Archives For Boston Red Sox

Former Red Sox pitcher battling cancer

BOSTON — There’s some encouraging news about former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, who is battling cancer.

His wife, Shonda, tweeted a picture of him Tuesday with the caption, “Chemo officially done. Three more days of radiations left.”

Earlier this year, the 47-year-old announced he was being treated for cancer and had undergone surgery.

Schilling has never revealed the exact nature of his illness.

See Photos by clicking here

Bombing survivors and family members walk in from left field.

AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

Home opener Click here to see images from the day.

President Obama Hosts Champion Red Sox

BALTIMORE – Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz acknowledged Wednesday that he has a promotional deal with Samsung but insisted that his selfie with President Barack Obama on Tuesday was spontaneous and not a marketing stunt.

“When people went crazy over that, you don’t get to see anything like that every day,” Ortiz said in the clubhouse before the Red Sox took on the Orioles at Camden Yards. “It wasn’t anything promotional, anything like that. I mean, who knows that you’re going to take a picture with the president? How many people can guarantee that? It was something we don’t even have to talk about.”

Upon being handed an honorary Red Sox jersey by Ortiz at Tuesday’s World Series celebration at the White House, the president pulled Ortiz close to him and motioned toward photographers to “get a good picture.”

After the two posed and photographers started snapping away, Ortiz reached into his pocket and asked, “Do you mind if I take another one, with my own?”

“He wants to do a selfie. It’s the Big Papi selfie,” Obama joked, getting laughs from players and spectators in attendance.

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Ortiz said Wednesday it was a genuine once-in-a-lifetime moment.

“It just came out right in the moment when I gave him the jersey and he asked to take pictures,” Ortiz said. “It was like, ‘Oh, wait a minute, let me see if I can get away with this.’ I was lucky that I was right there. It was fun. It was something I’ll never forget.”

Shortly after Ortiz tweeted the photo, which went out to his more than 630,000 followers and was retweeted nearly 40,000 times, Samsung retweeted it as well. The company later told the Boston Globe it “was an honor to help [Ortiz] capture such an incredible and genuine moment of joy and excitement.”

Manager John Farrell, who found himself in the background of the photo, right between the heads of Ortiz and Obama, said he didn’t find out until Wednesday that the moment might not have been as organic as it appeared.

“At the time I didn’t know it,” Farrell said in his weekly interview on Boston sports radio station WEEI. “No one can get closer to the president [than Ortiz was]. When David was on stage and kind of put his arm around [Obama] and put up a phone, it was only a moment that David Ortiz could seemingly pull off.

“I read about it this morning that this was maybe a little brought along by Samsung. … That didn’t take away from a pretty special day.”

Was Ortiz afraid the Secret Service might pounce on him as he reached into his pocket for his smartphone?

“We were talking about that afterwards,” Ortiz said. “I think it was super cool how everybody at the White House was, how friendly, the person we see on TV, the president we all know, seeing how humble and how cool he was. Every single one of us. It was a great experience. It doesn’t get any better.”

Samsung famously had viral success during the Oscars last month when host Ellen DeGeneres took a star-studded selfie with her Samsung phone. The comedian gathered a gaggle of A-list stars and had Bradley Cooper take the photo of the group, which she captioned, “If only Bradley’s arm was longer. Best photo ever. #oscars”

Less than an hour after she posted it on Twitter, DeGeneres’ photo surpassed the previous record of 780,000 retweets of an Obama tweet after his re-election in 2012. The instantaneous surge even caused technical problems for Twitter.

In March, the president teased DeGeneres about her selfie, calling it a “pretty cheap stunt.”

Extension for one year worth $16 million

Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz watches his second home run of the game off Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price, in front of Rays catcher Jose Molina in the eighth inning in Game 2 of baseball’s American League division series, Oct. 5, 2013, in Boston.

AP Photo/Charles Krupa

BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox and slugger David Ortiz have agreed to a one-year, $16 million contract extension, according to ESPN and reports confirmed by SportsCenter 5′s Mike Lynch.

The deal would keep Ortiz under contract in Boston through the 2015 season.

Ortiz, 38, was in the final year of a $26 million, two-year contract as he enters his 12th season with the Red Sox.

He began last spring training with a heel injury that hobbled him early in the season.

But he finished with a .309 batting average, 30 homers and 103 RBIs. In the six-game World Series victory over the St. Louis Cardinals, he batted .688 and was the MVP.

In 11 seasons with the Red Sox, Ortiz is batting .292 with 373 homers and 1,191 RBIs. That averages out to 34 homers and 108 RBIs per season.

“I think I’m one of the greatest ever to wear this uniform,” Ortiz said in an interview earlier this year. “I don’t like to talk about it, like to sound like that, but sometime you got to let ‘em know. And I think it’s very disrespectful for someone out there to be saying that I’m greedy, that all I want to talk about is contract. When am I going to talk about contract? When I retire?”

