was given to me,” he said. “It’s a good piece of fiction.”

One of Francona’s criticisms was that Sox ownership at times appeared more concerned with ratings and finances than the product on the field, that acquiring a “sexy” player was important to appeal to a wider fan base.

“That was silly. The only time I can remember ever talking about needing a sexy player was when I called Ben Cherington and told him to sign Vicente Padilla,” Werner joked.

“I don’t know what else to say,” Werner added. “There were so many things in that book that were fabricated.

“But we accept the knocks — a certain amount of the knocks that we received we are perfectly mature enough to handle. When you lose, it’s a tough situation. But I would just say to our fans, we suffer. You know that. You know who we are and you know how important it is for us to get things back on a winning track.”

The owners also were portrayed as not having a true love for the game of baseball.

“Well, it wasn’t accurate,” Werner said of that accusation. “I haven in my office a picture of me — I’m a freshman in college, making a movie about Fenway Park. And that picture was taken 45 years ago. So, I just know how much I love the game. And really, we care so much about getting back to our winnings ways. That’s what I’m focused on.”

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Read More: adrian gonzalez, John Henry, Larry Lucchino, Terry Francona
Larry Lucchino on the state of the Red Sox 02.14.13 at 4:48 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — Red Sox president/CEO Larry Lucchino, in a 30-minute media session, fielded questions on all things Red Sox. He expanded on comments made earlier in the week by team principal owner John Henry, who suggested that the team had shifted away from the core philosophy that had yielded six playoff appearances in seven seasons between 2003-09, and that a course correction is now in effect.

Lucchino highlighted the team’s basic emphasis of on-base percentage and long at-bats that drive up the pitch counts of opponents as centerpieces of the philosophical drift.

“[Henry] feels pretty strongly that we deviated from a basic philosophy of grinding relentless at-bats deep in the count, on-base percentage, some of the fundamental things that got us to the success we had. We have fallen considerably,” said Lucchino. “We used to have incentives in contracts relating to on-base percentage to show you how important we thought it was. I think there was kind of a deviation from that, somewhere along the way.”

Asked why that deviation occurred, Lucchino offered the following.

“I think it kind of grew gradually, and if you’re not ever-vigilant, that can happen to the organization. That’s one factor,” said Lucchino. “Perception that everybody now gets it, everybody now understands it, and don’t we have to look for some new metric or approach? And we in some ways outsmarted ourselves. Those are two of the factors.”

Among other topics: Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: adrian gonzalez, ben cherington, carl crawford, Cody Ross
Adrian Gonzalez says Red Sox didn’t win because management had poor chemistry at 3:54 pm ET
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Adrian Gonzalez, set to begin his first full season with the Dodgers following last August’s trade from the Red Sox, made it clear that he’s enjoying his interaction with LA’s management better than Boston’s.

“From the time I got here, I found out right away the owners would do everything possible to win,” Gonzalez told USA Today. “They told us, ‘Play hard and have a good time, and if we don’t get to the playoffs this year, we’re going to make every effort to give you the best team next season.’ And they’ve done that.”

Much has been made about the poor chemistry in the Red Sox clubhouse last season. Gonzalez acknowledged there were issues in Boston, but he said management was the problem.

“Chemistry is something you need to have among the players but also with the owners, the coaches and the front office. It needs to be complete,” he said. “In Boston we had great chemistry among the players — we loved each other, we were together — but that was only among the players. It wasn’t there with the rest. That’s why the team didn’t win. It needs to be an organization-wide thing.”

Gonzalez was criticized for not being more of a leader in Boston. He disagrees with that sentiment.

“Being a leader for the people outside is not the same as being one for those in the clubhouse,” Gonzalez said. “You’ll hear things like, ‘He’s not a vocal leader.’ But if you ask the players, they’ll tell you I’m that guy. I do things quietly, don’t want anybody to find out, because it’s the only way to have the players’ trust.”

In Fort Myers, Red Sox CEO/president Larry Lucchino suggested that he did not have any comment on Gonzalez’s remarks aside from wishing the first baseman well in his career.

“It’€™s hard for me to interpret what he was saying. I haven’€™t seen it before. It sounded pretty general,” Lucchino said when apprised of Gonzalez’s quotes. “He could have been referring to coaches, managers, front office people. I’€™m not going to comment on the possibilities. I really don’€™t know. I have great fond feelings for him and I wish him great good luck where he is. I really don’€™t see it as an overall acquisition against the franchise.”

Alex Speier contributed to this report from Fort Myers.

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Precedent suggests five-month recovery for Ryan Kalish 01.31.13 at 12:02 am ET
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On Tuesday, Red Sox outfielder Ryan Kalish underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right (non-throwing) shoulder, a procedure that included a repair of a posterior labrum tear. The Red Sox described the surgery as successful. But what does that mean? A couple of position players to undergo similar procedures offers a glimpse.

