David Ortiz lobbied for the Red Sox to sign Nelson Cruz

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In a column for WEEI, John Tomase reports that Red Sox DH David Ortiz lobbied for his team to sign then-free agent slugger Nelson Cruz during each of the past two off-seasons. Heading into 2015, Cruz was coming off of a season in which he led the majors with 40 home runs while driving in 108 runs and hitting .271/.333/.525.

Cruz, now 35, wound up signing a four-year, $57 million deal with the Mariners. He’s currently the major league leader in home runs with 36, having knocked in 74 runs and compiled a .321/.389/.611 triple-slash line.

Cruz described Ortiz’s efforts to bring him to Boston:

“He was all in,” Cruz recalled this weekend. “Anytime we played, he reminded me that he wanted me here. It meant a lot. I’m a fan of him, and also a good friend. When a player like him, a future Hall of Famer, requests for you to play with him, it’s definitely something that grabs you.”

Cruz said the Red Sox never contacted him about a potential deal.

The baseball world reacts to news of Kobe Bryant’s death

Kobe Bryant
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Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna were two of five people who died in a helicopter accident in Calabasas, California earlier today. The pilot, a teammate of Gianna’s, and the teammate’s parent were also killed in the tragic accident.

Bryant’s death sent shockwaves throughout the basketball world, as well as the sports world at large. Here were a few reactions from the baseball world.

We certainly echo these sentiments, sending our condolences to the families and friends of those affected today. What a sad day.