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Ortiz and Red Sox still not close to a deal

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff October 31, 2012 04:21 PM

The gap between what David Ortiz wants and what the Red Sox have offered could close fast and furious in the coming hours and days. But for now, it's "not very close," according to a major league source.

The words "progress" and "closing in" have been reported in the early stages of talks, but unless things happen quickly Ortiz could be out there in free-agency.

The Red Sox still appear to be the best bet for the 36-year-old DH who is seeking a two-year deal somewhere close to the $14.75 million per year he made in 2012, but could settle for less for the same number of years.

The Red Sox are expected to make a qualifying offer ($13.3 million) in order to assure they would receive a draft pick if Ortiz became a free agent and signed elsewhere.

Teams can make qualifying offers of $13.3 million to their free agents by 5 p.m. Friday EST. Players then have until 5 p.m. EST Nov. 9 to make a decision. If the player accepts, he's under contract for 2013. If he declines, he's a free-agent, but his old team would get a supplemental draft pick at the end of the first round.

Xander Bogaerts named top Red Sox prospect

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 31, 2012 12:45 PM

Here are the top 10 Red Sox prospects according to Baseball America:

1. SS Xander Bogaerts
2. OF Jackie Bradley
3. RHP Matt Barnes
4. RHP Allen Webster
5. LHP Henry Owens
6. C Blake Swihart
7. 3B Garin Cecchini
8. OF Bryce Brentz
9. SS Jose Iglesias
10. SS Deven Marrero

For those curious, RHP Rubby De La Rosa was not eligible under BA's rules because of his MLB experience. In term of 2013, Iglesias and maybe Brentz or Bradley could impact the Red Sox. Bogaerts turned 20 on Oct. 1 and has played only 23 games in Double A.

In other Red Sox news so far today:

-- Terry Francona has named former Red Sox coach Brad Mills as his third base coach in Cleveland. No surprise there given their long friendship. Francona also hired former Sox catcher Kevin Cash as the bullpen coach. Cash had been working as a scout for the Blue Jays. Cash has all the qualities that suggest he will be a manager someday.

-- The only known candidates to become pitching coach of the Red Sox are Rick Peterson and Juan Nieves. Peterson was Baltimore's minor league pitching coordinator. Nieves is the bullpen coach in Chicago and has worked under the well-regarded Don Cooper. Nieves, 47, graduated from Avon Old Farms in Connecticut before pitching parts of three seasons in the majors.

WEEI.com had the news about Nieves.

White Sox decline option on Youkilis

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 30, 2012 08:19 PM

The White Sox today made two moves of interest to Red Sox fans:

-- They signed RHP Jake Peavy to a two-year, $29 million deal. They declined his $22 million option for 2013 and went with a new deal. So cross Peavy off your list of possible Red Sox rotation additions.

-- Chicago also declined its $13 million option on Kevin Youkilis, paying him a $1 million buyout. The White Sox have not closed the door on the idea of Youkilis returning to the team, but he expected to hit the open market on Saturday.

Youkilis had a .235/.336/.409 line this season, the worst of his career. He turns 34 in March.

There are no indications the Red Sox have any interest in bringing Youkilis back. Will Middlebrooks will be the third baseman and they can probably find a first baseman (or a platoon) who would give them better offensive production.

Red Sox name Butterfield third base coach

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff October 30, 2012 12:08 PM

Brian Butterfield spent nearly 11 full seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays, serving as a third base coach and bench coach under four managers. He was one of the constants in that organization.

That ended on Tuesday when the Red Sox named Butterfield as their new third base coach.

A 54-year-old native of Bangor, Maine, Butterfield is the second Blue Jays coach to join manager John Farrell in moving to Boston. Torey Lovullo was named bench coach last week.

The Red Sox still need a pitching coach, hitting coach, first base coach and bullpen coach to complete their staff. The Sox have not ruled out first base coach Alex Ochoa or bullpen coach Gary Tuck returning, but have not committed to them.

Butterfield, who was recruited by several other teams, should be a strong addition to the staff. Butterfield has shown good judgment at third base during his tenure with the Jays and is an excellent infield instructor.

Like Lovullo, he also has the ability to communicate well with players and that should help improve the atmosphere around the team.

Butterfield joined the Blue Jays in 2002. He previously worked for the Yankees (1994-95) and Diamondbacks (1998-2000) under Buck Showalter. In all, he has 16 years of experience coaching on the major league level.

Butterfield also managed for parts of six seasons in the Yankees organization, from rookie ball to Triple A. He was a roving infield instructor for the Yankees as well and a minor league coach. He held similar duties for the Diamondbacks for two years.

Butterfield attended the University of Maine as a freshman, playing baseball and basketball. He continued his career at Valencia Community College and Florida Southern.

Florida Southern won the NCAA Division II national championship in 1978 with Butterfield playing second base. The Yankees signed him as a non-drafted free agent in 1979.

Butterfield played 397 games in the minors, getting to Triple A with the Yankees in 1982. He is the son of Jack Butterfield, the former Maine baseball coach who joined the Yankees as a scout in 1976 and became vice president of player development and scouting before his death in 1979.

Greetings from Gate A-30

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 30, 2012 08:47 AM

DETROIT -- Good morning from the Al Kaline International Airport here in Detroit. We are are waiting to (hopefully) fly home to Boston at 10 a.m.

The World Series ended on Sunday night. But with Hurricane Sandy striking on Monday, there was no getting out of Detroit. So it was a rare day on the road without a baseball game to attend.

The folks at MLB must have been relieved to get the Series over so quickly. It was raining in Detroit last night with more on the way.

Given what was going on back on the East Coast, nobody was complaining. I wrote a Red Sox notebook and a story on Buster Posey.

Plenty of other time was spent figuring out travel plans. The idea of driving back home was briefly considered then rejected. It would take roughly 14 hours and the idea of driving into bad weather seemed a little nutty.

Considered trying to fly to an airport closer to Boston and driving from there. But finding a flight was impossible.

The best alternative seemed was waiting and hoping a flight would leave for Boston today. So far, that seems to be the case.

Here's hoping you got through the storm safely. It has been very strange seeing so many friends in New York and New Jersey disappear from Twitter and Facebook because they don't have power or were being evacuated. The scenes from Manhattan were staggering.

Anyway, that's it for now. There's a plane at the gate and hopefully it will take off. After nine months on the road, it'll be a relief to get home. Now more than ever.

Red Sox 22-to-1 to win 2013 World Series

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 29, 2012 04:25 PM

According to Bovado, an online gambling site, the Red Sox face 22-to-1 odds to win the 2013 World Series.

The Tigers (6-to-1) are favored, followed by the Yankees (7-1) and Giants (10-1). Remarkably, there are 17 teams facing longer odds than the Sox, including the Orioles (25-1), Athletics (25-1), and White Sox (28-1).

The longest odds? Kansas City is at 150-1.

Pedroia a Gold Glove finalist

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 29, 2012 12:58 PM

Dustin Pedroia is a finalist for the American League Gold Glove at second base along with Dustin Ackley (Mariners) and Robinson Cano (Yankees).

The awards will be announced on Tuesday at 9 p.m. on ESPN2. Pedroia won a Gold Glove in 2008 and 2011.

Adrian Gonzalez is listed an AL finalist at first base along with Eric Hosmer (Royals) and Mark Teixeira (Yankees). Gonzalez won the Gold Glove last season and twice (2008-09) with the Padres.

Managers and coaches vote on the Gold Gloves.

Six Red Sox would hit the market on Saturday

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 29, 2012 12:31 PM

DETROIT -- Players no longer have to file for free agency. Under the new collective bargaining agreement, those eligible become free agents when the World Series ends.

Players hit the open market at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday.

That group includes Aaron Cook, James Loney, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Vicente Padilla, Scott Podsednik, David Ortiz and Cody Ross.

The Red Sox are making progress on a multi-year deal with Ortiz. Whether he signs before Saturday is probably not that significant. He wants to stay with the team and the team wants him to stay. It's just a matter of when something gets done.

The Sox also have said they would like to retain Ross. But he could explore what opportunities are out there for him.

Clubs have until Saturday to make qualifying offers to their free agents.

Official free agent list

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff October 29, 2012 10:41 AM

Here's the official list of free agents (as of now) put out by the Major League Players Association this morning:

Atlanta: Baker, Jeff; Batista, Miguel; Bourn, Michael; Diaz, Matt; Durbin, Chad; Hinske, Eric; Johnson, Reed; Overbay, Lyle; Ross, Dave; Sheets, Ben
Arizona: Saito, Takashi
Baltimore: Chavez, Endy; Hall, Bill; Johnson, Nick; McLouth, Nate ; Saunders, Joe ; Thome, Jim ; Wolf, Randy
Boston: Cook, Aaron ; Loney, James ; Matsuzaka, Daisuke ; Ortiz, David ; Padilla, Vicente ; Podsednik, Scott ; Ross, Cody
Chicago Cubs: Camp, Shawn
Cleveland; Broxton, Jonathan ; Cairo, Miguel J. ; Navarro, Dioner ; Rolen, Scott ; Kotchman, Casey ; Sizemore, Grady
Colorado: Francis, Jeff ; Giambi, Jason ; Sanchez, Jonathan
Chicago White Sox: Bruney, Brian; Hudson, Orlando; Liriano, Francisco; Lopez, Jose ; Pierzynski, A.J. ; Wise, DeWayne
Detroit: Laird, Gerald ; Sanchez, Anibal ; Valverde, Jose ; Young, Delmon
Kansas City: Guthrie, Jeremy
Los Angeles Angels: Greinke, Zack ; Hawkins, LaTroy ; Hunter, Torii K. ; Isringhausen, Jason ; Izturis, Maicer
Los Angeles Dodgers: Abreu, Bobby ; Blanton, Joe ; Choate, Randy ; Kennedy, Adam ; League, Brandon ; Victorino, Shane ; Wright, Jamey
Miami: Gaudin, Chad ; Kearns, Austin ; Lee, Carlos ; Oviedo, Juan ; Zambrano, Carlos
Milwaukee: Marcum, Shaun ; Rodriguez, Francisco ; Gonzalez, Alex ;
Minnesota: Capps, Matt; Pavano, Carl
New York Mets: Byrdak, Tim ; Cedeno, Ronny ; Hairston, Scott ; Ramirez, Ramon ; Rauch, Jon ; Shoppach, Kelly ; Young, Chris
New York Yankees: Chavez, Eric C. ; Feliciano, Pedro ; Garcia, Freddy Antonio ; Ibanez, Raul J. ; Jones, Andruw ; Kuroda, Hiroki* ; Lowe, Derek ; Martin, Russell ; Pettitte, Andy ; Rivera, Mariano ; Suzuki, Ichiro ; Swisher, Nick ;
Oakland: Colon, Bartolo ; Gomes, Jonny ; Inge, Brandon ; McCarthy, Brandon
Philadelphia: Pierre, Juan ; Schneider, Brian
Pittsburgh: Correia, Kevin ; Grilli, Jason ; Qualls, Chad;
San Diego: Marquis, Jason
Seattle: Millwood, Kevin ; Olivo, Miguel ; Perez, Oliver ; Sherrill, George
San Francisco: Affeldt, Jeremy ; Cabrera, Melky ; Mota, Guillermo ; Nady, Xavier ; Pagan, Angel ; Penny, Brad ; Sanchez, Freddy ; Scutaro, Marco ; Theriot, Ryan
St. Louis: Berkman, Lance ; Fuentes, Brian ; Lohse, Kyle
Tampa Bay: Farnsworth, Kyle L. ; Howell, J.P. ; Keppinger, Jeff ; Pena, Carlos ; Peralta, Joel ; Upton, B.J.
Texas: Adams, Mike ; Dempster, Ryan S. ; Hamilton, Josh ; Lewis, Colby ; Lowe, Mark ; Napoli, Mike ; Oswalt, Roy ; Uehara, Koji*
Toronto: Frasor, Jason ; Johnson, Kelly ; Lyon, Brandon ; Villanueva, Carlos ; Vizquel, Omar
Washington: De Rosa, Mark ; Duke, Zach ; Gonzalez, Mike ; Jackson, Edwin ; Wang, Chien-Ming

*Eligible per contract terms

The following players are eligible for free agency pending option provisions in their Uniform Players Contract (UPC):
Atlanta: Hudson, Tim ; Jones, Chipper ; Maholm, Paul ; McCann, Brian
Arizona: Blanco, Henry ; Lindstrom, Matthew
Baltimore: Ayala, Luis
Cleveland: Ludwick, Ryan ; Madson, Ryan ; Hafner, Travis ; Hernandez, Roberto
Chicago White Sox: Floyd, Gavin ; Myers, Brett ; Peavy, Jacob ; Youkilis, Kevin
Detroit: Dotel, Octavio E. ; Peralta, Jhonny
Houston: Snyder, Chris
Kansas City: Soria, Joakim
Los Angeles Angels: Haren, Danny ; Santana, Ervin
Los Angeles Dodgers: Coffey, Todd ; Rivera, Juan ; Treanor, Matt ;
Minnesota; Baker, Scott
New York Mets: Wright, David ; Dickey, R.A.
New York Yankees: Aardsma, David ; Cano, Robinson ; Granderson, Curtis ; Soriano, Rafael
Oakland: Balfour, Grant ; Drew, Stephen
Philadelphia: Contreras, Jose ; Polanco, Placido ; Ruiz, Carlos ; Wigginton, Ty
Pittsburgh: Barajas, Rod
San Francisco: Huff, Aubrey
Tampa Bay: Molina, Jose ; Rodney, Fernando ; Scott, Luke ; Shields, James
Texas: Feldman, Scott
Toronto: Oliver, Darren
Washington: Burnett, Sean ; LaRoche, Adam

Scutaro shines on the World Series stage

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 29, 2012 08:45 AM

DETROIT -- Marco Scutaro was with the Red Sox when they collapsed at the end of last season, calling that terrible September one of the worst times of his career. That Sox team, he believed, was capable of great things.

Scutaro, who was playing with an arm injury, wasn't to blame. He hit .387 with a 1.019 OPS that month and was one of the few who played with any sense of purpose.

A year and two trades later, Scutaro sits atop the baseball world. His RBI single in the top of the 10th inning on Sunday night gave the San Francisco Giants a 4-3 victory against the Detroit Tigers and the World Series title.

Scutaro's two-out single to center off Phil Coke scored Ryan Theriot with the winning run. Sergio Romo then finished off the Tigers by striking out the side.

"Incredible, incredible," Scutaro said. "After last year and everything else, I never thought something like this would happen."

It was the seventh championship in franchise history for the Giants, their second in the last three years.

"Our team has done some special things. It's a joy," said general manager Brian Sabean, a New Hampshire native. "We could have been knocked out so many times."

San Francisco won seven consecutive games to close the season, staving off elimination in the National League Championship Series against the Cardinals before sweeping the Tigers. They outscored St. Louis and Detroit 36-7 in those games.

"That's what it makes so much special, the way we did it," Scutaro said. "We're always against the wall and my team, it just came through first series, second series and now we sweep the Tigers."

Scutaro hit .328 with eight RBIs and 11 runs scored in 16 postseason games. It was the end of a journey that saw the Sox trade him to the Rockies in January before he was then sent to the Giants in July.

He hit .362 for the Giants in the regular season and continued that in the playoffs, getting named the Most Valuable Player of the NLCS. Pablo Sandoval was the MVP of the Series, but it was Scutaro who had the biggest hit.

"I knew he was a good player, but to get this many clutch hits? It was fitting that he got the game-winning hit," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "Marco is the guy you want up there. You know he's probably going to put the ball in play."

Scutaro turns 38 on Tuesday. He has played 11 seasons in the majors with six teams and has played seven different positions. Scutaro is one of baseball's grinders, a guy who makes the best of whatever situation he is in.

Red Sox players enjoyed having him around, as did the Rockies and Giants. Because second base is now his best position, it's uncertain how much of a difference Scutaro would have made on the 2013 Red Sox. But he was perfect for the Giants.

"Everybody was so mad last year," he said. "Now this. It's crazy."

Why Bruce Bochy should give Red Sox fans some optimism

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 27, 2012 05:52 PM

DETROIT -- Some Red Sox fans are grousing about John Farrell being named manager because of his uninspiring two seasons with Toronto.

That's understandable. Until we see how Farrell handles the Red Sox, it's fair to believe that Brad Ausmus or one of the other candidates would have been a better choice.

But before you complain about Farrell, consider the path of Giants manager Bruce Bochy.

He managed the Padres from 1995-2006 and was under .500 despite making the playoffs four times. The Padres finished in first in his last two seasons then lost in the division series.

When Bochy wanted to jump to the Giants, he was still under contract. The Padres, who wanted a younger manager, let him go without compensation. Bochy was 71-91 and 72-90 in his first two seasons in San Francisco.

Hiring Bochy away from the Padres looked like a terrible idea at the time. But the Giants were patient and now they are two wins away from their second World Series title in three years. For them, Bochy was the perfect choice.

"He's one of the best managers in all of baseball, there's no question," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said of Bochy earlier today. "Handles his bullpen tremendous; as good as you can handle a bullpen. He's at the head of the class with some other guys, there's no question about that.

"He's a tremendous manager. He's got a nice, calming influence about himself. You know who's in charge. He's everything that's good about baseball managers, in my opinion. He does it the right way."

You can use statistics and fact-based projections to pick players. It's not an exact science, but there is at least some degree of science involved. But it's not the way with managers. You have to weigh a bunch of intangibles and make a call.

Ben Cherington made his call, deciding that Farrell was the best manager for this particular Red Sox team at this particular point in time.

How it all works out will be determined in time. But when it comes to managers, predicting success is rarely about their record.

Baseball coverage in today's Globe

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 27, 2012 10:45 AM

The Red Sox named Torey Lovullo as their bench coach. His relationship with John Farrell is a strong one.

Dan Shaughnessy writes that Detroit is a city worth rooting for.

In Los Angeles, Nick Cafardo checked in with Carl Crawford and found a happier player.

Former Red Sox prospect Anibal Sanchez has to come through for the Tigers in Game 3 of the Series.

Farrell and Lovullo join up again with Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 26, 2012 08:15 PM

New Red Sox manager John Farrell knew a week ago that he wanted Torey Lovullo to become his bench coach. There was really no second choice.

The two have been friends for nearly 20 years, meeting as teammates in 1993 and working together for five years in player development for the Cleveland Indians. Lovullo then coached under Farrell for two seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays.

During a 28-minute conference call on Friday to discuss Lovullo's appointment, he and Farrell bantered about the old days and discussed the future, often using the same phrases.

"Excited is probably an understatement," Lovullo said about his new job.

The familiarity, trust and professional respect underscored to what degree that was missing with the Red Sox this season with Bobby Valentine and his bench coach, Tim Bogar. The two feuded to the point of not speaking, the bitterness going back to 1997 when Valentine cut Bogar from the Mets.

On most teams, the bench coach serves a clubhouse liaison for the manager, helping communicate with the players and smoothing out problems before they fester. For the Red Sox, those lines snapped early in the season and were never repaired.

In Farrell and Lovullo, there's a partnership that should contribute to success on the field.

"The relationship we formed is pretty unique. I think we developed a natural confidence in one another," Lovullo said. "I can look over at John and at times get a feel from just watching some of his reactions to what he's thinking. That will be advantage for me in being in the dugout with him. I think we'll be able to challenge one another; I think we’ll be able to inspire one another."

Farrell and Lovullo played together for the Angels in 1993 and with Triple A Buffalo in 1995. In 2003, when Farrell became Cleveland's director of player development, Lovullo managed Single A Columbus then made his way up the Cleveland ladder.

Lovullo managed Triple A Pawtucket for the Red Sox in 2010 then accompanied Farrell to Toronto as the first base coach.

"You first connect with a person on the way they live their life, the way they view the game [and] they way they interact with people. That was present in '93 when we were teammates out in Anaheim with the Angels," Farrell said.

"You see how people react to certain challenges. Watching Torey handle his own team in the minor leagues over a number of years in Cleveland gave a lot of those examples. I can tell you, they weren't always the easy ones. Whether they were issue that arose with a given team; whether they were things inside the framework of a team. There were some fires that we had to put out along the way."

