Wright wants rewrite
Righty out to set record straight
RED SOX NOTEBOOK
FORT MYERS — While Steven Wright’s domestic violence case was retired for a year in court, it still lingers in a review process by Major League Baseball, restricting him from saying too much about what actually happened.
But the Red Sox knuckleballer tried to defend himself as best he could yesterday, stressing that he was never violent with his wife, Shannon, during an incident at his Tennessee home that ended with his arrest on Dec. 8.
“It wasn’t that bad, especially on a personal level, especially because I never touched her,” Wright said. “That’s probably the hardest thing, for me to sit there and see people talk about me being a wife-beater and all that stuff and I didn’t even make physical contact. That’s pretty much all I’m really allowed to say right now, because I want to honor MLB and their investigation. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I’ll have a better idea of what’s going to come of that.”
Wright said he’s still yet to be interviewed by officials from MLB.
President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said he has a general idea if Wright will be suspended or not, but the Red Sox haven’t commented on the case while the league’s investigation is ongoing.
Wright was arrested following an argument at his home and charged with domestic assault and preventing a 911 call. They’re both considered misdemeanors in Tennessee. He was released on a $2,500 bond.
“It definitely got escalated in that one particular night,” Wright said. “We’ve been going to counseling. We’ve been working through it. We’ve been trying to do as much as we can to put it past us, but it’s hard, because MLB is doing their investigation and it’s in the limelight. It’s really hard on a personal level to get past something that’s constantly being thrown at you. But I did it to myself.
“It’s one of those things that I’ve got to live with the consequences that came from my actions that night. It’s just hard. You get labeled as somebody that’s a wife-beater when you don’t even make physical contact. I’m looking forward to telling that side of the story, about what happens, because people will understand a little bit more about what happened. It’s not what you’re reading as far as you hear about domestic violence.”
Wright is also dealing with recovery from knee surgery that cost him most of 2017.
“(The arrest has) been a humbling experience,” he said. “There are some things personally that I’ve got to work on, that can help not only in my relationship with my wife and my family but in baseball and life in general.”
Wright is being held out from some drills while his knee recovers, but he’s hopeful to be ready by Opening Day.
The Sox hope Wright or Eduardo Rodriguez, who also had knee surgery, will be healthy enough to be the fifth starter to begin the season.
“I feel pretty good,” Wright said. “I’m still in the rehab phase with the knee, trying to push it as hard as I can within reason.”
Wright said he had cartilage from a cadaver used to replace the cartilage in his left knee.
“It is such a unique surgery,” he said. “I didn’t realize how unique it was until I started asking people and no one had really had it. Now (second baseman) Dustin Pedroia has had it. I’m looking forward to getting him down here so we can kind of start bouncing things, what he’s feeling, what he’s been doing. But it’s not a cut-and-dried rehab. It’s take it one step at a time as far as getting through that.”
Mookie Betts took some grounders at shortstop, something many players do just to keep loose.
But even if the Red Sox sign free agent outfielder J.D. Martinez, Betts won’t be moving back to the infield, Dombrowski told the Herald. Betts is a Gold Glove winner in right field.
Bright lights, big city
The Patriots were in the Super Bowl, the Bruins and Celtics have playoff aspirations and soon the Red Sox will be underway. The pressure that comes from the success of Boston’s other sports teams is a welcome one, according to players.
“I consider it a blessing because I’m one of the few guys that gets the opportunity to play at Fenway Park in front of a packed house every night,” starter Rick Porcello said. “If you’re a competitive guy and you want to play at the highest level and under the brightest lights, this is the place to do it. It’s not intimidating. I love it. I try to feed off it and use it to my advantage.”
Ace Chris Sale once played his home games at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, where the White Sox averaged fewer than 22,000 fans per game, 26th in the league in 2016. He’s taken to the crowds at Fenway Park.
“I loved it,” he said. “I think that’s obviously one of the pros to playing here in Boston is the ballpark and the fan base. I don’t know how many games we played that weren’t sold out at home. A few of them? Well OK I didn’t notice it. We as players appreciate that a lot.
“It’s a different ballgame when you’re playing in front of a packed house that is very passionate about the team on the field and there’s no replicating that feeling when you’re standing on the mound and everyone is losing their minds. It’s definitely appreciated.”
SPRING BREAK: Catchers Sandy Leon and Christian Vazquez get a lift yesterday in Fort Myers.