Boston Red Sox Groundskeeper's Famous Dog Dies ... Fenway Park Staple

Awful news out of Red Sox nation ... Drago -- the German shepherd who became famous for roaming the field at Fenway Park over the past few years -- has died at 10 years old.

The pup's owner, Red Sox head groundskeeper Dave Mellor, mourned the passing in a message to the Associated Press this week.

"I was blessed he was in my life as he saved my life, changed my life, inspired me, and gave hope to my life in ways I hadn't had in decades and didn’t know were possible,” Mellor said. "I am absolutely heartbroken."

Mellor, a die-hard Red Sox fan and a former star high school pitching prospect, got Drago back in 2014 in order to help deal with the PTSD he was suffering from after he was involved in two horrific car crashes earlier in his life.

The two quickly became inseparable -- and Drago soon joined Mellor at his job tending to the grounds at Fenway Park, where the dog quickly became beloved by Red Sox players, staffers and fans.

Sadly, Drago suffered a stroke before Boston hosted the Oakland Athletics last week, and died two days later.

The Red Sox org. showed a heartfelt message on the video board at the ballpark last Friday when the team played the St. Louis Cardinals ... saying that Drago was a companion who provided countless memories over the years.

"We send love and support to his family, honor his service and recognize a life well-lived," the Sox's tribute read. "We will miss you, Drago.”

RIP.

Steve Aoki Horrific First Pitch At Red Sox Game ... Worst All-Time?!?

Steve Aoki might be able to throw a cake with pinpoint accuracy -- but he sure as hell can't do the same with a baseball, 'cause he absolutely airmailed the ceremonial first pitch at the Red Sox game on Monday night ... and it was truly awful.

The DJ took the mound just minutes before Boston faced off with the Astros at Fenway Park ... and, given the results of the pitch, he's honestly probably wishing he hadn't.

Aoki warmed up his left arm, toed the rubber -- and then heaved a ball that went roughly 20 feet over his catcher's head. It was actually so bad, it rolled over the net behind home plate and fell into the crowd.

Video shot by people in the stadium shows fans were laughing at the pitch -- because it was seriously just that bad.

To his credit, Aoki had fun with the moment ... tweeting after the heave, "i’m gonna stick to throwing cakes."

Of course, Aoki is far from the first celeb to embarrass himself on an MLB diamond ... you'll recall, 50 Cent is known for the worst ever, throwing one sideways in 2014.

And, it ain't like Dr. Fauci's toss in Washington was much better in 2020.

So ... don't feel too bad, Steve!

Minor League Baseball Red Sox Prospect Socks Pitcher After Beaning ... Ignites Insane Brawl

A Boston Red Sox prospect uncorked a haymaker on a pitcher after he was beaned during a game Thursday night ... and the punch was so violent, it ignited an all-out brawl on the field.

The wild scene went down during the Portland Sea Dogs' minor league baseball game against the Binghamton Rumble Ponies ... when Sea Dogs' first baseman and Sox prospect Tyreque Reed was drilled on the arm during the third inning.

You can see in footage of the play, following the hit-by-pitch, pitcher Marcel Renteria -- a New York Mets prospect -- appeared to say something to Reed that set him off.

Reed immediately charged at Renteria ... and then socked him in the face -- sending him crashing to the grass.

All hell broke loose following the punch, with players from both teams racing in to get in on the action.

At one point during the brawl, Renteria appeared to tackle another Sea Dogs player ... but once the fracas died down -- Renteria was clearly hurt.

It's unclear if Renteria suffered any serious injuries in the altercation -- but he was replaced by another pitcher. Reed, meanwhile, was ejected for his role in it all.

The game, thankfully, went off without another hitch following the brawl -- with the Sea Dogs coming out on top, 12-5.

BASE-BRAWL

Of course, this is the second big brawl on a baseball diamond that we've seen this week ... you'll recall, on Wednesday, a pitcher tackled a batter and sparked a huge fight on the field.

Bill Belichick On Jerry Remy Pays Tribute To Late Red Sox Legend ... 'We'll Miss Him'

A MESSAGE FROM COACH
The Greg Hill Show/WEEI 93.7 FM

Bill Belichick is just like everyone else in New England, mourning the death of Boston Red Sox legend, Jerry Remy ... who passed away after a year 13-year battle with cancer over the weekend.

The Patriots coach ended his weekly interview on WEEI ... memorializing the 68-year-old former player (infielder) and broadcaster of over 3 decades.

“Before we sign off, I just wanted to say to all of our fans out there, who are mostly Red Sox fans, how much we all are saddened by Jerry’s passing and how much he meant to all of us, the connection that he was to the Red Sox, his voice in the game and (how great) it was for the fans,” Belichick told the guys.

