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April 10, 2006
Mohr getting the call
PAWTUCKET _ With the way Willie Harris played center field for the Pawtucket Red Sox last night, one would have thought he would be the guy called up to replace the injured Coco Crisp.
That isn't the case.
After the PawSox suffered a 5-0 defeat to the Rochester Red Wings last night at McCoy Stadium, outfielder Dustan Mohr, who is 2-for-15 in Pawtucket, was called in to the manager's office and told by Ron Johnson he is heading to Boston.
"I'm excited to have the opportunity," said Mohr, who started last night's game as the PawSox' designated hitter but was pulled in the bottom of the eighth inning. "It's kind of a bittersweet thing because you hate to get called up because of an injury, but on the other hand I'm excited. This is the reason I signed with Boston, to be a Red Sox. I'm ready to go up there and do what they ask me to do."
Over the weekend he talk about how disappointed he was about being in the minors, but his tone after last night's game was completely different.
"It's gratifying," he said. "There's nothing wrong with playing in Triple-A. There are players here who can play in the major leagues tomorrow or yesterday, but sometimes you have to be patient. I will admit I'm not a patient person by nature, I have never been. I'm just thankful to have the opportunity to go back and be in the big leagues, especially with a team like the Red Sox."
He said the first phone call he was going to make was to his wife back home in Denver. The couple is expecting their first child in a couple of weeks.
Harris turned in two tremendous defensive plays.
He provided the season's first defensive gem in the top of the fifth inning. Rochester's Jason Hart lifted a high fly ball to the warning track in straight-away center and Harris snared it with a tremendous over the shoulder leaping catch.
Harris topped it in the top of the seventh inning with probably one of the best catches in recent history at McCoy Stadium. With no outs and a runner on first, Wings' Jason Bartlett crushed a ball to straight-away center. Harris was in a full sprint heading right towards the 400 mark when he dove, made the catch and drilled the wall head-first.
He said after the game the news of Crisp's injury was not a motivational factor for his performance last night.
"That's the way I play regardless of the situation is," he said. "I knew about (the Crisp) situation, but that's not why I'm out there running after the ball like I'm doing. That's just in me to be competitive and try to let your pitchers know you'll run through the wall for them, regardless of what the score is or what the situation is. You still have to play the game right."
Posted by Joe McDonald at 10:33 PM | Permalink
PawSox pitcher Jon Lester is struggling in his Triple-A debut. The rookie left-hander has thrown 53 pitches through two innings of work against the Rochester Red Wings. He's allowed one run on three hits so far.
PawSox manager Ron Johnson has just given Lester the hook with one out in the top of the third inning. He finishes with 59 pitches, one under the scheduled pitch count. He threw 33 strikes and 26 balls. His line: 2 1/3 innings, 3 hits, 1 run (earned), 3 walks, 3 strikeouts.
Lefty Mike Bumatay has entered the game.
Posted by Joe McDonald at 6:43 PM | Permalink
Photo: A deal to smile about
AP photo/Charles Krupa
Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, left, smiles as he sits with the team's executive vice president and general manager Theo Epstein this afternoon after the announcement of Ortiz's contract extension. The four-year deal comes five months after the player finished as runner-up for the American League MVP award.
Posted by Andrea Panciera at 5:47 PM | Permalink
Ortiz signs on to 4 more years in Boston
AP file photo
David Ortiz is congratulated by Mark Loretta after slamming a home run in the season opener last week in Texas.
Red Sox management today annouced that the club has reached a four-year contract extension with designated hitter David Ortiz, a deal that will keep one of the team's most popular players in Boston through at least the 2010 season. The agreement with the 30-year-old Ortiz, who is known for his history of clutch hits, includes an option for the 2011 season. The contract is reportedly worth more than $12 million a season; Ortiz is under contract to make about half that this year.
Ortiz appeared at the press conference at Fenway Park, where the Sox play their first home game tomorrow, alongside team principal owner John Henry and top club executives Larry Lucchino, Tom Werner and Theo Epstein. Lucchino and Epstein said the club contacted Ortiz during the offseason about extending his contract, and that Ortiz was very receptive. Henry said the slugger expressed a fondness for the city of Boston and Red Sox fans that Henry had not encountered in negotiations with any other player.
