Tag:David Ortiz
Posted on: August 23, 2010 4:02 pm
Edited on: August 23, 2010 7:07 pm
 

Report: Red Sox claim Johnny Damon

Johnny Damon Could the Caveman be headed back to his old haunts?

The Red Sox claimed Johnny Damon on waivers Monday, giving the team 48 hours to get Damon back into a Red Sox uniform as Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports .

Damon, of course, is perhaps best known for two things: his time in a Red Sox uniform where he banded together with other "Idiots" and won a World Series in 2004. He's also renowned for saying he would never play for the Yankees, then doing just that and nabbing a championship ring in 2009.

In his first year with the Tigers, Damon has split time between left field and designated hitter, hitting .270/.355/.409 and proving he's still got some thump left in the bat as a 36-year-old. Damon is finishing up a $8 million deal, meaning the Red Sox would have to assume just over a million left on the salary -- and perhaps some players, if the Tigers won't deal Damon without getting names in return.

Detroit is 11 games out of first place, essentially done for the season. They are expected to make Brandon Inge and Jhonny Peralta available through waiver deals as well. It's possible the Tigers would revoke trade waivers on Damon if they can't get anything beyond salary relief, but for a team out of the race and in a city with plenty of economic struggles, it's hard to imagine the Tigers not forking Damon over.

Damon has played just two games in the field since July 28, serving as the team's primary DH, so Damon isn't exactly required for outfield depth. The Tigers could DH Carlos Guillen when he returns from the disabled list or give both Ryan Raburn and Brennan Boesch full time duty. As for Damon in Boston, he would replace the motley crew of Daniel Nava, Bill Hall and Darnell McDonald, taking over left-field duties.

As Sherman notes , Damon said last season he would not consider returning to the Red Sox because of his experience moving from Boston to New York and not wanting to go through that another time. However, that was before the Yankees didn't bring Damon back, who willingly letting him go while the Red Sox chased his services. In addition, it's been proven that Damon doesn't always stick to his word. The chance for Damon to go back to his old stomping grounds and try to engineer another comeback will be very difficult for him to turn down.

And yet, he may not be inclined to do just that, as AOL Fanhouse's Ed Price reports .

The Red Sox certainly hope he changes his mind, however. Boston's left-field combo of Nava, Hall and McDonald is not enough to vault the team solidly into contention with an upcoming series against the Rays. Nava is a great story, but has struggled in his last 10 games, hitting .158. In addition, Nava hasn't proved himself on the major-league stage yet, while Damon doesn't blanch from the bright lights.

As for Hall, he would certainly lose playing time but would at least be in a time share with Jed Lowrie at second -- not to mention that Damon probably wouldn't be a full-time player with the terrible defense he brings to the game these days. Darnell McDonald (especially against left-handers) and Bill Hall would still see ample time in left, mostly in parks with a large left field as opposed to the Green Monster at Fenway.

Can you imagine Damon's return to Fenway Park? One thing's for sure: the boos would become cheers -- especially if Damon brings back the famed beard.

-- Evan Brunell

UPDATE: Even if Damon is undecided, David Ortiz isn't. Ortiz gave his unconditional support to a Damon resurrection in Boston.

Ortiz said to reporters (via the Boston Herald ): "Let me call him right now. … That would be great, man. You know Johnny. Johnny’s a fun person to be around. I’m pretty sure he’d be excited to be back. For all those people that did him wrong, he could put that back together — make 'em forget about the Yankees.”

Catcher Jason Varitek said Damon is a "special player" and "one hell of a teammate."

UPDATE: Damon said he won't be thinking about his future during tonight's game (for the Tigers, by the way): "I promise I won't think about it during the game. I'll think about trying to get hits and stuff." (Via MLB.com's Jason Beck's Twitter .)

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .


Posted on: July 16, 2010 11:23 pm
 

Padres, Gonzalez haven't discussed extension

Every story you read about the Padres at the midpoint note the team isn't trading Adrian Gonzalez before the deadline now that San Diego finds itself leading the National League West, but Gonzalez's future with the team is all but assured.

