Some bad news for David Ortiz and the Red Sox

Some bad news for David Ortiz and the Red Sox

From Comcast SportsNetBOSTON (AP) -- David Ortiz doesn't want his season -- and possibly his Red Sox career -- to end on the disabled list.The Red Sox placed Ortiz back on the 15-day disabled list Monday due to lingering problems with a strained right Achilles, but the DH said he hopes to play again this season.Speaking to reporters in Boston's dugout about 45 minutes before the club's game against Kansas City, Ortiz expressed his desire to return this season -- and beyond.The 36-year old Ortiz said he'll have an injection in the next day or so and hopes to return in September. He will become a free agent at the end of the season."We'll see how it goes the next couple of weeks," he said. "If I feel good I can go out and play. ... Oh man, no question (I want that)."Ortiz, who at times this season has expressed disappointment of not having a multiyear deal, said he'd like to come back in 2013."For years I always keep telling everyone I want to be part of this organization," he said. "This is what I know. I know we've had a lot of injuries this year. I know how hard it's been (this year)."Once called "the greatest clutch hitter in Red Sox history" by the club's ownership, Ortiz, is completing his 10th season with the team. He's best remembered for consecutive game-winning hits in Games 4 and 5 of the 2004 ALCS when Boston overcame an 0-3 deficit to beat the Yankees en route to its first World Series title in 86 years.He also owns the club record for homers in a season, hitting 54 in 2006.But he also understands that playing in this market can weigh on players."That happens. Not everybody is able to deal with the game here," he said. "It can be super-hard dealing with the other distractions. Some people can deal with it, some people can't."Ortiz, who suffered the injury in mid-July, returned for Friday's win over Kansas City, getting two hits and two RBIs, but has not played since due to discomfort. He's hitting .318 with 23 homers and 60 RBIs.Manager Bobby Valentine said the injection would have sidelined him for about seven days so the club decided to put him on the DL.Outfielder Ryan Kalish was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket to take Ortiz's spot on the roster.Boston also activated right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka to start the series finale against the Royals on Monday and optioned reliever Pedro Beato back to Pawtucket.

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Flacco has same MVP odds as Winston and Mariotta

Flacco has same MVP odds as Winston and Mariotta

Joe Flacco has been a Super Bowl MVP and has won 10 playoff games. Marcus Mariotta and Jameis Winston have played one NFL season.

However, all three of those quarterbacks have been given the same odds (100/1) of winning next season’s MVP award by sportsbook Bovada.lv.

People who think Flacco is an elite quarterback may view that as disrespect. But the Bovada.lv odds throw even more shade at Flacco.

Sixteen quarterbacks are given a better chance of winning the MVP award in 2016 than Flacco. Some of the names you would expect, like Aaron Rodgers, who is the favorite at 4/1, followed by Ben Roethlisberger (7/1), Cam Newton (15/2), Russell Wilson (8/1), and Tom Brady (9/1).

But do Blake Bortles (66/1) of the Jaguars or Brock Osweiler of the Texans (66/1) really have a better chance of winning the MVP than Flacco? According to Bovada.lv they do. That’s also an indication that not much is expected from the Ravens overall after their 5-11 season. The better your team does, the better your chances of winning the MVP.

Newton won the MVP last year starting at 50/1 odds. So if you believe in Flacco and the Ravens, those 100/1 MVP odds for Flacco may look like an enticing play.

RELATED: Can Dumervil lead a rebirth of Ravens's pass rush?

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Ravens under the Microscope: Best case, worst case for DE Elvis Dumervil

Ravens under the Microscope: Best case, worst case for DE Elvis Dumervil

As we countdown to training camp, Clifton Brown and Bo Smolka will take turns putting 25 key Ravens under the microscope this month.

They’ll speculate on a best-case, worst-case scenario for at least one player every day. They’ll begin with players looking to carve out a role, or a roster spot. They’ll end with the Ravens’ most important players, concluding with quarterback Joe Flacco on July 25. 

RELATED: DUMERVIL DESPERATE TO GET A RING

UNDER THE MICROSCOPE: Elvis Dumervil, 32-year-old linebacker

Best-case scenario:

Dumervil is among the NFL’s sack leaders and spearheads a rebirth of the Ravens’ pass rush.

Why it could happen: 

Dumervil equaled his career high with 17 sacks as recently as 2014. He keeps himself in great shape, and says he feels great after offseason foot surgery. If Terrell Suggs returns healthy, Dumervil won’t have to face as many double-teams, or play as many snaps. Dumervil looks at last season’s results as unacceptable – just six sacks for him, and just five wins for the Ravens. He’s motivated to double both totals – at least.

Worst-case scenario:

Dumervil is no longer an elite pass rusher

Why it could happen:

Dumervil entered the league in 2006, and at some point the wear and tear will start to show. If young pass rushers like Za’Darius Smith, Kamalei Correa, and Branson Kaufusi  are effective, Dumervil could see his role diminish as the season wears on.

RELATED: BEST & WORST CASE SCENARIO FOR JIMMY SMITH

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Baker acknowledges Nats need to come through in clutch situations

Baker acknowledges Nats need to come through in clutch situations

Coming through in two-out situations isn’t supposed to be an easy task, but the Nationals are making it look especially difficult of late.

The most recent example of those struggles came in Friday night’s 5-3 loss to the Padres, in which the Nats’ lineup couldn’t get the big knock against 23-year-old right hander Luis Perdomo, a rookie starter who came into the game sporting a 7.36 ERA.

“That’s been our nemesis,” manager Dusty Baker said. “People ask me, you know, what do we need? We need some timely, two-out base hits. Not home runs.”

Indeed, when the Nats have big nights offensively, it’s usually because they powered their way to get there. They entered Friday tied for first in the National League with 132 homers through 96 games. And even against the Padres, two of Washington's three runs on the night came via solo shots from Jayson Werth and Daniel Murphy.

So the issue hasn’t been overall scoring, per se. The issue has been scoring in clutch situations without having to rely on the long ball. Against the Perdomo and the Padres, the Nats went 1-for-5 with two outs and runners in scoring position, including an 0-for-4 stretch after the first inning. That won’t help their season average in that category (.221), which ranked 21st in the majors prior to the game.

So it’s no mystery to Baker about what has to be fixed.

“At this stage of the game, almost two-thirds of the season gone, we gotta make some changes,” the skipper said of the Nats’ two-out approach. “We’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting, and it’s getting frustrating on the guys and frustrating on fans and frustrating to us, too.”

When asked about the Nats' recent woes, Bryce Harper chalked it up to the typical up-and-down nature of the long season. 

"I don't think we need to change much at all,” said Harper, who’s 6-for-20 in those situations on the year. "I think we're a great team. I think we're swinging the bats well.

“Sometimes you line out and get out. Sometimes you hit right into shifts. Sometimes you strikeout, sometimes you walk. It's part of the game.”

Perhaps it is just part of the game. But it is also hard to ignore that the Nats have gone 6-for-41 with runners in scoring position over their last five games, four of them losses. 

But Baker, ever the optimist, believes it won't take long before his team turns it around. 

“I just urge everybody, don’t panic," he said. "Just let us play and we’ll come out of this.”