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Report: Red Sox sign Rusney Castillo

Rusney-CastilloThe Boston Red Sox have reportedly agreed to sign Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a record-setting contract. WEEI.com reports that the deal is worth $72.5 million over seven years.

Castillo, 27, will sign the largest MLB contract ever signed by a Cuban player. The 5-foot-9 outfielder has not played organized baseball in over a year but showcased his talents for MLB scouts and front office personnel last month. Red Sox GM Ben Cherington was among those in attendance.

“He’s a player we’ve seen and we’ve talked to, but we’€™re just one of several teams that have done that,” Cherington said earlier this week. “There’€™€™€™s nothing more I can say.”

As Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald noted, the Red Sox have been extremely impressed with the smooth transition Cuban players like Yasiel Puig and Yoenis Cespedes have made when coming to America. Castillo has tremendous speed and an above-average glove. He could player either center field or right field for the Red Sox, depending on what moves they make during the offseason.

The Red Sox, who are currently in last place in the AL East, are already planning for 2014. If they can re-sign Jon Lester and possibly trade a couple prospects for an impact player, they should be right back in the mix. Cespedes and Castillo — assuming he transitions smoothly — should already give Boston great offense in the outfield.

Yankees fan returns lost Red Sox World Series ring

Red-Sox-ringDrew Weber owns the Lowell Spinners, which is a minor league affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. Because of his affiliation with the organization, Weber received a championship ring after the Red Sox won the World Series last year. If not for an incredibly kindhearted New York Yankees fan, Weber might have only had the hardware for a few months.

On Thursday night, Luke’s Bar and Grill owner Luigi Militello found Weber’s ring on a sink in the restroom of his Manhattan restaurant.

“I was like, geez, it’s big. Who would leave this here?” Militello told The Associated Press, via CBS Boston. “I’m a big Yankee fan. What are the chances of this happening?”

Apparently Weber, who is from New York, had eaten at the restaurant earlier that day. He accidentally left the incredibly valuable piece of jewelry in the bathroom after wearing it out in public for the first time.

“I went looking around my apartment and started having palpitations,” Weber explained. “Sweat was pouring off my forehead. I’m looking at my finger and it’s not there.”

Weber called Militello’s restaurant and was relieved to hear that he left the ring there. Naturally, Militello had to crack his stones.

“But this being Yankees-Red Sox, I started razzing him,” Militello recalled. “I told him he wasn’t getting it so easily. I was playing with him, a lot.”

Weber and Militello met at Luke’s the next day so Weber could get his ring back. He offered to pay Militello, but the Yankees fanatic declined. Instead, Weber will be making a contribution to a charity of Militello’s choice. And they all lived happily ever after.

Sleeping Blue Jays baby sums up blowout loss to Red Sox (Video)

The Boston Red Sox had an offensive explosion against the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night. Boston went off for 18 hits and 14 runs and had a 14-1 lead after five innings. At least one Blue Jays fan realized the game was no longer worth watching by the eighth.

The little guy you see above, who was decked out in Jays gear from head to toe, tried to stay awake with his team trailing by 13 runs but just couldn’t fight it anymore. He definitely wouldn’t have given up if it was the playoffs, but s— happens when you’re getting blown out in the middle of the regular season.

Who wants to watch their team get embarrassed at home? Not this guy:

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Video via Cut 4

Red Sox-Rays benches clear after David Price hits Mike Carp with pitch (Video)

The Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox met on Friday in the second game of their three-game series and early on tempers flared.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, David Price came up and in on Mike Carp and hit him on the right arm. Carp took exception to the pitch and had a few words for Price and then James Loney.

Then, benches cleared and seemingly everyone had words for each other, including David Ortiz and Sean Rodgriguez, who were both involved in rather heated exchanges.

Acting Red Sox manager Torey Lovullo was ejected after the incident. Lovullo took over for John Farrell, who was ejected after Ortiz was plunked in the first inning. Brian Butterfield became the third Red Sox manager to be tossed in the sixth inning after Boston’s starting pitcher Brandon Workman threw a pitch behind Evan Longoria. Workman was also ejected.

Fairly uneventful night at Fenway Park, I’d say.

The Red Sox and Rays play each other 12 more times during the regular season.

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Rays think Red Sox wanted to play doubleheader because of bobblehead storage

Dustin-Pedroia-bobbleheadThe Tampa Bay Rays swept both ends of a day-night doubleheader against the Boston Red Sox on Thursday. The Rays were happy with the results, but they were strongly opposed to playing two games in one day — especially since they thought Dustin Pedroia bobbleheads were the reason for the doubleheader.

According to the Boston Herald, the Red Sox had their choice of when to make up their game against the Rays that was postponed on Wednesday night due to the threat of heavy rain. The options were a day-night doubleheader on Thursday, a doubleheader when the Rays returned to town later this month or in September, or a makeup on a mutual off day.

Here’s where it gets interesting. Wednesday was supposed to be Dustin Pedroia bobblehead day at Fenway Park. Once the game was postponed, there were reports that the Rays felt the Red Sox wanted to make up the game so quickly because they did not have enough storage space for the bobbleheads at Fenway.

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Dan Shaughnessy calls second game ‘must win’ for Red Sox

Dan-ShaughnessyDan Shaughnessy is the resident pessimist of the city of Boston. The longtime Boston Globe writer has made a career out of overreacting and annoying Boston Red Sox fans by counting the team out before it’s over. After the Sox lost to the Baltimore Orioles on Opening Day, Shaughnessy was up to his old tricks.

In his Globe column on Tuesday morning, Shaughnessy wrote about how the Red Sox were “lacking championship intangibles” and failed to do all the “small things” that helped them win the World Series last season. He finished up the discussion with this gem:

Those were the things they did not do on Monday. Luckily, the Red Sox do not play in a town that’s likely to overreact to a loss on Opening Day.

Wednesday night, however, just became a Must Win for the Olde Town Team.

There is obviously some sarcasm in there. Boston fans overreact to just about everything, so Shaughnessy was being facetious with his claim that the Red Sox don’t play in a town that will overreact to a loss on Opening Day. We can only hope calling game two of a 162-game season a “must win” was also a sarcastic remark.

Even if it was, the column was written with a “sky is falling” tone. Red Sox fans may overreact, but no one is panicking after the first game of the season. In fact, no one will panic if the Orioles sweep John Farrell’s club. If Shaughnessy’s point was that the fans consider game two a must win, he’s still wrong.

Then again, the only time Shaughnessy expressed optimism for the Red Sox was in 2011, when their season ended in disaster. The team is at it’s best when Shaughnessy is at his worst.

H/T Hardball Talk

Jonny Gomes, Red Sox will wear American flag blazers for White House visit

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The Boston Red Sox are scheduled to visit the White House next Tuesday to be honored for winning the World Series. It will be the team’s third trip to the nation’s capital in the last 10 years, but the wardrobe selection could make this one the most memorable.

On Wednesday, the Red Sox official Twitter account shared a photo of the American flag blazers Jonny Gomes ordered for his team’s meet and greet with Barack Obama. The team is apparently going to give the president one of the jackets to keep.

Some will argue that the blazers, which were fittingly designed by sportswear company Loudmouth Golf, make a mockery out of what is supposed to be a very high honor. Those people must not be familiar with the beards.