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BOSTON (CBS) – Everyone has been trying to piece together exactly what David Ortiz was getting at on Monday when he lashed out at the media, and even Red Sox ownership, for doubting his leadership.
Add CSNNE’s Sean McAdam to the list.
“I’m still sorting through his motivation and I’m not sure I’m ever going to get there,” McAdam told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich Wednesday morning. “It’s been a bizarre couple of days around this team. The Ortiz story, I’m still having trouble making sense of it.”
Ortiz was reacting to a Felger & Mazz post on CBSBostonsports.com on Monday that asked ‘what took him so long’ to call his players-only meeting a couple of weeks back.
“In Ortiz’ defense, he didn’t initiate this,” said McAdam. “He was asked his comments to react to Tony’s ‘column’ and, as he often does, took that as an opportunity to get some things off his chest.”
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As for what is actually going on on the diamond, the Red Sox had to shift a few moving parts on Tuesday. With Kevin Youkilis returning from the disabled list, manager Bobby Valentine chose to keep Will Middlebrooks at third, have Youkilis play first, and sent Adrian Gonzalez to right field.
That will be the lineup again on Wednesday for the series finale in Baltimore, but McAdam doesn’t think it will continue for much longer.
“I think we may have seen the last of Adrian Gonzalez in right field in a while, because I think as soon as Ryan Sweeney is available – and that will happen over the weekend with the new seven-day DL for concussion cases –that is Will Middlebrooks’ ticket back to Pawtucket,” he said.
“This arrangement bought him a few days, and they can use him here and there and spot Youkilis a day off for this series that begins Friday against Tampa Bay at Fenway. But they don’t want to put Gonzalez in right at Fenway. They’re home for the next week and it’s going to don on them that putting Youk back at third, and when you take the Gonzalez equation out of it, Middlebrooks is going to be sitting around and they don’t want that,” said McAdam.
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There is little shot the Red Sox would want to put Gonzalez in left field, especially at Fenway Park.
“Whatever limited experience in the outfield Gonzalez has over his career is in right. He played there in winter ball, and a handful of times in Texas when they had Mark Teixeira. He feels more comfortable in right,” said McAdam. “There has been no talk of him in left, and there is the whole wall thing where he hasn’t had any experience taking balls off the wall and they don’t want to put him in that kind of situation.”
But while McAdam sees Middlebrooks heading back to the minors, that may not be for too long.
“In the real short-term, part of what they’re doing to get Youkilis back on the field is to showcase him so they build up some trade value and can shop him around. The less he plays, the worse his value gets. You want him out there, showing teams he is healthy and reminding teams he can play both infield spots,” he said.
“They know that Will Middlebrooks is the third baseman of the future. How fast the future arrives is going to depend on them being able to move Youkilis, and if they are in contention at the trade deadline.”