Red Sox's 'run prevention' strategy takes another hit with Marco Scutaro out

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Boston’s offseason moves to build the team more around “run prevention” are being mocked because the Red Sox have allowed the most runs in the league, but injuries to Mike Cameron and Jacoby Ellsbury certainly have helped and now Marco Scutaro is sidelined with a sore elbow.
Scutaro sat out last night’s game with “tennis elbow” that manager Terry Francona said “has actually been bothering him for a while.” The injury is to Scutaro’s left, non-throwing elbow, but he’s still expected to miss several more games after receiving a cortisone shot to dull the pain.
“We know it’s been bothering him when he’s been swinging the bat,” Francona said. “He really wanted to play through it. He’s done a nice job. We talked about it last week a little bit and the more we talked it made sense to do that. He’s going to be just fine.”
Scutaro has basically matched his career averages by hitting .267 with a .359 on-base percentage and .342 slugging percentage, but is just 12-for-54 (.222) with one extra-base hit over the past two weeks and has also committed multiple errors defensively during that time. General manager Theo Epstein revealed yesterday that Scutaro has had trouble closing his glove around balls because of the elbow injury.
Bill Hall started at shortstop in Scutaro’s place last night, with Darnell McDonald in center field and Jeremy Hermida in left field. That’s quite a different story than trotting out Scutaro, Cameron, and Ellsbury in the same spots, so while Boston’s pitching and defense have been a mess so far it’s tough to really draw conclusions about the offseason strategy until the actual planned defense has played together for a while.

Sandy Koufax to be honored with statue at Dodger Stadium

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Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax will be honored with a statue at Dodger Stadium, expected to be unveiled in 2020. Dodger Stadium will be undergoing major renovations, expected to cost around $100 million, after the season. Koufax’s statue will go in a new entertainment plaza beyond center field. The current statue of Jackie Robinson will be moved into the same area.

Koufax, 83, had a relatively brief career, pitching parts of 12 seasons in the majors, but they were incredible. He was a seven-time All-Star who won the National League Cy Young Award three times (1963, ’65-66) and the NL Most Valuable Player Award once (’63). He contributed greatly to the ’63 and ’65 championship teams and authored four no-hitters, including a perfect game in ’65.

Koufax was also influential in other ways. As Shaikin notes, Koufax refused to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series to observe Yom Kippur. It was an act that would attract national attention and turn Koufax into an American Jewish icon.

Ahead of the 1966 season, Koufax and Don Drysdale banded together to negotiate against the Dodgers, who were trying to pit the pitchers against each other. They sat out spring training, deciding to use their newfound free time to sign  on to the movie Warning Shot. Several weeks later, the Dodgers relented, agreeing to pay Koufax $125,000 and Drysdale $110,000, which was then a lot of money for a baseball player. It would be just a few years later that Curt Flood would challenge the reserve clause. Koufax, Drysdale, and Flood helped the MLB Players Association, founded in 1966, gain traction under the leadership of Marvin Miller.