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Bronson Arroyo kept right on playing, even after retiring from baseball

Bronson Arroyo was a rotation cornerstone for eight years for the Reds, posting a 4.05 ERA.Barry Gutierrez

It’s not unusual to see a guitar case in a baseball clubhouse. Pitchers in particular often have time to kill and some prefer to spend it noodling away on an acoustic.

That was how Bronson Arroyo got started as a Double A player with the Pirates in 1999. Now the former Red Sox righthander is set to release an album of original songs next month and will play a few live shows to promote it.

“Some Might Say” is a collection of 10 guitar-driven songs that bring to mind Pearl Jam or Tom Petty. It was a project Arroyo started in 2017, the final season of his 16-year career.


His band includes guitarist and keyboard player Jamie Arentzen, who helped form American Hi-Fi in Boston in 1998 and now tours with Miley Cyrus.

Ed Valauskas, another Boston rock veteran, plays bass and keyboards. The drummer is Eric Gardner, who has recorded with Tom Morello and Iggy Pop. Clint Walsh adds guitar, piano, and keyboards.

“I got to know some of those guys in spring training in 2004 with the Sox,” said Arroyo, who turns 46 next month. “I’ve stayed close with them, done things musically, and even threw them BP in the offseason.”

Arroyo wrote the songs in 2018 and started recording in Los Angeles in ‘19. Then came the pandemic.

“We were probably 70 percent done,” Arroyo said. “Had to put it on the back burner for over a year until the vaccines came. I was frustrated, of course, but there wasn’t much choice.”

Once Arroyo returned to the studio, being away from the project for so long gave him a fresh perspective.

“I felt like the band sounded good,” Arroyo said. “We had to add some backing vocals, piano, and cello, but once we started we finished the record in three weeks.”


Arroyo took the record to Seattle in 2021 and got some notes on it from Eddie Vedder.

“He was really helpful,” Arroyo said. “Knowing somebody like that and hearing what he has to say gives you peace of mind.”

Bronson Arroyo's retirement ceremony included a custom guitar.Kirk Irwin

Arroyo was adept at covers, but once he retired from baseball he wanted to write his own songs. The music came from sessions with the band. The lyrics were his with some help from Eliot Sloan, a member of the Cincinnati-based alternative band Blessid Union of Souls.

“A lot of music comes from a dark place, especially with some of the bands I grew up with like Alice in Chains,” Arroyo said. “My whole life, I’ve been an optimistic person. It goes back to working with my dad on baseball. I just didn’t have that emotion in my life. Everything was positive.

“When I didn’t pitch well, I was able to shake it off and come back the next day ready to prepare for the next game. It’s different writing lyrics. I couldn’t finish songs and the subject matter was tough sometimes.”

Arroyo turned to current events or mentally putting himself into situations that would spawn creativity.

One of the songs that made the record, “Side FX,” came from news stories about celebrities who have committed suicide.

“That wasn’t personal to me,” Arroyo said. “But you find events you can work with.”

The desire to make his own record goes back 20 years when Arroyo borrowed a guitar from fellow pitcher Jack McDowell and went on stage for one of the first Hot Stove Cool Music benefit shows in Boston started by Peter Gammons and Jeff Horrigan.


“That jump-started my music career,” Arroyo said. “Just being around that core group of musicians and gaining information from them and seeing how they represented themselves on stage.

“It was all foreign to me at first, but it changed as I got to know people like [Boston-area rock favorites] Juliana Hatfield and Bill Janovitz. I developed an appreciation for how they built up a body of work.”

Arroyo was 24-19 with a 4.19 ERA from 2004-05 for the Red Sox. Then, in a deal he still laments, Theo Epstein traded Arroyo to the Reds for power-hitting outfielder Wily Mo Peña.

Peña played 157 games for the Sox and hit 16 home runs. Arroyo was a rotation cornerstone for eight years for the Reds, posting a 4.05 ERA.

Bronson Arroyo (center) was part of one of the most memorable moments of the Sox' 2004 title run, when Alex Rodriguez slapped the ball out of Arroyo's glove in Game 6 of the ALCS.Chin, Barry Globe Staff

“No regrets for me. The Reds gave a chance to start and who knows what would have happened over time with the Sox?” Arroyo said. “I loved Boston. We won the World Series and I’m still in touch with guys like [Kevin] Millar, [Kevin] Youkilis, and Lenny DiNardo. I got to pitch with Pedro [Martinez] and [Curt] Schilling.

“It doesn’t feel like almost 20 years has gone by. Hopefully we all get together in 2024.”