Lovullo, 47, played parts of eight seasons in the majors before retiring in 2000 after playing in Japan. The Red Sox interviewed him during their managerial search last year and Valentine considered him for bench coach.

Farrell said that Lovullo would coordinate plans for spring training and make sure everything runs smoothly in Fort Myers. He also will be charge of the team's running game.

Like former Red Sox manager Terry Francona did with his bench coaches, Farrell plans to use Lovullo to inform players of expected lineup switches the night before they happen.

Their relationship is such, Farrell said, that Lovullo would have no reluctance to make a suggestion during even tense moments of a game.

"That's what allows you to weigh all the options that might be present, even though I might not be thinking of them. To have that free-flow and not have anything held back, those barriers aren't there," Farrell said.

Lovullo said his aim would be to provide Farrell with as much information as he can about players to help the manager make better decisions.

"We've got to make sure we're thorough in our preparations," he said. "I think John used the word 'relentless.' To never be underprepared. That's the first and foremost thought that I have in moving forward in this position."

The Red Sox did not name their coaching staff until Dec. 23 last season. But as November approaches, Farrell is moving diligently to get that done. The Red Sox have asked permission to speak to Rick Peterson, Baltimore's director of pitching, about becoming the pitching coach.

"We've got some work to go," Farrell said. "We're deep into it in terms of not only building lists as they relate to each position on the staff but getting recommendations and going deeper than just out personal relationships with an individual candidate. We're working through. We'd like to get it done sooner than later. But we're not going to take any shortcuts just to put names in positions."

Dodgers' Carl Crawford talks fresh start, playing hurt for Red Sox fans

Posted by Robert Burgess October 26, 2012 05:35 PM

LOS ANGELES - Carl Crawford admitted that "I was chasing a big contract" when he signed with the Red Sox two years ago, but when asked about whether he regretted the decision he said, "No, I don't regret nothing. At the time I thought it was the right decision."

Crawford met with the Los Angeles media for the first time since he was traded on Aug. 25 along with Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett for prospects. Crawford had Tommy John surgery the day after the deal and never showed up to L.A.

It was the first time he'd ever been in Dodgers Stadium, as he was taken around by team president Stan Kasten and general manager Ned Colletti.

Crawford said he was in disbelief when he heard of the trade. He first heard mention of it on TV, but said, "you hear a lot of rumors. I just didn't believe it. I didn't believe it for two weeks."

Crawford had a no-trade clause, but he quickly waived it, saying "I'm the type of person if someone wants to trade you it means they don't want you there or they're thinking about getting rid of you. I didn't think about it (no trade) too much. It was time to move on. I was really shocked because I definitely didn't see it coming. From what I heard, they were working on it for a while. I'm happy I'm here now."

Crawford said it was outside pressure, not from the Bobby Valentine or Ben Cherington, that kept him playing even after Dr. James Andrews had told him he needed Tommy John surgery.

"Nobody said I should keep playing, that was just me. I didn't want anyone to say 'I'm not sitting on y'all money.' That was the biggest thing, people on the radio shows saying he makes 20 million. I'm a hard worker and I wanted to show that. I wasn't performing well. I know Boston is a blue collar town so I just wanted to have the same attitude that I was working hard to be on the field. At the end of the day, I should have listened to the doctor and helped myself out," Crawford said.

Would he have done it sooner?

"Looking at it now since I got it done. Dr. Andrews is a well respected doctor. The first thing he said was I needed Tommy John. I wish Id done it, because I'd be better now. With the Boston fans you have a big deal that was made about my money and trying to play for the team. Maybe I shouldn't have done that and taken care of myself. I pretty much put pressure on myself to play. You get looked at as being soft and as somebody just trying to take money. I wanted to prove that wasn't the case. That probably cost me a little time for next year. You live and learn from it," Crawford said.

Crawford said the way the trade was presented to him was that it was time for both sides to move on.

"They just said this is best for both sides. They thought it was best to move on. It just wasn't working. They just wanted to start over and start from scratch. It wasn't a bad split or anything like that. 'This is good for us and this is better for you' is the way they kind of said it," Crawford said.

Crawford, who will wear No. 25, said the way the last two years went down he's motivated to prove people wrong.

"It definitely motivates me. It's like I have a fresh start. Like I said, things didn't work out in Boston for whatever reason. I'm happy to have a second start."

Was the major reason injuries?

"I'm the kind of guy who doesn't make excuses. I wasn't 100 percent all the time. For some reason I had issues up there that didn't let me be the normal person that I was. Toward the end I was feeling better, but I still had arm issue and that was wearing me down physically," he said.

He said, however, the worst time was the September collapse.

"September of last year (2011) for me was the one of the worst years I ever experienced in my whole career. I just didn't seem to have one good day. I can't really explain why that was the case. Just couldn't get it going. We was in first place for most of the year but we had that bad fall. I took a lot of the blame for myself. That offseason was the lowest offseason I had in my life. It took a lot for me to come back and start all over," he said.

Red Sox name Torey Lovullo bench coach

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 26, 2012 12:08 PM

The Red Sox on Friday named Torey Lovullo as bench coach. Lovullo has several ties to new manager John Farrell going back to 1993 when they both played for the California Angels.

Lovullo joined the Indians as a minor league coordinator in 2001. Farrell joined that organization in 2002 as the director of player development. That was the first of eight seasons Lovullo spent managing in the Cleveland system.

In 2010, when Farrell was in his final season as the Red Sox pitching coach, Lovullo managed Triple A Pawtucket. Lovullo then accompanied Farrell to Toronto as his first base coach.

Lovullo also handled Toronto's defensive positioning.

Lovullo, 47, played parts of eight seasons with the Tigers (1988-89), Yankees (1991), Angels (1993), Mariners (1994), Athletics (1996), Indians (1998) and Phillies (1999). Primarily a second baseman, he hit .224 with 15 home runs and 60 RBI in 303 games.

Best little-known fact about Lovullo: His father, Sam Lovullo, was a producer on the television show "Hee Haw."

Contract statuses of the Red Sox players

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 25, 2012 06:31 PM

Here is the contract status of the Red Sox players who ended their season on the roster or on the disabled list:

UNDER CONTRACT
RHP Clay Buchholz (through 2015, team options for '16 and '17)
RHP John Lackey (though 2014, team option for '15)
LHP Jon Lester (through 2013, team option for '14)
2B Dustin Pedroia (though 2014, team option for '15)

Notes: John Lackey ($15.25 million the next two seasons) is the highest-paid Red Sox player at the moment. That tells you everything you need to know about the state of things. ... Lester, to at least some degree, is pitching for a contract in 2013. His 2014 option is worth $13 million.

ARBITRATION ELIGIBLE
(Must be offered a contract by Dec. 2)
RHP Alfredo Aceves
RHP Scott Atchison
RHP Andrew Bailey
RHP Daniel Bard
LHP Craig Breslow
OF Jacoby Ellsbury
LHP Rich Hill
LHP Andrew Miller
LHP Franklin Morales
C Jarrod Saltalamacchia
OF Ryan Sweeney

Notes: Ellsbury made $8.05 million last season and will get a raise despite playing only 74 games and posting a .682 OPS. ... Several of these players could be non-tendered or traded before the Dec. 2 deadline.

FREE AGENTS
RHP Aaron Cook
1B James Loney
RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka
DH David Ortiz
RHP Vicente Padilla
OF Scott Podsednik
OF Cody Ross

Notes: The Sox are moving close to a deal with Ortiz. Ross said on Wednesday that nothing had changed in his situation. The rest are sure to get into the market after the World Series. Best of luck, Daisuke.

UNDER TEAM CONTROL
(0-3 years of service time)
RHP Pedro Beato
RHP Chris Carpenter
RHP David Carpenter
INF Pedro Ciriaco
INF Ivan DeJesus Jr.
LHP Felix Doubront
INF Mauro Gomez
SS Jose Iglesias
OF Ryan Kalish
C Ryan Lavarnway
RHP Mark Melancon
3B Will Middlebrooks
RHP Clay Mortensen
OF Daniel Nava
RHP Zach Stewart
RHP Junichi Tazawa
INF Danny Valencia

Notes: The Major League minimum is $490,000 for 2013. These players can be renewed at that number or higher depending on their service time. There are several candidates to be released if 40-man roster spots are needed.

Bench coach Tim Bogar will not return to Red Sox staff

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 25, 2012 03:22 PM

On most baseball teams, the manager and the bench coach work closely together and are often close friends. But Bobby Valentine and Tim Bogar went long stretches without speaking this past season.

Valentine was fired as Red Sox manager Oct. 4, and on Thursday came word from team sources that Bogar will not be returning.

Bogar, 45, spent four seasons with the Sox. He was the first base coach in 2009, the third base coach from 2010-11, and then the bench coach.

New Red Sox manager John Farrell is expected to name Torey Lovullo as his bench coach. Lovullo was considered by Valentine for the job last December before he settled on Bogar.

Red Sox hosting a Halloween party

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 25, 2012 02:30 PM

This from the Sox:

"Trick-or-Treat at Fenway Park" will be Oct. 31 from 4-8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Families and kids of all ages will have an opportunity to go trick-or-treating around the warning track (weather-permitting), decorate pumpkins, and enjoy magicians, face painting, and balloon artists.

Red Sox alumni Frank Malzone, Ted Lepcio, Rich Gedman, and Bob Montgomery will also be on hand to meet fans and sign autographs. Families are encouraged to wear costumes and can enter the park through Gate B starting at 4 p.m.

Discounted concessions will be offered during the event.

So, did David Ortiz really decide not to play?

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 24, 2012 02:41 PM

The headlines scream at you today.

"Valentine: Ortiz Decided Not To Play"

"Bobby V: Ortiz Decided Not To Play Any More"

"Bobby Valentine: Ortiz Bailed After Trade."

It sounds like a big deal. It usually is when a former manager accuses a star player of not wanting to play. So let's look at the facts.

Here is exactly what Valentine said to Bob Costas of NBC Sports: "David Ortiz came back after spending about six weeks on the disabled list and we thought it was only going to be a week.

"He got two hits the first two times up, drove in a couple runs; we were off to the races. Then he realized that [the Red Sox' trade with the Dodgers Aug. 25] meant that we're not going to run this race and we're not even going to finish the race properly and he decided not to play anymore. I think at that time it was all downhill from there."

Now to the facts:

-- The Red Sox were 60-66 on Aug 24, 13.5 games out of first place and 8.5 games out of the wild card with 36 games left to play.

-- The Sox traded Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Nick Punto, and Carl Crawford to the Dodgers on Aug. 25.

-- Ortiz reinjured his right Achilles' tendon while playing Aug. 24. He was physically incapable of playing Aug. 25 and was placed on the disabled list Aug. 27.

So Valentine is incorrect in saying that Ortiz decided not to play. Ortiz was on the disabled list.

But was there a time in mid-September, when he was eligible to come off the disabled list, that Ortiz could have played?

Maybe so. Big Papi was moving around fairly well and if the Sox had been a game out of a playoff spot, maybe he would have tried it. Even a limping Ortiz can be a dangerous hitter.

Again, let's look at the facts. Ortiz was eligible to come off the disabled list Sept. 11. The Sox were 15.5 games out of a wild card berth at that point with 21 games to play.

Ortiz coming back at that point would have been irresponsible for all involved. There was nothing to be gained and everything to lose. A severe Achilles' tendon injury would have been a caeer-ender for him.

Ortiz is still getting treatment for his injury now. To even hint at the idea that he was jaking it is irresponsible.

So while Valentine is somewhat correct in saying that Ortiz decided not to play, Ortiz would have been foolish to play.

Beyond the facts, Valentine picked a bad target. Ortiz was one of the few veteran Red Sox players who were public in their support of Valentine. That was the case from spring training until the end of the season. To cast doubt on Ortiz's effort is hardly a way to pay him back.

Valentine has a way of creating these headlines, and this won't be the last one one. But the Sox have a new manager and it's probably time that all of us -- including Valentine -- move on.

Farrell: 'There's work to be done here'

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 23, 2012 11:00 PM

Here are a few of the key quotes from Tuesday's press conference:

John Farrell on the job at hand: "There's some realization on my part that there's work to be done here. There's a lot of quality players that are currently here and yet the results, the win-loss record, doesn't reflect that. It's my job and my intent to find out what took place and how to we best address it and correct it."

Ben Cherington on Farrell: "It's important that I have a relationship with the manager that's strong to the point that you can disagree and be candid with one another and walk away knowing that relationship is still intact. I have a better chance of making good decisions if that relationship allows for that kind of candid discussion and disagreement at times. I feel confident about that with John based on my existing relationship with him."

Farrell on the players: "I firmly believe that there's an amount of professionalism that every player that comes to the big leagues and certainly that would come to the Red Sox here would have. That guides their preparation, their motivation.

"But most importantly, because I've been here before, there will be no taking for granted that relationships exists. I will work my butt off to earn their trust, earn their respect and create an environment in that clubhouse that is just that, it's a trusting one. It'll be a learning one and, yes, it'll be a competitive one and hopefully a very successful one at the same time."

Lovullo expected to be named as bench coach

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 23, 2012 10:34 PM

The Red Sox are close to naming Torey Lovullo as their new bench coach. The manager of Triple A Pawtucket in 2010, Lovullo followed John Farrell to Toronto and was the first base coach for two years.

The Red Sox have allowed Valentine's remaining coaches -- Tim Bogar, Alex Ochoa, Randy Niemann, Jerry Royster and Gary Tuck -- to speak to other teams.

Bogar, Ochoa and Tuck are candidates to remain in the organization in some capacity.

"We're not closing the door to someone who was here before. We want to give John the latitude to have fresh canvas to work off of, Cherington said.

Two other Toronto coaches -- Brian Butterfield and Luis Rivera -- could be considered.

The key hire may be the pitching coach. Since Farrell left in 2010, the Red Sox have had three pitching coaches.

"With any position stability is critical," Farrell said. "I think it's important for the pitching coach coming in that this isn't going to be a situation, because so much has been brought out about my return here, that it's not going to be micromanaged.

"Certainly there's going to be involvement, but that person needs the freedom to do his job and do it to the best of his ability and that's why, to me, it's important to get the most qualified pitching coach available and bring him in here."

Also:

-- Three reporters from Toronto were at the press conference to introduce Farrell, asking him pointed questions about leaving the Blue Jays with one year left on his contract. In Canada, Farrell has been labeled as disloyal.

"The reaction to the anger or the feelings that might emanate from this happening, I appreciate that. That means there's passion," Farrell said. "I would take exception to the thought that there was no intent to fulfill a contract."

-- The trade of shortstop Mike Aviles to Toronto as compensation for Farrell does not necessarily mean 22-year-old Jose Iglesias will start right away next season, Cherington said. The team wants to see if Iglesias can earn his way in spring training.

-- Farrell has exchanged text messages and voice mails with righthander Daniel Bard, whose career spiraled sharply downward last season because of control problems. "Before getting a chance to talk with him in-depth, I couldn't begin to say what the steps to adjustments might be," Farrell said. "I think we all recognize it wasn’t too long ago this might have been the best eighth-inning reliever in all of baseball. He's not injured."

-- Farrell will wear No 52, which he had as pitching coach with the Sox.

Valentine says Ortiz decided not to play

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 23, 2012 10:10 PM

David Ortiz strained his right Achilles tendon on July 16 and played only one other game, on Aug. 24, before the season ended.

In an interview with Bob Costas of NBC Sports that aired Tuesday night, former manager Bobby Valentine suggested Ortiz could have played.

"David Ortiz came back after spending about six weeks on the disabled list and we thought it was only going to be a week," Valentine said.

"He got two hits the first two times up, drove in a couple runs; we were off to the races. Then he realized that [the team's trade with the Dodgers on Aug. 25] meant that we're not going to run this race and we're not even going to finish the race properly and he decided not to play anymore. I think at that time it was all downhill from there."

Ortiz re-injured his foot in that Aug. 24 game. He also had an injection designed to speed his healing in September. By then, with the Red Sox hopelessly out of contention, he did not pursue the idea of playing again.

Ortiz was one of the few veteran players who supported Valentine last season.

The rest of the interview was fairly benign. Valentine said the silly "Nice inning, kid" incident with Will Middlebrooks never actually happened. Middlebrooks confirmed that on Twitter during the show.

What's odd about that is Valentine was the one who created that controversy by telling WEEI it happened.

Hopeful signs for Red Sox retaining Ortiz

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 23, 2012 10:06 PM

David Ortiz was at Fenway Park on Tuesday, getting a workout in, when he ran into new manager John Farrell.

There is every expectation that Ortiz, who can become a free agent after the World Series, will remain with the Red Sox and be Farrell's designated hitter.

Unlike last season, when negotiations were often acrimonious before Ortiz accepted arbitration and eventually accepted a one-year, $14.575 million deal, the Red Sox are making good progress.

"We want to have David back," GM Ben Cherington said. "We've had good, amicable dialogue since the end of the season. I talked to [agent Fernando Cuza] yesterday and we'll continue talking. Our hope is to get something done. I'm sure we'll talk again this week sometime."

There are indications that a deal could get done before the end of the Series.

Ortiz is seeking a two-year deal. He turns 37 next month, but is coming off a season that saw him hit .318 with a 1.026 OPS over 90 games. Ortiz hit 23 home runs and drove in 60 runs.

Hiring John Farrell was Red Sox' good fortune

Posted by Michael Vega, Globe Staff October 23, 2012 03:06 PM

Perhaps it was a good omen, a sign that the sagging fortunes of the Red Sox were about to take a turn for the better.

That was the sense team president Larry Lucchino got when he opened a fortune cookie that read, ''You will solve a major problem that's important to you,'' after he cleared away some Chinese takeout left over from a meeting he hosted Saturday night at his Brookline home.

It was there that Lucchino, Red Sox owner John Henry, and general manager Ben Cherington met with John Farrell, who agreed on a three-year deal to become the club's 46th manager.

"It was like in two stages,'' Lucchino said. "The first was kind of an interview, with a lot of questions back and forth. Then, a little break in the action for some Chinese food from Bernard's -- the best Chinese place in town in Chestnut Hill. Then we sat down and started talking turkey about what it would take to get it done.''

Lucchino said he ordered Hunan shrimp, Cherington had "some crazy kind of noodles,'' and Farrell had chicken and broccoli. Henry ordered wonton soup.

"We had a bunch of fortune cookies and we opened a bunch of them,'' Lucchino said. "One of the ones that had gone unopened after everyone had left said something interesting: 'You will solve a major problem that's very important to you.' That's what the fortune cookie said. I was alone when I opened it and I had a big laugh.''

So what did he do with it?

"I saved it,'' Lucchino said.

Asked if it was a good omen, indicating that the Sox were about to put their 2012 season behind them, Lucchino laughed. "The only thing that would've been better is if it had been opened when we were all sitting there at the table,'' he said.

Told he would have been accused of setting it up, Lucchino laughed. "Yeah, I would have been held as the conspirator,'' he said.

Video: Peter Abraham on John Farrell becoming Red Sox manager

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff October 23, 2012 02:51 PM

Globe Red Sox beat reporter Peter Abraham provides his thoughts on today's introduction of John Farrell as the new manager of the Red Sox.

Some quick thoughts on the new manager

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 23, 2012 01:51 PM

More to come on this over the course of the day. But a few notes from today's press conference:

-- It was interesting that Ben Cherington was at the podium alone with John Farrell. Larry Lucchino was off to the side and there was no sign of John Henry or Tom Werner. Whether intentionally or not, the message was sent that this is Cherington's hire.

-- Farrell seemed very relaxed, very confident, and ready to hit the ground running. He said several times that he will not take any prior relationships with players for granted.

-- Farrell also talked about holding players accountable. There clearly will be well-defined expectations now and communication about those. That was missing in 2012.

-- Lucchino said there was a time he thought the talks with Toronto would fall apart. Cherington independently confirmed that, saying the Sox talked at length about some other candidates and whom they would select if Farrell weren't available.

-- Farrell acknowledged that the Sox did request permission to speak to him a year ago and were denied.