In the past, the club has been hesitant to sign on to expensive long-term deals with players such as Pedro Martinez and Johnny Damon. But Epstein said the timing was right with Ortiz. He said that if Ortiz had reached free agency, the slugger would undoubtedly have had many generous offers from other teams. Under the team's spending philosophy, Epstein said, "we didn't think we'd be able to keep David if he got to free agency."
Ortiz -- dressed nattily in a dark, pinstriped suit with a matching hat, gleaming chain and earrings -- said he hoped the announcement of his extension would cheer Red Sox Nation. He said he is proud to be a Red Sox player and wants to finish his career with the club.
Ortiz joined the Red Sox in 2003 as an unheralded player who had been nontendered by the Minnesota Twins. In Boston, he has been a star with a penchant for delivering game-changing hits. He was the MVP of the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees in 2004, delivering two game-winning hits, and was the runner-up for American League Most Valuable Player last year. He has played in the last two All-Star Games, last year as a starter.
He hit .288 with 31 home runs in 2003; .301 with 41 home runs in 2004; and .300 with 47 home runs last year. Through six games this season, he's hitting .292 with a home run and 4 RBIs.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 3:51 PM | Permalink
Crisp has fractured finger, out indefinitely
The Red Sox this afternoon announced that outfielder Coco Crisp has a fractured finger and will be sidelined for an indefinite period. The press release:
Boston Red Sox Medical Director Dr. Thomas Gill this afternoon issued the following statement regarding the condition of outfielder Coco Crisp:
“Coco has a non-displaced fracture at the base of his left index finger,” said Gill. “He will be placed in a splint for 10 days and reevaluated at that time. Once sufficient healing has occurred, Coco can begin batting and return to baseball activities. No surgery is indicated at this time.”
Crisp injured the finger during the top of the third inning Saturday at Baltimore. He is batting .333 (8-for-24) with a double, triple and six runs scored in five games this season.
Posted by Art at 3:02 PM | Permalink
Sox expected to announce Ortiz contract extension at 3 p.m.
The Red Sox have called a press conference for 3 p.m. today at Fenway Park, where they are expected to announce that David Ortiz has agreed to a contract extension.
The Sox would not say what the press conference will address, but did say that Ortiz, general manager Theo Epstein, principal owner John Henry and other members of the management team will be in attendance.
Posted by Art at 12:50 PM | Permalink
Team won't comment on Crisp injury reports
A Boston Red Sox team spokesman last night would not confirm or deny television reports that center fielder Coco Crisp has a broken index finger and could miss a month or more of action, according to a story on mlb.com. Boston's Channel 7 (WHDH) reported the broken-finger story last night, saying that Crisp could be out for a month. This morning, Dan Roche of Channel 4 in Boston had an even more discouraging take, saying that the injury could cause Crisp to miss six to eight weeks.
Crisp sat out yesterday's game in what the club said was a precautionary move. The fleet-footed Crisp jammed a finger sliding into third base during Saturday night's win at Baltimore. He was replaced yesterday by Adam Stern, who knocked in two runs as the Sox completed a three-game sweep of the Orioles. Crisp said before yesterday's game that he could have played if needed, and the club had not at that point taken x-rays.
In five games, Crisp has batted .333 while showing speed on the basepaths and skill with the glove. He has given fans early reason to be optimistic that losing Johnny Damon to the Yankees might not be such a big handicap. If Crisp does miss significant time, however, the club's center-field options would appear to be limited. They have Stern, who has never been a regular big-league starter. Wily Mo Pena has also played at the position, but he is considered a defensive liability.
In other Red Sox news today, The Boston Herald is reporting that a contract extension with slugger David Ortiz could be announced as soon as today. A similar claim was made two weeks ago on Spanish-language ESPN Deportes. The Herald says the extension would be for four years at more than $12 million a season.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 9:40 AM | Permalink