BRADENTON, Fla. — As he often does with his remarks, Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle had a unique way of describing outfielder Bryce Brentz’s hitting style.

“It’s an aggressive man in the box with bad intentions,” he said.

Brentz won’t argue with his manager. After all, he’s been with the Pirates only a month, and he will be fighting to keep his job over the next week.

If the Pirates decide to open the season March 29 in Detroit with 13 pitchers, perhaps two players among Brentz, Jose Osuna and Jordan Luplow will be reassigned, released or traded.

When Brentz is at his best – and he’ll need to be to win a job – baseball is all about, in his words, “controlling the violence.”

“We all want to impact the baseball,” he said. “When I get up there, I want to break that thing into a million pieces. Sometimes, that will get you in trouble because effort level goes up, and then you miss pitches you shouldn’t miss.”


The Pirates acquired Brentz from the Red Sox on Feb. 20 for “cash considerations.”

NESN COLOR analyst Jerry Remy is returning to the booth Thursday.

Remy, who spent the offseason battling his fifth bout with cancer, announced on his social media channels that he’s set to return.

Remy had surgery for lung cancer on June 26, 2017, when doctors discovered he had relapsed. Over the course of the offseason, Remy has undergone chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

Remy has said he plans to work 115 games this season, skipping the Red Sox’s two West Coast trips.

DAVID ORTIZ is a big fan of Tom Brady. But his diet? The love only goes so far.


This week, the now-retired slugger appeared on the Pardon My Take podcast to discuss his Red Sox career and a bit of his retirement.

Ortiz, who says he hasn’t picked up a bat since retiring in 2016, also had some thoughts to share on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who he called “the magician” and “the G.O.A.T.”

From Pardon My Take:

“My wife always wants to talk about Tom Brady’s diet and she wants to get me on it. She always wants to talk about it. I’m like, ‘Beautiful, I’m gotta eat everything you put in front of me, so let’s not even go there. I’m gonna crush it.’ I was born one day and I know I’m gonna die another, so I’m gonna enjoy life.'”

J.D. MARTINEZ Martinez doubled, singled and drove in three runs and Blake Swihart homered as Boston beat Tampa Bay 8-3 at Port Charlotte, Florida.

ORIOLES: Alex Cobb’s comfort and familiarity with the AL East was the deciding factor in his decision to sign with Baltimore.


“They used the AL East and the success I’ve had in it to their advantage,” the 30-year-old right-hander said after finalizing a $57 million, four-year contract. “They kept challenging me with it and I love the challenge of pitching in this division and they know that over the times we talked. They did a really good job of making me feel like this is where I need to be.”

TIGERS: Another top pitching prospect is dealing with an injury.

The team announced that right-hander Matt Manning, a first-round draft pick in 2016, has an oblique strain. The Tigers say Manning will rest until he is pain free and then resume his throwing program. He is expected to be in extended spring training for a couple weeks before joining Class A West Michigan.

HALL OF FAME: The baseball Hall of Fame says it no longer will use the Cleveland Indians’ Chief Wahoo logo for plaques of new members.

Former Cleveland slugger Jim Thome was elected in January and said he wanted a block C logo on his plaque when it is unveiled in July. Thome said it was “the right thing to do.”

Major League Baseball announced earlier this year the Chief Wahoo logo won’t appear on Cleveland uniforms starting in the 2019 season.

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