Gonzalez is a free agent after the season -- the reason most expected him to be dealt before the deadline if the Padres had performed down to their expected level. A native of San Diego, Gonzalez has expressed his desire to remain with his hometown team, but for a team not known to spend a lot of money, the possibility of that is still unsure.

It would make sense that if the Padres wanted to keep Gonzalez in town, they'd make their best offer before other teams had a chance. But the North County Times ' Dan Hayes tweets the Padres have not had any talk with Gonzalez about an extension. Gonzalez said at the All-Star Game that he's hoping for an eight-year deal.

The problem could be that the Yankees have already signed Mark Teixeira to an eight-year, $180 million deal, taking one of the big spenders out of the running. Boston has Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz as the first base/designated hitter combo and Kendry Morales looks to be a fixture in Anaheim, leaving most of the usual high-bidders out of the picture, which is what the Padres may be banking on happening.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Posted on: July 15, 2010 9:59 am
Edited on: July 15, 2010 11:17 am
 

Thumb kept A-Rod on All-Star bench

Alex Rodriguez Trailing 3-1, your slowest player leads off the ninth with a single.

You pinch run for him, right? It's a no-brainer for even a rec league softball manager. So what was Alex Rodriguez, the last man on the bench for the American League in Tuesday's All-Star Game, doing riding the pine as David Ortiz, who moves with all the grace of a box turtle, got himself thrown out on the basepaths? Or while Adrian Beltre, suffering from a hamstring injury, hit? Or while John Buck, a lifetime .239 batter, hit with home-field advantage in the World Series on the line?

Turns out, as first reported by SI.com, that Rodriguez had a "slightly sore" right thumb and wasn't going to be put into the game except in an emergency.

"We weren't going to push it," a team source said. "Four days off for our big guy."

Which begs several questions.

Why was Rodriguez even there? He wasn't selected by the fans or the players, he was hand-picked by Girardi, the one man who should have known if Rodriguez needed the break.

And if he knew Rodriguez was unavailable, why did Girardi burn through all 11 of his other reserve offensive players instead of saving someone to pinch hit or pinch run late?

Even if the thumb thing cropped up late or the benching was an order from the Yankees, why didn't Girardi replace him on the roster? Rodriguez still would have gotten credit for an All-Star selection.

"Michael Young should have been here then," one player told SI, referring to the Rangers' third baseman.

"It's a Yankee thing," said another, shaking his head and laughing.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 12, 2010 8:27 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:18 am
 

Home Run Derby blog: Big Papi victorious

David Ortiz The 2010 Home Run Derby kicks off with four American League competitors trying to take out the National League competitors and establish some momentum heading into the All-Star Game Tuesday night.

The AL does battle with Miguel Cabrera, David Ortiz, Nick Swisher and Vernon Wells while the NL will answer with Corey Hart, Matt Holliday, Hanley Ramirez and Chris Young .

CHAMPION : David Ortiz. Eight, 13, 11 home runs by round, respectively. His 32 total blasts place him third on the list for most total home runs in a Home Run Derby. Bobby Abreu's 41 in 2005 and Josh Hamilton's 35 in 2008 are the top two.

Ortiz was most appreciative of the fans, saying that the players want to give the fans a good experience to thank them for following the team. He called Ramirez "a son" to him, saying "the longer he is here, I will be a mentor to him."

THIRD ROUND

Hanley Ramirez - 6

Hanley Ramirez couldn't find the magic even after David Ortiz gave him a mid-round hug, and Big Papi is the Home Run Derby champion.

Ramirez started off with two outs before blasting a 449-foot shot, but followed that up with two more outs to dig himself a big hole. He was able to start sending balls to the rocks in center field -- at one point ripping off consecutive shots -- but then fell back into a slump with two outs, making poor contact each time. That sparked the pep talk from Big Papi, but could only muster one more home run the rest of the way.