The 6x Super Bowl-winning head coach continues ... “He meant so much to Boston sports as a player and as an announcer, and his commentary of the game and insight into the game."

"We’ll all miss him. I know our fans are Jerry Remy and Red Sox fans, too, so our sympathy goes out to the Remy family. I just want to express my and all of our appreciation for all that he did to make Boston sports enjoyable and exciting for all of us. We’ll certainly miss him.”

The Red Sox also released a statement on Remy's death, with team owner John Henry saying ... "We are saddened by the loss of a beloved player, broadcaster, and 13-year cancer warrior."

Remy -- who played 7 seasons for the Sox as a 2nd baseman -- was inducted into the team's Hall of Fame in 2006.

Jerry -- who was born in Massachusetts -- was last seen at Fenway on October 5 for the Wild Card game against the New York Yankees. He threw out the first pitch to former teammate and broadcast partner, Dennis Eckersley.

R.I.P.

Alex Rodriguez Trolled With 'J Lo' & 'Affleck' Chants ... During Postgame Show

This has gotta sting!!

Alex Rodriguez was just trying to talk some baseball during American League Championship Series coverage on Monday ... when Boston fans used it as an opportunity to ruthlessly troll the hell out of him about Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck.

A-Rod -- who's doing analysis for Fox's coverage of the postseason -- was hit with verbal jabs before and after the Red Sox beat the Astros ... with fans in the crowd chanting 'J Lo' and 'Aff-leck' and even more harsh phrases like, "She left you with Ben Affleck!"

Of course, J-Rod split back in April ... with Lopez moving on with her former fiancé. Boston fans -- who absolutely hate the ex-Yankees slugger -- made sure A-Rod didn't forget their Sox superfan is living it up with J Lo now.

There were more NSFW chants, which kept the worker controlling the censor button busy all night ... but no matter what was thrown his way, it appeared A-Rod was unfazed.

Another guy yelled out, "Hey, A-Rod, what's your favorite Ben Affleck movie?!"

We're gonna guess it's not "Gigli"??

Red Sox Star J.D. Martinez Missing Do-Or-Die Game Vs. Yankees ... After Tripping Over 2nd Base

The Red Sox will be without one of their best players in their do-or-die game against the Yankees on Tuesday ... and it's all 'cause the dude tripped over 2nd base last weekend.

Seriously.

J.D. Martinez rolled his ankle over the bag while heading to the outfield in Boston's game against Washington on Sunday ... and video revealed it was a complete, freak accident.

Ballpark cameras showed as Martinez was on his way to right field, his left foot caught the base -- causing his lower leg to bend awkwardly.

The injury didn't seem too terrible at the time ... but the team announced Tuesday morning it's apparently is so bad, Martinez will not play in the big American League Wild Card Game against NY.

Of course, it's a huge deal for the Sox ... Martinez has been perhaps the team's best player this year -- batting .286 with 28 home runs and 99 RBI.

With Boston going up against Gerrit Cole -- it's certainly going to miss all of that.

With Martinez out, the Sox are now expected to roll with an outfield featuring Kike Hernandez, Hunter Renfroe and Alex Verdugo, with Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter.

Game starts in a few hours ... getcha popcorn ready.

Babe Ruth 100+ Yr Old Signed Red Sox Photo ... On Sale For $54k!!!

Baseball fans have a chance to straight-up buy an autographed Babe Ruth photo that's over 100 years old ... if they got a solid $54k lying around.

TMZ Sports has learned ... a rare photo of The Bambino has been hidden in a private collection until recently ... and is being sold by Moments In Time.

In the photograph, you can see Ruth rockin' a Red Sox uniform -- when he played for them from 1914 to 1919 ... and we're told experts believe it was signed while he was a member of the Boston organization, which would make this pic 100+ years old!!!

The former outfielder left a message on the bottom left corner of the pic, reading, "To Sal, Sincerely Babe Ruth."

This one-of-a-kind piece can be all yours for only $54,000 -- and, we say "only" because a handwritten letter by Ruth to his mistress sold for over $201k at auction in April.

This is unquestionably a great deal for Ruth fans who want to possess a token from the beginning of his legendary baseball career.

Ruth won his first three of seven World Series in Boston as a left-handed pitcher before becoming a star outfielder with the New York Yankees from 1920 to 1934.

Whoever gets their hands on the awesome piece will definitely be a diehard fan if they're willing to drop that kinda coin.