-- David Ortiz was here today working out and talked to Farrell a bit. Compared with last year, when there was acrimony, there are a lot of positive vibes when it comes to Ortiz's contract. You can expect a new deal to be announced at some point. They're moving that way.

-- Farrell is not being urged to hire any of the remaining coaches but they will be considered. There seems to be a good chance that as many as three of his Toronto coaches -- Brian Butterfield, Torey Lovullo, and Luis Rivera -- could follow him to Boston. Lovullo is likely to be the bench coach.

-- Farrell talked about being too aggressive promoting a running game with the Blue Jays. Given how often they ran into outs the last two season, that makes sense.

-- Lots of talk about communication today. Cherington is clearly relieved to have a partner now as opposed to a manager who eventually became almost an adversary.

-- Cherington would not commit to Jose Iglesias as shortstop. Clearly they want Iglesias to come to spring training feeling he has something to prove.

-- Cherington said he needed to do a better job of building the roster.

More to come later.

John Farrell introduced as 46th Red Sox manager

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff October 23, 2012 12:16 PM
300farrell.jpg The curtain is open on the John Farrell era for the Red Sox.

The team unveiled Farrell as its 46th manager in an afternoon news conference at Fenway Park. Farrell, the Red Sox pitching coach from 2007-2010, is returning to the team after managing the Blue Jays the past two seasons.

"I'm honored and extremely humbled to be standing here today," Farrell said.

"This is an incredible privilege to be standing here today," said Farrell, who added he wanted to return to Boston last year but was not allowed to by the Blue Jays.

Farrell said he was not daunted by the enormity of the job facing him in taking over a last-place team. In fact, he wants the challenge, along with the pressure that comes with the spotlight of the Red Sox job.

"I think that's one of the drawing cards to this position," he said.

Farrell stressed that he will insist on accountability from his players and intends to earn respect from his players as well. Having a harmonious and hard-working clubhouse is important to him, he said.

"It's got to be a positive place that they want to come to every day," Farrell said.

General manager Ben Cherington introduced Farrell. "His integrity, leadership skills, intelligence are second to none and make him the right person for this job," Cherington said.

The Red Sox sent infielder Mike Aviles to Toronto as compensation for Farrell, who was under contract to the Blue Jays for one more year. Farrell went 154-170 as Blue Jays manager, but the Red Sox aggressively pursued him as the replacement to Bobby Valentine.

"Ben Cherington and John will form a very strong partnership in leading this club back to where it needs to be," Red Sox owner John Henry said in a statement. "John knows our club and division well."

Cherington said he was "thrilled" to add Farrell, a year after he targeted Farrell to replace Terry Francona but could not work out a deal with the Blue Jays to hire him.

Farrell the right manager at the right time

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 23, 2012 09:51 AM

New Sox manager John Farrell will be introduced at Fenway Park today. He will face a skeptical public.

Because Farrell was 154-170 in Toronto and finished only a few games ahead of the Red Sox, he is not seen as a good hire by those fans with tunnel vision. They want a manager with a blank slate (Brad Ausmus) or one with a sterling record (Tony La Russa or Joe Torre).

But a successful manger is usually a product of time and place, not his past.

Terry Francona was run out of Philadelphia and didn't get a managerial offer for several years before the Red Sox gave him a second chance. Torre was "Clueless Joe" in the New York Daily News the day he was hired. He was a lifer with a nondescript record.

The two managers in the World Series this season -- Jim Leyland and Bruce Bochy -- had losing records before they got their present jobs. The Padres let Bochy go to the Giants in 2006 without asking for compensation because they wanted somebody younger. Leyland was 72-90 in Colorado in 1999, then didn't manage for six years before the Tigers hired him.

Farrell is the right manager for this team at this time. The Red Sox need a manager with a forceful personality, one who knows pitching, knows Boston and knows how to handle his business without creating unnecessary headlines. They also need a person who can navigate the treacherous waters of Fenway Park's conference rooms.

Perhaps Ausmus could have done all that, but nobody can say for sure. Farrell arrives with those abilities. He should be evaluated on what starts today, not what happened in Toronto.

For this team, for this bunch of players and for this time in the team's history, Farrell was a wise choice.

Welcome back to Boston, John. Hold on tight.

------------

Hang out in Boston.com today for plenty of updates here in Extra Bases. Also follow me on Twitter @PeteAbe for more information.

For Farrell, baseball is a family endeavor

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 22, 2012 01:02 PM

New Sox manager John Farrell has three sons involved in the game.

Jeremy Farrell, 25, was an 8th round draft choice of the Pirates in 2008. The first baseman and third baseman hit .220 in 106 minor league games this season.

Shane Farrell, 23, was recently hired by the Cubs as an amateur scouting assistant. He pitched at Marshall.

Luke Farrell, 22, just finished his senior season at Northwestern. The righthander made 19 appearances. He has twice overcome cancerous tumors on the left side of his jaw.

Their dad's press conference will be at noon on Tuesday at Fenway Park.

Update: Jen McCaffrey of the Cape Cod Times pointed out on Twitter that Jeremy, Shane and Luke all played in the Cape Cod League during their college years.

Aviles welcomes trade to Blue Jays; endorses Iglesias at shortstop

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 22, 2012 10:26 AM

Mike Aviles was in upstate New York on Friday, visiting his family and celebrating the birthday of one of his children when he got an unexpected phone call.

It was one of his agents saying that the Red Sox were about to trade him to Toronto as compensation for manager John Farrell.

"I was shocked. I had to just process everything at first," Aviles told the Globe this morning. "At first you think about all the little things that are tough, like moving your family. But for me, all the little negatives don't come close to outweighing the big positive. I'm pretty excited about it."

Aviles is grateful that the Blue Jays want him and see him playing a significant role as a utility player or their second baseman.

"That's all I want, an opportunity. Their GM [Alex Anthopoulos] was straightforward with me and I told him I appreciated that," Aviles said. "They said I can play a lot and battle for at-bats at second base. That's all I ask. Getting traded, I think, is a good thing because it shows that a team wants you."

Aviles was traded to the Red Sox on July 30, 2011. He was around for the collapse that ended that season and the tumult that marked 2012.

"It was surprising for me and disappointing because when you join a team like the Red Sox, you expect that you're going to win and you're going to be in the playoffs," he said. "But I honestly feel that it was one of those experiences that is going to make them stronger. Every team goes through struggles and championship teams learn from those."

Aviles also was at the center of an incident in spring training that many felt contributed to Bobby Valentine having a rocky relationship with the veteran players this season.

During a standard fielding drill, Valentine chewed out Aviles for being in the wrong position, going after the good-natured infielder to a point where veteran players spoke up against it.

A series of other incidents followed. By the August, it was evident that Valentine wouldn't last with the Red Sox.

"I don't know what the effect was on other people, but for me it was forgotten pretty quickly," Aviles said. "In baseball, those things happen. It's like a marriage, you're going to have your fights. When you're around people for so long, there are always going to be issues and you have to move past them. People butt heads and for me, it's normal.

"It can be with players, coaches, managers. Things happen. For me it wasn't a major issue. Maybe it was for other people. I guess it was. I appreciated them having my back."

Aviles said that contrary to reports that labeled the Red Sox having clubhouse turmoil, the players respected each other.

"It was a band of brothers. We all got along and we hung out together. That part of it was fine," he said. "The team had issues because of injuries and the new manager and things like that. But it was never an issue of the players not getting along. I think that stuff was overblown."

With Aviles off to Toronto, the Red Sox will need a new shortstop. He believes rookie Jose Iglesias can handle the job.

"That kid is special. He does things in the field I've never seen anybody do and I know I can't do," Aviles said. "His hand-eye coordination in the field is amazing and it's only a matter of time before that translates into hitting for him. It will happen.

"I like Jose a lot. I was planning to talk to him a lot in the winter and I still will. He can do the job and I hope they give him the chance. It's fun to watch him play."

See the Globe tomorrow for more from Aviles.

Red Sox coverage in today's Globe

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 22, 2012 10:00 AM

The Red Sox wanted John Farrell and the players support that idea.

Dan Shaughnessy applauds the choice of Farrell as manager.

Nick Cafardo writes that the Sox passed up on a good candidate in Brad Ausmus.

The notebook has Torey Lovullo a possibility to join the coaching staff and information on David Carpenter, who was obtained by the Sox in the deal.

Pedroia 'excited' about having Farrell back

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 21, 2012 09:24 PM

"I'm very excited to have him back and looking forward to playing for him," Dustin Pedroia said about John Farrell. "He's been through it before here and it should be fun trying to accomplish our goals together."

Meanwhile, the Toronto Blue Jays informed their coaching staff on Sunday that they were free to speak with other teams in the wake of Farrell leaving.

First base coach Torey Lovullo is a strong candidate to join the Red Sox, perhaps as bench coach.

Lovullo managed Triple A Pawtucket in 2010 before joining Farrell in Toronto. He was one of the candidates the Red Sox interviewed last year before they hired Bobby Valentine.

"It's uncertainty, that's all I know at this point," Lovullo said. "Nothing has been decided."

Lovullo said his relationship with Farrell makes it natural to think he could return to the Red Sox.

Brad Ausmus, one of the four candidates interviewed by the Red Sox earlier this month, said the team only discussed managing with him, not any coaching positions.

"Of course I'm disappointed. I went in trying to win the job. I grew up a Red Sox fan," Ausmus told Nick Cafardo.

Finally, there is this. Japanese high school righthander Shohei Otani will pursue a career in the majors and has asked Japanese teams not to draft him.

The Red Sox and Dodgers are among the teams that have scouted the 18-year-old, whose fastball reaches 100-mph.

Ortiz happy to have Farrell back in Boston

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 21, 2012 05:39 PM

David Ortiz fully expected the Red Sox to replace Bobby Valentine with John Farrell.

"There is something that they see in him," Ortiz told the Globe on Sunday. "Ben [Cherington] and those guys know they can work with him. I think that will help us.

"He has a great relationship with our pitchers and I think they need that. If you can line up your pitching staff, it makes everything easier. I think [Farrell] will give us a chance to win games because the pitchers will produce for him. It was hard to win games last season because we were always behind. That's a tough position."

Ortiz believes the Red Sox also will benefit from Farrell being so familiar with the team.

"Definitely," he said. "I'm pretty sure he'll walk in and handle his business. He'll be in a situation where he doesn't have to come in and learn the program. He can just do his thing. Ben got his guy and he has things lined up to make the ball club better. He wanted Farrell to be part of that."

Ortiz said Farrell had good relationships with the position players even when he was the pitching coach.

"He's good," Ortiz said. "There's respect there."

Ortiz said his strained right Achilles' tendon is healing well. He had an ultrasound treatment two weeks ago and said it was helpful.

Ortiz also said his agent, Fernando Cuza, has been talking to the Red Sox about a new contract.

"Something will get done," he said. "I feel good about it."

Toronto GM: 'Perfect storm' led to Farrell leaving

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 21, 2012 03:41 PM

Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos took a few days off after the season to unwind and celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving with his family.

When he returned to work and met with manager John Farrell, the expectation was they would discuss their plans for the offseason.

But Farrell had a different topic in mind: He wanted to manage the Red Sox.

"John expressed to me that he'd really like an opportunity to pursue that if it came about," Anthopoulos said during a conference call on Sunday. "As John explained it to me, this was a dream job for him, an opportunity he really wanted to pursue."

The Red Sox, who had fired Bobby Valentine a day after the season, had not yet requested permission of the Blue Jays to speak to Farrell. That came a few days later when John Henry called Toronto team president Paul Beeston.

Compensation talks occurred primarily at the ownership level, Red Sox team president Larry Lucchino speaking frequently with Beeston. The Blue Jays wanted a major league player in return and eventually agreed to take Mike Aviles.

But the discussions were not without some rancor.

"There was a lot of, to be completely candid, gamesmanship and a lot of things that went on from a negotiating standpoint. Not on our end, just a lot of things that were coming out that were completely false," Anthopoulos said. "We're pretty good in terms of not putting things out there in the media and leaking things or saying things. The upsetting part for me were how many false reports were out there that I didn't think were fair to John or to myself or to the organization."

Anthopoulos also is annoyed that the news was leaked to the Boston media late Saturday night. The deal, he said, was not approved by commissioner Bud Selig until Sunday.

"It probably didn't go as smoothly as we think it could have," Anthopolous said. "That's just reality. ... The fact that this even leaked last night, this was not a done deal last night. It was not supposed to happen that way. It was supposed to happen collectively today."

Anthopolous said he doesn't know Red Sox GM Ben Cherington well but believes him to be honest. He also said the ownership groups have mutual respect.

"Beyond that, I think there's so many other potential people involved with ties. I wish I could tell you where a lot of this stuff came from," he said. "I just thought it was unfortunate overall. ... With a transaction like this, you'd love it to be a little more smooth. It just seemed like a lot of the things that came out didn't come out from the Toronto media. It seemed like it came out of the Boston market."

Anthopoulos said that once Terry Francona was fired by the Red Sox in 2011, it changed the situation for Farrell. He would not comment on whether the Red Sox requested permission to speak to Farrell a year ago. But he said the ouster of Francona created a "perfect storm of events" that led to Farrell leaving.

"I don't think anybody could have expected that," he said.

Anthopoulos respected Farrell for being honest with him.

"I understand the connection; I understand the ties," he said. "John had been there a long time and had a lot of strong relationships there. Spent a lot of time in the city. It's not completely foreign to me why there would be an appeal there and why there would be a desire on his part. This was the one job.

"That's how he expressed it to me, this was the one job. There was no other city for him that was a perfect fit or a perfect opportunity. He was very candid."

According to Anthopoulos, Farrell showed a good work ethic as manager.

"He stayed even-keeled," Anthopoulos said. "Obviously he dealt with a lot of challenges across the board with the injuries this past year, changes in the roster. Very prepared, there's no doubt about that as well. I can go on a lot of ways. ... I wish John well and thank him for what he did. The work ethic did not waver."

Anthopoulos said reports that the Blue Jays had an unsettled clubhouse were more a product of the team losing than anything related to Farrell.

Also:

-- Anthopoulos said all of the Toronto coaches were free to speak to other teams. First base coach Torey Lovullo could be a candidate to come to Boston. He managed Triple A Pawtucket in 2010.

Lovullo told the Globe this afternoon that he has not agreed to anything with the Red Sox.

-- RHP David Carpenter was going to be taken off the 40-man roster of the Blue Jays. So they were fine with trading him to the Red Sox.

"He was going to be available to any team for $20,000 either way," Anthopoulos said. "From a procedural standpoint, there needed to be some kind of player going back in this transaction. Ultimately for us, it was someone who was going to come off the roster."

-- Anthopoulos said that "at a minimum" Mike Aviles will be a utility player for the Blue Jays and could compete to start at second base.

Red Sox make it official with Farrell

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 21, 2012 02:23 PM

The Red Sox officially announced their deal with new manager John Farrell.

Farrell received a three-year contract. As compensation to the Blue Jays, to whom Farrell was under contract through 2013, the Red Sox sent shortstop Mike Aviles and received righthander David Carpenter.

The Red Sox said that they received permission to speak with Farrell and came to an agreement with him on Saturday night. Farrell was the Red Sox pitching coach from 2007-10 before becoming manager of the Jays for two seasons. He is the seventh manager in major league history acquired by one club while under contract to another.

"I'm extremely excited to be returning to the Red Sox and to Boston," Farrell said. "I love this organization. It's a great franchise in a special city and region, with great fans, and we want nothing more than to reward their faith in us."

"We are thrilled to name John Farrell as our new manager," general manager Ben Cheringto said. "John has been a major league pitcher, front office executive, coach, and manager. His broad set of experiences, and exceptional leadership skills, make him the ideal person to lead our team. I have known him in various capacities throughout my career, and I hold him in the highest regard as a baseball man and as a person."

"We met some outstanding managerial candidates in this process," said Red Sox President/CEO Larry Lucchino. "John Farrell brings a unique blend of managerial experience, leadership and presence, pitching expertise, front office experience, and an established track record with many members of our uniformed staff and members of our front office. He will hit the ground running."

Carpenter, 27, has struck out 60 in 60 innings over 67 career major league games, all in relief, with the Astros (2011-12) and Blue Jays (2012). He is 1-5 with one save and a 5.70 ERA in his big league career.

He appeared in 33 major league games in 2012, including 30 with the Astros prior to being sent to the Blue Jays in a 10-player trade July 20. He also pitched in 23 Triple A games for Oklahoma City and Las Vegas, going 1-1 with four saves, a 3.08 ERA, 25 strikeouts and only seven walks in 26.1 innings.

Originally a catcher, Carpenter converted to pitching midway through the 2008 season. Since that time, he has averaged 9.56 strikeouts per nine innings pitched in 178 career minor league games, all in relief.

Farrell is sixth manager to be traded

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 21, 2012 02:19 PM

Managers have been traded to other teams six times in baseball history:

2012: Blue Jays manager John Farrell and RHP David Carpenter to the Red Sox for SS Mike Aviles

2011: White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen and RHP Ricardo Andres to the Marlins for RHP Jhan Marinez and INF Ozzie Martinez.

2002: Mariners manager Lou Piniella and INF Antonio Perez to the Rays for OF Randy Winn.

1976: Athletics manager Chuck Tanner and cash to the Pirates for C Manny Sanguillen.

1967: Senators manager Gil Hodges to the Mets for RHP Bill Denehy and cash.

1960: Cleveland manager Joe Gordon to Detroit for manager Jimmy Dykes.

Now comes the hard part for the Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 21, 2012 01:34 PM

The Red Sox have their manager. Now the real work starts for general manager Ben Cherington.

Here is the lineup at the moment:

1B: Vacant
2B: Dustin Pedroia
3B: Will Middlebrooks
SS: Vacant
C: Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Ryan Lavarnway
LF: Vacant
CF: Jacoby Ellsbury
RF: Vacant
DH: Vacant

No. 1 Starter: Jon Lester
No. 2 Starter: Clay Buchholz
No. 3 Starter: Vacant
No. 4 Starter: Felix Doubront
No. 5 Starter: John Lackey
Depth starters: Vacant
Closer: Andrew Bailey
Set-up men: Junichi Tazawa, Andrew Miller, Mark Melancon

The Sox hope to retain David Ortiz and Cody Ross. But they have a lot of needs, particularly a solid starting pitcher to make the rotation deeper. Doubront is coming off a huge jump in innings and Lackey is coming off Tommy John surgery. If the Red Sox go into the season counting on them for 30 starts each, it's a tremendous risk.

They need to figure out if Jose Iglesias is ready to play shortstop every day and if players like Ryan Sweeney, James Loney, Daniel Nava are worth keeping around. Can Daniel Bard be salvaged?

Is Pedro Ciriaco really a player? His career statistics suggest last year was an anomaly, but maybe he can he helpful off the bench.

Ellsbury is under control for one more season, then he will enter the promised land of free agency with Scott Boras by his side. Should the Red Sox trade him now before it's too late?

There is literally no team in baseball with as much payroll and roster flexibility as the Red Sox have. They could do almost anything.

The Sox also need a coaching staff. John Farrell could bring some of his Toronto coaches with him. Third base coach Brian Butterfield, a Maine native, would be a good fit. The guess here is the Sox will retain Tim Bogar and Gary Tuck. Alex Ochoa could stick, too.

There are likely changes coming to some degree in the rest of the staff, too. The Sox still do not have a strong grip on medical issues based on some of the indecision and other issues that occurred last season.

Getting Farrell on board starts the process. Cherington and Farrell can now work together on assembling a roster and a staff both can live with.

For Cherington, the decisions made in the coming months will surely determine his viability as the GM. He inherited a mess from Theo Epstein last fall and then had Bobby Valentine forced on him. From this point forward, this is his team and he will rise or fall with it.

Aviles thanks Red Sox fans for support

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 21, 2012 01:05 PM

aviles tweet .jpg

The loss of Mike Aviles is not an insignificant one for the Red Sox. He could have been a solid player off the bench next season, capable of backing up three infield positions and even playing some outfield.

