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Mike Shalin's Working Press: Trade deadline no big deal for Sox

By MIKE SHALIN
July 31. 2017 10:40PM
Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson, Kathleen Lowenthal, Detroit News writer Claire Smith the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for writers, National baseball hall of fame chairman of the board Jane Forbes Clark and MLB commissioner Rob Manfred pose for photo at Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown, N.Y., on Sunday. (Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports)



Red Sox fans hoping for their team to make a big splash at the trade deadline came up a little disappointed at Monday’s non-waiver trade deadline.

But that doesn’t mean the Sox, Dustin Pedroia’s injury aside, aren’t better today than they were a week ago.

Dave Dombrowski added Eduardo Nunez and the utility man paid instant dividends — and arrived just in time to play for the injured Pedroia, who could be headed for the disabled list.

Then, early Monday, ending the suspense at an early hour, the Red Sox acquired Addison Reed, a rental, from the Mets for three minor league pitchers.

Column pal Larry Rosoff Facebooked Dombrowski was trading off minor leaguers again, to get a guy for two months, which could be overpaying — but that argument doesn’t hold Gatorade here.

First of all, the Red Sox have a chance to win the World Series, and Reed furthers those chances. Those three kids don’t.

Second, Reed is a quality pitcher (and quality guy) who doesn’t walk people and is the perfect eighth-inning option on a team that didn’t have one until this trade (thanks mainly to the Tyler Thornburg and Carson Smith injuries).

And third, Reed is ready to step in if Craig Kimbrel gets hurt. Reed saved 101 games for the White Sox from 2012-14.

The Yankees made a huge splash by landing Sonny Gray on the heels of the Jaime Garcia pickup, and they did it without yielding either Gleyber Torres or Clint Frazier. Dombrowski made his moves while keeping his top guys — even tossing Cashman’s words back at him by calling the Yankees “The Golden State Warriors.”

The result? How about a Red Sox-Yankees battle right down to the end?

Hall of Fame notes

Sending out another note of congratulations and love for my friend Claire Smith on her special weekend as the first female Spink winner. No one more deserving.

John Flaherty tweeting about Jeff Bagwell Sunday, said, “First time I met HOF Jeff Bagwell we were teammates in Winter Haven! He told me he would hit 300 in the FSL! He hit 310!” Tweet from colleague Jayson Stark: “Jeff Bagwell admits in #HOF speech that he owes this to Larry Andersen, the man he was traded for. But somehow LA didn’t make the plaque!” Sunday, on the afternoon of the festivities, future Famer Adrian Beltre collected his 3,000th hit, prompting this note: Players with 3,000 hits, 600 doubles and 400 homers: Henry Aaron, Stan Musial, Cal Ripken Jr., Carl Yastrzemski and Adrian Beltre.”

Terry Francona, who made another visit to Fenway starting Monday night, is a big Tim Raines guy. Raines was inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday.

“I don’t know why it took so long. I’m a big fan of his,” Francona said Sunday. “He was one of the best teammates. Guys loved him. When I first got there, he was going through a rough time, but then once he got through that, (he was great). And to this day, when you see him, he just lights up. I’m really happy for him. I think Andre Dawson really helped him. He really took him under his wing. I’m sure Hawk’s really proud right now.”

2007 revisited

Nice pre-game ceremony for the 10th anniversary of the 2007 Red Sox champions, although you do wonder — even if it would have been tougher to get everyone in on a weekday — why it wasn’t done a day or two later, with Francona and the Indians in town.

Great tweet from Chad Finn of the Boston Globe, who said, “Surprised the Yankees didn’t insist (Jacoby) Ellsbury go to this.”

I was there for almost all of that run and have to admit there were names Sunday that surprised me. But names are names and everyone gets a ring. Kevin Youkilis, who now works for Theo Epstein (and Tom Brady’s brother-in-law), said he recently collected his 2016 ring when he was in Chicago. He tweeted: “Great time with the guys that taught me so much about the game.”

5-0 will be missed

Who knows what all these concussion studies have to do with it, but Rob Ninkovich, a true heart and soul guy on the Pats defense, decided he was all done.

Ninkovich was not a star. He’s not going to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But didn’t he always seem to be in the right place at the right time? He seemed to be everywhere, especially when it mattered.

“As a Patriots fan, it was easy to like Rob Ninkovich,” said Robert Kraft. “New Englanders love rooting for the underdog — the blue-collar overachiever who hustles on every play and does the most to maximize their full potential. And Rob was truly that guy.”

Karen Guregianof the Boston Herald wrote Sunday that Rob Gronkowski has become a convert to Brady’s training methods under Alex Guerrero, something that can only help a guy who’s been hurt so much playing his rugged game.

Said Gronk: “Just looking at Tom, seeing what he does every day, what he eats, talking to him, personally one-on-one, just learning about the body with him, just seeing how flexible he is, how pliable he is, how loose he is all the time, every day and ready to go, I just felt like it was the time in my career where I needed to devote myself at all levels.”

Putting it Blount-ly

LeGarrette Blount is in Philadelphia now and Mike Gillislee says he’s the man for the job at the goal line.

“I pretty much established myself a little bit last year when I was with Buffalo on the goal line,” Gillislee said after the first day of camp — after he showed he can be that type of back with touchdowns on his first two tries. “I just had to come here and show the coaches what I was able to do. I think I showed that (Monday).”

Here and there

You’ve been hearing over and over how the Red Sox don’t have a pitcher with a postseason win as a starter. That’s no longer true. Doug Fister is 4-1 as a starter in the postseason, one of the wins coming over the Red Sox. … Steve Pearce hasn’t exactly had a superstar career, but the journeyman Sunday became the third player ever to hit two walkoff grand slams — and he did it in four days — in a season after the Blue Jays had two of them in their 40 years of existence. … Nunez arrived with a bang. From Red Sox Notes: “Eduardo Núñez is the first player to hit 2+ HR in either his 1st or 2nd game as a Red Sox since Gabe Kapler on 6/29/03 (via @EliasSports).” … The Bruins are hoping Notre Dame product/winger Anders Bjork can make the jump from the NCAA to the NHL without a stop in the minors. … The Cubs are giving Steve Bartman a World Series ring. Seriously. … Bruins talks with David Pastrnak haven’t moved the way Don Sweeney had hoped. … It’s only a one-year contract at the veteran minimum, but don’t sleep on the Celtics signing Shane Larkin. The guy can play. … A Cavs fan has already burned his Kyrie Irving jersey. No, Irving wasn’t in it, but, yes, he’s still in Cleveland.... Monday was the 10th anniversary of the Celtics acquiring Kevin Garnett from Minnesota. … In honor of Beltre’s 3,000th, the Fort Worth Zoo named a new baby giraffe Beltre. … And it wasn’t even practice: Allen Iverson failed to show up for a BIG3 game Saturday. … Evan Longoria via Instagram: Congrats to Adrian Beltre on 3k hits. I’ve loved and admired your play for a long time. Proud to compete against a future Hall of Famer. #beltre3” … Jaromir Jagr had 46 points last season and still doesn’t have an invite for 2017-18 work. He deserves to keep playing. ... Finally, tonight should be fun when we see the reception Dennis Eckersley gets from the Fenway crowd when he’s introduced in the Legends Suite.

Mike Shalin covers Boston pro sports for the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. His email address is shalinmike@yahoo.com.


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