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.
The Red Sox reportedly inked free agent outfielder J.D. Martinez to a five-year, $110 million contract last Monday, but there appears to be a slight hitch in the process. According to a report from Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston, the team is sorting through a medical issue that has delayed the signing. The specific nature of the issue has yet to be revealed, though Drellich adds that both the team and agent Scott Boras have involved additional medical experts in the process.
For what it’s worth, Martinez remained fairly healthy during his 2017 run with the Tigers and Diamondbacks. The 30-year-old outfielder spent six weeks on the disabled list after suffering a right foot sprain during camp, but managed to make a full recovery by mid-May and didn’t relapse once throughout the rest of the year. Of course, the medical issue holding up his new contract could be of an entirely different nature.
While spring training is already underway for the rest of the Red Sox, club manager Alex Cora doesn’t appear too concerned by Martinez’s absence — yet. “The thing I can do is my thing,” he told MLB.com’s Ian Browne. “My job here is to show up every day and get ’em ready.”