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As it turned out, David Ortiz was even a legend at saying goodbye

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David Ortiz is enjoying retirement. That much is clear, especially after the former slugger posted a long video on Twitter over the weekend of himself enjoying his vacation.

The 34-year-old Freese had not played since tweaking the hamstring running the bases in Monday’s game vs. the Cubs. He took batting practice and infield practice prior to Friday’s series opener at Marlins Park, and he was listed on the lineup card as available for the game, but it was determined that he would need additional time to heal.

Carpenter has watched other teams wait until a two-strike count to send a third defender over to the right side of the infield. The Dodgers, however, abandoned the third-base position at the start of his at-bat. “If they don’t have a shortstop playing third or someone playing on the grass on the left side, I’ll do it every time,” Carpenter said. “I look every time for it. If I had the true David Ortiz shift, where they’re all over there [on the right side], I’d do it all the time. They don’t do it because they know that I would do it.”

But Ortiz is expected to make an appearance at Red Sox camp at some point during Spring Training, and fans shouldn’t be surprised if they hear his voice adding commentary to some Boston games this season.

“For the last decade, he’s been a bedrock here,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “He’s been a cornerstone player, and his importance continues to grow. As players have moved on, Pedey is still the one guy who’s still in his prime and has had a fantastic Spring Training. Even for a guy with his stature here in Boston, the number of years he’s been here, he’s still growing daily as the leader of our team and is more and more comfortable in that role.”

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The Red Sox don’t really have a Plan B for Sandoval at third, so when he returns from the disabled list, he’ll be right back in the lineup. Sandoval’s career has been one of very hot and very cold streaks, and Boston could use a hot one when he gets back.

“It’s going to be a little weird going in on the other side,” he said. “There’s been a lot of turnover since I left. That makes it probably not as hard. There’s a few guys I played with, but not all the guys I grew up with who were there. I think that will make it easier.” 

Lester isn’t sure where the visitors’ clubhouse is. He was there for a rookie development program in 2005.
“I’ll have to go in the way I know how to go in and walk across the field to find [the visitors’ clubhouse] for the first time,” Lester said.

When the 2017 schedule came out, Lester got text messages almost immediately about the Cubs’ series against the Red Sox. Lester’s family and his parents will be in Boston, and his wife has Thursday’s off-day planned so they can go to their favorite restaurants.

“It’s awesome,” Pedroia said. “I get nervous every game. I think everyone does. Opening Day is a little bit different. It’s the first everything. You want to get the first ground ball hit to you out of the way. You always have nerves and things like that.

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The D-backs came into Sunday leading the Majors with 105 runs scored and were hitting fourth overall as a team at .265, though the splits are dramatic differences between home and road. At home, they were hitting .316 with 74 runs scored and 69 RBIs, all at the top of the Majors. On the road, the corresponding numbers were .211 (21st in the Majors), 31 and 29.

As it turned out, David Ortiz was even a legend at saying goodbye.

There was just one low point to Ortiz’s ending. Boston was swept out of the Division Series by the eventual American League-champion Indians, and there would be just one postseason game played at Fenway Park.

Amazingly, the Boston fans were able to quickly push aside the end of a gut-wrenching elimination loss and turn their attention to Ortiz. It seemed that nobody left the ballpark after the cheap mlb jerseys last out. Instead, they all stood and called for Ortiz to return to the field so they could salute him one last time.

Only three teams have scored fewer runs, and even with David Ortiz retiring, this isn’t what anyone expected from a club that led the Majors in runs last season.

The Tigers lost a winnable game Sunday, and fans reacted with predictable panic and dread. In Detroit, there’s no such thing as an isolated bullpen meltdown. Even in April, a spoiled lead evokes the image of David Ortiz swatting Joaquin Benoit’s splitter into the Fenway Park bullpen during the 2013 playoffs.