Aviles had a much better season than expected in 2012. His defensive play at shortstop -- he had a 5.3 UZR, ninth among major league shortstops -- was strong and he contributed 41 extra-base hits to the offense.

Aviles had 546 plate appearances, more than anybody on the team outside of Dustin Pedroia. He and Jarrod Saltalamacchia were the lone position players to stay on the roster for all 162 games.

Off the field, Aviles was one of the most professional and accountable players on the team, setting an example that young players like Will Middlebrooks and Ryan Lavarnway took notice of. In a clubhouse that was often in turmoil, Aviles was a player who managed to get along with everybody.

Here's wishing him well.

Lester pleased with hiring of Farrell

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 21, 2012 12:55 PM

lester tweet .jpg

Jon Lester seems pleased that John Farrell is his new manager. And why not? He was 54-23 with a 3.40 ERA when Farrell was pitching coach. He is 23-23, 4.17 since.

Red Sox name John Farrell manager

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 20, 2012 11:37 PM

The next manager of the Red Sox will come directly from a division rival, a team source saying late Saturday night there was a deal in place to bring John Farrell back to Boston.

Farrell will become the 46th manager in team history after spending two seasons as the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays. Compensation has yet to be announced but the deal will involve a player or players being traded from each team.

According to several reports, the first from WEEI, the Red Sox will be sending infielder Mike Aviles to the Blue Jays.

Farrell, who received a three-year contract, will be introduced at Fenway Park on Monday or Tuesday.

The 50-year-old Farrell was the Red Sox pitching coach from 2007-10 before becoming the manager of the Blue Jays. Farrell was a modest 154-170 in two seasons, but the Red Sox believe he has the skills to lead the team back from its worst season in decades.

The Red Sox were 69-93 under Bobby Valentine, a season marked by poor performance, injuries and controversy. Valentine's style did not mesh well with general manager Ben Cherington, his coaching staff or with veteran players grown accustomed to the protective ways of former manager Terry Francona.

Valentine was fired a day after the season.

"There's a person who's right for the Red Sox job in 2013 who isn't right for another team's job or who might not have been right for our job last year or the year before," Cherington said that day.

The Red Sox formally interviewed Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus, Orioles third base coach DeMarlo Hale, Yankees bench coach Tony Pena and Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach and were impressed with all four. But their focus was on Farrell from the beginning of the process.

Farrell, Cherington believes, can improve internal communication gone awry. Farrell also has experience as a player, manager, pitching coach and front office executive.

In addition, Farrell could play a key role in helping the organization better find and develop starting pitchers.

The Red Sox were interested in bringing Farrell back last season after Francona's acrimonious departure from the organization. But talks with the Blue Jays broke down quickly when they asked for righthander Clay Buchholz in return.

Friends also said that Farrell did not want to leave Toronto after only one season, feeling a sense of loyalty to an organization that gave him a chance to manage.

The Blue Jays had a rough 2012 season, one marked by injuries and their own internal struggles.

In September, veteran infielder Omar Vizquel complained that young players on the roster were poorly prepared, a charge Farrell denied.

Farrell also had to deal with the three-game suspension of infielder Yunel Escobar, who was punished in September after writing a homophobic slur on his eye black in Spanish.

As it became evident Valentine would be fired, Farrell was asked repeatedly about the idea of returning to Boston. He consistently said he was committed to Toronto but never denied interest in the Red Sox.

On Sept. 7, before a game at Fenway Park, he spoke warmly about his days with the Red Sox and the people he worked with.

"Not only are they professional colleagues, on some level they became personal friends and we had success," Farrell said. "We shared a lot of challenges along the way."

Farrell was with the Red Sox from Nov. 2006 until Oct. 25, 2010. The Red Sox had a 4.11 earned run average during his four seasons, the third-best in the American League. The Red Sox were in the postseason in three of those seasons.

Farrell was instrumental in the development of Buchholz, Jon Lester and Daniel Bard. He also meshed well with position players like Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz.

"It would be cool for him to get back and pick up where he left off with us," Buchholz said in September. "I think everyone liked him when he was here. He was always upfront about everything; he was all business. He was an easy guy to talk to if you needed help in some category of the game."

Farrell attended Oklahoma State, playing four seasons there. He was All-Big Eight as a senior and was a second round draft choice by the Indians in 1984.

Farrell was 36-46 with a 4.56 ERA in parts of eight seasons with the Indians, Angels and Tigers. Farrell retired after the 1996 season and returned to Oklahoma State as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator.

In five seasons with the Cowboys, Farrell coached 14 pitchers who were drafted or signed by major league teams.

Farrell returned to the Indians in Nov. 2001 as their director of player development. He was responsible for the team's minor league affiliates and Latin American programs. Farrell also supervised signing minor-league free agents and assisted general manager Mark Shapiro in major league moves.

The Indians were named the best farm system in baseball by Baseball America in 2003.

Farrell was born in Monmouth, N.J. He and his wife, Sue, have three sons: Jeremy, Shane and Luke. Jeremy Farrell is an infielder in the Pittsburgh Pirates system.

Aviles, 31, hit .250 with a .663 OPS in 36 game for the Red Sox, earning the starting shortstop spot in spring training. He had a career-best 13 home runs and 60 RBIs along with 13 stolen bases.

Aviles also graded out well defensively, advanced metrics placing him among the best shortstops in the American League.

Red Sox move closer to hiring Farrell

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 20, 2012 06:25 PM

It is not yet inevitable that Toronto's John Farrell will become the next manager of the Red Sox, a major league source said on Saturday. But all signs point to a resolution within the next few days.

The Red Sox could make their announcement on Monday or Tuesday at Fenway Park.

The Sox have been discussing compensation with the Blue Jays for several days and have requested permission to speak with Farrell to discuss contract terms. With the parties this far down the path, it would be difficult for Farrell to return to Toronto at this point.

Farrell was the pitching coach of the Red Sox from 2007-10, leaving the position to manage the Blue Jays. There was a brief attempt to bring Farrell back a year ago before the Red Sox turned to other candidates and eventually hired Bobby Valentine.

The dynamic changed for both sides this season.

After a year of volatility with Valentine, the Red Sox decided they needed a manager with the ability to handle both the clubhouse and the internal politics of Fenway Park.

Farrell has a strong relationship with veteran players on the roster, particularly the pitchers, and has shown he can work well with general manager Ben Cherington and the baseball operations staff along with the ownership group.

Toronto also proved to be a difficult fit for Farrell. He disagreed with some of the moves made by general manager Alex Anthopoulos and is now receptive to returning to Boston.

Farrell is 154-170 in two seasons with the Jays. Toronto was 73-89 this season, just four games better than the Red Sox.

Qualifying offer for Ortiz would be $13.3 million

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 20, 2012 04:04 PM
The Red Sox do have other business to conduct beyond hiring a manager, specifically trying to retain free agents David Ortiz and Cody Ross. They are negotiating with both players.

So it is worth noting that Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported on Friday that "qualifying offers" for free agents will be worth $13.3 million.

Under baseball's new collective bargaining agreement, veteran free agents (those with six years of service time) will return draft pick compensation only if they are tendered a qualifying offer. That offer is one year and the average of the top 125 salaries in the game.

It cannot be higher or for more years.

Those offers must be made within five days of the conclusion of the World Series. Players then have seven days to accept or decline.

The Red Sox would surely make Ortiz a qualifying offer. It seems unlikely he would take it as it would represent a cut in salary. Offering Ross $13.3 million seems unlikely given that he made $3 million last season.

A few things to note:

-- If a player accepts the qualifying offer, he is locked in at that number for one season. If he declines, he is free to sign with any team for any price.

-- If that player signs with another team, his original team will receive one draft pick at the end of the first round.

-- The top 10 picks in the draft are protected. If a team outside the top 10 signs a qualified free agent, it will lose its first-round pick. However that pick will not go to the player's original team. It just disappears.

In other words, the best return for Ortiz would be one draft pick, roughly No. 31 overall give or take a few slots.

AP: Red Sox want to speak directly to Farrell

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 20, 2012 12:56 AM

The Associated Press reported on Friday night that the Red Sox have asked the Blue Jays for permission to speak directly to John Farrell.

This would seem to be another sign that the matter may soon be coming to a conclusion.

As the Globe reported, the teams have been engaged in compensation talks for Farrell for several days. The Red Sox may want to speak to Farrell regarding contract terms.

Red Sox, Blue Jays continue Farrell talks

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 19, 2012 08:39 PM

Major League Baseball traditionally asks teams to refrain from making major announcements during the World Series, which starts on Wednesday.

Might that serve as a deadline of sorts for the Red Sox to strike a deal with the Toronto Blue Jays for manager John Farrell?

General manager Ben Cherington did not respond to requests for comment on Friday. But major league sources said the sides are continuing to discuss proper compensation for Farrell.

Farrell, 50, was the Red Sox pitching coach for four seasons before becoming manager of the Blue Jays in 2011.

Farrell has not denied any interest in returning to Boston after two seasons in Toronto. The Red Sox see Farrell as being able to capture the respect of the players following the turbulent one-year reign of Bobby Valentine.

Like Cherington, Toronto general manager Alex Anthopuolos has a reputation for honesty in his dealings with the media. Speculation in Toronto is that he canceled his weekly radio appearance on Thursday morning rather than answer questions about the situation.

As the Red Sox try to engineer the return of Farrell, the four managerial candidates they interviewed are waiting to get some news.

The Red Sox spoke to Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach, Yankees bench coach Tony Pena, Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus and Orioles third base coach DeMarlo Hale.

"Thought it went well. There was no timetable given or when I might hear back," said Hale, who interviewed on Thursday. "[I] Enjoyed the opportunity."

Hale could become a candidate for the Blue Jays if Farrell is allowed to go to Boston.

Magadan leaves Red Sox coaching staff

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 19, 2012 05:20 PM

After six seasons as the hitting coach, Dave Magadan has left the Red Sox to take the same position with the Texas Rangers. The Rangers announced the move this afternoon.

Magadan, 50, helped tutor offenses that regularly were among the most productive in the game. Even in 2012, amidst injuries and roster turnover, the Red Sox were fifth in the American League in runs scored.

Magadan has spent 10 years as a major league hitting coach. He played 16 majors in the season with the Mets, Marlins, Mariners, Astros, Cubs, Athletics and Padres.

The Red Sox have not announced the status of their other coaches.

The Red Sox held an option on Magadan but granted him permission to speak with other teams. He had several offers, including one from the Indians and Terry Francona. The Red Sox also wanted him to return.

"It was difficult to leave," Magadan said. "I have relationships with the players, the front office, everybody from the PR department to marketing to community relations. I did a lot of work in the community. There's a lot of people in the organization I'm going to miss."

Magadan said he established roots in Boston and gave consideration to staying.

"In the end, I felt like it was a good opportunity for me to go to Texas and kind of start the next chapter of my coaching career. Me and the family are very excited for it."

Magadan said all the organizational turnover in recent years did not play a role in his decision.

"No, not really. In the end I feel like I can more or less get along with anybody," he said. "What brings me to the field every day is your relationships with the manager and the other staff members, but ultimately it's the players that get you up in the morning and make you want to show up to work. As a coach, that's the way it's got to be. The wins and losses are by-products of how hard we work with the individual players. I spend more time with those guys than I do with my own family during the season.

"There are relationships there that will be hard to say good-bye to."

Baseball coverage in today's Globe

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 19, 2012 09:21 AM

Nick Cafardo has the latest on the Red Sox managerial search. John Farrell is being discussed.

The Tigers are headed to the World Series after wiping out the Yankees in the ALCS,

The ALCS notebook has Delmon Young being named MVP and the Yankees facing a ton of questions.

In the NLCS, the Cardinals are a win away from returning to the Series. Nick has that story, too.

What's the thought process for Toronto's GM?

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff October 18, 2012 04:48 PM

ST. LOUIS -- Try putting yourself in the shoes of Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos, because this is what the compensation issue for John Farrell is all about.

We're certain the discussion has been initiated at the ownership level. But in the end, Anthopoulos and Ben Cherington have to settle on the players involved

So what is Anthopoulos thinking?

The Red Sox are division rivals, so he has to ask for and receive something significant, right?

The argument against that is, if Farrell doesn't want to be there, that hurts the Jays' leverage.

As one rival American League East GM said today, "I don't think it's a great practice to deal for managers. I'm surprised the league allows it. If the guy doesn't want to be there you just let him go. What's the big deal? You get someone else who does want to be there and who you feel will do a good job.

"Whenever you hire a manager, you usually have two or three other people you've interviewed that you could easily have given the job to. I'm sure Toronto has other people they considered."

One of them is DeMarlo Hale, who interviewed with the Red Sox today.

The fact the Red Sox and the Jays are discussing compensation seems to indicate Toronto is willing to let Farrell go. Now, if they're asking for Clay Buchholz, as they did last year, that's probably not a serious attempt to get something done. But Buchholz does qualify as "significant."

Would the Jays offer Farrell an extension as a lure for him to call the whole thing off? As of now, Farrell will go into the final year of his contract as a lame duck. Some teams don't mind their manager being in the final year of a deal; they reason that since he's under contract, he should do his best to manage the team.

As Globe colleague Pete Abraham pointed out in a previous blog entry, if the blueprint for compensation is what the White Sox and Marlins agreed on for on a championship-winning manager in Ozzie Guillen, should the same formula be used for Farrell, who has had two tough years in Toronto? Or should the division factor count for greater compensation?

If I'm Anthopoulos, even if I don't care whether Farrell leaves, I still hold out for a major player. In the end, maybe you just settle for something less for a manager you don't really care to retain.

And then comes the issue of whether the Jays think Farrell will significantly improve the Red Sox. If they don't think that's the case, they'll let him go for a decent prospect.

Who would the Red Sox give up for Farrell?

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 18, 2012 03:25 PM

The Red Sox and Blue Jays are having super-secret negotiations to determine what compensation would head to Canada in return for John Farrell.

Who will the Red Sox give up? Let's review some recent history and try to figure it out.

2012: Theo Epstein compensation case

Epstein bolted the Red Sox for the Cubs last October. After months of discussions, the teams finally agreed on a deal in spring training. The Red Sox obtained RHPs Chris Carpenter and Aaron Kurcz from the Cubs.

To make it a real baseball deal, the Sox sent a player to be named later to the Cubs. That proved to be 1B Jair Bogaerts, a non-prospect. The Cubs released him after a few months.

Carpenter was a 26-year-old former third-round draft pick with 10 games of major league experience at the time of compensation. He was rated the team's 13th-best prospect by Baseball America. Kurcz was a reliever in High Single A with some upside.

2011: Ozzie Guillen compensation case

The Miami Marlins sent the Chicago White Sox two players for their manager: Double A reliever Jhan Marinez and Triple A shortstop Ozzie Martinez. To make it a real trade, the Marlins received RHP Ricardo Ambres, a rookie league prospect.

Marinez was considered a strong prospect for the Marlins before the 2011 season, then had a down year. Martinez was the fifth-ranked prospect in the organization per Baseball America. He had 34 games of major league experience.

(Note: The Marlins do not have a particularly strong farm system. The No. 5 prospect in their system would not be in the top 10 of the Red Sox system.)

Extenuating circumstances

Ozzie Guillen was a successful manager for the White Sox, going 678-617 (.524) with a World Series title in eight years. He had a year left on his deal and wanted to leave.

Epstein was with the Red Sox for a decade and helped build two World Series champions. He had a year left on his deal and also wanted to leave.

Farrell is 154-170 (.475) in two years with Toronto and has a year left on his contract. He also wants to leave. But unlike Guillen and Epstein, he does not have the same value.

The difference is that the Blue Jays and Sox are division rivals. That could improve the quality of the compensation.

The verdict

The compensation for Farrell will be a pitcher on the cusp of being helpful to the big league team and a Double A prospect. The Red Sox will get a non-prospect in return to make it a real trade.

A few guesses

The Red Sox could part with the aforementioned Chris Carpenter or somebody like RHP Clayton Mortensen, RHP Alex Wilson, or RHP Zach Stewart.

The second piece of the puzzle would be somebody like OF Juan Carlos Linares, 3B Kolbrin Vitek, INF Ivan DeJesus Jr., or maybe even OF Che-Hsuan Lin, who was designated for assignment on Wednesday.

My guess -- and this is just a guess -- is that we'll get an announcement on a deal before too long.

Sox interview Hale, talking to Jays about Farrell

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff October 18, 2012 02:26 PM
ST. LOUIS -- DeMarlo Hale's interview today should be the final one conducted by the Red Sox in their search to replace Bobby Valentine, according to general manager Ben Cherington.

In addition to a solid group of managerial candidates who have already been interviewed -- Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach, Padres special assistant to the general manager Brad Ausmus, and Yankees bench coach Tony Pena -- the Red Sox have begun compensation talks with the Blue Jays to land current manager and former Sox pitching coach John Farrell, as confirmed by industry sources.

Hale is an experienced baseball man who has served many roles in a few organizations, including Boston,Texas, and Baltimore. He was Terry Francona's bench coach after Brad Mills left the Red Sox to take the manager's job in Houston and he served the job well.

Hale is tremendous with players -- good with pats on the back and kicks in the pants.
He was instrumental in the success of Michael Young early in his Rangers career and also coached Alex Rodriguez in Texas. In Boston he was a big force in Jacoby Ellsbury's development, and he's been a big factor in helping turn Orioles rookie Manny Machado into a superb third baseman even though his primary position (and likely future home) is shortstop.

The Red Sox should have a manager by the end of the World Series, which will give the hire enough time to have input on offseason moves and select his own coaches.
Over the past few days fans have asked me to rank the candidates by their chance to land the job. It's hard to tell, but my best guess is:

1. John Farrell -- Cherington worked well with Farrell in Boston. The other big factor is Farrell's familiarity with Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, and John Lackey. He also really likes Felix Doubront. Of course, most of the work with the pitching staff is left to the pitching coach, so Farrell's overall impact on the pitching staff might not be as significant as one would think. Farrell has a presence about him. There are concerns about his record in Toronto, and the Toronto media has pointed out some strategical issues. But after it became obvious that Cherington and Valentine were on different planets, communication between manager and GM is now vital and this seems to be the best combination.

2. Brad Ausmus -- There's a growing feeling among baseball people that if the Red Sox and Jays can't reach compensation on Farrell, Ausmus could emerge as the leading candidate. Ausmus interviewed Wednesday, and while he would not get into specifics about how things went, it would be tough to imagine it didn't go well. Ausmus is a well-spoken, passionate baseball man who understands the Red Sox Nation culture having grown up in Cheshire, Conn., and graduated from Dartmouth. Since he's been retired he's spent more time at his Cape Cod home and would love to be the Red Sox manager. Ausmus is like a top prospect who you know will be a successful major leaguer. There's also a trend in baseball -- thanks to Mike Matheny and Robin Ventura -- that ex-players who are smart and students of the game can skip the minor league managing thing and go right to managing in the bigs.

3. Tim Wallach -- He's another coach who is universally expected to have a successful managing career in the major leagues. He was described as "a lot like Terry Francona but without the humor." He's a former hitting coach and a former Gold Glove third baseman, so he knows defense as well as offense. He's handled some of the Dodgers' top prospects, including the ones recently obtained by the Red Sox. He's received high marks from Dodgers CEO Stan Kasten, who feels Wallach is ready for this chapter.

4. Tony Pena -- All of the people hung up on his record with Kansas City don't believe Pena was a good manager. But like any manager, he's as good as the talent on his roster. Pena had young Royals teams playing hard and he was the 2003 AL Manager of the Year when he led the Royals to their only winning record (83-79) since 1994.

5. DeMarlo Hale -- Great attributes. Don't know if his ties with Francona will hurt him in the process, but there's no question he would do an outstanding job and work with the Sox brass well if selected.

Opportunity for Red Sox reflected in issues facing the Yankees

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 18, 2012 09:30 AM

DETROIT -- We are coming up on the two-month anniversary of the Red Sox trading Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, and Nick Punto to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Only now, thanks to the Yankees, can the true value of that trade be fully realized.