Miguel Sano Launches 495-Foot Home Run ... Dedicates Hit To Fan He Drilled In Head

Miguel Sano obliterated a ball into outer space on Wednesday -- crushing the piece of cowhide nearly 500 feet -- and afterward, he dedicated the moon shot to a fan he had drilled in the head earlier in the night.

The story is pretty heartwarming ... before the Twins' game against the Red Sox at Fenway Park -- Sano felt awful after he hit a batting practice homer that cracked a young fan in the head.

28-year-old Miguel felt so bad ... he actually signed a bat for the boy -- and then later, he said he'd get a big hit for him.

And, in the third inning, Sano did just that ... destroying a ball that completely left the stadium!!!

As Sano crossed home plate, he pointed to the fan ... and then gave the kid his jersey after the game as well!

"[The kid] told me to, 'Hit a homer for me and give me your jersey,'" Sano said. "And I said, 'Hey, I'm going to do it and I'm going to try to hit a longer one here and I'm going to give you the jersey.'"

The tape-measure shot was majestic ... and, at 495 feet, it ended up being the longest home run recorded in the MLB this season.

Somehow, though, it was NOT Sano's career longest -- he has a 496-footer on his resume.

Something tells us Wednesday's bomb -- and the Twins' 9-6 victory over Boston -- won't have him feeling too bad about not toppin' his record mark.

David Ortiz Has Surgery To Remove Stomach Hernias ... Related To 2019 Shooting

David Ortiz is still dealing with medical issues stemming from the 2019 attempt on his life -- reportedly undergoing surgery Wednesday to remove two stomach hernias related to his gunshot wound.

Exactly 2 years ago TODAY -- the 45-year-old Hall of Famer was shot in the back while sitting in an outside patio area of a popular nightclub in the Dominican Republic.

The bullet struck Ortiz's liver and his small and large intestines -- he required emergency surgery to save his life, which included the removal of his gall bladder. He spent several days in the ICU.

6/9/19
ALTERNATE VIEW

Ortiz has been rehabbing ever since ... and made a pretty incredible recovery. He was healthy enough to join FOX's MLB postseason coverage later that year.

While the Red Sox slugger's surgery Wednesday is related to the shooting, the procedure is considered to be "low risk" and has been scheduled since February, according to ESPN.

As we previously reported, 13 people were arrested in relation to the incident ... and officials believe Ortiz was NOT the intended target.

Rolfi Ferreira Cruz -- the alleged shooter -- has said on the record that Ortiz was not his target.

The preliminary trial is set for July.

Get well soon, Papi!

Boston Red Sox Shoot Shot with Jennifer Lopez If Ben Affleck Can Get Her Back ...

With Ben Affleck back in the picture, the Boston Red Sox clearly see an opportunity to land a huge (possible) free agent ... Jennifer Lopez!

Yeah, we know ... Jenny's from the Bronx, but since she split with A-Rod, it's hard to see her rooting for the Yankees any time soon.

Plus, the NY Mets rejected her offer to buy the team a few months ago -- guessing she ain't supporting them either.

So, leave it to Boston to make a move to win over one of the most famous celebs in the world ... and they might have a real shot!

The Red Sox posted a video to TikTok reflecting on the time J Lo took in a game at Fenway Park back in 2019 -- when the Sox played the visiting L.A. Dodgers.

Waiting for your permission to load TikTok Post.

A-Rod was working the booth for ESPN that night -- and while he was distracted, seems Jennifer really hit it off with the Red Sox mascot, Wally!

Now, with Lopez spending some quality time with Affleck -- one of the most diehard Boston fans on the planet -- the Red Sox are hoping she'll join him back at the Park the next time he catches a game in person.

"To the girl on the Monster from Sunday Night Baseball in 2019, We will never forget you," the Red Sox posted ... "Come back soon. We miss you."

Think it'll work?

MLB's Christian Vazquez Shows Bloody Scar After Drilled In Eye By Baseball ... Sunglasses Saved My Eyeball

Whoa.

Look at Christian Vasquez's eye -- which he's LUCKY to still have after getting hit directly in the face with a baseball during a practice sesh.

The Boston Red Sox catcher revealed his scar Monday during a media session and explained how wearing sunglasses may have saved his vision ... and the whole thing is super scary.

Vasquez was working on drills on one of the practice fields at Boston's JetBlue Park complex Thursday when pitcher Hirokazu Sawamura fired a ball his way ... mistakenly thinking Vasquez was looking in his direction.

We know what you're thinking ... and no, video of the incident has not been released.

The ball struck 30-year-old Vasquez with such force, it opened up a nasty gash under his left eye -- requiring immediate medical attention.

Vasquez required several stitches to close the wound -- and says if it wasn't for the sunglasses, he might have lost his left eyeball.

