BOSTON -- Prosecutors poorly handled assault allegations against Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy's son just before he allegedly killed his girlfriend, according to an independent review released Wednesday.
Jared Remy was arrested Aug. 13 after he allegedly pushed Jennifer Martell into a mirror. He was released on his own recognizance Aug. 14 and allegedly stabbed Martel to death at their apartment the next day. He has pleaded not guilty.
The review found that Middlesex County prosecutors did not adequately consider Remy's history of domestic violence and the details of the alleged Aug. 13 assault. It says they placed too much weight on Martel's decision not to seek an extension of a restraining order against him. The couple had a daughter, then 4 years old.
"We believe this deficiency contributed to the decision on August 14, 2013 to request that Remy be released with only bail warning and a no abuse order," an executive summary of the report said.
"Specifically we found that Remy's domestic violence criminal history, the facts in the August 13, 2013 police report, and the fact that there was a young child in the home were not given sufficient weight, while the victim's decision not to come to court to extend the emergency restraining order or to request conditions of release was given excessive consideration in the evaluation," the report said.
The review found that Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan's office has a "solid performance" in allocating resources to the prevention and prosecution of domestic violence and considers the safety of domestic violence victims "to be of utmost priority."
Ryan had requested the review. It was conducted by former Essex County District Attorney, Secretary of Public Safety Kevin Burke and Norfolk County First Assistant District Attorney Jeanmarie Carroll.
The acquisition of the switch-hitting Herrera gives the Red Sox some protection in the event free agent Stephen Drew does not return to the team.
Originally a second baseman, Herrera, a 29-year-old native of Venezuela, also has played shortstop and third base. In each of the last two seasons, he played the majority of his games at short, appearing in 42 games in both 2012 and '13, starting 34 at short in 2012 and 28 in '13 behind Troy Tulowitzki.
Boles, who managed the Sea Dogs for the past three seasons, takes the place of Gary DiSarcina, who left the organization to join the Los Angeles Angels coaching staff. Returning to the PawSox will be pitching coach Rich Sauveur, hitting coach Dave Joppie and athletic trainer Jon Lochim. The Triple-A PawSox are also adding Bruce Crabbe to the coaching staff. He managed the Short-A Lowell Spinners last season.
High-A Salem manager Billy McMillion will be elevated to take Boles’ job in managing the Sea Dogs and Carlos Febles will take McMillon’s job in Salem. Febles spent the last two years as the manager at Single-A Greenville.
The manager for Short-A Lowell is the only position remaining to be filled for next season. The rest of the 2014 staffs are listed below:
* Pawtucket (Triple-A, International League)
Manager -- Kevin Boles
Pitching coach -- Rich Sauveur
Hitting coach -- Dave Joppie
Coach -- Bruce Crabbe
Athletic trainer -- Jon Jochim
* Portland (Double-A, Eastern League)
Manager -- Billy McMillon
Pitching coach -- Bob Kipper
Hitting coach -- Rich Gedman
Athletic trainer -- Brandon Henry
* Salem (Single-A, Carolina League)
Manager -- Carlos Febles
Pitching coach -- Kevin Walker
Hitting coach -- U.L. Washington
Athletic trainer -- David Herrera
* Greenville (Single-A, South Atlantic League)
Manager -- Darren Fenster
Pitching coach -- Paul Abbott
Hitting coach -- Nelson Paulino
Athletic trainer -- Satoshi Kajiyama
* Lowell (Short-A, New York-Penn League)
Manager -- TBA
Pitching coach -- Walter Miranda
Hitting coach -- Noah Hall
Athletic trainer -- Nick Faciana
* Gulf Coast League Red Sox (Rookie, Gulf Coast League)
Manager -- Tom Kotchman
Pitching coach -- Dick Such
Coach -- Dave Tomlin
Hitting coach -- Raul Gonzalez
Athletic trainer -- Mauricio Elizondo
* Dominican Summer League Red Sox (Rookie, Dominican Summer League)
Manager -- Jose Zapata
Pitching coach -- Amaury Telemaco
Pitching coach -- Oscar Lira
Bench coach -- Junior Zamora
Coaches -- Wilton Veras, Aly Gonzalez
Coaching assistant -- Claudio Sanchez
Strength and conditioning coach -- Antonio Diaz
Athletic trainer -- Guillermo Hinojosa
Watanabe, 37, has spent his entire 13-year career with the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball league. Primarily a starter, he has a career record of 87-82 with a 3.65 ERA.