Derek Jeter will have surgery on his fractured left ankle on Saturday in North Carolina, then face 4-5 months of rehabilitation. The Yankees hope he will be back for Opening Day, but admit they have no idea to what degree the surgery will affect his ability to play shortstop.

Jeter, who turns 39 in June, worked hard in recent years to improve his range. Now he faces the hurdle of playing with a surgically repaired ankle. Jeter has $17 million on his contract for 2013 and an $8 million player option for 2014.

Then we have the latest drama surrounding 37-year-old Alex Rodriguez. He has looked helpless in the postseason and the Yankees aren't interested in giving him a chance to work it out. Rodriguez has been pinch hit for three times in the postseason and benched three times.

The most expensive player in baseball has become almost useless to them -- and he has five years and $114 million remaining on his contract. On Wednesday, before the postponed fourth game of the American League Championship Series, the Yankees talked about A-Rod like he was some scrub call-up from the minors.

"We will go forward. Alex will go forward," general manager Brian Cashman said. "You're going to have some good times and you're going to have some tough times. But when you're going through the tough times, it doesn't have to be the end-all and be-all.

"Opportunities will exist to continue to get back off that mat and get back in the ring and battle. And Alex is going to wait for that opportunity. Right now it looks like, in theory, we'll do that against lefthanded pitching."

Manager Joe Girardi fielded questions about whether Rodriguez was still a viable player without blinking.

"No, no, I don't think he is a shot player," he said. "It's not that I want to sit Alex Rodriguez. It's not that I have sat him against every righthander, I haven't. He played against a lot of them. But the struggles have continued, like for some other players as well. And I've sat some other players just as well."

Unless the Yankees can trade Rodriguez, this is their new reality.

"This doesn't mean that he's done; that he's finished; that he is not capable. He is still a big threat," Cashman said. "But for whatever reason right now we are adjusting to what we are seeing."

The Red Sox avoided this kind of mess when they unloaded Beckett, Crawford, and Gonzalez on the Dodgers.

Instead of watching the 32-year-old Beckett throw 91-mph fastballs the next two seasons and become increasingly recalcitrant, they can go get somebody younger, better and more team oriented.

Instead of counting how many surgeries Crawford has over the length of his seven-year deal, they can invest that money in a player entering his prime.

And while Gonzalez was a hefty tariff to pay for unloading Beckett and Crawford, his diminishing power and problems hitting at Fenway Park are troubling signs.

Now, thanks to the Dodgers, the Red Sox have incredible roster and payroll flexibility.

Unless they pull off their own miracle trade, the Yankees are stuck with an aging and expensive roster.

They'll surely pay to bring back Mariano Rivera next season. He turns 43 in November. CC Sabathia, who is 32, is signed until 2016 with a vesting option for 2017. Mark Teixeira, also 32, is signed through 2016. Robinson Cano will be a free agent after 2013 when he is 31 and will command a long-term deal.

The Red Sox were a wretched team and finished in last place, a whopping 26 games behind the first-place Yankees. But the Sox might actually have the advantage moving forward.

Seeing Jeter go down and watching the Yankees wrestle with Rodriguez only confirmed that idea.

Red Sox interview Ausmus; Hale is next

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 17, 2012 11:21 PM

The Red Sox conducted their third managerial interview on Wednesday, meeting with Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus at Fenway Park.

Orioles third bench coach DeMarlo Hale is scheduled for Thursday. Dodgers coach Tim Wallach and Yankees coach Tony Pena also have interviewed.

Ben Cherington told the Globe's Nick Cafardo that no other interviews are scheduled.

"We've had a good group so far," Cherington said. "All very capable."

Does that mean Ausmus, Hale, Pena or Wallach will be the manager? Not necessarily.

Bobby Valentine was not among the five initial interviews held last season and ended up getting the job. If John Farrell were made available to the Red Sox, he almost certainly would not go through the interview process.

Within the industry, there is a sense that the Red Sox will eventually reach an accord with Toronto and name Farrell their manager. But until that process is settled, anything can happen.

Eddie Yost, former Red Sox coach, dies at 86

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 17, 2012 04:44 PM

Eddie Yost, a former major league third baseman and a Red Sox coach from 1977-84, died on Tuesday according to the Associated Press. He was 86.

Nicknamed "The Walking Man," Yost played 18 seasons with the Washington Senators, Detroit Tigers, and Los Angeles Angels. He drew 1,614 walks, leading the league six times.

Thanks to his good eye, Yost had a career .394 on-base percentage. He is 11th all-time in walks.

After his playing days, Yost was a third-base coach for the Red Sox, New York Mets, and Senators.

Yost passed away in Weston. The Red Sox said he is survived by his daughters, Felita and Alexis, and son Mike.

Red Sox claim RHP Rosario from Marlins

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 17, 2012 03:40 PM

The Red Sox today claimed righthander Sandy Rosario off waivers from the Miami Marlins. To make room on the 40-man roster, outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin was designated for assignment.

The 27-year-old Rosario had been with the Marlins since 2004, when he was signed out of the Dominican Republic. He has 10 games of major league experience from 2010-12 and they did not go well. Over 7.2 innings, Rosario allowed 13 earned runs on 22 hits and three walks.

But Rosario pitched well in 31 minor league games this season. Over 31.2 innings, he had a 0.98 WHIP and a 1.99 ERA. He struck out 29 and had only three unintentional walks. Rosario has an above-average fastball.

His 403 strikeouts over 391 minor league innings speak to there being something to work with.

Lin, who was signed out of Taiwan in 2007, made his major league debut in 2012, going 3 for 12 in nine games. He is a career .256 hitter in the minors, his offensive skills well below his impressive ability to play the outfield.

Lin hit .247 for Triple A Pawtucket this season with 18 extra-base hits over 396 at-bats.

Pena shows a passion for the Red Sox job

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 16, 2012 09:14 PM

tonypena .jpg

DETROIT -- Tony Pena spent six hours at Fenway Park on Monday, interviewing with the Red Sox for a chance to become their next manager.

The process, according to those who have been through it, can be grueling. Candidates are asked dozens of questions and are tested via video simulations to determine how sound their strategy would be.

But Pena found the experience enjoyable.

'It was a very, very quick six hours," he said on Tuesday. "Because when you're talking about something you love to do, the thing that you have passion for, then you can talk the whole day. You can talk 24 hours. You can talk the whole year about baseball. That wouldn't bother me at all."

Pena, 55, has been in baseball virtually all his life, playing, coaching and managing. His last seven seasons have been with the Yankees, coaching under Joe Torre and then Joe Girardi. Pena has been the team's bench coach since 2009.

Along the way, Pena played four seasons for the Sox and managed parts of four seasons with the Royals. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman wasn't surprised when the Red Sox asked permission to interview Pena.

"He's intense; he's passionate; he loves the game and he never has a bad day. That's how I would describe Tony Pena," Cashman said. 'He's done a lot. He was involved with a lot of playoff teams as player. He's been involved with a lot of different aspects of the game. There's a lot of experience there."

Boston, Pena knows, can be a challenge.

"You have to not worry about anything outside the ball park. You have to worry about the things you are capable of doing and then you move forward,' he said. "You cannot think about [distractions]. I know those cities are very demanding. I know that. I'm ready for any challenge."

Pena was the American League manager of the year in 2003 then resigned early in the 2005 season. But he feels he would be a better manager now.

"It's no question. When you manage the first time and come around the second time, you have more time to think about it. You have more to learn," he said. "Every day is something new in baseball and you learn more and more about the game. I know right now I'm better than what I was."

Girardi agreed with that idea.

"I think Tony could manage anywhere, I do," he said. "I have that confidence in him and I know how he prepares and I know how he goes about his business."

The Red Sox are set to interview Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus on Wednesday and Orioles third base coach DeMarlo Hale on Thursday. Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach interviewed last week.

It remains uncertain whether Toronto manager John Farrell will be made available to the Red Sox. If he proves off-limits, Pena could emerge as a viable option.

"I played there for four years and I enjoyed every single moment there. But whatever happens, happens," he said. "I have no control over that now."

Cashman is an interested observer.

"Boston, there are really smart people up there. They're going to have a real strong interview process," he said. "We tried to do the same thing here when we went through it and recognizing that the manager is ultimately not as big of a decision as the talent.

"The talent is the most important aspect that you need to find. Through your amateur scouting department, your player development department finishing it off and then your pro [scouting] department collecting as many guys as they can at the same time, that's where you make the difference to provide your manager a position to be successful.

"I think those areas are more important than ultimately the decision you're going through, even though that happens to be the person you push in front of the media every day. You have to build the house before you get to that point ... Listen, better days are ahead for Boston. I know that."

(See the Globe on Wednesday for more from Pena.)

Red Sox freeze prices on tickets at Fenway Park

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 15, 2012 04:19 PM

The Red Sox announced this afternoon that ticket prices at Fenway Park -- already the highest in the majors -- will not go up for 2013.

Given that the team finished in last place at 69-93, raising prices would have been a public relations disaster.

The freeze applies to season tickets and individual game sales. The Red Sox have not raised prices since 2011.

"It was abundantly clear this year that we should hold the line on ticket prices," team president Larry Lucchino said in a statement. "Over the past few years, we have fallen short of our goals to play postseason baseball. Through it all, fans have shown their deep loyalty and support, for which we are all grateful. Our commitment to winning is as strong as it has ever been, and we look forward to the challenge of bringing our fans the winning and entertaining baseball team they richly deserve."

Ticket prices for JetBlue Park at Fenway South will also be held at 2012 levels.

Red Sox add Pena, Hale to manager possibilities

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 15, 2012 09:33 AM

On Friday, Orioles third base coach DeMarlo Hale said he had not heard from the Red Sox regarding their search for a new manager. But WEEI reports this morning that Hale will be interviewed later this week.

The Sox also will be interviewing Yankees bench coach Tony Pena today, a day off in the ALCS.

Pena, 55, managed the Royals for parts of four seasons from 2002-05. He was the American League manager of the year in 2003 after leading Kansas City to 83 victories.

He joined the Yankees for the 2006 season as the first base coach under Joe Torre. He interviewed to replace Torre after the 2007 season, but that position went to Joe Girardi. Pena stayed on the staff, becoming the bench coach in 2009.

Pena played for the Red Sox from 90-93 and his son, Tony, has pitched for Triple A Pawtucket the last two seasons.

Hale, 51, was Terry Francona's bench coach from 2010-11 after spending four years as the third base coach. He has extensive minor league managing experience.

The Sox already have interviewed Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach, and as Nick Cafrdo reported last week, they will be interviewing Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus this week.

There remains no definitive word on whether Toronto manager John Farrell will become a candidate. He has long been considered to be the top choice of the Red Sox.

Baseball coverage in today's Globe

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 15, 2012 05:00 AM

The Yankees are in disarray after losing the first two games of the ALCS. They were beaten, 3-0, by the Tigers on Sunday.

The ALCS Notebook has Derek Jeter on the sidelines with a fractured ankle.

The St. Louis Cardinals continued to prove themselves by beating the Giants in Game 1 of the NLCS. Nick Cafardo has the story from San Francisco.

The NLCS notebook has the Giants pushing Melky Cabrera out of the picture.

Baseball coverage in today's Globe

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 14, 2012 10:25 AM

The Yankees lost Game 1 of the ALCS and Derek Jeter to a fractured left ankle.

The ALCS notebook has Derek Lowe enjoying his return to the postseason.

In the Sunday Baseball Notes, Nick Cafardo has some ideas for the Red Sox.

Yankees lose Game 1 of ALCS and Jeter with fractured ankle

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 14, 2012 02:12 AM

NEW YORK -- Raul Ibanez called it the polar opposite of emotions: boundless joy in the ninth inning for the New York Yankees and then devastation in the 12th inning.

The Yankees scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie Game 1 of the American League Championship Series against the Tigers, Ibanez hitting a dramatic two-run homer with two outs.

Then not only did the Yankees lose the game three innings later when the Tigers scored two runs, they also lost Derek Jeter for the remainder of the season with a fractured left ankle.

"There is disappointment that we didn't win the game. There is disappointment that our captain and our leader went down for the rest of the year," manager Joe Girardi said after the 6-4 loss.

Jeter was injured as he fielded a ground ball off the bat of Johnny Peralta, his left leg collapsing as he gathered the ball up. Those left in the crowd fell silent as Jeter sprawled face down on the infield dirt.

"I knew it was bad when he didn't get right up," said Andy Pettitte, New York's starter.

Jeter was helped off the field and x-rays showed a fracture that should heal in three months and is not career threatening. It is uncertain if he will need surgery.

General manager Brian Cashman said Jeter showed no reaction when he got the news.

"The job is to find a way over every obstacle," Cashman said. "The way to honor Derek more than anything else - these guys know this - is to get the job done in his absence."

The Yankees will activate Eduardo Nunez for Game 2 on Saturday and Jayson Nix could replace Jeter at shortstop. Alex Rodriguez will not be considered, Girardi and Cashman said.

The Tigers took a 5-4 lead before Jeter was injured. Miguel Cabrera drew a walk off rookie David Phelps and scored from second on a one-out double by Delmon Young to the gap in right.

Right fielder Nick Swisher was in the vicinity but could not make a tumbling catch. He said later he lost the ball in the lights.

Young scored on a single by Andy Dirks. Young had three hits and three RBIs. Drew Smyly pitched the final two innings to get the win.

"We took a right cross in the ninth inning but we survived it," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said

The Yankees trailed 4-0 going into the ninth inning against Tigers closer Jose Valverde. They had left 11 runners on base to that point, eight in scoring position, against Doug Fister, Phil Coke and Joaquin Benoit. Disappointed fans were streaming for the exits.

Russell Martin singled. Then Ichiro Suzuki hit his first postseason homer, a line drive over the wall in right field.

Valverde struck out Robinson Cano for the second out. But Mark Teixeira worked a walk after falling behind 0-and-2. That gave Ibanez a chance and he drove a splitter out to right center. It was Ibanez's third home run of the postseason. He belted two against the Orioles in Game 3 of the Division Series, one in the ninth inning to tie the score and a second in the 12th.

Ibanez is the first player in history to hit three home runs in the ninth inning or later in a single postseason.

"It's an amazing feeling," he said. "People keep asking me what I’m doing. I'm just trying to find a pitch I can hit."

Ibanez also drove in two runs in the penultimate game of the regular season against the Red Sox on Oct. 2 to help the Yankees maintain their lead against the Orioles.

Leyland said several times after the game how proud of he was of his team. But even he was affected by the news about Jeter.

"When you think of the postseason, you think of Derek Jeter," he said. "I am the opposing manager but fortunately over the years there is tremendous mutual respect."

Seeing Derek Lowe celebrate in pinstripes and other postseason observations

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 13, 2012 05:05 PM

NEW YORK -- Greetings from Yankee Stadium, where Game 1 of the ALCS will take place tonight.

It's still very weird to see 2004 Red Sox hero Derek Lowe wearing pinstripes in October.

"They gave me a chance and I took it," Lowe said as he wiped champagne out of his eyes after the game on Friday night. "I'm grateful for the opportunity. I never expected I'd be playing for the Yankees."

Lowe, who is from Michigan, is excited about facing the Tigers in the ALCS.

"A ticket nightmare," he said, "but really fun."

A few other thoughts and observations:

- CC Sabathia went nine innings and 121 pitches on Friday and had Joe Girardi tried to take the ball from him, he would have had a fight on his hands.

"That's what I'm here for. That's what I play the game for. I guess I should feel a little pressure or something like that, but I don't," Sabathia said.

The Yankees spent a lot on Sabathia but they also did their homework and knew that his personality could handle New York and all that comes with being a centerpiece player.

This is where the Red Sox fail so badly, spending money on free agents who either can't handle the spotlight or don't care to.

Players pick teams based almost entirely on money. It's up to the teams to be smart about how they spend it. Guys like Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and John Lackey never grasped that their contracts also came with a responsibility not to complain, roll your eyes or leave it to others to set the tone. Sabathia gets that.

- Hearing a lot of people say that it doesn't matter who the Red Sox select as manager, fixing the roster is more important. Two words: Buck Showalter. There are times the manager can make all the difference.

- Based on the feedback from fans, John Farrell would not be a universally popular choice as manager given his rocky two years in Toronto. But the Red Sox require somebody who can maneuver through the maze of internal politics at Fenway Park and Farrell can do that.

- Red Sox starters this season: 48-72, 5.19 ERA, 1.42 WHIP. It's fashionable (and easy) to blame Bobby Valentine. But no manager was going to win with that wretched rotation. The Red Sox had Aaron Cook and Daisuke Matsuzaka make 29 starts. They were 5-18 with a 6.51 ERA.

- Speaking of Valentine, turns out he was exactly right about Kevin Youkilis not being as good as he once was. He ended the season hitting .235/.336/.409 with a career-low 60 RBIs and only 15 doubles. Youkilis also had a -4.5 UZR at third base and ended up the season with a 1.3 WAR.

That said, Youkilis could be a very valuable player for a contender if used as a DH and first baseman and given enough days off.

- Rubby De La Rosa was in Boston on Monday to meet with team officials. The 23-year-old righthander was obtained from the Dodgers in August as a player to be named later. De La Rosa has tremendous potential and could make a run at a rotation spot in spring training.

- RHP Anthony Ranaudo, who pitched only 37.2 innings because of injuries, will play winter ball in Puerto Rico. The Red Sox invested $2.5 million to sign him in 2010 out of LSU.

- Maybe it's just me. But it seems telling Farrell hasn't said, "I do not want to be manager of the Red Sox." Until he does, you have to consider him as an option.

- Given all their shortstops (Jose Iglesias, Xander Bogaerts, Deven Marrero,
Jose Vinicio, Tzu-Wei Lin) the Red Sox would seem to have some trade chips.

- Bryce Brentz, who is playing in the Arizona Fall League, could take the same path Will Middlebrooks did to the majors: Look good in spring training, mash in Pawtucket for a few weeks then get a chance when an opening presents itself.

- Hope you are enjoying the playoffs. Even if your team finished last, it's hard not to appreciate how great the division series were. We'll have coverage of the ALCS, NLCS and World Series. Then the GM Meetings and hopefully a new manager. Plenty of baseball to come.

Red Sox have not contacted Hale

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 12, 2012 04:17 PM

NEW YORK -- Baltimore Orioles third base coach DeMarlo Hale said this afternoon that he has not heard from the Red Sox about their managerial opening.

Hale, 51, is a former Red Sox coach and minor league manager. He was Terry Francona's bench coach from 2010-11 after spending four years as the third base coach.

John Farrell: 'I'm the manager of the Blue Jays'

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 12, 2012 12:16 PM

John Farrell did an interview today with MLB Network Radio. He was asked about speculation that the Red Sox want him as their manager.

"I am the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays. That's where I've been the last two years and that's where I currently am," Farrell said.

"This speculation started to rear its head again probably the final two months of the season. I can tell you this: In my conversations with [Toronto GM] Alex [Anthopoulos], it hasn't distracted me from my job and what the commitment there is. I'm extremely challenged, happy as the manager of the Blue Jays. But its obvious that there's a vacancy to fill there and they're going about their interview process as it is.

"Nothing has been communicated directly to me. If the Red Sox have contracted Alex, I'm unaware of that. Where it stands is what I said: [I'm] manager of the Blue Jays."

All of that is probably true. But unless Farrell says he is not interested in the Red Sox, speculation will continue.

Red Sox coverage in today's Globe

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 12, 2012 08:33 AM

In an exclusive interview Red Sox GM Ben Cherington reflected on what went wrong this season and how to fix it. Kevin Paul Dupont has the story.

The Red Sox are set to interview Tim Wallach and Brad Ausmus as they wait for John Farrell. Nick Cafardo has the story.

Chris Gasper wonders what is going on behind the scenes with the Red Sox.

Brad Ausmus to interview for Red Sox manager job

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff October 11, 2012 10:12 AM

The Red Sox will interview Brad Ausmus next week for the team's manager position, the Globe's Nick Cafardo has confirmed.

Ausmus, a special assistant to the general manager for the San Diego Padres, turned down a chance to interview for the Astros' manager position. The Red Sox are a different story.

"That's one job that would get me off my couch early," he said last week.