Arroyo donated his 2004 ring to the Sox to display at Fenway Park. He prefers other people enjoy the memorabilia he saved.


Since retiring from baseball, Arroyo works on his music, makes occasional appearances for the Reds, and splits his time in Cincinnati and Florida. He and his wife, Nicole, also travel a lot.

“I got every ounce out of my baseball career before my shoulder shut down,” he said. “Now I can play golf, snow ski, and catch up with friends. I do some live shows with a band in Cincinnati.

“Music is more a hobby than a second career. But I feel like I have to be on stage and performing. It makes me feel good. But I don’t want it to feel like a job. It’s just something I love to do.”

It shows. Don’t dismiss “Some Might Say” as a vanity project. Arroyo has a tight band and he sings with urgency and passion.

“Bronson is the real deal. He’s no dilettante,” said Kay Hanley of Letters to Cleo and a Hot Stove Cool Music mainstay. “The guys in his band are the best around.”

Arroyo is performing at The Burren in Somerville on Wednesday night. The Bronson Arroyo Band is scheduled to play at the two Innings Festival shows during spring training. The first is Feb. 26 in Tempe, Ariz., then March 19 in Tampa.

“We want to let people know about the record,” Arroyo said. “We’re putting it out there for the world to listen to and we’ll see if anything comes of it.”

As for baseball players who became musicians, Arroyo puts Bernie Williams at the top of the list. He’s an accomplished jazz guitarist who earned a music degree after his playing career ended.


“Bernie’s the cream of the crop,” Arroyo said. “But Jake Peavy is pretty good and Barry Zito is, too. There are a few guys in the minors I know who can play. I’m glad to be playing. It’s something I love.”


Red Sox would consider front office addition

Could Chaim Bloom use a little help in the Sox front office?Barry Chin/Globe Staff

The Yankees hired two veteran executives in recent days, Brian Sabean and Omar Minaya, as advisers to general manager Brian Cashman.

Sabean, a New Hampshire native, was with the Yankees from 1985-92 in scouting positions before joining the Giants for 30 seasons, 18 as GM. That run produced three World Series champions.

Minaya, a New Yorker for much of his life, is the former GM of the Expos and Mets and is well respected for his scouting acumen and connections in Latin America.

Other teams have followed the same route. After being promoted to run baseball operations in Texas, Chris Young hired former Royals GM Dayton Moore as an adviser.

Jon Daniels, who was fired by the Rangers, is now with the Rays and brings his experience to their discussions.

This has been mentioned before, but it feels like the Red Sox and Chaim Bloom could use somebody in a similar role. He agrees.

“We have explored that,” Bloom said. “Mentorship is so important in this business. It has to be the right match and mutual fit for the organization, our leadership group, and of course for the potential new addition, so everyone flourishes.”

Theo Epstein had former GM Bill Lajoie in a consulting role from 2003-06. He then hired former Royals GM Allard Baird as an adviser, a position Baird kept under Ben Cherington.

Dave Dombrowski, who arrived with decades of experience, added Tony La Russa as an adviser and former Braves GM Frank Wren as an assistant.

Bloom’s most notable addition to date is 36-year-old former Brewers vice president Mike Groopman, who oversees analytics.

If the Red Sox were to look for an experienced executive to bolster their staff, former Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi might be a good choice. His son, Dante, is with the Sox as an amateur scout in northern Florida.

A few other observations on the Red Sox:

▪ The Sox have yet to formally acknowledge their agreement with Corey Kluber, which was agreed to on Dec. 28. Presumably that will happen soon and they’ll lop off another player from the 40-man roster. They could surely live without Kaleb Ort.

But it’s probably time for a trade.

Nobody is untouchable, but it would take a lot to move Brayan Bello or Triston Casas. Let’s start there.

Bobby Dalbec (right) and Jarren Duran are among the Sox' more movable pieces in a potential trade.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Could some combination of Bobby Dalbec, Jarren Duran, and one or two of the depth starters (say Josh Winckowski and Connor Seabold) bring back a useful player?

Dalbec clearly needs a fresh start somewhere else and his power will have some appeal. Duran demonstrated several times last season that Boston may not be the best place for him. His speed is a selling point with the new rules coming in this season.

▪ Assuming Kiké Hernández plays center field and Trevor Story is the shortstop, the Red Sox will need a second baseman. Other than Story, the only player on the roster with any experience there is Christian Arroyo.

