Source: Red Sox fire strength coach

Updated: November 3, 2011, 4:16 PM ET
By Joe McDonald | ESPNBoston.com

In the aftermath of the team's September collapse and concern over the conditioning of some members of the team, the Boston Red Sox have fired strength and condition coach Dave Page and assistant athletic trainer Greg Barajas, a team source said Thursday.

Page had been the team's strength and conditioning coach since 2005. Barajas has been a trainer with the Sox since 2009 after spending 12 seasons as a minor league trainer.

A team source indicated to ESPNBoston.com last month there were certain players who gained weight and were out of shape as the season progressed and that it had an effect on the field and in the clubhouse. After the season ended, then-general manager Theo Epstein acknowledged a concern about some players not being in peak form.

"I can't sit here and say those standards have been met across the board," Epstein said. "I'm not going to lump everyone in together, but I'll say there are certain instances where we can and have to do better it will be addressed."

In the opinion of at least one Red Sox player and one former player, Page was good at his job, highly respected in the clubhouse and shouldn't be scapegoated for the team's conditioning woes.

"[Page] is dedicated to his job and he's down to whatever it takes to get you going," David Ortiz said in early October. "That's the kind of person you need to have around. He's always there ready for us. He's always there telling you what to do and making sure you get your work in. After that he's not a babysitter.

"It's your job to know what's good for you to be able to compete," added Ortiz. "You get paid, not only to throw the damn ball, to catch it or to hit it, you get paid to make sure your body is in good condition to play the game. If you don't know that, you're wrong, bro. That's your weapon, your secret weapon. You can't wait for them to come and tell you that you have to be in shape to play baseball."

ESPN baseball analyst and former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling concurred.

"That team has the most committed, passionate, educated, smart strength and conditioning coach I've ever met," Schilling said last month. "I thought the team came out of spring training -- I don't want to say in bad shape, but they weren't ready to play. The strength and conditioning coach, Dave Page, is a guy who will spend 25 hours in his day doing whatever he can do to make players better. You can't make guys do stuff they don't want to do.

"These guys are 100 percent responsible for their own actions and performance, and they refuse to man up to that."

WEEI.com first reported the news of Page's firing.

Joe McDonald covers the Red Sox and Bruins for ESPNBoston.com.

Joe McDonald

Reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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