David Ortiz - 11

Hanley Ramirez has his work cut out for him, as Big Papi cranked 11 home runs in the final round. That's tied for the most in the final round, and Papi peppered the right-field bleachers with his longest blast in the right-field well, 450 feet away.

Papi continued his tradition of taking a drink and towel midway through but still couldn't recover his energy. He dinged three homers after the respite, but that's enough to get a comfortable lead over the Florida shortstop. Win or lose, it was a very impressive showing for the DH who has shown that he really is back to being a self-titled "bad man."

SECOND ROUND

Corey Hart - 0 (13)

Well, that was anti-climatic. After the possibility of a Hanley Ramirez-David Ortiz tiebreaker to see who advances to the finals, Corey Hart followed up with a disappointing oh-fer.

"I don't feel too tired but it was a long break and I wasn't able to get my body back [to where he could hit home runs again,]" Hart told a reporter after his second-round performance.

Ortiz and Ramirez will square off in the finals next.

Hanley Ramirez - 12 (21)

Hanley Ramirez certainly didn't go quietly, bashing 13 home runs to tie Big Papi at 21 home runs apiece, meaning Corey Hart needs to boom at least nine to assure himself of a place in the finals.

After two outs, Ramirez decided that the center left-field bullpen and rocks had angered him and pummeled them without mercy. He amassed five home runs before turning his attention to left field and cranking a 476-foot blast followed by a 465-foot bomb. He then eked one over the left-field bleachers by the foul pole for a puny 373-foot home run. After seven straight home runs, he took several pitches before launching his final homer of the round to tie Big Papi.

Miguel Cabrera - 5 (12)

Miguel Cabrera only hit five home runs and won't reach the final round as he couldn't even combine to defeat Corey Hart's first-round total. However, he had some doozies, denting the rocks in center field with the farthest going 474 feet. An ice-cold streak halts his night, however

David Ortiz - 13 (21)

David Ortiz just put on an incredible power display, bashing 12 home runs with his longest going 478 feet. He made his living hanging around right-center field and the right-field well, chipping in a 413-foot wraparound of the right-field foul pole at one point. With five outs and nine homers in the bank, Ortiz grabbed a drink and towel but couldn't sustain his barrage, "just" hitting four bombs the rest of the way.

Ortiz stuck to pulling the ball, averaging 420 feet with his homers. Only his second home run of the day has been on the left side of center field. Big Papi seems near guaranteed to reach the finals now, but there's still plenty more Home Run Derby to be had.

FIRST ROUND

Miguel Cabrera - 7

Miguel Cabrera, a veritable Triple Crown candidate, will finish off the first round by stepping to the plate with 22 long balls on the season. He got things started with what seemed to be a requisite first round. He then rocked four straight home runs, the farthest going in deep left at 469 feet. It's not the farthest homer he would blast, however, which went 476 feet. It looked like he'd be stuck on six after four straight outs to take him to eight outs, but blasted one more to solidify his ranking in the second round.

It's Corey Hart, David Ortiz, Hanley Ramirez and Cabrera who advance.

Hanley Ramirez - 9

Hanley Ramirez gets things started with a home run to center as Will Ferrell is delivering plenty of punch lines on the air as an announcer, complimenting the broadcasters for their difficult job as HanRam rips off three straight outs before skying a 417-foot fly for his second homer.

Ramirez then put on a power display, jacking three straight with a deep fly of 472 feet. He spread his homers between left and center and took a cue from Big Papi by summoning a drink and towel -- except earlier in the round than Ortiz did. The renewed strength got Ramirez to power past Big Papi for nine total home runs, popping a 462-foot and 455-foot home run as part of his barrage, causing Ferrell to claim "If that ball wasn't hit hard, I'm Santa Claus!"