"You like my scar," Vasquez joked with reporters Monday before giving a health update.

"I’m doing good ... “My eye is good. I can see perfect."

Vasquez then walked reporters through the incident -- "I saw the ball right here in my face and it knocked me down to the floor."

"The sunglasses saved my eye,” he said ... "If I don’t have the sunglasses, it was a different story."

And, get this ... Vazquez says he's "99% sure" he'll be ready to play Thursday for Boston's Opening Day game against the Baltimore Orioles.

Tough dude.

L.A. Dodgers Fans Troll Red Sox With 'Thanks For Mookie' Billboard ... Right Next To Fenway!!!

A LITTLE THANK YOU "GIFT"
@Pantone294 / Twitter

Red Sox fans are going to HATE this ...

A group of L.A. Dodgers supporters secured a billboard right next to Fenway Park this week ... trolling the hell out of Boston for trading away superstar outfielder Mookie Betts last season!!

The savage sign was put up just yards away from The Green Monster ... located on the top of a building on Brookline Avenue.

The text? "Dear Boston, THANK YOU FOR MOOKIE BETTS. Sincerely, Dodgers fans and @Pantone294."

Of course, Boston jettisoned Mookie to L.A. just before the 2020 season began ... opting to trade away the former AL MVP instead of signing him to a mega-deal.

Mookie went on to help the Dodgers win the World Series ... while the Sox floundered, finishing in last place in the AL East.

We're sure the Red Sox don't appreciate the reminder ... especially 'cause the team and its fans will have to drive by the sign when they kick off their season at home against the Orioles next week.

Yeah ... ouch.

LeBron James Becomes Part Owner of Boston Red Sox

LeBoston Red Sox.

Yep, LeBron James is now a part-owner of one of the most storied franchises in pro sports ... the Boston Red Sox.

So, how did it happen?

LeBron has obtained shares in the Fenway Sports Group -- which is the parent company of the BoSox, along with several other prominent sports teams and companies.

No word on how many shares LeBron owns or how much money he put down -- but what's clear is he's a minority partner in FSG, which means he's a part-owner of the Sox, as first reported by the Boston Globe.

By the way, the Boston Globe is owned by John Henry -- the majority owner of the Boston Red Sox, who's reportedly worth $2.8 BILLION.

LeBron has publicly supported the NY Yankees for years -- but obviously, those days are over now.

The rivalry between NY and Boston goes back decades and there's no way you can support both teams ... even if you're LeBron!

LeBron's business partner, Maverick Carter, is also part of the FSG ownership group now -- which makes him a Sox part-owner as well.

LeBron has yet to publicly comment on the deal -- but he's expected to make some sort of announcement in the near future.

FYI, the Boston Red Sox are reportedly valued at $3.3 BILLION, according to Forbes ... which makes them the 3rd most valuable franchise in MLB, behind the Yankees and Dodgers.

LeBron has some experience with pro sports ownership -- he bought a piece of the legendary Liverpool soccer team back in 2011.

As for FSG, the company owns pieces of the NESN network, Roush Fenway Racing, Liverpool FC and more.

The move expands LeBron's already impressive empire -- he's reportedly made $343 million from NBA contracts alone.

Plus, his media company, Springhill Entertainment, is thriving with "Space Jam 2" coming out soon.

And, don't forget that reportedly $1 billion lifetime deal with Nike.

He's also a part-owner of the Blaze pizza company and has a stake in the Ladder supplement company, which he created with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Bottom line ... LeBron is not only the greatest athlete on the planet, he's a pretty savvy businessman, too!

Story developing ...

Johnny Damon Arrested for DUI in Florida Wife Booked for Battering Cop During Stop

UPDATE

8:47 AM PT -- TMZ Sports has obtained the police report ... in which cops say Johnny Damon's blood-alcohol level was .30, nearly FOUR TIMES the legal limit.

UPDATE

Cops also say Damon's wife was in the car at the time of the arrest -- and describe her as being completely out of control.

UPDATE

In fact, cops say Michelle Mangan-Damon was uncooperative, combative -- and at one point, she actually pushed a police officer.

UPDATE
UPDATE

While Johnny was booked for DUI, Michelle was arrested for battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest with violence.

UPDATE

In the police report, cops say Damon was pulled over at around 1:23 AM after officers observed his SUV swerving all over the road.

UPDATE

During the stop, cops say Damon was slurring his speech and unsteady on his feet -- and ultimately admitted to drinking alcohol earlier in the evening.

UPDATE

In fact, when asked if he had consumed alcohol, cops say Damon replied "just a little bit" while "motioning with his left hand and fingers in a small pinching motion."