Ausmus is a Connecticut native and Dartmouth graduate who owns a home on the Cape. He spent 18 seasons in the majors as a catcher for the Padres, Tigers, Astros and Dodgers.

Ausmus would become the second known candidate to interview with the Red Sox. The team is also expected to meet with Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach.

Ausmus has no major league managing experience, but managed Team Israel this year as it tried to qualify for the World Baseball Classic.

Source: Red Sox intend to interview Tim Wallach

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff October 10, 2012 06:00 PM

Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach has been contacted by the Red Sox to interview for their managing job, a team source confirmed to the Globe. The team's intention to interview Wallach was first reported by the Boston Herald.

"He's a good man," former Astros manager Brad Mills said of Wallach. "He's got the experience handling a team, and he's a very good baseball man."

Wallach was a three-time Gold Glove winner and five-time All-Star at third base for the Montreal Expos, hitting .257 with 260 homers for his career. He was the Dodgers' hitting coach under Jim Tracy and Grady Little. Later, he managed the Triple A Albuquerque Isotopes in 2009-2010, being named Pacific Coast League manager of the year in '09. He has been the Dodgers' third base coach under Don Mattingly since 2011.

Wallach is expected to interview with the Sox next week.

The Red Sox still are focused primarily on John Farrell. There is no word yet on whether the Sox have officially asked the Blue Jays for permission to speak to Farrell, but once they do, compensation will become a factor. It appears the Sox are interviewing a handful of other candidates just in case.

Waiting on a decision from John Farrell

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 8, 2012 02:45 PM

In the end, it really doesn't matter whether the Toronto Blue Jays want to let John Farrell go to the Red Sox or how much the Sox want Farrell to return to Boston.

It's about what Farrell wants to do.

If Farrell tells Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos he wants to manage the Red Sox, what choice do the Blue Jays have but to make a deal? Being a major league manager is a job that demands all of your loyalty and focus. No team wants a manager who would rather be doing something else.

If Farrell makes that decision, it becomes a matter of compensation at that point.

The Red Sox would send some prospects Toronto's way and that is that. It would probably be two players like LHP Drake Britton and OF Keury De La Cruz. Those are two of the organization's top 20 prospects, a fair return on a manager with a losing record and one year left on his deal.

Farrell worked for the Red Sox as pitching coach from 2007-10. He goes back to 2003 in the Cleveland organization with assistant general manager Mike Hazen. They know all they need to know about each other at this point.

Either Farrell wants to come back and Anthopoulos makes a deal or Farrell decides to honor his contract and the Red Sox go to Plan B.

But every day that passes becomes a day lost. The Rockies are looking for a manager and the Marlins could soon join them. Attractive candidates could go elsewhere and take with them qualified coaches.

In retrospect, one of the mistakes that helped lead to the disaster of 2012 was waiting two months to hire a manager and cobbling together a coaching staff from mismatched parts. Whether it's Farrell or somebody else, the next Sox manager deserves a chance to get organized at less than a breakneck pace.

One of John Wooden's great sayings applies to the Red Sox: Be quick but don't hurry.

Red Sox coverage in today's Globe

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 7, 2012 10:46 AM

Terry Francona is the new manager of the Indians, and that could have some implications for the Red Sox.

In the Sunday Baseball Notes,Nick Cafardo found that GMs have a few regrets from 2012. (Subscription only).

Looking for a playoff team, Red Sox fans?

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 6, 2012 06:45 PM

You're a Red Sox fan and the playoffs have started. Who are you rooting for? Here's a guide of former Red Sox in the playoffs to help you decide on a team to support:

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Athletics: The Athletics have former Sox outfielders Josh Reddick and Coco Crisp on the roster along with Brandon Moss, who came up with the Sox. The A's seem to have a little spirit of the 2004 Red Sox in them, too. This is the team many Red Sox fans will gravitate to.

Orioles: The Fighting Showalters have tortured the Red Sox for two years, so no love here. But root for third base coach DeMarlo Hale, a good guy who deserves a shot to manage.

Tigers: Victor Martinez has been out all season with an injury, which means fewer television shots of Little Victor. They have Anibal Sanchez, who played for the Sox but weren't around long enough to build up much of a following. Third base coach Gene Lamont must find the 2012 Sox amusing. He was the other finalist when they hired Bobby Valentine.

Yankees: They have Derek Lowe. But it's safe to say no Red Sox fan is rooting for them.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Cardinals: There are no direct connections. But Chris Carpenter is from New Hampshire.

Giants: Old friend Marco Scutaro has crushed the ball for San Francisco (.362/.385/.473) since being acquired from the Rockies. He's worth rooting for. They also have lefty reliever Javy Lopez, who was with the Sox from 2006-09.

Nationals: Adam LaRoche was a Red Sox for six games in 2009. He could be again in 2012, too. His brother, Andy, finished the year in Pawtucket. Bryce Harper says he loves Fenway Park, so there is that. But Davey Johnson managed the 1986 Mets.

Reds: Bronson Arroyo is 35. As Joe Castiglione might say, "Can you believe it?" Be fun to see him in the World Series again. Glad those braids are gone.

Indians name Francona manager, and how that could help the Red Sox

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 6, 2012 05:20 PM

The Cleveland Indians will name Terry Francona their manager on Monday.

That's the news from Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports and multiple sources have confirmed it to the Globe. Francona, 53, will return to baseball after a year with ESPN.

Francona was selected over Indians bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr., a decision that could have a tangential effect on the Red Sox in two ways.

Alomar was one of the candidates the Red Sox interviewed last fall before they hired Bobby Valentine. He could emerge as a candidate again now that Valentine has been fired.

It is more likely that Alomar becomes an option for Toronto if the Red Sox are able to work a deal to hire John Farrell away from the Blue Jays.

Alomar was a finalist with Toronto in 2010 when they fired Farrell.

Toronto, Major League sources said, is less stringent about the idea of keeping Farrell than it was last fall when the Red Sox inquired about him. Having Alomar available could increase their willingness to deal with the Red Sox.

Alomar was offered a spot on Francona's staff. But he would prefer to manage if given the opportunity.

Francona is expected to have Brad Mills, the former Houston manager, on his staff. Mills was Francona's bench coach in Boston.

Francona was 744-552 in eight seasons with the Red Sox, winning two World Series titles.

The Red Sox are at Cleveland April 16-18 and host the Indians May 23-26.

Update, 7:20 p.m.: The Indians have announced that Francona is their choice and will be introduced on Monday.

Have to think that ESPN will consider Valentine to replace Francona. It was Francona, of course, who replaced Valentine last fall.

Francona interviews for Indians job

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 5, 2012 06:44 PM

Former Red Sox manager Terry Francona interviewed with the Indians at Progressive Field in Cleveland Friday. He and incumbent bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr. are the only two candidates for the team's managing job, and the Indians could name their man as soon as Monday.

Francona was with Cleveland in 2001 as a special assistant to general manager Mark Shapiro, who is now the team president. He also is close to GM Chris Antonetti. Francona's father, Tito, played for the Indians from 1959-64.

"The fact that my dad played here, it's a good story," Francona told the Associated Press. "It's almost a family feeling. I don't think you can take a job because of that, but it still means a lot to me.

"But because of Chris and Mark and my relationship, I am excited to tackle or attempt to tackle every challenge that comes our way and do it together."

Francona has worked for ESPN since leaving the Red Sox a year ago. The year away, he said, was beneficial.

"To be perfectly honest, and it's not easy to say, I probably needed to take a step back for a while," he said. "I think I had lost a little bit of perspective. I wanted to get back to the things that were important to me."

A few alternative Red Sox candidates

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 5, 2012 05:35 PM

Here are a few off-the-grid candidates the Red Sox should consider for their next manager:

Tony Pena (Yankees bench coach): He's an excellent communicator, knows pitching, and knows the market, having played for the Sox. Former Royals manager.

Joe McEwing (White Sox third base coach): He'll be a manager eventually after success in the minors. Baseball insiders have been touting him for two years now.

Bill Mueller (Dodgers special assistant): The former Sox infielder will have a successful career in the front office or dugout. Shares a lot of the qualities the White Sox liked in Robin Ventura.

Trey Hillman (Dodgers bench coach): Things didn't go well when he managed the Royals, but Hillman is a sharp guy. Yankees GM Brian Cashman is a big fan of his.

Larry Bowa (MLB Network analyst): He's a tough guy and a smart guy. Media work may have smoothed his rough edges.

Chris Speier (Reds bench coach): Filled in ably when Dusty Baker had a mild stroke.

Chip Hale (Athletics bench coach): Former Mets coach joined the Athletics this season. Like McEwing, he is somebody who profiles to become a manager.

Jose Oquendo (Cardinals third base coach): He was up for the St. Louis job last fall but stayed on the staff when Mike Matheny was hired.

Ron Wotus (Giants bench coach): He gets overlooked but has been part of a lot of success at San Francisco under two managers. New England native, too (Hartford).

Red Sox complete deal with Dodgers

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 4, 2012 05:47 PM

The Red Sox today completed their Aug. 25 trade with the Dodgers by officially acquiring
righthander Rubby De La Rosa and first baseman/outfielder Jerry Sands.

They had been listed as players to be named later in the deal that sent Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Nick Punto to the Dodgers.

The Sox also received first baseman James Loney, infielder Ivan De Jesus Jr. and righthander Allen Webster in the deal.

To make room on the 40-man roster, catcher Guillermo Quiroz was designated for a assignment.

De La Rosa, 23, was 11-9 record with six saves and a 2.86 ERA in 59 career minor league appearances over six seasons in the Dodgers system. Signed by Los Angeles as an international free agent in July 2007, he made his debut with the club in 2011 and posted a 4-5 record with a 3.71 ERA over 13 games (10 starts).

De La Rosa had Tommy John surgery in Aug. 2011. He pitched in seven games this season, one with the Dodgers.

The 25-year-old Sands spent most of 2012 with the Dodgers Triple-A Albuquerque affiliate and was named to the Pacific Coast League’s Postseason All-Star Team. This season, he led all Triple-A batters with 107 RBI and finished third in the PCL with 26 home runs. He also had 17 doubles, four triples, 84 runs scored and 59 walks in 119 games.

Red Sox executives discuss removing Valentine and what happens next

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 4, 2012 05:35 PM

Bobby Valentine was relieved of his duties as manager of the Red Sox Thursday morning during a 90-minute meeting at the home of team president/CEO Larry Lucchino in Brookline.

Lucchino, principal owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner, and general manager Ben Cherington were the firing squad. The team announced the dismissal only 14 hours and 14 minutes after Wednesday night's 14-2 season-ending loss against the Yankees in New York.

"I informed him that we were making a change, and then we had a rather long and candid conversation about how the year went," Cherington said. "He offered some good constructive advice, criticism on some areas that we'll look at. He handled it with a lot of maturity and class."

The Red Sox will have their third manager in as many years next season. Lucchino conceded that that disturbed him.

"Yeah, it's a little troubling," he said. "We, like most organizations, prefer some stability and continuity in key positions. We had a lot of stability and continuity in other key positions. But we'd like to have the manager's role filled by someone for several years."

Lucchino said he was a supporter of hiring Valentine after the team interviewed five other candidates last fall and ownership rejected the original finalist, Dale Sveum. But the decision, he said, was a collaborative one.

"We thought the decision was a sensible, rational one last year and that what we were looking for at the time seemed to be what Bobby Valentine presented," Lucchino said. "But life is a motion picture, not a still photograph. Things change along the way."

Valentine is the first Red Sox manager since Bucky Harris in 1934 to get just one year on the job. The last time it happened in baseball was with Joe Girardi and the Marlins in 2006.

"I think there was some element of unfairness to it, given the epidemic of injuries that took place," said Lucchino. "That alone, by itself. But our job is really to look forward and see what the most direct path is to a more successful Red Sox baseball team. That obligation trumps any other consideration.

"Ben has said over and over, this is not to scapegoat Bobby Valentine by any means. There were multiple factors that contributed to the disappointing season we had, and we all deserve our full measure of accountability, or blame if you will, for that."

Cherington would not identify any candidates. Four of the men interviewed last year -- Gene Lamont, Torey Lovullo, Pete Mackanin, and Sandy Alomar Jr. -- remain available. Mackanin was just fired as bench coach of the Phillies.

"I'm not ready to talk about candidates," said Cherington. "I would expect there would be some different names on the list."

Cherington said a manager, particularly in Boston, has a better chance to succeed if he has the support of ownership and the general manager.

"That's why in the end it is important to build consensus in the choice," he said. "That's what we tried to do last year and that's what we'll try to do again."

The Red Sox, Cherington said, have not asked any major league teams for permission to speak to any candidates.

Cherington said former Red Sox captain Jason Varitek was not interested in the position. Varitek is on the staff as a special assistant to Cherington.

"Right now, that's not what he's focused on," said Cherington. "He's joined the organization as a special assistant. He's going to get his feet wet in a lot of different areas. He's excited about that.

"He wanted to take a little step back this year from the daily grind of the clubhouse. He's enjoying that. That's what he's focused on and we're happy to have him in that role right now."

Varitek, however, will be on the search committee, joining Cherington and baseball operations executives Mike Hazen, Allard Baird, and Brian O'Halloran.

"I want to get Tek's voice involved and get his advice on it," Cherington said.

Cherington would not say whether there would be any in-house candidates.

Cherington had specific qualities he valued in a manager last time. Because the team will be different, he could be seeking a different kind of manager.

"We can't restrict ourselves to a certain type of candidate or a certain background or resume," he said. "We've got to be open-minded about who the right fit is because this is an important hire. We do need to start to create some stability."

Unlike previous years, Boston may not be viewed as a good job. The American League East is the toughest division in baseball and the organization has taken a sharp downward turn in the last five years. Given the unsettled nature of the organization, premier candidates could look elsewhere.

"I think there's such opportunity here," Cherington said. "We know how great this place is when things go well. The opportunity for a manager to come in here and be a central part of restoring the team to a level that we expect, fans deserve, ownership deserves -- that's a tremendous opportunity. I think most confident baseball people would embrace that opportunity."

Lucchino said that while the Red Sox considered major league managerial experience "highly significant" last year, that is not the case this time.

"We thought wrongly, as it turned out, that we were on the verge of an exceptional season and had the core nucleus of a great team and needed somebody who could manage that kind of team," he said. "Speaking personally, it has opened my eyes."

With former general manager Theo Epstein, former manager Terry Francona, and now Valentine all having left the organization, the burden of turning the Sox back into a contender will fall on Cherington.

"We all share some sense of the burden and some sense of the responsibility and some sense of the challenge," Lucchino said. "So certainly a lot of it falls on baseball operations. That department is headed by Ben. We have great confidence in Ben Cherington and Ben's ability to put together a department that will lead us back to where we want to be with some speed."

The coaching staff came under scrutiny in recent weeks, particularly on Wednesday, when Valentine accused some of disloyalty. Cherington did not reveal any details about the coaches other than to say "some" were still under contract.

The Sox took two months to select Valentine last fall. They hope to move more quickly this season, and that presumably would give the new manager a better opportunity to select a staff he is truly comfortable with.

"The manager should have a very strong voice in filling out the coaching staff," Cherington said.

The Red Sox did not hold a press conference to discus the firing of Valentine. They instead invited reporters to Fenway Park for a series of late-afternoon meetings with Lucchino and Cherington.

Reporters from the same media outlets were grouped together for individual sessions. The interviews were held in Lucchino’s suite overlooking the field.

Three outlets affiliated with the Red Sox — NESN, MLB.com and WEEI — were allowed to go first and get a head start in reporting the details of the story.

Chief operating officer Sam Kennedy, senior advisor to the president Dr. Charles Steinberg and senior manager of corporate communications Zineb Curran monitored the interview done by four Globe reporters.

"The suggestion of our public relations department was this was a better, more effective way for us to communicate," Lucchino said. "There was some thought that just a release would be sufficient."

Team owner John Henry, for the second consecutive year, did not make himself available to answer questions about firing a manager. He did not respond to an email seeking comment.

“John is here in Boston," said Lucchino. "But the job of dealing with the press, for better or for worse, falls on Ben and me.”

In their release, the Sox included a statement that was attributed to Henry.

Bobby Valentine seems relieved after being fired

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff October 4, 2012 03:44 PM
You sensed some relief in Bobby Valentine's demeanor after he was fired by Ben Cherington and the owners late this morning at a breakfast gathering at one of the owner's homes.

"I wasn't run out of town. It was quite cordial," Valentine said.

Valentine offered to help the new manager in any way he could. He also offered to help Cherington and the owners with questions on players and the team.

Valentine has a year left on is contract and will likely be paid the full amount - about $2.25 million.

Valentine said he will begin to entertain other opportunities that have begun to flow in. He said he would like to manage again. He would like to be more careful about the situation he would agree to if the opportunity ever comes up again. It appears Valentine may have some TV opportunities.

Valentine was told of the firing first by Cherington.

607valentine.jpg

Former Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine gave reporters and cameramen the slip on his bicycle Thursday afternoon outside the Colonnade Hotel after he was fired.

It's official: Red Sox fire Bobby Valentine

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 4, 2012 12:55 PM

The Red Sox have fired Bobby Valentine after the franchise's worst season in decades. The Sox were 69-93 and finished in last place in the American League East.

Not since 1934 have the Red Sox fired a manager after only one season. But the 62-year-old Valentine was controversial choice to replace Terry Francona and his tenure proved rocky.

Valentine was not the choice of first-year general manager Ben Cherington. Team president Larry Lucchino engineered the deal after the Red Sox interviewed five other candidates, believing the 62-year-old Valentine would restore order to a team that tuned out Francona and collapsed down the stretch in 2011.

But the situation grew worse. Valentine had almost no allies within the organization beyond Lucchino and a handful of players.

Now the pressure will fall squarely on GM Ben Cherington to reverse the fortunes of a team that has plunged to the bottom of the American League.

The Red Sox have missed the playoffs for three seasons in a row and have not won a playoff game since 2008. Eighteen teams in the majors have qualified for the postseason since the Red Sox last did.

The Red Sox will start 2013 with their third manager in as many years. To end that George Steinbrenner-like disarray, the next choice must be a good one.

John Farrell, who has had a rocky two seasons as Toronto's manager after spending five years as the Red Sox pitching coach, may be the team's first choice if the Blue Jays are willing to let him go.

The release from the Red Sox:

The Boston Red Sox today announced, following a meeting among team leaders and Manager Bobby Valentine, that Bobby will not return in 2013. A search for a new manager will begin immediately.

"Our 2012 season was disappointing for many reasons," said Executive Vice-President/General Manager Ben Cherington, who made the announcement and who will lead the search. "No single issue is the reason, and no single individual is to blame. We've been making personnel changes since August, and we will continue to do so as we build a contending club. With an historic number of injuries, Bobby was dealt a difficult hand. He did the best he could under seriously adverse circumstances, and I am thankful to him."

The Red Sox used 56 players in 2012, the most in club history. Their 9-player blockbuster trade August 25 with the Los Angeles Dodgers was their largest in 40 years.

"This year's won-loss record reflects a season of agony," said Red Sox President/CEO Larry Lucchino. "It begs for changes, some of which have already transpired. More will come. We are determined to fix that which is broken and return the Red Sox to the level of success we have experienced over the past decade.

"Difficult as it is to judge a manager amid a season that had an epidemic of injuries, we feel we need to make changes. Bobby leaves the Red Sox' manager's office with our respect, gratitude, and affection. I have no doubt that he will continue to contribute to the game he loves so much and knows so well."

Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner said, "This season was by far the worst we have experienced in over ten years here. Ultimately, we are all collectively responsible for the team's performance. We are going to be working tirelessly to reconstruct the ballclub for 2013. We'll be back.

"We thank Bobby for the many contributions he made and for the energy he brought each day. He is a baseball man through and through."

Red Sox Principal Owner John Henry said, "In our meeting with Bobby today, he handled everything with dignity and class, and it is deeply appreciated. Ultimately, we as owners are responsible for arming our organization with the resources -- intellectual, physical, and financial -- to return to the levels of competitiveness to which we aspire and to which our fans are accustomed. Our commitment to winning is unwavering. It is a commitment to this team, to this city, and to these fans who have supported us through thick and thin.