David Ortiz - 8

David Ortiz, continuing his resurrection from a pitiful April, blasts eight home runs and is in prime position entering the second round. Hitting off of Yankees coach Tony Pena who also delivered to Swisher, Ortiz' first fly came after one out and was straight away into the rocks after initially looking it would die a quick death.

His next swing saw his farthest pitch, a 440-foot shot, end up in right field before getting friendly with the area by the right-field foul pole. His next four home runs spread over four outs were in the vicinity of the foul pole. Ortiz, wearing padded cleats to protect his feet in case of foul balls, then moved over to traditional right field for his remaining home runs. After eight outs, he grabbed a towel and drink although it didn't do any good as he registered two outs.

Matt Holliday - 5

It looked like Matt Holliday was going to follow in the footsteps of Chris Young with just one home run a 434-foot bomb to left field once he reached nine outs. However, he took a liking to the gold ball and ripped four consecutive home runs which may be enough to land him in the second round.

He skied an absolute bomb over the left-field foul pole, going an impressive 497 feet and drawing quite the impression from teammate Albert Pujols who was on the sidelines. Two of his home runs landed in the bullpen and averaged 441 feet, the longest average to date.

Nick Swisher - 4

Nick Swisher -- who, let's be honest, shouldn't have beaten Kevin Youkilis in the Final Vote -- cranked four home runs to pull into second place on the leaderboard. The switch-hitter batted lefty, where he has had the most success in the power department over his career.

He got things started with a 424-foot home run pulled into the left-field bleachers and wrapped one around the foul pole as well to jump out to two home runs against one out. He'd crank just two the rest of the way, although he did bomb a 440-foot home run. Eyeing several balls with eight outs left wasn't enough as a fly ball dies at the wall to finish the first round for Swish.

Corey Hart - 13

Corey Hart certainly put on a show, registering back-to-back deep flies after his first out to immediately pull even within Vernon Wells for the lead in the Home Run Derby.

He then tacked on three additional home runs before his second out. He flashed tremendous opposite-field power on his third and fourth blasts, knocking homers over 420 feet away. His deepest home run was his ninth, just after eking a 382-foot shot into the bullpens in left field. This one went into deep left at 464 feet but he wasn't done with the long bombs. He skied a 459-foot shot, lined an out into center then rapped a 453-foot bomb. He ended his barrage with a 451-foot drive into the rocks in center field and finished with an average of 433-foot home runs.

Vernon Wells - 2

Vernon Wells ripped some traditional big flies, but most didn't have much juice on it. He received a gift with his first home run after three outs when a fan caught a 361-foot homer by sticking his glove out over the fence, much to Wells' amusement. He then skied some shots dying at the warning track before ripping the most legitimate home run of the night, a 428-foot blast.

That's all Wells can do, however, and takes quite the imposing lead with two home runs. While most of Young's shots were liners, Wells at least had the pretty looping fly ball, just not enough distance.

Chris Young - 1

Young could only grab a single home run, going 410 feet after notching two outs. The outfielder predominantly pulled the ball but could only get major air on the lone home run, the rest dying out as liners. Several went foul, a groundball was mixed in there and the only ball not to be pulled was on the last out of round one when Young skied one to center field.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.



Posted on: July 8, 2010 10:57 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2010 10:59 pm
 

Ramirez might back out of Derby

Hanley Ramirez If this trend continues, will anyone be willing to compete in the Home Run Derby a few years from now?

Hours after Hanley Ramirez was announced as a participant in next week's event, the Marlins shortstop said Thursday night he was pulling out. Then he changed his mind back. Halfway.

"I'm not doing that," Ramirez told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "I'm going to cancel it." A few moments later he said it was "50-50."

Ramirez said he was worried about how participating might affect his swing in the second half, a sentiment that's getting very familiar.

It doesn't seem like participating in one unconventional batting practice, which is essentially what the Derby is, could throw off a player's swing on a long-term basis, but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence of the "Derby curse," and participating is becoming seen as a real risk.

