Francona: Good manager, poor prankster

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Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona tried to pull a prank on veteran pitcher Tim Wakefield on Sunday.

The 42-year-old pitcher had just been named an All-Star for the first
time in his 17-year career, but Francona called him into his office as
if to deliver bad news. As Wakefield described it …

“It was pretty funny. I was actually in the weight room doing my
work and (pitching coach John) Ferrell had come in and said, ‘Tito
wants to see you after he talks to the other guys.’ I didn’t know what
other guys. Then I got to his office and the office was closed. When it
opened, he called me into the office and I saw all the other guys
walking out with their all-star packages. He sat me down and tried to
play it off like it wasn’t good news. He couldn’t hold the laughter.”

Francona seems like a nice guy. Maybe that’s why he couldn’t pull it
off. Or maybe he didn’t have the heart to do that to Wakefield, a guy
who’s been around forever, pitched in any role asked, and never
complained. Regardless, Francona should avoid the poker table at all
costs.

With Adam Jones ailing, Orioles add Borbon to outfield

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 13: Adam Jones #10 of the Baltimore Orioles reacts after being hit in the hand by a pitch in the sixth against the San Francisco Giants inning during an interleague game at AT&T Park on August 13, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK — With star outfielder Adam Jones nursing a tender hamstring, the Baltimore Orioles selected the contract of Julio Borbon from Double-A Bowie and optioned pitcher Mike Wright to Triple-A Norfolk.

Borbon was inserted in the starting lineup for Baltimore, batting ninth against hard-throwing New York Yankees rookie Chad Green.

“We had some other center field options,” manager Buck Showalter said. “Borbon is our best option at this point.”

Jones left Friday’s game in the second inning with a left hamstring strain. He departed the previous night’s game at Washington in the ninth inning with hamstring cramps and aggravated the injury hustling down the first base line on a soft grounder to third.

“I got a feeling that if he hadn’t had that first swinging bunt, it might not have been a problem,” Showalter indicated. “He’s not going to trot to first base as much as I talked to him about it before the game.”

Although Jones was unable to talk his way into Saturday’s lineup, Showalter speculated that he might be available to pinch-hit.

The 30-year old Borbon was 2 for 9 in five games with the Orioles earlier this season, but was designated for assignment on July 26. To create room for Borbon on the 40-man roster, pitcher Logan Ondrusek was designated for assignment on Friday.

No structural damage found in Andrew Benintendi’s knee

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 24:  Shortstop Matt Duffy #5 of the Tampa Bay Rays tags out Andrew Benintendi #40 of the Boston Red Sox after Dustin Pedroia grounded into the double play  during the seventh inning of a game on August 24, 2016 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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Good news in Boston: An MRI on Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi‘s left knee revealed no structural damage.

Benintendi slipped while trying to avoid a tag at second base, injuring his leg, but it appears he’s avoided a serious injury. A timetable for his return isn’t known at this point, but the Red Sox expect to get him back before the end of the season.

Benintendi is hitting .324/.365/.485 with a homer and ten RBI in 21 games.