MLB: Spring Training-Boston Red Sox at Pittsburgh Pirates

Boston Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski speaks with members of the media before the start of a spring training game.

NOTE TO Red Sox chief Dave Dombrowski:

Trade for a relief pitcher.


Damn the luxury tax. To heck with its ramifications. Get a pitcher.


I know it’s not MY money. It’s not the FANS’ money. It’s John Henry’s money. He has a lot of it. So does Tom Werner. Spend it — and get a relief pitcher.


Two steps back on a weekend that followed all that positive news in Minneapolis was marred by yet another bullpen failure Saturday against the lowly Blue Jays.

The stat is a scary one: Saturday’s loss left the Red Sox, the defending champions who decided they don’t need a closer to repeat, 16-for-31 in save chances. The fans booed as an overworked Matt Barnes and then Ryan Brasier walked four straight batters.

Sunday was Rick Porcello’s turn to take a step back, falling to 5-7 in that always-scary odd-number season. The ’pen had nothing to do with this latest failure, but the record dropped to 42-37.

From @MLBrandomstats: “The Red Sox lost their 37th game of the year today (it’s June 23rd). The loss made them 42-37. Last year, the Red Sox lost their 37th game on August 19th. The loss made them 88-37.”

And, from Darren Hartwell of NBC Sports Boston: “Red Sox are 18-19 at home this season... Their 19th home loss last year was on September 7.”

From old pal Jim Donaldson, retired from the Providence Journal: “#RedSox already have lost 7 games when leading after 7 innings. They lost only 4 games in that situation all of last season. Led the now 28-49 @BlueJays 6-1 after 6 innings, and 6-5 after 7, last night @Fenway before losing, 8-7. “Bad loss” was the assessment of Alex Cora.”

Something has to be done! Looking around the field, there’s no reason to think an upgrade is badly needed anywhere. The hope is Mookie Betts can get back to something close to what he did last year. Others have struggled at different times, but Rafael Devers and Christian Vazquez have come through with career-season first halves.

The rotation is OK. It’s the bullpen.

The twice-suspended and knee-troubled Steven Wright returns Tuesday to help the bullpen. Interesting to see where he fits. But a deal is needed.


By the way, Wright, suspended for 80 games and therefore ineligible if the Red Sox reach the postseason, gave up two runs in 9 2/3 innings (1.86 ERA) in five rehab outings for Pawtucket.

In it again

Remember Dennis Eckersley being on the receiving end of that David Price tantrum on the team plane? Eck had the nerve to use the word “yuk” when stats for an Eduardo Rodriguez rehab start went up on the screen. Simply put, Eck didn’t deserve what he got back then.

Sunday? Not so clear.

The Hall of Famer was all over Marcus Stroman’s animation on the field as Stroman stuck it to the Red Sox.

If you’re too young to remember, Eck himself was a showman on the field. He didn’t grab his crotch at the rival dugout as Derek Lowe once did, but he beat you and he showed you up. He didn’t have a bat to flip but you knew he was showing you up.

Stroman, who looked Sunday very much like a pitcher who could help the Yankees in the second half of the season (he’s just 6-9 but his ERA is a very distinguished 3.04), let Eck have it on social media.

“His comments are always trash,” Stroman said. Another post had him saying “hypocrite.”

Rob Friedman, a pitching analyst for MLB and ESPN (@pitchingninja) wrote:

“That’s not Dennis Eckersley calling Stroman’s celebrations “tired,” is it? He was aggressive and animated on the mound, and he was known for his intimidating stare and pumping his fist after a strikeout. ... Somewhere a pot is screaming at a kettle.”

Good stuff.

Comeback stuff

Julian Edelman’s march from missing a season with a torn ACL all the way to Super Bowl MVP is the subject of a Showtime documentary that debuts Friday night: 100% JULIAN EDELMAN.

According to the promo, the show is “featuring conversations with everyone from Mark Wahlberg to Snoop Dog, Tom Brady, Michael Strahan and Deion Sanders, the film is an imaginative look inside Edelman’s underdog journey from major injury and NFL suspension to Super Bowl MVP in 2019.

Edelman appeared with Strahan on Monday’s Good Morning America.

With training camp on the horizon, one NFL expert predicts big things for second-year man Sony Michel — big enough to surpass Corey Dillon’s single-season club rushing mark.

“I think … Sony Michel is going to have a monster season for the Patriots.,” the NFL Network’s Rich Eisen wrote subbing for Peter King on NBC Sports’ Football Morning in America column. “Lost amongst another historic performance by Tom Brady, Michel’s playoff numbers were through the roof — 336 rushing yards and seven total touchdowns in three games. With (Rob Gronkowski) swearing he’s not coming back, I’m thinking New England will lean on Michel, who had 931 rushing yards in 13 games (but just eight starts) last year. The Patriots’ team record for most rushing yards in a season isn’t held by Curtis Martin, by the way. It’s Corey Dillon who ran for 1,645 yards on 345 carries in New England’s Super Bowl season of 2004. Keep this in mind. Just sayin’.”

Rookies are here

The Celtics welcomed their four draftees Monday, kicking off the next step in what is likely to be a wild couple of weeks around the new Red Auerbach Center.

Romeo Langford picked uniform No. 45, while Grant Williams held up No. 40, Carsen Edwards 29 and Tremont Waters 51.

“For myself it’s really just gonna be whatever it takes to hang the next banner here,”said Williams.

Mark Nilon of Hardwood Houdini gave the Celts an A-minus for Langford, a C/Incomplete on Williams, an A on Edwards and a B on Waters.

Finally … Sorry, but the only real Monday NEWS in the eyes of this New Yorker is word the Mets, in the middle of another negative storm after manager Mickey Callaway’s blowup at a reporter Sunday, will officially change their address to 41 Seaver Way this week. The street connecting Roosevelt Avenue and Northern Boulevard will be “Seaver Way.” There is also a statue planned.

Unfortunately, Tom Seaver is suffering from dementia and won’t be able to attend this week’s street naming — or this weekend’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Miracle Mets. Anthony DiComo of reports Seaver’s family and teammates Ron Swoboda, Jerry Koosman and Cleon Jones will be on hand for the street ceremony.

If you couldn’t tell, Seaver was my idol back then.

Mike Shalin covers Boston pro sports for the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. His email address is Follow him on Twitter @mscotshay.