Where sluggers used to clamor to get into the showcase, baseball seems to have more trouble filling the field every year. And teams are telling players not to participate, as the Yankees did this week with Robinson Cano.

At the moment, assuming Ramirez is in, he's on the NL squad with Corey Hart and Matt Holliday. The AL squad is Miguel Cabrera, David Ortiz and Vernon Wells. Both leagues still need to add one hitter. If they can find one.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.



Posted on: July 7, 2010 10:42 am
Edited on: July 7, 2010 3:11 pm
 

Yankees not happy with Cano's Derby debut

Robinson Cano Teams don't get to choose whether their players participate in the Home Run Derby.

That doesn't mean they have to like it.

Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano will be one of eight players in the hitting contest next Monday, but the team would prefer he weren't involved. There is mounting anecdotal evidence that participating in the Derby -- which involves repeating an unnatural, go-for-the-fences swing dozens of times -- can have lasting effects on a player.

In 2008, Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton put on an amazing display at the Derby, hitting a record 28 home runs in the first round. His home run production took a pronounced drop, 21 in the first half of the season and just 11 in the second, and Hamilton has said the Home Run Derby threw off his swing. Bobby Abreu and Albert Pujols have similarly slumped and said the Derby affected them.

More and more players are declining Derby invitations, but Cano couldn't resist the chance to take center stage. He'll be joined by Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers, David Ortiz of the Red Sox, Vernon Wells of the Blue Jays, Corey Hart of the Brewers and Matt Holliday of the Cardinals. The National League has yet to name its two other participants.

"I would prefer he's not involved in it, but that's not my decision," Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long said of Cano in the New York Daily News. "History suggests that guys that do the home run hitting contest get fatigued and exhausted from the process. I'm happy for the fact that he's maybe getting the opportunity, but in the same breath we have to be careful in how he goes about this."

Cano has said he's just going to take the normal swings he would take in batting practice, and manager Joe Girardi hopes that's true.

"I think it's a lot of swings for a player; physically, I think it's somewhat of a grind, but it's an honor to be involved," Girardi said. "The biggest thing is that we keep Robinson Cano healthy and strong the whole year. If that in any way would fatigue him, then I would prefer that he didn't get fatigued."

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.


Posted on: July 6, 2010 6:43 pm
 

Six confirmed for derby


Corey Hart Six players have confirmed that they don't fear the Home Run Derby curse and will take part in the exhibition on Monday.

It's not like there were going to draft people, but Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano, David Ortiz, Vernon Wells, Corey Hart and Matt Holliday are in.

Albert Pujols has already said he's not interested, as has Josh Hamilton, who suffered the curse two years ago.

Unfortunately, Chris Berman hasn't suffered said curse, so we're stuck with his yelling for another year.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 5, 2010 6:57 pm
Edited on: July 5, 2010 11:45 pm
 

Big Papi would play in Home Run Derby

David Ortiz If MLB comes calling for David Ortiz to play in the Home Run Derby, they'll get a good answer.

"Yeah, I'll do it," Ortiz told Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald on whether he'd participate.

These days, players are skittish of participating in the Home Run Derby due to a recent trend of participants experiencing a homer drought in the second half.

Perhaps the player that started it all was Bobby Abreu in 2005. He entered the Derby having cranked 18 home runs. He put on a dazzling power display in Detroit and won the Derby with 41 total home runs. He then finished up the season with a scant six home runs. Other players such as David Wright (2006) and Josh Hamilton (2008) have fallen victim to the curse.

If Ortiz participates, is he concerned about the Derby curse?

"Not me," Ortiz said. "It’s what I do for a living. Hit bombs."

Classic Papi.

Ortiz was named to his sixth All-Star Game on Sunday after being voted in by players. After an awful April, Big Papi has climbed to a season line of .259/.364/.556. His 17 jacks are good for seventh in the American League with Jose Bautista's 21 leading the pack.

Adrian Beltre was also asked if he would participate, and he said he would not, citing the Derby curse.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.



Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com