This past season Watanabe went 0-4 with a 4.62 ERA in six games, all starts, for Chiba Lotte.
Watanabe pitched on both of Japan’s World Baseball Classic championship teams in 2006 and 2009.
In addition, the Red Sox agreed to release the contract of right-handed pitcher Chris Carpenter to the Yakult Swallows of the Nippon League in exchange for cash.
Carpenter, along with righty Aaron Kurcz, was part of the compensation the Red Sox received from the Cubs for allowing Theo Epstein out of his contract.
Carpenter, 27, spent the majority of the year at Triple-A Pawtucket, where he went 0-2 with a 4.96 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 30 games (one start). For his major league career, he is 1-0 with a 5.17 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 18 games between the Cubs (2011) and Red Sox (2012).
NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees were hit with a $28 million luxury tax bill, pushing their total past the $250 million mark since the penalty began in 2003.
According to Major League Baseball calculations sent to teams Tuesday, the Los Angeles Dodgers were the only other team that exceeded the tax threshold this year and must pay $11.4 million. Boston finished just under for the second straight year, coming in $225,666 shy of the $178 million mark.
Figures include average annual values of contracts for players on 40-man rosters, earned bonuses and escalators, adjustments for cash in trades and $10.8 million per team in benefits.
Because the Yankees have been over the tax threshold at least four consecutive times, they pay at a 50 percent rate on the overage, and their $28,113,945 bill was second only to their $34.1 million payment following the 2005 season. The Yankees are responsible for $252.7 million of the $285.1 million in tax paid by all clubs over the past 11 years.
Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said he hopes to get under the threshold next year, when it rises to $189 million. That would reset the team's tax rate to 12.5 percent for 2015 and get the Yankees some revenue-sharing refunds.
The deal is pending a physical.
Thornton, 37, figures to replace Logan as the Yankees' main lefty in the bullpen.
The Yes Network first reported the agreement.
Thornton was limited by injury, including an oblique issue, with the Boston Red Sox in 2013. He appeared in 20 games for Boston, throwing 15 1/3 innings.
He was traded to the Red Sox from the Chicago White Sox last season but was left off Boston's playoff roster. He finished the season with a 3.74 ERA in 60 appearances spanning 43 1/3 innings.
An All-Star in 2010, Thornton hasn't just been a pure lefty specialist during his career, as left-hand hitters have batted .233 against him, while righties hit .241.
As I look around the league, I can see 10 more moves that make a lot of sense and should to get done for their teams to remain viable contenders for 2014. Let's take a look:
1. Los Angeles Angels | Move: Sign free-agent RHP Matt Garza
The Angels have worked hard
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BOSTON -- Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino has undergone surgery to release a nerve in his right thumb.
Boston said Dr. Thomas Graham operated in Cleveland and that Victorino is expected to be ready to participate in spring training.
Victorino hit .294 with 15 homers, 61 RBIs and 21 stolen bases in his first season with the Red Sox, and his three-run double off the Green Monster sparked the Red Sox to their Game 6 win over St. Louis and their third World Series title in 10 seasons.
But some teams still have room for a big move before the offseason is over:
1. Texas Rangers: GM Jon Daniels says he does not expect any more major moves for the Rangers this winter. But Texas remains in an excellent position in its negotiations with Shin-Soo Choo and Nelson Cruz, because it appears the Rangers are one of the last teams -- maybe the last team -- prepared to spend big money on an outfielder.
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The Red Sox played 16 postseason games en route to winning it all, and the extra work has affected some of the relievers' offseason workout plans.
"We have to take into consideration the innings of last year," pitching coach Juan Nieves said Saturday. "Guys like [Koji] Uehara, [Junichi] Tazawa, [Craig] Breslow, we've got to pick and choose their outings.
"Everything will be programmed for them a little different than the other guys."
Breslow was among Red Sox players and coaches at the team's annual Christmas at Fenway event Saturday and spoke about the offseason program he's been on.
