Strength and conditioning coach “surprised” by Red Sox firing

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Dave Page, the strength and conditioning coach let go by the Red Sox yesterday, told Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe that he “was surprised” by the firing and “it caught me off guard that it happened now and not right after the season.”

In other words, once the constant headlines about beer, fried chicken, and video games in the clubhouse finally died down Page thought his job was safe. He’d been with the Red Sox for six seasons and was named strength and conditioning coach of the year in 2007.

Here’s more from Page:

We had a great program in my opinion and we added to it a little every year. But sometimes perception goes a long way whether it’s right or wrong.

“Sometimes perception goes a long way whether it’s right or wrong” could be the motto of the Red Sox’s offseason, at least so far.

Page told Abraham that at least a half-dozen players called him after news of the firing, adding that “Papelbon and Youkilis were less than pleased. I can tell you that.” Interestingly, none of the pitchers implicated in the beer/fried chicken/video games stuff were included on the list of callers.

Report: Shohei Ohtani has sprained UCL in pitching elbow

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The Angels signed Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani for a $2.3 million signing bonus last weekend. They may have damaged goods on their hands. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Ohtani underwent a physical that revealed a first-degree sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament. As a result, he got a platelet-rich plasma injection on October 20. This was made known to teams after Ohtani entered MLB’s posting system, so it wasn’t like the Angels went into this blind.

Ohtani’s report said, “Although partial damage of UCL in deep layer of his right UCL exists, he is able to continue full baseball participation with sufficient elbow care program.” It also said Ohtani “will most likely be available to start his throwing program approximately a month from the PRP.”

Passan notes that the report also mentioned that a “small free body” floats in Ohtani’s elbow near his UCL.

Ohtani isn’t without other injuries. He battled hamstring and ankle issues throughout 2017 and underwent right ankle surgery back in October. Thankfully for the Angels, this diagnosis is about as good as it could be considering the circumstances. However, if Ohtani does exacerbate his UCL issue, he may ultimately need Tommy John surgery at some point, which would take him out of action for at least a year.