"We have confidence in Ben Cherington and the kind of baseball organization he is determined to build."

"I understand this decision," said Valentine. "This year in Boston has been an incredible experience for me, but I am as disappointed in the results as are ownership and the great fans of Red Sox Nation.

"It was a privilege to be part of the 100 year anniversary of Fenway Park and an honor to be in uniform with such great players and coaches. My best to the organization. I'm sure next year will be a turnaround year."

The latest from Fenway Park

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 4, 2012 12:35 PM

Bobby Valentine is expected to be at Fenway Park today if he is not yet already.

The soon-to-be former manager of the Red Sox will meet with team officials. His firing is expected later today or tomorrow at the latest.

The Red Sox are focusing their search squarely on John Farrell, the Toronto manager and former Red Sox pitching coach.

A call to the Blue Jays to formally open those discussions will soon be made, sources said.

After having Valentine essentially forced on him last fall, GM Ben Cherington will get more latitude in selecting the next manager. Assistant GM Mike Hazen, who is very close to Farrell, also will play a leading role in the decision.

The scene at Fenway is quiet. Camera crews are outside Gate D waiting to see Valentine. Pitching coach Randy Niemann arrived a short time ago. Many of the players returned home directly from New York. Those who returned to Boston have so far avoided the ballpark outside of reliever Andrew Bailey.

Red Sox coverage in today's Globe

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 4, 2012 07:24 AM

The season came to an end for the Red Sox as they were pummeled by the Yankees, 14-2.

Nick Cafardo writes that the pressure is on Ben Cherington now.

On his way out, Bobby Valentine said some of his coaches were disloyal.

The notebook has the Red Sox interested in retaining David Ortiz and Cody Ross.

Dan Shaughnessy captures the final day of the season for the Red Sox. (Subscription only).

Scenes from Game 162 of the Red Sox season

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 4, 2012 01:03 AM

NEW YORK — The Red Sox clubhouse was a morgue after Game 162 in Baltimore last season, the players stunned after completing the biggest collapse in baseball history.

The finality of the moment, and how quickly it came, was overwhelming. Players sat at their lockers in disbelief and some seemed close to tears.

David Ortiz's usually booming voice was so soft reporters had to lean in to hear what he was saying. Terry Francona appeared to have aged 10 years in a day. Even calm, cool, and collected Theo Epstein looked ragged.

Game 162 on Wednesday night felt more like people leaving a dull party. There were polite good-byes, a few hugs and players streaming for the clubhouse door as quickly as they could.

The Red Sox team plane returned to Boston after the game, but many of the players stayed in New York and were scheduled to fly to their respective homes on Thursday morning. Very few wanted to spend any more time in Boston and re-live the memories of a 93-loss season.

"I just want to get home and see my kids," Dustin Pedroia said. "It's been a long year."

Many athletes are memorabilia collectors and several players spent time gathering autographs on jerseys or bats. Every major league team keeps a supply of extra jerseys on hand and players can purchase them to be signed. Ortiz and Pedroia were kept busy signing things for players, mostly rookies who fear they'll never be around the stars again.

Mike Aviles had a handful of his own jerseys as he walked out. He is furious about how the Red Sox essentially eliminated his playing time in the final weeks of the season and doesn't expect to return.

He is arbitration eligible, but given how the Red Sox treated him down the stretch, they seem to have other plans.

"I felt like I proved I could play [shortstop] everyday and that was beyond the expectations people had for me," Aviles said. "I was willing to play anywhere they wanted this last month. I know what the team was doing with the young guys; I get that. But I felt I earned a chance to end the season strong."

Ben Cherington walked around the room, solemnly shaking hands with players. Bobby Valentine said what he had to say to the whole group and also left quickly.

"My plans right now are to wake up and have a long bike ride," he said.

Cody Ross talked about wanting to come back. So did Mark Melancon, who looked very good in September. Daisuke Matsuzaka apologized for how poorly he pitched the last four seasons.

Within a fairly short amount of time, the clubhouse had cleared. I'd love to tell you what Ortiz said to a group of reporters as he left, but I'd get fired quicker than Valentine will. Suffice it to say, we all laughed and hoped to heed his sound advice.

Reporters aren't judged on the success of the teams they cover. But it's a lot easier to cover a good team than a bad one and I would wager most of the beat guys were happy to get the season over with. There will be plenty of news to come, though.

Covering baseball is a lot of fun. Thanks to the hard-working Red Sox PR staff for their assistance. Pam Ganley and her team are among the best in the business and a lot of the statistical nuggets we feature on Extra Bases come right from their game notes.

Thanks also to Bobby V, who kept his composure on most days. I always marvel at how managers don't laugh out loud at some of the stupid questions we ask.

Most of the Red Sox players were professional in their dealings with the beat reporters. But Ortiz, Pedroia, Ross, Aviles, Melancon, Will Middlebrooks, Clay Buchholz, Andrew Bailey, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Felix Doubront, Franklin Morales, and Scott Atchison were especially patient and friendly.

So were Rich Hill, Andrew Miller, Aaron Cook, Craig Breslow, and Daniel Bard.

You may not have liked how the Sox played. But you should know that they were plenty of good people on that roster. We're not writing stories for fun, we're doing it to keep you informed and those guys helped with that process.

I can't tell you how many times the Sox lost a tough game and Ross and Pedroia answered questions when they probably wished they were anywhere else.

Finally, thanks to you for reading. There's a great community of readers on Extra Bases and we appreciate the support.

Hang with us for what is sure to be a busy offseason. We will try our best to keep you informed.

Red Sox hope to retain Ortiz and Ross

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 4, 2012 12:22 AM

NEW YORK — General manager Ben Cherington said Wednesday that retaining David Ortiz is “a priority” as the Red Sox enter what is sure to be a busy offseason.

Ortiz will be become a free agent after the World Series if the Sox are unable to reach agreement in a new contract with their long-time designated hitter.

“David is someone that we feel strongly about bringing back,” Cherington said. “We’re trying to figure out a way to do that. We hope that happens.”

Ortiz accepted arbitration last season then settled with the team on a one-year deal worth $14.575 million. He has complained about the deal since, feeling he deserved multiple seasons.

“I want to stay and I hope I stay,” Ortiz said. “But fair is fair. I think I have proven myself in Boston. What do you think?"

Ortiz said the sides spoke during the season then tabled discussions. Those could start again soon.

Ortiz hit .318 with a 1.026 OPS this season, hitting 23 home runs and driving in 60 runs over 90 games. He suffered a strained right Achilles' tendon on July 16 and played only one other game before the season ended.

The injury, Ortiz said, should be fully healed by the end of the month.

Ortiz turns 37 in November but remains a potent hitter. He also has become the face of the franchise in many ways and is a favorite of owner John Henry.

Cherington also said the Sox have started talks with outfielder Cody Ross.

Signed to a one-year, $3 million deal in January, Ross has been one of the best bargains in baseball. He hit .267 with 22 homers and 81 RBIs over 130 games.

Only Dustin Pedroia and Mike Aviles played more games this season.

Ross, who turns 32 in December, has said he is open to staying in Boston and enjoyed playing for the Sox despite the painful season. Like Ortiz, he is seeking a multi-year deal.

“We're trying to get on the same page," Ross said. "I love playing here. I love the park. I love the fans. I love the city. Definitely, it's a perfect place for me."

Bobby Valentine: 'My life will be fine'

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 4, 2012 12:17 AM

NEW YORK — The Red Sox suffered one final indignity on Wednesday night before their sorry season came to an end.

In what was surely their final game under manager Bobby Valentine, the Red Sox were embarrassed, 14-2, by the Yankees then watched their rivals celebrate the American League East title.

Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson each hit two home runs and combined to drive in 10 runs for the Yankees.

The Red Sox ended the season 69-93, their lowest point since the 1966 team lost 100 games.

For a generation of fans, this was the worst team of their lifetime. The Sox lost their final eight games, the longest streak since 2001. In all, they dropped an incredible 22 of their final 29 games including 12 of the last 13.

Valentine could get fired perhaps as soon as Thursday morning. For the second straight season, the Red Sox will be looking for a new manager.

“I’m not going to talk about it,” general manager Ben Cherington said with a stone face.

Valentine took a long look at the field from the top step of the dugout when the game ended before speaking briefly to his players. His postgame press conference was a study in restraint.

“Very disappointing season, extremely disappointing,” he said. “I don’t know how it could be more challenging than this season.

Is he worried about his job security?

“My life will be fine,” Valentine said.

The victory gave the 95-67 Yankees home field advantage throughout the American League playoffs. They will start the postseason on Sunday at either Baltimore or Texas.

Final: Yankees 14, Red Sox 2

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff October 3, 2012 07:34 PM

Game over: The New York Yankees are the AL East champions, while the Red Sox finish in last place in the East with 69 wins. The Red Sox' final regular season game was a 14-2 beating. Daisuke Matsuzaka likely ended his Boston career with a horrible outing after the Sox took a 1-0 lead in the first. The 2012 season is finally over and now the mess will have to be cleaned up. There were 47,393 fans on hand at Yankee Stadium in a game that lasted 3:23. Thanks for reading the blog this season. Can't wait 'til next year.

Bottom 8th: Yankees 14, Red Sox 2 Junichi Tazawa came on and threw a couple of long outs that prevented the Yankees from damaging the Red Sox further.

Top 8th: Yankees 14, Red Sox 2 A Daniel Nava double with one out was wasted as Podsednik and Loney struck out.

Bottom 7th: Yankees 14, Red Sox 2 Curtis Granderson homered off Theo-comp Chris Carpenter. After an Ibanez walk and single by Derek Jeter, Ichiro knocked in two more off Carpenter, who was finally relieved. During the inning the Yankees learned they had won the AL East after Tampa Bay knocked off Baltimore. Craig Breslow replaced Carpenter and he allowed an RBI single to Nick Swisher and a sacrifice fly by Mark Teixeira.

Top 7th: Yankees 9, Red Sox 2 Ciriaco doubled to left field and scored on Jose Iglesias's single to center.

Bottom 6th: Yankees 9, Red Sox 1 Russell Martin started off the inning by being hit with a pitch. After a single by Derek Jeter, Ichiro hit into a force at second. A-Rod walked and Robinson Cano struck once more - a two-run single - giving him six RBIs.

Top 6th: Yankees 7, Red Sox 1 Dustin Pedroia doubled to right but never scored as the Sox made the next three outs.

strong>Bottom 5th: Yankees 7, Red Sox 1 Cano is amazing. He struck for a two-run homer with A-Rod aboard to extend NY's lead.

Top 5th: Yankees 5, Red Sox 1 Sox managed an infield single by Ciriaco but Kuroda has settled in nicely and is on his way to preserving a Yankee AL East title.

Bottom 4th: Yankees 5, Red Sox 1 Raul Ibanez singled but Derek Jeter knocked into an inning-ending double play

Top 4th: Yankees 5, Red Sox 1 Cody Ross (single) was erased on James Loney's double-play grounder as Kuroda got out of the inning quickly.

Bottom 3d: Yankees 5, Red Sox 1 Red-hot Robinson Cano homered with Alex Rodriguez (single) aboard. Dice-K eventually was replaced by Clayton Mortensen following a Nick Swisher single.

Top 3d: Yankees 3, Red Sox 1 A two-out Dustin Pedroia walk and steal of second wasn't enough as Nava grounded out to end the inning.

Bottom 2d: Yankees 3, Red Sox 1 Good times didn't last very long. Curtis Granderson hit his 42d homer on his first pitch, a high, towering blast to right. Cano and Swisher were on base ahead of him with one out.

Top 2d: Red Sox 1, Yankees 0 Ryan Lavarnway walked with two outs against Hiroki Kuroda, but Sox couldn't add to their lead.,

Bottom 1st: Red Sox 1, Yankees 0 Daisuke Matsuzaka, making what might be his final Red Sox start, started well by retiring the Yankees on six pitches. Jeter, Ichiro, and A-Rod all made outs.

Top 1st: Red Sox 1, Yankees 0 The Sox got off to a quick start when leadoff man Jacoby Ellsbury started the rally with a base hit to right. After Dustin Pedroia moved the runner to third base, Daniel Nava grounded to first. But Cody Ross came up with a big two-out hit to drive in the run. Ross was eventually caught stealing.

Game 162: Red Sox at Yankees

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 3, 2012 03:25 PM

One more time this season, here is a preview of the game:

RED SOX (69-92)
Ellsbury CF
Pedroia 2B
Nava LF
Ross RF
Loney 1B
Saltalamacchia C
Lavarnway DH
Ciriaco 3B
Iglesias SS
Pitching: RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-6, 7.68)

YANKEES (94-67)
Jeter SS
Suzuki LF
Rodriguez 3B
Cano 2B
Swisher RF
Teixeira 1B
Granderson CF
Ibanez DH
Martin C
Pitching: RHP Hiroki Kuroda (15-11, 3.34)

Red Sox vs. Kuroda: Ross 7-28, Podsednik 2-17, Pedroia 5-12, Ellsbury 4-11, Ciriaco 1-9, Salty 2-6, Kalish 2-6, Nava 2-5, Aviles 1-6, Lavarnway 1-6, Gomez 1-3, Loney 0-3.

Yankees vs. Matsuzaka: Rodriguez 3-24, Suzuki 7-25, Cano 8-27, Jeter 7-19, Ibanez 3-14, Teixeira 7-14, Granderson 6-16, Swisher 3-13, Gardner 2-8, Cervelli 2-4, Nix 1-5, Chavez 2-3, Jones 0-3, Nunez 0-2.

Stat of the Day: The Sox have lost seven straight. They have not lost eight straight since the 2001 season. They have lost 11 of 12, 21 of 28 and 41 of 57.

Notes: Mercifully, this is it. The last-place Sox end their wretched season with a chance to make things difficult for the Yankees. New York has a one-game lead on the Orioles in the division. If the teams tie, they would play on Thursday in Baltimore to determine the division. The loser would be the wild card and play again on Friday in a one-game playoff series. ... Matsuzaka is facing the Yankees for the first time since Oct. 2, 2010. Matsuzaka is 1-7 with a 7.68 earned run average in 10 starts and hasn’t pitched since Sept. 19 because of a series of poor performances. He is 1-5, 10.55 in the last six starts. ... Kuroda is 1-0, 3.86 in four starts against the Red Sox this season. ... The Yankees are 12-5 against the Sox this season, outscoring them, 102-68. ... The Sox are 25 games under .500 for the first time since the end of the 1966 season when they finished 27 games out.

Song of the Day: "My Funny Valentine" by Frank Sinatra.

Red Sox name Eddie Bane a special assistant

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 3, 2012 03:13 PM

This from the Red Sox:

The Boston Red Sox today named Eddie Bane Special Assistant to Player Personnel.

“We are committed to having the best evaluators working together with the best analytic minds to guide us in our player decisions,” said [general manager Ben] Cherington. “Eddie is a highly respected evaluator and has been instrumental in finding high caliber talent for the organizations he's been a part of. The club will benefit immensely from his nearly 40 years of experience as a player, coach, scout and evaluator in professional baseball.”

Bane, 60, spent the last two seasons in the Detroit Tigers organization as a major league scout after serving as Director of Scouting for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for seven seasons from 2004-10. While with the Angels, Bane oversaw the scouting of amateur and minor league talent, as well as the signing of domestic and international players. Under his direction the Angels selected and signed players such as Jered Weaver, Kendrys Morales, Mark Trumbo and Mike Trout.

Prior to his time with the Angels, Bane spent five seasons as a special assistant to former Tampa Bay Rays General Manager Chuck LaMar. From 1988-98 he was a national cross-checker and major league scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He also previously worked in the Cleveland Indians organization for four years, managing Short-A Batavia for two seasons from 1984-85 and serving as a cross-checker and scout from 1984-87. Bane began his post-playing career as pitching coach for the Dodgers Rookie-level Lethbridge affiliate in 1983.

A member of the National College Baseball Hall of Fame, Bane was a standout lefthanded pitcher at Arizona State University prior to his selection by the Minnesota Twins in the first round of the 1973 First-Year Player Draft (11th overall). He went straight from college to the major leagues and enjoyed an eight-year professional career from 1973-79. In 44 games, including 25 starts, over parts of three seasons with the Twins (1973, 1975-76), he went 7-13 with two saves and a 4.66 ERA.

Bane’s son Jaymie, one of his four children, has served as a pro scout for the Red Sox since November 2006.

Matsuzaka a fitting choice to end this season

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 3, 2012 10:37 AM

NEW YORK — It seems fitting that this historically bad Red Sox will end tonight with Daisuke Matsuzaka as the starting pitcher.

The Red Sox paid a "posting fee" of $51,111,111 to the Seibu Lions in 2005 for the rights just to negotiate with Matsuzaka. Then they gave him a contract for six years and $52 million.

But that was just the start. Matsuzaka also received a compete no-trade clause and the right to never be sent to the minor leagues. The Red Sox also were compelled to hire a staff to attend to Matsuzaka. He had a physical therapist, a masseuse, an interpreter and a media relations coordinator.

The Red Sox also had to provide him with a car and pay for his apartments in spring training and in Boston.

In retrospect, the most comical parts of the deal were the bonuses Matsuzaka would receive if he won the Cy Young or MVP. In six years he received a handful of Cy Young votes, those coming in 2008 when he finished fourth. There haven't been any since.

Matsuzaka was 33-15 with a 3.72 ERA in his first two seasons with the Red Sox, pitching 372.1 innings and making 61 starts. He pitched well in the postseason, too, winning three of his seven starts, including the third game of the 2007 World Series.

In the four seasons since, Matsuzaka made only 54 starts and pitched 293.2 innings. He was 17-21 with a 5.42 ERA. He made going on the disabled list a habit and has little connection to the team. His tenure with the Sox will be remembered for the 2007 World Series title, but also for all the wasted days afterward.

In all, the Red Sox are 68-47 in the games he has started, most of those victories coming because Terry Francona was skilled at knowing when to take Matsuzaka out of the game. He averaged only 5.2 innings over his 115 starts, dawdling on the mound time after time, afraid to throw strikes.

Matsuzaka has a 4.47 career ERA, the fifth highest in team history for pitchers with at least 100 starts.

In essence, the Red Sox dropped $103 million on a fairly decent middle-of-the-rotation starter. The pitcher who compares most favorably to Matsuzaka statistically is John Maine. He made roughly $7 million in his seven seasons in the majors.

Philosophically, signing Matsuzaka is the point where the Red Sox first deviated from the idea of winning through player development and making smart decisions to spending money wildly because they could.

Signing Matsuzaka was more about winning headlines than games. Free agents like J.D. Drew, John Lackey, Mike Cameron, Bobby Jenks, and Carl Crawford were more of the same.

Instead of building teams, the Red Sox flung star players together and hoped for the best. In led them down the path to 2012 and 92 losses.

Matsuzaka doesn't seem like a bad guy. But because the Red Sox treated him like a rock star, there was resentment among teammates. Matsuzaka wasn't really a member of the team, he was a guy who pitched on occasion. He went from being a superstar in 2006 to an expensive spare part in 2012.

Unknowingly, Matsuzaka became a symbol of what has gone wrong with the Red Sox and few in the organization will be sad to see him go into free agency.

It only makes sense that the Red Sox have him on the mound tonight to end their worst season in decades.

Matsuzaka did get one break. At least the game is not at Fenway Park.

Red Sox coverage in today's Globe

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 3, 2012 09:35 AM

The Red Sox got careless in the 12th inning against the Yankees and it cost them the game.

The notebook has Daisuke Matsuzaka preparing for his last start with the Sox after six rocky seasons.

Dan Shaughnessy writes that the Sox at least showed some life. (Subscription only)

Chad Finn writes that MLB's new television deals show the sport is thriving. (Subscription only)

Red Sox get careless and a painful loss follows

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 3, 2012 01:03 AM

NEW YORK — Francisco Cervelli had not swung a bat in a professional baseball game since Aug. 29 when he was in Triple A. His last major league plate appearance was on Sept. 8, 2011.