Nick Madrigal would be a low-cost option. The infielder hit .317 with a .764 OPS for the White Sox over 83 games from 2020-21. He struggled with the Cubs last season (.249/.305/.282) but is a solid defender, only 25, and doesn’t seem to have a spot in Chicago.

▪ At 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 1, the Red Sox Twitter account posted this message: “Happy New Year, Red Sox Nation! Wishing you a safe and happy 2023.”

It was accompanied by a photo of fireworks over Fenway Park in the shape of the Sox logo.

There were 150 replies to the post within 48 hours. Nine were positive in some nature and five were spam advertisements. Of the remaining 136, about half were pleas to sign Rafael Devers to an extension, fire Bloom, or for John Henry to sell the team.

The rest were a mix of obscenities, middle finger emojis, and angry Liverpool fans. One reply sarcastically thanked the Red Sox for sparing them the tension of a pennant race next summer.

Twitter is a swamp of angry nonsense, more so since Elon Musk took over. But even after the Devers extension, the Red Sox have a lot of work to do with their fans.


Interesting plan for Rays’ stadium

Is the end near for Tropicana Field?Matthew J Lee/Globe staff

Let’s preface this by saying Major League Baseball may never work in Florida. There are millions of baseball fans in the state, but it feels like more of them support teams such as the Braves, Cardinals, Dodgers, Red Sox, and Yankees than ever will the Marlins or Rays.

But if it is ever going to work, a creative stadium will be how.

That’s what the Rays hope to accomplish with the initial design of their new ballpark.

Their plan, unveiled this past week to the Tampa Bay Times, is for a 30,000-seat indoor stadium near Tropicana Field with enough doors and windows to feel like it’s outside.

A fan could walk in and out of the park and have a choice of different kinds of seating: bar stools, tables, suites, and the traditional stadium seats along with standing-room areas.

The roof would be far lower than the Trop and the park’s amenities would be open all year long for neighborhood residents as part of a residential and commercial complex.

Extra bases

The Rangers signed Nate Eovaldi to a two-year, $34 million contract, a bit of a risk considering he made only two starts over the final eight weeks of last season and his fastball velocity was 94 miles per hour. It was 96.4 in early June before back and shoulder injuries took their toll. But even at diminished velocity. Eovaldi went 9⅔ innings in those final two starts and allowed one earned run. If he can command his splitter, Eovaldi doesn’t need to throw 99. The Rangers also valued what he will bring to the clubhouse as they try to make a move in the AL West. “Nate’s a winning person, a winning teammate. He’s an unbelievably hard worker,” general manager Chris Young said. “He values the role as a leader and embodies everything we want our players to be.” The Rangers spent $236 million on their rotation this offseason by retaining Martín Pérez and adding Eovaldi, Jacob deGrom, Andrew Heaney, and Jake Odorizzi. Texas is an appealing spot for starters. Young pitched 13 seasons in the majors; Mike Maddux is one of the best pitching coaches in the game; manager Bruce Bochy has shown a knack for handling the rotation; and the team has made a major investment in biometric technology … The Reds released Mike Moustakas on Thursday and are responsible for the remaining $22 million on the four-year, $64 million deal he agreed to before the 2020 season. Any team picking him up would be responsible only for the major league minimum. Moustakas, 34, hit .216 with a .683 OPS for Reds with a negative 1.8 bWAR. Bad as that deal was for the Reds, the Red Sox released Pablo Sandoval in 2017 with $48 million left on his contract. He had a .646 OPS and a negative 1.6 bWAR … Interested in a career in baseball? The Hall of Fame’s Steele internship program for youth leader development is accepting applications through the end of the month. The program provides hands-on training working at the Hall and during Hall of Fame weekend. Positions available this summer include analytics, archives/digital assets, collections, communications, education, library research, licensing/marketing, multimedia, public programs, special events, and social media. Go to to apply … Happy birthday to Mike Cameron, who is 50. Cameron signed with the Red Sox before the 2010 season and was traded to the Marlins in July 2011. His 17-year career included stints with eight teams, three Gold Gloves, and an All-Star berth in 2001. Cameron had the tough duty of replacing Ken Griffey Jr. in center field for Seattle in 2000. He responded with a 4.0 WAR, third on a team that went to the ALCS. He then had an .832 OPS with 25 homers, 110 RBIs, and 34 stolen bases in 2001 as Seattle won 116 games. Carl Pavano is 47. He never pitched for the Red Sox but his place in team history is a prominent one. He was one of the prospects traded to Montreal for Pedro Martinez before the 1998 season.

Peter Abraham can be reached at Follow him @PeteAbe.