The Boston Red Sox housecleaning/blame game continued when Dave Page, a Maine native, was fired as the team’s strength and conditioning coach.

Page, 47, had been with the Red Sox for six years. But because of a September collapse by the team, coupled with rumors about out-of-shape and apathetic players, Page’s work suddenly was questioned.

Page grew up in Fairfield, played baseball for the University of Southern Maine, and once interned with the Portland Sea Dogs.

He has two World Series rings, with Boston in 2007 and with Arizona in 2001.

Efforts to reach Page weren’t successful.

He told Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe that he was surprised by the firing and didn’t get an opportunity to defend himself to the new general manager, Ben Cherington.

“I never got a chance. That’s just the way it is,” Page told the Globe. “But when things happen like what happened to the team, people feel like they need to make changes.”

CATCHER JARROD Saltalamacchia will be the featured guest, along with Red Sox and former Sea Dogs outfielder Josh Reddick, at the Portland Sea Dogs’ annual hot stove dinner Jan. 13 at the Marriott Hotel in South Portland.

Tickets are $50 and include a signed photo of Saltalamacchia — the photos are 8×10; as if that name would fit on anything smaller. Proceeds go to the Strike Out Cancer in Kids Program.

For more information, call 879-9500 or visit www.seadogs.com.

THE BOBBLEHEAD give-aways for next year have been determined for the Sea Dogs season. The four dolls will be Josh Beckett (May 8), Jacoby Ellsbury (June 19), Dustin Pedroia (July 2) and Slugger (Aug. 23).

And, yes, there will be plenty of jokes about the Beckett doll holding a bucket of chicken.

SEA DOGS PROMOTIONS for next year have been announced. Among the new events will be a fleece blanket giveaway for the homer opener April 1), which might get immediate use that night; the give away of one headstone on April 17, which is tax day — the only two certain things in life are death and taxes, get it?; and appearances by actor Dennis Haskins (Mr. Belding) on April 27 and pro wrestler Sergeant Slaughter on July 24.

Returning promotions include the appearance of a New England Patriots player on Patriots Day; the Zooperstars (July 12); Field of Dreams (Sept. 2); and fireworks (May 18, June 21, July 3, July 25 and Aug. 16).

PAST AND FUTURE Sea Dogs were named player of the year in their leagues, in announcements made by the Topps company and minor league baseball.

Former Sea Dogs outfielder Chih-Hsien Chiang was named the Eastern League player of the year after hitting .340 with 18 home runs and 76 RBI. He was traded July 31 to the Mariners in the Erik Bedard deal.

Greenville Drive outfielder Brandon Jacobs was chosen the South Atlantic League’s top player.

Jacobs, who turns 21 next month, batted .303 with 17 home runs and 80 RBI. He likely will begin next year in advanced Class A Salem. A late-season promotion to Portland is possible.

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at: [email protected]

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