"I've spoken to Juan and [manager John Farrell] and [bullpen coach Dana LeVangie], and I think the plan is probably to get a few of us started a little bit later and give us a little bit longer time off now, kind of keeping in mind that if we get into games a little bit later into the spring training schedule, it's probably not a huge deal," Breslow said. "I normally would have started throwing already, but the combination of the workload and the season going later had kind of pushed that forward a little bit."
Breslow, whose season started May 6 after he missed a month with left shoulder tendinitis during the spring, pitched in 71 games between the regular season and postseason, throwing 67 innings. The 33-year-old posted a 1.81 ERA during the regular season and allowed zero runs in seven combined postseason innings against the Tampa Bay Rays and Detroit Tigers before allowing three runs in one-third of an inning (three appearances) to St. Louis in the World Series.
"In totality, I didn't really throw any more [innings] than I had in previous years. It just all started a little bit later and was probably a little bit more back-loaded," Breslow said. "But they were certainly higher leverage, more intense, and so I think when it was all done and I had a chance to catch my breath, I realized just how exhausted I was."
Breslow said he has yet to hear from Nieves or Farrell about when he'll start throwing but expects an ongoing dialogue with the two after last season's extended run.
"It increases the importance of being in communication with the training staff and pitching coach and being honest and recognizing that if your plan is to play into October and late into October, then there might be time to kind of save throws or pitches earlier on in the season," Breslow said of his first playoff experience. "Now I understand that some of the maintenance stuff I could probably take better care in."
How early? According to Red Sox pitching coach Juan Nieves, about five weeks earlier -- when the team was on the verge of winning the World Series.
"We spoke in St. Louis because he was there [working as a television analyst]," Nieves said Saturday. "He mentioned the fact, 'I would love to come here and be with this group,' because he saw the atmosphere in the locker room.
Indeed, Pierzynski worked as an analyst during the 2013 postseason for Fox, his third year doing so. However, it was the five years Pierzynski spent working closely in Chicago with then-bullpen coach Nieves that led to the conversation the two had in October.
"He's going to bring a lot of energy, a lot of will to win," Nieves said. "It's going to be exciting to see how he manages our pitching staff."
Pierzynski served as the Chicago White Sox's primary catcher from 2005 to 2012 before signing with the Texas Rangers a month after Nieves left Chicago to join the Red Sox staff as pitching coach. Pierzynski hit .272 with 17 home runs and 70 RBIs for Texas last season.
"When you see A.J. as an opposing player you don't like him, but when you see him on your team you're going to see a guy that comes in every day and plays hard," Nieves said. "He wants to be in that big situation."
Pierzynski spent the first five seasons of his major league career on the Minnesota Twins, playing with current Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz; he caught pitcher Jake Peavy with the White Sox from 2009 to 2012.
"For the experience and for the type of player he is, I think he will be a nice fit on the team," Nieves said. "We're going to embrace that, but that will start right after the beginning of January."
"I haven't spoken to [manager John Farrell] about it yet but that's going to have to come up in spring training when we talk about our baserunning," Butterfield said. "It may change our thought process. I'm sure it's something that John's thinking about already."
Sandy Alderson, chairman of MLB's rules committee, announced the proposed rule change Wednesday, with sources telling ESPN's Buster Olney the rule will not allow catchers to block home plate or runners to target catchers, under threat of punishment. Butterfield said he is unsure of what to think about the changes, citing the need for more information.
"I want to find out more," Butterfield said. "When you first hear it, they were talking a lot about the catcher's welfare … but the thing that I want to know is how they're going to govern everything from a catcher's standpoint as well as a baserunner's standpoint.
"I think it's going to be real important on both sides. It's got to be both sides and there are some things I'm having a tough time [with]. I don't know how they're going to play the ball that is thrown and takes the catcher up the line.
"If you've got somebody coming in knowing that [they] can loosen your jaw a little bit, a lot of times you're not going to be as aggressive to go get that ball. Catchers knowing that there's no contact, they're going to feel real good with all that gear on going up the line.
"I don't want to see catchers get hurt but I also don't want to see runners get hurt, so it's going to be real important the way they word the rule. How are you going to protect the runner?"