In 2008, B.J. Upton proved a uniquely destructive source against the Sox in the American League Championship Series. His spectacular performance (4 homers, 11 RBI in the seven-game series) occurred while he had a torn labrum in his left (non-throwing) shoulder. Upton underwent surgery in mid-November. After opening the 2009 season on the disabled list — partly a precaution against Tampa Bay’s season-opening roadtrip to cold-weather venues — Upton was back by mid-April, almost exactly five months after his procedure. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: adrian gonzalez, B.J. Upton, labrum, ryan kalish
Agent Scott Boras on WEEI’s Red Sox Hot Stove show: Assembling productive Sox team will be ‘difficult chore’ 11.02.12 at 10:32 am ET
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The most well-known agent in baseball, Scott Boras, joined WEEI’s Red Sox Hot Stove program Thursday night to discuss how the market is shaping up this offseason. To hear the interview, go to the WEEI audio on demand page.

A number of teams have a need for a center fielder, which should help Jacoby Ellsbury when he enters free agency after next season. Boras, Ellsbury’€™s agent, said that a player at that position who can provide power and leadoff capability is limited.

‘€œI think when you’€™re talking about players who are going to be in the market when they are elite players that play premium positions that are 30 or younger, there’€™s not going to be many,’€ Boras said. ‘€œThere certainly aren’€™t many in this process where you’€™ve got a few center fielders that are available, that are guys that are going to give you a leadoff or some power. There might be a couple in [B.J.] Upton and [Michael] Bourn. As far as the corner outfielders, I think that market, I wouldn’€™t say that there is an elite young player that’€™s available. Really, over the next couple of years, there’€™s going to be a relative small infantry of people who will be available.’€

Boras declined to reveal how he’€™d value Ellsbury if he were entering free agency today.

‘€œWhen we’€™re done negotiating and players are done performing, we’€™ll kind of let everyone know what we come up with,’€ Boras said.

The Sox completed a blockbuster deal this summer that cleared their three biggest salaries in Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford. Boras indicated that he thought it was a good move, but he said the Sox might have a hard time assembling a team this offseason that can produce runs and power.

‘€œI think the Red Sox did a very good job,’€ Boras said. ‘€œAdrian Gonzalez, he’€™s a very valued player, the key to that deal certainly I’€™m sure for the Dodgers. His value, as we go forward, and the production he’€™s had particularly in the NL West, he’€™s going to be considered a player whose value and whose compensation is an asset to a team. ‘€¦ And when you look at it from the re-set side from the Red Sox, the hard part is that going out and getting middle-of-the-lineup bats that give you both power and on-base percentage and run production, that had been the keys to the Red Sox’ success in 2004 and 2007 when they won, to fulfill those deficiencies with the talent available is going to be a difficult chore.’€

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Read More: adrian gonzalez, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, MLB
John Henry says Red Sox aren’t for sale, reveals Larry Lucchino has signed extension 09.13.12 at 3:32 pm ET
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Red Sox principal owner John Henry called in to Mut & Merloni on Thursday to refute Fox Business reporter Charlie Gasparino‘s report that he and the Red Sox ownership group have held discussions about selling the team.

“I’m disputing his sources,” Henry said. “Whatever his sources are telling him, I’m completely disputing anything they’re saying along those lines.”

The biggest piece of news to emerge from the conversation is that president and CEO Larry Lucchino will return to the team next season after signing an extension.

Here are some bullet-points of the conversation, which could be heard here:

‘€¢ Henry said that Gasparino’s source, which Gasparino said minutes earlier in an interview with Mut & Merloni has “direct knowledge” of the situation, is incorrect.

“I guess one response I have is that sometimes journalists have sources that just are completely off-base and don’t know what they’re talking about,” Henry said. “I guess that’s what I would have to say having listened to the interview, that whoever he’s talking with, especially when he mentions that there’s been talk with a buyer and so forth, it’s just so far apart or out of the horizon of things that have been going on, as are a number of things. For instance, that all of our time is spent on Liverpool, and that we spend our time at Fenway with Red Sox people talking about Liverpool. It’s just not true.”

‘€¢ Henry adamantly disputed that there were internal discussions about selling the team.

“I think that if there have been any discussions, they certainly haven’t included Tom [Werner] or Larry or I, so I don’t know who’s discussing it. Certainly not minority partners, because we’ve had changes in ownership among minority partners even this year. As you probably know, The New York Times was a significant owner at one point. They owned 17 or 18 percent, and they now own zero. That’s been going on, and others have changed the ownership interest, but there’s certainly been no discussion. We have quarterly partner meetings, and there’s been no discussion among partners, even in executive sessions about a sale of any kind. I don’t think there’s anyone in the partnership who’s interested in selling any of the aspects of Fenway Sports Group.”

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Read More: adrian gonzalez, carl crawford, Dustin Pedroia, John Henry
James Loney: ‘I know they’re always trying to build a championship team here’ 08.26.12 at 2:58 pm ET
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James Loney knows full well what he’s getting into.

The 28-year-old veteran first baseman arrived in Boston Sunday as the only major league-ready player to come from the Dodgers in exchange for Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto. He knows what kind of year it’s been in Boston.

‘€œI knew a bunch of those guys that got traded,” Loney said in the Sunday press conference before going out and making his Red Sox debut at first base. “I know a bunch of guys here still but I know they’€™re always trying to build a championship team here. I know it didn’€™t work out and this year I guess there were some things going on.’€

He’s heard all about playing in the intense baseball market of Boston from the outside. Now, he gets to experience it first hand.

