Red Sox, Rick Porcello agree to table extension talks during the season

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WEEI’s Rob Bradford reports that the Red Sox and Rick Porcello have agreed not to discuss a contract extension during the regular season. Porcello, who can become a free agent after the season, said he wants to focus on pitching, eschewing any potential distractions a contract negotiation might cause. The right-hander had said last month didn’t expect to negotiate a contract with the Red Sox anyway.

Porcello, 26, avoided arbitration with the Red Sox, agreeing on a one-year, $12.5 million salary for the 2014 season. He will serve as the No. 2 pitcher in the starting rotation for the Red Sox behind Clay Buchholz. He’s scheduled to make his 2015 season debut on Wednesday against Phillies starter Aaron Harang at Citizens Bank Park.

Porcello had the best season of his career in 2014, finishing with a 3.43 ERA and a 129/41 K/BB ratio in 204 2/3 innings with the Tigers. In December, he was dealt to the Red Sox in the Yoenis Cespedes trade.

Police are keeping reporters away from owners at the owners meetings

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The owners meetings are going on in Arlington, Texas right now and something unusual is happening: the owners are using police to shield them from reporters seeking comment.

Chandler Rome, the Astros beat writer for the Houston Chronicle, attempted to talk to Astros owner Jim Crane at the hotel in which the meetings are taking place. Which makes sense because, duh, Rome covers the Astros and, if you haven’t noticed, the Astros are in the news lately.

Here’s how it went:

This was confirmed by other reporters:

To be clear: this is a radically different way things have ever been handled at MLB meetings of any kind. Reporters — who are credentialed specifically for these meetings at this location, they’re not just showing up — approach the GMs or the owners or whoever as they walk in the public parts of the hotel in which they’re held or in the areas designated for press conferences. It’s not contentious. Usually the figures of interest will stop and talk a bit then move on. If they don’t want to talk they just keep walking, often offering apologies or an excuse about being late for something and say they’ll be available later. It’s chill as far as reporters vs. the powerful tend to go.

But apparently not today. Not at the owners meetings. Now police — who are apparently off duty on contract security, but armed and in full official uniform — are shielding The Lords of Baseball from scrutiny.

We live in interesting times.