New program keeps subways, some buses running until 3 a.m.

BOSTON — State leaders announced Thursday late-night MBTA service for some of its most popular routes.

The new pilot program will keep subways running until 3 a.m. along the 15 most popular bus routes on Saturdays and Sundays. Corporate sponsors, including the Red Sox, will underwrite part of the estimated $21 million cost. Fares will remain the same during the test period.

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“Hospital workers and cleaning service workers and others have asked for it, and because they asked for it, late night service on the T starts in March 28,” Gov. Deval Patrick said.

The announcement was met with cheers, but it’s a one-year pilot program that needs much more than cheers to succeed.

“We need to help the MBTA by encouraging people to take public transportation,” Boston Mayor Martin Walsh said.

The MBTA is training most of the 133 new recruits that will be needed to operate the subways, trolleys and buses.

The extended T-service will not only benefit people working late, but may pave the way for clubs and bars to stay open later — a possibility floated last week by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.

The pilot program will begin the last weekend in March.

Rich Hill’s son Brooks was less than 2 months old

AP Photo/Dave Martin

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Red Sox pitcher Rich Hill starts spring training with a heavy heart.

Hill reported to Boston’s camp on Thursday following the death of son Brooks, who was less than 2 months old when he died on Feb. 24.

“We had a son on Dec. 26 and he was born with multiple issues that we confronted and had to deal with,” Hill said.

“Unfortunately, he succumbed. He’s passed. He taught us a lot of things. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out,” he said.

Photos: 2014 Notable Deaths

Hill got to Fort Myers on Wednesday with wife Caitlin and 2-year-old son Brice. The pitcher is looking forward to baseball’s routine.

“My wife has been extremely strong,” he said. “We’re going to enjoy our time here and obviously make the most of the opportunity that’s here to play baseball.”

“Excited to be here, to be playing baseball again, and get back into the normalcy of my profession and to be around a great group of guys and to just take that next step. One-day-at-a-time approach, that’s where we’re at, to really enjoy every day,: he said.

An outpouring of support has helped him through the ordeal.

“Extended family, at Mass General, everybody there has been tremendous,” he said. “The doctors, the nurses, and everybody who cared for our son.”

A left-hander who turns 34 on Tuesday, Hill rejoined the Red Sox on Feb. 1 and is at spring training with a minor league contract. He was 2-0 with a 1.14 ERA in 40 appearances with the Red Sox from 2010-12.

Hill is 24-22 with a 4.74 ERA in nine big league seasons with the Chicago Cubs, Red Sox, Cleveland and Baltimore, making 70 starts and 111 relief appearances.

A native of Milton, Mass., who lives in South Boston, Hill said proximity to his family factored into his decision to sign with the Red Sox.

“Fortunately, had the opportunity to come back. The Red Sox have been tremendous through this whole part of our life,” he said. “They were absolutely fabulous. It was 100 percent support all the way.”

Hill was 1-2 with a 6.28 ERA in 63 appearances for the Indians last season. He is competing for a job with fellow lefties Craig Breslow, Drake Britton, Chris Capuano and Andrew Miller, who are all on the 40-man roster, and Jose Mijares, who also has a minor league contract.

“The opportunity is here for myself to make the most of it,” Hill said, “and go out there and do everything that I can on a daily basis to perform.”

Players’ perk may come to an end 
Fenway Park

Flickr: Jared Vincent

BOSTON — For decades, Boston Red Sox players, their families and team staff have had free parking on a public street abutting Fenway Park on game days.

That perk may soon come to an end.

New Mayor Martin Walsh’s administration is reviewing a deal agreed to by the previous administration and may ask the Red Sox to pay for use of Van Ness Street on game days.

The Red Sox say former owner Tow Yawkey signed a deal with the city in 1945 allowing for the game-day closure of Van Ness Street, although there appears to be no paper records of the pact.

The team also says it’s a public safety issue, allowing ambulances easy access to Fenway along Van Ness and giving players safe access to the park.

Lucchino: Red Sox, Yankees ‘very different animals’

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Boston Red Sox president Larry Lucchino views the big-spending New York Yankees and his more frugal team as “very different animals.”

The Red Sox won the World Series last year after signing several key players to short-term deals. The Yankees spent this offseason giving out expensive, long-term contracts in hopes of catching their rivals.

“We’re very different animals. I’m proud of that difference,” Lucchino said Friday after Boston’s spring training workout. “I always cringe when people lump us together. Other baseball teams sometimes do that. They are still, this year at least, relying heavily on their inimitable old-fashioned Yankee style of high-priced, long-term free agents. And I can’t say I wish them well. But I think that we have taken a different approach.”

After finishing in last place in the AL East in 2012, Bobby Valentine’s only year as manager, the Red Sox signed Shane Victorino for three years, Jonny Gomes for two and Mike Napoli and Stephen Drew for one. Under new manager John Farrell, who had been general manager Ben Cherington’s choice in 2012 while Lucchino preferred Valentine, Boston won its third championship in 10 years.