Big Papi captured the attention of Red Sox Nation with cryptic Twitter activity this week. Representatives of Ortiz and Boston haven’t said publicly that a comeback is possible. Dominican general manager Moises Alou told MLB.com late Tuesday that, to this point, Ortiz has not expressed interest in playing again for the national team. But under any scenario in which Ortiz returns to uniform, the WBC is a natural place to start.

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Tom Brady has won 198 contests, including the postseason, during his 17-plus seasons with New England.

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That’s an awful lot of great memories for Patriots fans and nightmares for the opposition. It’s also too great a catalogue to choose from.

Not all of Brady’s showings featured the gaudy passing statistics for which he is known. Further, there are backstories surrounding some of these wins that make them larger in significance than others from both a personal and team standpoint.

The Tampa Bay Rays have activated left fielder Colby Rasmus from the DL following his recovery from hip surgery, and outfielder Shane Peterson was designated for assignment.

Rasmus wasn’t in the lineup for Tuesday’s game at Miami but was available off the bench to make his Rays debut, and he will start against right-handers, manager Kevin Cash said.

A left-handed hitter, Rasmus has at least 15 homers each of the past five seasons. He underwent surgery in October, and the Rays signed him to a $5 million, one-year contract in January.

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The Chicago Cubs have a one-game lead over the Brewers and Cardinals in the NL Central.
Does it feel like teams are better this year? They are. There are just three teams with a winning percentage below .400 entering May 1 this season, tied for the fewest such teams in any season since 1996 (also in 2009).

Since 1996, 14 of the 21 World Series winners led their divisions entering May 1. The 2014 Giants, 2011 Cardinals and 2004 Red Sox each had a share of their respective division’s lead at that point, did not win the division, but did win the World Series.

How rare is it for the reigning World Series champions to cheap jerseys be leading their division entering May? The last team to do it was the 2012 Cardinals. Before that, no team had done it since the 2008 Red Sox. Overall, seven teams have won the World Series and then held at least a share of the lead in their division entering May since 1996.

There are 11 teams within a game of first place or currently holding a share. The most such teams entering May 1 in a season since 1996 is 12, which has happened 4 times in the span — most recently in 2016.

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Those two big wins came immediately after a 7-0 drubbing in Game 4 that was easily the most lopsided loss of Edmonton’s season. “We lose 7-0, everyone has us down and out and we come back and win two in a row. I don’t think anyone had us doing that after that kind of game,” McDavid said before Game 1 in Anaheim. “I feel like in a playoff series, momentum isn’t game to game.”

After the Oilers’ humbling 6-3 loss to the Ducks in Game 3 on Sunday — Edmonton’s first in the series, which it now leads two games to one — McDavid has an opportunity to prove his playoff momentum theory in Game 4 on Wednesday at home at Rogers Place.  

McDavid’s confidence in his team’s resilience isn’t unfounded. The Oilers haven’t lost consecutive games since March 12, when the Montreal Canadiens handed Edmonton its third straight loss. The Oilers’ 21 wins in one-goal games tied the Ottawa Senators for the sixth-highest total in the league this season. They also went 29-2-1 during the regular season when leading after two periods. That .906 win percentage in such situations ranked fifth in the NHL. Edmonton also won seven games during the regular season when trailing after 40 minutes; only three teams bested that number.

By taking care of matters in their end of the ice, the Nashville Predators’ defensive corps is earning the right to contribute to matters on the offensive end.

That was evident again Sunday when the Predators bounced the St. Louis Blues 3-1 in Game 3 of their Western Conference semifinal at Bridgestone Arena to grab a 2-1 series lead. Ryan Ellis scored the first goal while fellow defenseman Roman Josi tallied the final marker.

P.K. Subban and Mattias Ekholm each registered assists, giving the blue-liners a combined seven goals and 14 assists in seven playoff games. Ellis has scored in six straight games and leads Nashville scorers in the postseason with eight points off three goals and five assists

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