David Ortiz says his right Achilles tendon is at about “50-60 percent”

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Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine mentioned earlier this afternoon that David Ortiz could be activated from the disabled list as soon as this weekend against the Twins, but odds are that’s not going to happen.

According to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald, Ortiz did some light jogging while the Red Sox were taking batting practice this afternoon and estimated that his strained right Achilles tendon is at about “50-60 percent.” He added that he likely won’t do “power running” for another few days, which essentially rules out the chance that he’ll return this weekend.

“It feels better,” Ortiz said. “The (trainers) were a little surprised about how I was moving compared to when we tried in New York. Like the doctors and trainers say, I’m not going to be 100 percent when I come back to play. But when we start doing the power drills and once I start feeling better, I think I’ll be ready to go.”

Ortiz was in the midst of an 11-game hitting streak prior to suffering the injury while running the bases on July 16 against the White Sox. The 36-year-old slugger is batting .316/.414/.609 with 23 home runs, 58 RBI and a 1.024 OPS in 89 games played this season. The Red Sox have shuffled multiple players out of the DH spot during his absence, including Cody Ross tonight against Twins’ right-hander Samuel Deduno.

Imagining Theo Epstein in politics

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“When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.”

Or: “When Theo Epstein won World Series championships with the two most championship-starved franchises in baseball history, he got bored, and decided to run for the Senate or something.”

That latter bit is the premise of a Politico piece speculating that the Cubs president could go into politics one day. The story features an interview with former Obama chief strategist David Axlerod, who thinks Theo has what it takes. Mostly what he has is fame, popularity, good looks and money. No idea what his positions on issue are, but that other stuff goes a long way in politics these days.

Bonus: given what we just elected last fall, a guy who once had a little temper tantrum and dressed up in a gorilla suit is just as viable a candidate as anyone.

Another interestingly named player is promoted by the Pirates

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When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.

The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.

Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.

It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.

Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.