Lucchino’s remarks Friday were much milder than when he called the Yankees the “Evil Empire” several years ago.

“I feel bad for Larry,” Yankees president Randy Levine responded. “He constantly sees ghosts and is spooked by the Yankees. But I can understand why. Two years ago, under his and Bobby Valentine’s plan, the Red Sox were a last-place team.”

“Ben Cherington and the Red Sox did a great job in winning the World Series last year, but I’m confident that (general manager Brian Cashman, manager Joe Girardi) and our players are ready to compete with a great Red Sox team to a win a world championship.”

During the offseason, the Yankees signed former Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury for seven years at $153 million and right-hander Masahiro Tanaka for seven years at $155 million. They also added catcher Brian McCann (five years, $85 million) and outfielder Carlos Beltran (three years, $45 million). They also let second baseman Robinson Cano go to Seattle on a 10-year, $240 million deal.

“If you compare what we did last year in the offseason to what they’ve done this year, there’s quite a contrast there,” Lucchino said.

But he wouldn’t rule out signing “a star in his prime” to a rich, long-term contract.

“The Yankees do it more often, it seems to me,” Lucchino said, “as a matter of course. And for us it would be more the exception than the rule.”

It was hardly an exception after the 2010 season.

The Red Sox signed free agent outfielder Carl Crawford to a $142 million, seven-year contract and traded for first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who had one year and $6.3 million left on his contract with San Diego. In April, they gave him a $154 million, seven-year extension. But they traded both to the Los Angeles Dodgers late in August 2012 while the Red Sox were headed for a 69-93 finish.

After winning the World Series last October, Boston’s most expensive addition was catcher A.J. Pierzynski for one year at $8.5 million.

The next significant deal likely will involve David Ortiz. In the last year of a two-year, $30 million contract, the designated hitter wants a one-year extension.

The Red Sox met Thursday with Ortiz and his agent, Fern Cuza.

“We are obviously not going to talk about the negotiations in any public way,” Lucchino said, “but we did have a chance to see David yesterday and have a conversation with him. Other than that, we’re going to give it the priority that it deserves.”

He said it’s “not impossible” that Ortiz could play elsewhere, but “we’re eager to resolve something if it can be done.”

Lucchino also questioned whether commissioner Bud Selig would go through with his plan to retire after this season.

“He knows that some of us believe that the pressures for him to stay will be so great that he will have to accede to them,” Lucchino said.

Fans take pictures with World Series trophies 

BOSTON — Hundreds lined up early outside of Fenway Park to watch the Red Sox load up trucks bound for spring training. Known as “Truck Day,” it’s become a fan favorite and tradition.

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“It’s better than Groundhog Day. It’s the new New England Groundhog Day,” said Joseph Cornelius, who traveled from Worcester.

Workers loaded moving vans with equipment for the nearly 1,500-mile trek to JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Fla., the team’s spring training complex.

“Every season is just something to look forward to,” said Mary Francis MacFadyen, who made the trip for the first time from Maine. “Obviously you know what you want at the end of the season. But you just want to enjoy the season.”

Although Truck Day has been happening for years, it began to gain popularity more than a decade ago. Now, the Red Sox brings in a band and allow fans the chance to take a picture with all three World Series trophies.

AP Photo

BOSTON —Former Boston Red Sox pitcher and current ESPN baseball analyst Curt Schilling has been diagnosed with cancer.

“I’ve always believed life is about embracing the gifts and rising up to meet the challenges,” Schilling said in a statement released by ESPN. “We’ve been presented with another challenge, as I’ve recently been diagnosed with cancer.”

It was not immediately clear what type of cancer Schilling was diagnosed with.

Photos: Curt Schilling through the years

Schilling, 47, pitched in the majors for 20 seasons for the Baltimore Orioles, Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, Arizona Diamondbacks and Boston Red Sox. The six-time All-Star finished with a record of 216-146 and a 3.46 ERA. His 3,116 strikeouts rank 15th all time.

Last year, Schilling told The Boston Globe he had a heart attack in November 2011 and had surgery to place a stent in one of his arteries.

He said he experienced chest pains while watching his wife, Shonda, run in the New York City Marathon.

Shonda Schilling also battled cancer after being diagnosed with stage 2 malignant melanoma in 2001.

“Shonda and I want to send a sincere thank you and our appreciation to those who have called and sent prayers, and we ask that if you are so inclined, to keep the Schilling family in your prayers,” Schilling said.

In December, ESPN announced that Schilling would be part of its “Sunday Night Baseball” broadcast team for the upcoming season. It also announced a multiyear contract extension with him.

“Our thoughts are with Curt and his family during this challenging time,” ESPN said in a statement. “His ESPN teammates wish him continued strength in his cancer fight and we look forward to welcoming him back to our baseball coverage whenever he’s ready.”


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