Red Sox ortiz Baseball

Hall of Famer David Ortiz played with new Red Sox boss Craig Breslow in 2013 when Boston won the World Series. Ortiz is confident Breslow can build the Sox into a winner. John Minchillo/Associated Press

Hall of Famer David Ortiz has watched his former team, the Boston Red Sox, stumble to consecutive last-place finishes in three of the last four seasons.

Now he believes his old teammate, recently hired Chief Baseball Officer Craig Breslow, can turn things around by going away from analytics somewhat.

“I heard yesterday that he’s trying to shut down a little bit of the analytic side and going back to the old-fashioned part of the game,” Ortiz said in an interview with The Associated Press from his golf tourney – the 15th annual David Ortiz Celebrity Golf Classic – in Marco Island, Florida.

“I think that’s a good way to start. I think the game has transformed everything to analytics and, at the end of the day, analytics can only cover so much,” he said. “You need to have people with heart, people with spirit, people that have been in the situation that can give some guidance to the young blood and teach them how to put up with situations.”

Ortiz points to this past World Series and postseason as proof that experience and veteran managers pay off, bringing up recently retired Dusty Baker (Houston), Bruce Bochy of World Series champion Texas, and Torey Lovullo of Arizona.

“You see all these guys playing for the old-school managers and all of them have a different idea of the game – learning from these dinosaurs,” Ortiz said. “Those are guys that have been around for a long time and they have something to bring to the table. They’re teaching those players something that nobody has the past five, 10 years, and that’s why these guys are winning. We just need to go – not all the way (away from analytics) – but we need to emphasize (experience) at some point of it.”


As far as free agents for the Red Sox to consider, Big Papi knows Shohei Ohtani would be a huge prize to get.

“Who doesn’t? Everybody would like to have Ohtani on their ballclub, but how many people are going to have the opportunity to?” the three-time World Series winner with the Red Sox said. “You’re talking one of the best players in the history of the game that is a free agent. Who knows? It’ll take a lot of money to sign this guy, a lot of money.”

The recently turned 48-year-old Ortiz, who was inducted into the Hall in 2022, feels like Breslow having played the game in a pressure-packed city like Boston will help in his new job.

“All those little details that a GM that hadn’t been in a clubhouse doesn’t know, he knows it,” Ortiz said. “I’m very confident about Breslow doing his thing out there as a GM because he’s been in that situation before.”

The David Ortiz Golf Classic raises money to provide critical pediatric healthcare to children in New England and his native country, the Dominican Republic.

FORD C. FRICK AWARD: The 2024 winner of the Ford C. Frick award for “excellence in baseball broadcasting” will be announced Wednesday, and Joe Castiglione, who’s handled radio play-by-play for the Red Sox since 1983, is on the list of finalists for the fourth time.


“I could match the Buffalo Bills,” joked Castiglione of the NFL team that lost four straight Super Bowls.

The winner will be honored as part of the annual induction weekend July 19-22. Others on the list include Joe Buck, Gary Cohen, Ernie Johnson Sr. and Dan Shulman.

DRUG TESTING: There was just one positive test resulting in discipline from among a record 11,783 samples collected by Major League Baseball and the players’ association in the year ending with the 2023 World Series.

Therapeutic use exemptions for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder dropped for the 10th straight year. There were 61 exemptions, independent program administrator Thomas M. Martin said in his annual report. That was down from 72 last year and 119 in 2013.

The only positive test among players on 40-man rosters involved Milwaukee Brewers pitcher J.C. Mejía, suspended for 162 games on Sept. 20 for his second positive test for Stanozolol. Mejia was suspended for 80 games on May 17, 2022.

Twins Guardians Baseball

The New York Yankees claimed Oscar Gonzalez off waivers from the Cleveland Guardians. Ron Schwane/Associated Press

YANKEES: Oscar Gonzalez, whose walk-off single beat the Yankees in Game 3 of the 2022 AL Division Series, was claimed by New York off waivers from Cleveland. The 25-year-old outfielder is a right-handed hitter and batted .214 with two homers and 12 RBI in 54 games this year.


The 25-year-old outfielder is a right-handed hitter and batted .214 with two homers and 12 RBI in 54 games this year. He made his major league debut on May 26, 2022, and hit .296 with 11 homers and 43 RBI in 91 games.

REDS: Cincinnati finalized a $26 million, two-year contract with pitcher Nick Martinez and a $16 million, two-year deal with reliever Emilio Pagán.

Martinez, a 33-year-old right-hander, gets $14 million in 2024 and $12 million in 2025.

Pagán, a 32-year-old right-hander has an $8 million salary next season, and the deal includes an $8 million player option for 2025. If Pagán declines the option, he would receive a $250,000 buyout.

METS: Luis Severino and the Mets finalized a $13 million, one-year contract that moves the oft-injured right-hander across town from the Yankees.

Severino can earn an additional $2 million in performance bonuses for starts: $500,000 for 27 and $750,000 apiece for 29 and 31.


A two-time All-Star, the 29-year-old right-hander went 4-8 with a 6.65 ERA in 18 starts and one relief appearance while earning $15 million in the option year of a contract that paid him $52.5 million over five seasons. He has spent his entire eight-year career in pinstripes, going 54-37 with a 3.79 ERA in 141 games, including 125 starts.

• The Mets claimed catcher Tyler Heineman off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays and outfielder/catcher Cooper Hummel from the Seattle Mariners.

Heineman, 32, hit .237 with three RBI in 22 games for Pittsburgh and Toronto, which acquired him on April 30 for infielder Vinny Capra. Heineman was 8 for 29 (.276) with three RBI this season for the Blue Jays. He started 2022 with Toronto, then was claimed off waivers by the Pirates that May 16.

MARLINS: Miami is finalizing an agreement to hire former San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler as an assistant general manager, according to a person familiar with the deal.

Kapler was fired by the Giants with three days left in the 2023 regular season after the team failed to make the playoffs for a second straight year. He had a 295-248 record over four seasons with the Giants, but his only year guiding the team to a winning record was 2021, when San Francisco won a franchise-record 107 games and the NL West title.

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