Red Sox catcher Ryan Lavarnway shared a similar stance toward the proposed change.
"I've talked to a few of the other catchers and I think that in general we all want to see it the way it is. We think that that is a part of the game," Lavarnway said. "I understand where the owners are coming from, they're trying to keep us healthy. I think that their intentions are in the right place and I think that we can find some middle ground, but if it was up to me, I'd leave it the way it is.
"If you start changing the rules of the way we grew up and you're asking players to do something that's not natural to most of them, that concerns me because you learn how to protect yourself by the way you know the rules to be. And when you change something like that it's a little unpredictable."
The language of the rule change is set to be presented to owners for approval at their Jan. 16 meetings. Approval from the players union is necessary for the change to be put into effect in 2014; however, Alderson said the rule could be implemented unilaterally in 2015.
"I would think in a short period of time where you try to define the way plays are made at the plate, there might be some glitches in the first year regardless of whatever year you decide to start doing it," Butterfield said. "Too much unknown for me right now, but I'm a baserunning guy [and] that's going to be very important to me.
"It's going to be very irritating. We'll see how it goes."
Last year's backup David Ross figures to split time at the position with Pierzynski after starting four of the team's six World Series games, including the final three. Meanwhile, minor leaguers Dan Butler and Christian Vazquez are continuing to develop, and both offer strong defensive potential at the position. That leaves 26-year-old Ryan Lavarnway on the bubble entering the 2014 season.
"A.J.'s a good player," Lavarnway said. "He's been pretty established, he's had a lot of success at the plate and behind it. We want to win."
Lavarnway made his major league debut after a strong 2011 season with Triple-A Pawtucket that saw him hit .295 with 18 home runs. For Boston, he went 7-for-22 in six starts behind the plate before being sent back down until September, when he made three more starts at catcher, including the team's final game of the season that saw the Red Sox forfeit their postseason spot to the Tampa Bay Rays.
Since then, Lavarnway has started each season by being optioned to the minors, the result of Jarrod Saltalamacchia's blossoming into a full-time starter and the signings of free agents Kelly Shoppach in 2012 and Ross in 2013 as backups.
Following the trade of Shoppach to the New York Mets in August 2012, Lavarnway became Saltalamacchia's backup before being handed the starting position by manager Bobby Valentine, who shifted Saltalamacchia over to first base. Lavarnway struggled in the role, hitting .157 and allowing 25 stolen bases in 25 starts.
After Ross suffered a concussion that landed him on the disabled list May 12 of last season, Lavarnway was recalled once again to serve as a backup, making only 18 starts behind the plate and hitting .299. Now, with Pierzynski in tow, Lavarnway has yet to have been told what the plan for him is next season.
"I haven't had any conversations with [general manager Ben Cherington] about that so I don't know," Lavarnway said. "I'm excited to defend the world championship next year. I don't know what else I can tell you."
Lavarnway looks to be third on Boston's catching depth chart heading into spring training with Butler, Vazquez and top prospect Blake Swihart behind him.
Known for his offense, Lavarnway is a career .282 hitter across five minor league seasons compared to a .208 hitter in his major league stints. He has one option remaining on his contract.
Boston Red Sox savior David Ortiz's path to World Series MVP and my pick for sportsman of the year began on April 20. During a ceremony before a baseball game in front of his city, inside of his park, he grabbed a microphone and said these five words: "This is our f---ing city!"
From that moment forward, David Ortiz became a symbol of hope, pride, strength and resilience for a city that was in need of something more than baseball to heal the pain it was struggling through.
Now all it needed was a hero.
Bats speak louder than words.
That's what true baseball historians, aficionados, legends and lifers will tell you if you ever get into a real conversation with them about the importance of the game and the role it's played in this country.
The game's association with apple pie and Chevys is minimal and almost degrading. The game, when put in proper perspective, is so much larger. Pies get eaten, cars get driven. Bats create sounds and produce runs. They feed souls and drive spirits. And those who swing bats -- and swing them well -- have always had voices that have the power to go beyond the impact their hits can have inside the diamond.
Somehow, Ortiz used the six months following the Boston Marathon bombing to let his bat speak. To back up the words he spoke on that horrific day.