‘€œI’€™ve heard that,” Loney said. “You hear that. I think a lot of big-market, big city teams are like that. You don’€™t think about it when you’€™re out there. You just go out and play.’€ Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: adrian gonzalez, Boston Red Sox, carl crawford, Dustin Pedroia
Top 10 big-name Red Sox trades of last half-century 08.25.12 at 6:21 pm ET
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With the Red Sox‘ season quickly fading into oblivion and the fans growing disgruntled with the team, the organization had to make a move. Yet, what the team did caught almost everyone by surprise.

On Saturday the Red Sox traded Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto to the Dodgers for first basemen James Loney and some prospects. This trade will go down as one of the biggest August trades in MLB history and one of the biggest trades in Red Sox history.

In Loney, the Red Sox acquire a career .284 hitter who has struggled somewhat this season,  batting .254 with four homers and 33 RBIs. But more importantly the Sox dump most of the $261 million that’s owed to Beckett, Crawford and Gonzalez through 2018.

With that in mind, let’s examine the 10 biggest trades in the last 50 years of Red Sox history. These are trades involving at least one high-profile player (thus something like Jeff Bagwell for Larry Anderson doesn’t make the cut, as Bagwell was an unheralded minor leaguer at the time of the deal).

10. Dec. 6, 1976 — Cecil Cooper to Brewers for George Scott and Bernie Carbo

Cooper, at the time, was a young bat with great potential, but the Sox wanted to reacquire the veteran bats of Carbo (traded to Milwaukee just six months earlier) and Scott to add to their potent lineup. They let go of a future five-time All-Star in Cooper, while Carbo and Scott had solid seasons in 1977 but offered little after that.

9. Dec. 7, 1978 — Bill Lee to Expos for Stan Papi

Red Sox management tired of Lee, the odd but productive left-hander who clashed with manager Don Zimmer, and shipped him north of the border. In return they received Papi, who batted an abysmal .188 in 50 games for the Sox in 1979 and was sent to the Phillies in 1980 for catcher Dave Rader. Lee went on to have a solid season in 1979 with Montreal, going 16-10 with a 3.04 ERA, but didn’t do much after that.

8. July 31, 1997 — Heathcliff Slocumb to Mariners for Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe

Looking back on this trade, it’s highway robbery. The Sox sent average closer Slocumb to the Mariners for two guys who became fan favorites soon after. Varitek would man the Boston backstop for almost 15 full years, while Lowe became a standout starter and reliever — including in the 2002 season, when he went 21-7 and finished third in AL Cy Young voting. Both players were a part of the curse-breaking 2004 team, while Slocumb never saved more than 27 games after leaving Boston.

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Read More: adrian gonzalez, Curt Schilling, Dennis Eckersley, Fred Lynn
Red Sox, Dodgers appear close to blockbuster sending Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford to LA for prospects at 7:38 am ET
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The incentive for the Red Sox to steam forward in a sweeping roster overhaul — a potential blockbuster sending first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, right-hander Josh Beckett and outfielder Carl Crawford along with utility infielder Nick Punto to the Dodgers in exchange for first baseman James Loney and multiple prospects — is fairly evident. While a major league source said that a deal is not expected on Friday night, it does appear to be gaining momentum to the point where the two teams have exchanged medical records to review as a prelude to a potential deal, whose logic makes all the sense in the world for a Red Sox team that has fallen out of contention.

It’s no secret: In a 12-month span from Dec. 2009 to Dec. 2010, the Red Sox made a series of calculated, high-risk gambles meant to secure a championship core for the long haul, only to see their bets blow up in spectacular fashion. It started in Dec. 2009, when the team signed John Lackey to a five-year, $82.5 million deal through 2014. That was followed by a four-year, $68 million extension in April 2010 that secured the services of Josh Beckett through 2014. The following offseason, after the Sox missed the playoffs, the team traded for first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and agreed to the parameters of a seven-year, $154 million extension (on top of his $6.3 million salary in 2011) that would keep him in Boston through 2018. And, finally, the Sox signed free agent Carl Crawford to a seven-year, $142 million contract at the Dec. 2010 winter meetings, with the deal running from 2011-17.

For a time, it appeared that the Sox had set themselves up for the long haul. But when the team fell apart last September, missing the playoffs by a game — following a 2011 season in which Crawford and Lackey (who required Tommy John surgery) had performed poorly, and in which Beckett had been viewed as a central culprit in a clubhouse that fell apart, those deals started to look ominous, particularly given all that followed in 2012.

The Sox had little to no flexibility to pursue roster upgrades last offeason, at least in the absence of deals to move salary (such as the one that sent Marco Scutaro to the Rockies so that the team would have money to sign Cody Ross). And so, at a time when pitchers such as Hiroki Kuroda, Edwin Jackson and Roy Oswalt were there for the taking on appealing one-year deals, the Sox did not have the available cash reserves within their payroll to make competitive bids for them. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: adrian gonzalez, allen webster, blockbuster, carl crawford
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