UPDATE

Before Johnny and Michelle were taken to the station, cops say Michelle told the arresting officer she had a nanny at home with their six children. So, the officer called the nanny and told her that Johnny and Michelle "were going to jail and would not be home for some time."

UPDATE

While at the station, cops say Johnny agreed to take a breathalyzer test, but noted his wife was advising him against it. Ultimately, cops say Johnny gave two valid breath samples, .30 and .294.

UPDATE

Cops asked Johnny where he was partying before the incident ... to which they say he replied, "London House," which Johnny described as "it's a guy who had a lot of money ... we're just having a good time there."

Ex-MLB superstar Johnny Damon was arrested for DUI in Florida early Friday morning -- and cops say his blood-alcohol level was more than TWICE the legal limit.

The 47-year-old -- who played for the Boston Red Sox and NY Yankees -- was pulled over by the Windermere Police Dept. (in the Orlando area) around 8:15 AM.

During the stop, cops say Damon showed signs of intoxication and at some point, they tested his blood alcohol level which came back at "greater than or equal to .20."

The legal limit to drive is .08.

Damon was arrested and booked on multiple charges including driving under the influence and resisting arrest without violence.

Damon was hauled to a nearby station where he posed for a mug shot -- and spent time in a holding cell.

Damon is a 2-time World Series champion and made 2 All-Star teams during his 18 seasons as an MLB player.

After his playing days, Damon appeared as a contestant on Donald Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice" in 2014 as well as competing on "Dancing with the Stars" in 2018.

Damon was one of the key cogs in breaking Boston's famous World Series draught -- banding together with his "idiots" to win the title in 2004.

He later left Boston to play for the rival NY Yankees -- and cut his famous long hair in the process.

Story developing ...

Originally Published -- 7:49 AM PT

Dustin Pedroia Red Sox Legend Retires

Dustin Pedroia -- one of the most legendary Boston Red Sox players ever -- has officially called it a career ... the 37-year-old announced Monday he's retiring.

Pedroia was a STAR for the Sox for over a decade ... he won AL Rookie of the Year honors in 2007 and went on to win the league's MVP award just one year later.

The 2nd basemen -- whose final years with the Sox were marred by various injuries -- also helped Boston win two World Series titles.

He ultimately ended his 14-year MLB career with a .299 batting average, four Gold Gloves and four total All-Star selections.

"Dustin is so much more than his American League Most Valuable Player award, his All-Star Game selections, and the Gold Gloves he amassed throughout his impressive 17-year career in our organization,” team owner John Henry said in a statement.

“Dustin came to represent the kind of grit, passion, and competitive drive that resonates with baseball fans everywhere and especially with Red Sox fans."

Henry continued, "He played the game he loves in service to our club, its principles and in pursuit of championships. Most of all we are forever grateful to him for what he brought to our club and to our region as an important role model showing all of us how much one can accomplish with determination and hard work.”

Pedroia is so beloved in Boston ... the Red Sox changed their Twitter profile picture to his #15 on Monday, and even put together a sweet highlight package commemorating the guy's epic career.

Next stop for the former Sox star ... a possible bust in Cooperstown??? Let the debates begin!

Boston Red Sox Hire Bianca Smith ... 1st Black Female Coach In Pro Baseball History

The Red Sox have just made some very cool history ... the MLB org hired Bianca Smith to help its minor league players, making her the 1st black female coach EVER in pro baseball.

Boston made the move official late Monday night ... bringing 29-year-old Smith on board to coach Sox prospects in Fort Myers, FL beginning later this offseason.

"The opportunity is amazing," Smith said of the hiring on MLB Network. "I'm still wrapping my head around it. I probably won't have it sink in until I'm actually there."

Smith continued, "But I think it's a great opportunity also to just kind of inspire other women who are interested in this game."

Smith has some serious roots in the game already despite being so young ... she's held internships with several MLB orgs previously and is currently a hitting coordinator and assistant coach at Carroll University in Wisconsin.

Smith -- who played softball at Dartmouth College -- also worked as an assistant coach at University of Dallas in 2018 and was the director of baseball operations for several years at Case Western Reserve University prior to that.

Smith says she's fired up to continue moving up the ranks in the MLB ... and her historic hire has already caught the eye of several prominent athletes, including Billie Jean King.

"Congratulations to Bianca Smith, who was just hired by the ⁦@RedSox⁩ as a minor league coach," the tennis legend said on Twitter. "She will be the first Black woman to coach in professional baseball history. See it. Be it! #RepresentationMatters #MLB."

Smith has vowed to utilize analytics and video to help coach the Red Sox ... adding she believes she can a huge impact on players' swings going forward.

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