Adrian Beltre’s head-rubbing nightmare continues in Texas


Adrian Beltre really, really hates it when someone touches his head and his Red Sox teammates did it so much in the dugout last season that there’s a website filled with video clips of him freaking out.

He changed teams during the offseason and signed a five-year, $80 million contract, but that won’t keep his new teammates from picking up the head-touching slack. In fact, as T.R. Sullivan of writes various Rangers are already making a habit of exploiting Beltre’s weird … I dunno, I guess phobia?

For instance, here’s Elvis Andrus:

Oh yeah … a bunch of times. He better get used to it. He might kick my tail, but I’m going to do it.

And now reigning MVP Josh Hamilton:

Guys just find out and everybody knows about Adrian. You can tell we get him to a point where he might lose it and then we back off. You don’t want it to come to a point where he doesn’t want to come to work because he feels tormented. I have to get to know him better, but that day’s coming.

Yes, you wouldn’t want to rub a man’s head without getting to know him better first.

The primary head-rubbing culprit in Boston was Victor Martinez, so at least Beltre is free from him. He’s still holding onto that grudge, though:

Sometimes I thought about killing him. But I thought about it. I have a family so I didn’t.

Beltre tried to tell Sullivan that the whole head-rubbing thing is actually “no big deal,” but there are a few dozen highly amusing video clips to suggest otherwise and a whole clubhouse full of brand new teammates don’t immediately take such glee in tormenting someone about something unless it’s a pretty big deal for them. Unfortunately for Beltre, he’s probably long past the whole “act like it doesn’t bother you” thing being an effective deterrent.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

Bob Levey/Getty Images

No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.