Julio Lugo, on Red Sox fans booing him for not making enough plays defensively:
If you try to make a play like that and you get destroyed by you
[media] guys the next day, it’s not fair. You guys can say whatever you
want. I can take it. I can [expletive] take it. I’m a human being, I’ve
got feelings, but I can take it. It’s tough. Nobody wants to be booed.
Not me, not anybody. At the same time, I’m not making excuses. I’ll
tell you the truth. I think the fans have been fair to me.
Sometimes you deserve the boos. Sometimes you don’t, but I love it
here. I work my ass off. I go to sleep feeling good every night that
I’m trying my best. I’ve got that best job in the world. I get paid a
lot of money. You’ve got everything you want–money, fame, a bunch of
girls looking at you. What more can you want? I love Boston, man.
There’s nowhere else you’d want to play. I love it.
Since signing a four-year, $36 million contract in the winter of 2006,
Lugo has hit .248/.316/.343 while sitting out one-third of the Red
Sox’s games. And his defense at shortstop, which is drawing most of the
fans’ ire of late, has rated 3.2 runs below average during that time
according to Ultimate Zone Rating.
Add it all up and Lugo has been about 13 runs better than a
replacement-level shortstop while being paid about $20 million (thus
far), so suffice it to say that his love affair with Boston isn’t
exactly mutual. On the other hand, he makes a pretty good point with
the whole “money, fame, and a bunch of girls looking at you” thing.
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.
David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.
Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:
[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.
The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.