Yet he had to bat with two outs in the bottom of the 12th inning on Tuesday night because the Yankees were out of catchers.

Cervelli hit .246 in Triple A this season with two home runs in 354 at-bats. As he came to the plate, he was about as harmless as harmless gets in the big leagues.

Red Sox reliever Andrew Miller threw two sliders. Cervelli took one for a strike and swung at missed at the other one. It was 0-and-2.

In his 560 career plate appearances in the major leagues from 2008-2011, Cervelli has fallen behind 0-and-2 a total of 83 times. On only 12 occasions did he eventually manage a hit and nine of those were singles. He had struck out 38 times.

Again, harmless as a kitten. But Miller threw four consecutive pitches to Cervelli that missed the plate. He took them all and walked. Two batters later, Cervelli scored from second on a Raul Ibanez single and the Yankees had beat the Sox, 4-3.

The sequence to Cervelli explains in part why the Red Sox are such a bad team. In a critical spot against a weak hitter, their plan was to trick him. Not throw him a strike and go on to the next inning.

“I thought I made some good pitches for him to chase,” Miller said. “He didn’t.”

Miller was asked why he didn’t just go after Cervelli instead of working the corners.

“I missed with a 2-2 pitch and the 3-2 pitch was pretty darn close,” Miller said. “Yeah, I wish one of them had been over the plate.”

Miller is right in the sense that three of the pitches were fairly close. But why play around?

The Sox are a bad team because they have a weak roster, one decimated by injuries and trades. But the reason they are 69-92 and buried in last place is because they are 2-10 in extra innings and 17-22 in one-run games. They have eight walk-off losses.

Being a bad team is one thing. The Red Sox are bad team that doesn't play very smart. You deserve to lose when you walk a guy like Cervelli. And that is exactly what happened.

Also:

• Andrew Bailey isn't exactly building up credibility with Red Sox fans. He allowed a two-run homer by Ibanez in the ninth inning to blow his third save in nine chances.

“I let the team down,” Bailey said. “What happened these last two weeks is only going to keep me motivated.”

Opponents are hitting .370 against Bailey since Sept. 1.

• Mark Melancon retired Mark Teixeira and Robbie Cano with the bases loaded and one out in the ninth after the Ibanez homer. There's some serious moxie.

Melancon's last 8 outings: 10 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, BB, 12 K. He's bad a terrible season but the stuff is still there.

• Jon Lester left the game after 5 innings because of a sore back that started when he was warming up. He allowed one run and pitched pretty well.

“We finished fifth. It’s not good enough,” Lester said. “It’s been a long year for a lot of people for a lot of different reasons. I’m glad it’s over and we move on. Over for me.

“Going to a much-needed offseason, regroup and come back to spring training next year ready to kick some people’s asses.”

Tough talk is all well and good. But after posting a 4.82 ERA, Lester has a lot of work to do.

The lefty also issued a bit of a challenge to the front office when asked about the Dodgers trade and the ugly aftermath.

"It’s surprising, but it’s something that was needed, they felt was needed on their part. Just like [the front office] have our backs, we have their backs," he said.

"It was their decision to make. We have to support them and know that, going into this offseason, they have to support us and produce another good team next year — which we all believe they will."

• Dustin Pedroia was 2 for 5 with a walk and a run scored with a broken finger.

• Mike Aviles has played in only three of the last 14 games. Can't imagine the Sox have much intention to bring him back after treating him like that. That Jose Iglesias (.108) was allowed to hit in the 11th inning with runners at first and second and two outs says a lot.

He grounded softly to third, ending the inning.

• The Sox are 5-12 against the Yankees this year, getting outscored 102-68.

Quite a night. One game left to play and hopefully you'll stick around for tomorrow.

Also, my apologies for all the issues with the comments section. All I know is that people who can fix such things are working on them. The switch to a new system has not gone smoothly but the kinks will be ironed out. Thanks for hanging with us.

Final: Yankees 4, Red Sox 3, 12 innings

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff October 2, 2012 07:12 PM

Game over: Andrew Miller came on and dominated the first two hitters but issued two-out walks to Francisco Cervelli and Curtis Granderson before Raul Ibanez, who had tied the game in the ninth with a two-run homer, singled to left to score the winning run. The game was played in 4:09 before 41,564..

Top 12th: Red Sox 3, Yankees 3 Sox go down as Nava knocks into DP.

Bottom 11th: Red Sox 3, Yankees 3 Great one-handed running catch by Ellsbury to save the game robbing A-Rod.

Top 11th: Red Sox 3, Yankees 3 Salty was at second after a Loney single and a fielder's choice erased Loney. Salty got to second on a wild pitch by Derek Lowe and after Ciriaco was walked intentionally, Iglesias grounded out.

Bottom 10th: Red Sox 3, Yankees 3 Melancon records a 1-2-3 inning. Nice job tonight..

Top 10th: Red Sox 3, Yankees 3 Dustin Pedroia walked with one out, but the Sox offense couldn't muster another positive act.

Bottom 9th: Red Sox 3, Yankees 3 That Josh Reddick-Andrew Bailey deal keeps looking even better...for the A's...doesn't it. Bailey surrendered a two-run homer to pinch-hitter Raul Ibanez to tie the score. The low liner to right, scored Curtis Granderson (single). Derek Jeter reached on a two-out double to right. Swisher was walked intentionally for A-Rod. He drew a walk to load the bases, Valentine took out Bailey and brought in Mark Melancon. Teixeira flew out to short center, but the Yankees decided not to test Ellsbury's weak arm. Melancon did a nice job in retiring Cano with a ground ball out to keep the Yankees from celebrating a win.

Top 9th: Red Sox 3, Yankees 1 James Loney homered to the second deck in right field, only his second homer as a Red Sox.

Bottom 8th: Red Sox 2, Yankees 1 A base-running blunder by Brett Gardner took the Yanks out of an inning vs. Craig Breslow. With two outs, Russell Martin singled and was pinch-run for by Gardner. Against the lefty Breslow, Gardner tried to steal but was picked off by Breslow, who threw to Loney at first who threw to Iglesias at second who applied the tag.

Top 8th: Red Sox 2, Yankees 1 Strong inning for Dave Robertson who struck out both Daniel Nava and Cody Ross in a 1-2-3 inning.

Bottom 7th: Red Sox 2, Yankees 1 Very effective and dominant inning by Junichi Tazawa, who struck out A-Rod to end the inning.

Top 7th: Red Sox 2, Yankees 1 Ciriaco singled with one out and stole second base, but the Sox couldn't add to their slim lead.

Bottom 6th: Red Sox 2, Yankees 1 Big chance squandered by Yanks. After Cano singled off Rich Hill, Hill struck out Martin and Granderson before allowing a double to Eduardo Nunez. With runners at second and third, Hill retired Ichiro on a liner to center.

Top 6th: Red Sox 2, Yankees 1 Nava earned a walk to lead off the inning, but the Sox just haven't been able to muster too much offensively.

Bottom 5th: Red Sox 2, Yankees 1 The Yankees caught a break when Lester looked to tweak his left leg on a slippery mound. Lester was able to get through the fifth. He finished the night allowing eight hits and one unearned run.

Top 5th: Red Sox 2, Yankees 1 A 1-2-3 inning for Phelps.

Bottom 4th: Red Sox 2, Yankees 1 A leadoff single by Cano was wasted as Lester regrouped to retire the next three batters.

Top 4th: Red Sox 2, Yankees 1 A Salty walk was about the weak Sox offense could muster off Phelps.

Bottom 3rd: Red Sox 2, Yankees 1 The inning looked promising for the Yankees when Nick Swisher doubled down the left field line passed Pedro Ciriaco at third. Alex Rodriguez reached on an infield single to second base, but Mark Teixeira grounded into a double play started by Iglesias and a nice turn by Pedroia.

Top 3rd: Red Sox 2, Yankees 1 Nava was hit with a pitch with two outs, but that's all Boston could muster against Phelps.

Bottom 2nd: Red Sox 2, Yankees 1 The Yankees got one back vs. Jon lester. After he secured the first two outs, Curtis Granderson reached on an infield single to third. Got to second on Pedro Ciriaco's throwing error and the stole third easily off Lester. Nunez then scorched a grounder to shortstop on which Jose Iglesias tried to backhand. The ball squirted away from his glove, scoring the run. The play was ruled a hit because of the velocity of the grounder, but a ball Iglesias would normally field.

Top 2nd: Red Sox 2, Yankees 0 Pedro Ciriaco beat out an infield single with two outs, but that was all vs. David Phelps.

Bottom 1st: Red Sox 2, Yankees 0 Jon lester allowed a pair of base hits to Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, but a 6-4-3 double play took lester out of harms way and preserved Boston's two-run lead.


Top 1st: Red Sox 2, Yankees 0 The Red Sox got off to a hot start with Jacoby Ellsbury back in the lineup. He stroked a single to rightcenter and scored all the way from first base on Dustin Pedroia's double to the rightcenter gap. After Pedroia, playing with a broken left ring finger, advanced to thrid on Daniel Nava's ground out to first base, Cody Ross drove Pedroia in with a sacrifice fly.

Pedroia will play against Yankees, despite broken finger

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 2, 2012 06:11 PM

NEW YORK — Dustin Pedroia has a broken left ring finger. He is also playing second base Tuesday night as the Red Sox face the Yankees in the season's second-to-last game.

"I want to play, that's basically it," he said. "I want to play and be out there for the guys. Yesterday was tough, we got our butts kicked. I'm going to try and go play and hopefully we play well enough to win."

Pedroia has been assured that he can't injure his finger any further. He will be in pain, however, and had to persuade the Red Sox to let him back in the lineup.

"We have a lot of young guys on our team," said Pedroia. "Sometimes you get nicked up and stuff like that. It's part of the job.

"You get beat up, you slide into bases and get your finger stuck on them and hit a base or whatever. They know that I'm going to be out there and they should be out there, too, if it happens to them. It's a team."

When asked directly if he was referring to Jacoby Ellsbury, Pedroia said that was not the case.

"He's been beat up, man," Pedroia said. "He's had his share of injuries this year. This year has been tough on a lot of guys. He doesn't have to answer anything about that.

"Don't go there, he's fine."

Pedroia is incredulous at the idea of the Red Sox being in last place.

"Nobody likes losing," he said. "We want to win. It's tough when you lose 91 games. That's something we're not going to be happy about, and we're going to try to do all we can to make sure that doesn't happen anymore."

The front office, he said, needs to take action.

"We have money to spend," said Pedroia. "Those guys can basically do whatever they want. We want to win.The guys that are here want to win. We don't like going out there playing and losing ballgames."

Is Pedroia embarrassed?

"Yeah," he said. "I'm a Boston Red Sox, I never thought in my mind we'd lose 91 games."

Going to back to youth baseball and through high school, Arizona State, the minor leagues, and then the Red Sox, Pedroia had never played on a losing team before this season.

"It's killing me," he said. "This is awful."

But for now, he wants to play. Broken finger and all.

"I like playing, it's fun," he said. "I get to compete two more games, then I've got to sit around six months and wait until I do it again.

"Why not? There's nothing else to do. I get to go home and play football with my 3-year-old. Geez, man."

Game 161: Red Sox at Yankees

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 2, 2012 03:10 PM

Good afternoon. Here is a preview of the game:

RED SOX (69-91)
Ellsbury CF
Pedroia 2B
Nava LF
Ross RF
Loney 1B
Saltalamacchia C
Lavarnway DH
Ciriaco 3B
Iglesias SS
Pitching: LHP Jon Lester (9-14, 4.94)

YANKEES (93-67)
Jeter SS
Swisher RF
Rodriguez 3B
Teixeira 1B
Cano 2B
Martin C
Granderson CF
Nunez DH
Ichiro LF
Pitching: RHP David Phelps (4-8, 3.34)

Game time: 7:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: NESN, YES / WEEI, WCBS

Red Sox vs. Phelps: Ross 1-8, Ciriaco 3-7, Ellsbury 1-6, Podsednik 0-5, Salty 3-3, Aviles 1-3, Lavarnway 0-3, Iglesias 0-2, Loney 1-2, Nava 0-2.

Yankees vs. Lester: Jeter 20-60, Cano 12-55, Swisher 14-44, Teixeira 12-45, Rodriguez 7-39, Jones 8-29, Suzuki 10-34, Granderson 8-30, Nix 7-21, Martin 3-13, Ibanez 4-12, McGehee 1-7, Nunez 1-6, Gardner 1-6, Cervelli 1-4, Stewart 1-2.

Stat of the Day: The Red Sox were 97-51 (.655) in games started by Lester before Sept. 1, 2011. They are 14-24 (.368) since. He was 75-31, 3.47 until last September. He is 10-17, 5.00 since.

Notes: The Red Sox have lost six straight (one off their season worst), 10 of 11, 20 of 27 and 40 of 56. They are a loss away (or a Toronto win) from clinching last place alone for the first time since 1992. ... The Yankees lead the Orioles by a game in the division with two to go. ... The Sox are 5-11 against the Yankees, their worst mark since going 5-13 in 2001. ... Lester is 9-4, 4.27 in 21 career starts against the Yankees, 1-1, 4.76 in four starts this season. Lester is actually pretty good (6-4, 3.38) in 14 starts on the road. Maybe all the singing and doing the wave at Fenway distracts him. Lester has been fairly decent (4-6, 4.01) in 11 starts since Aug. 1. ... Phelps is 1-1, 3.44 in four games (two starts) against the Sox this season with 17 strikeouts over 18.1 innings. ... Teixeira has 20 RBIs against the Sox this season, the most for a Yankee in a season against the Sox since Mickey Mantle had 22 in 1958.

Song of the Day: "Stay Useless" by Cloud Nothings.

Some Red Sox minor league updates

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 2, 2012 10:00 AM

NEW YORK — In the interest of looking ahead to better days, here are a few bits of information from the farm system:

Final list of players for the Arizona Fall League
INF Michael Almanzar
OF Bryce Brentz
RHP Chris Martin
RHP Ryan Pressly
RHP Pete Ruiz
C Christian Vazquez

The AFL starts Oct. 9 and runs to Nov. 15. The Red Sox prospects will be playing for the Surprise Saguaros.

Roster for Red Sox Instructional League

Pitchers: Michael Augliera, Ty Buttrey, Jamie Callahan, William Cuevas, Willie Ethington, Justin Haley, Keivin Heras, Cody Kukuk. Pat Light, Austin Maddox, Simon Mercedes, Francelis Montas, Miguel Pena, Noe Ramirez, Dioscar Romero, Matt Spaulding, J.B. Wendelken, Stephen Williams, Madison Younginer.

Catchers: David Sopilka, Alixon Suarez, Blake Swihart, Jordan Weems.

Infielders: Mookie Betts, Garin Cecchini, Raymel Flores, Tzu-Wei Lin, Denier Lopez. Deven Marrero, Nate Ninnich, Nick Moore, Cleuluis Rondon, Travis Shaw.

Outfielders: Iseha Conklin, Kuery De La Cruz, Cody Koback, Manuel Margot, Kendrick Perkins, Henry Ramos, Aneury Tavarez.

Notes: Marrero, Light, Callahan, Maddox, Buttrey, Augliera, Minnich, Wendelken, Williams, Ethington and Conklin were 2012 draft picks. ... Lin, of Taiwan, was the team's top international signee. ... Kukuk was on the restricted list for much of the season after a spring training arrest for DUI. The charge was dropped in August due to a lack of probable cause. The Sox signed Kukuk for $800,000 after the 2011 draft. ... The Instructional League will go on until Oct. 9.

Latest Red Sox indignity? Last place

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 1, 2012 11:53 PM

NEW YORK — The Red Sox have lost six straight and 10 of 11. At 69-91, they are assured of finishing in last place in the American League East. The Blue Jays are 71-89 with two games to go.

The Sox last finished in last in 1992.

Then there is this:

• Clay Buchholz (11-8) had the third-shortest start of his career. It was the first time he has allowed eight earned runs. Buchholz, who gave up eight home runs over 7.2 innings in two starts against the Yankees this season, ends the season with a 4.56 earned run average.

“The ball was coming out fine. It’s tough whenever you leave pitches out over the middle of the plate and every one of them gets hit,” Buchholz said.

Buchholz has started 29 games and thrown 189.1 innings, the most of his career.

“It’s a step in the right direction but not enough of one, I guess,” he said.

• The Red Sox are 24 games out of first place. That is their largest deficit since the final days of the 1969 season.

• The Red Sox are 5-11 against the Yankees this season, getting outscored 98-65. The Yankees have 38 home runs and the Red Sox 14. The Sox have lost 14 of the last 20 games between the teams.

Pedroia has fractured finger

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 1, 2012 11:38 PM

NEW YORK — The Red Sox season could not end without another injury.

Dustin Pedroia has an avulsion fracture of his left ring finger and is not expected to play in the final two games according to general manager Ben Cherington.

Pedroia sat out Monday’s 10-2 loss against the Yankees after X-rays taken before the game showed the break. He was injured sliding into second base in the eighth inning against the Orioles on Sunday.

Pedroia said his finger bent awkwardly on the corner of the base when he was thrown out trying to steal.

“I don't think it's too bad, but it's bothering me,” he said.

There is no reason to put Pedroia on the disabled list. But his injury adds to a record-setting season. In all, the Red Sox have had 1,485 games missed by players on the disabled list.

Pedro Ciriaco started at second base in place of Pedroia on Monday.

Final: Yankees 10, Red Sox 2

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff October 1, 2012 07:16 PM

Game over: The Yankees took sole possession of first place in the AL East with a big win over the Red Sox after scoring nine runs in the second inning off a horrible Clay Buchholz and reliever Alfredo Aceves. Tampa Bay beat Baltimore, dropping the Orioles one game back in the division. The game was played in 2:58.

Bottom 8th: Yankees 10, Red Sox 2 Melky Mesa drove in his first major league run with a single to center, his first career hit, off Sox closer Andrew Bailey, Mesa had a smile ear to ear as his teammates cheered him on. Mesa has a tremendous arm.

Top 8th: Yankees 9, Red Sox 2 Lin singled again, but Sabathia easily got through this weak lineup.

Bottom 7th: Yankees 9, Red Sox 2 The Yankees had two runners on base when Andrew Miller struck out Martin and Chavez to end the threat.

Top 7th: Yankees 9, Red Sox 2 Gomez walked and advanced to second on a Sabathia wild pitch. After Lavarnway grounded out, advancing Gomez to third, Salty got him in with sacrifice fly to left.

Bottom 6th: Yankees 9, Red Sox 1 Ichiro, A-Rod and Cano went down in order.

Top 6th: Yankees 9, Red Sox 1 Ciriaco, Nava and Ross go down in order.

Bottom 5th: Yankees 9, Red Sox 1 With Pedro Beato in for Aceves, the Yankees got a two-out walk from Chavez, but Beato took care of the rest.

Top 5th: Yankees 9, Red Sox 1 Lin managed a two-out single, but nothing else as Sabathia continues to breeze.

Bottom 4th: Yankees 9, Red Sox 1 Ichiro and A-Rod made the first two outs before the red-hot Cano doubled. After Teixeira walked, Swisher struck out to end the threat.

Top 4th: Yankees 9, Red Sox 1 No quit in these Red Sox. Nava homered. The next three go down vs. Sabathia.

Bottom 3rd: Yankees 9, Red Sox 0 Aceves mows down Martin, Chavez and Jeter.

Top 3rd: Yankees 9, Red Sox 0 Sox went down in order as Sabathia whiffs Lin and Ciriaco.

Bottom 2nd: Yankees 9, Red Sox 0 One of the most pathetic innings of the season. An awful outing by Clay Buchholz, who allowed home runs to Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson and Russell Martin. He then gave way to Alfredo Aceves who surrendered a two-run blast to Mark Teixeira. Cano also had a two-run double in the inning.

Top 2nd: Red Sox 0, Yankees 0 Mauro Gomez gave Bostona chance with a double to the left-center gap vs. CC Sabathia. He advanced to third on Ryan Lavarnway's long fly ball to right, but Sabathia got the next two outs. Salty fouled out to third and Danny Valencia struck out.

Bottom 1st: Red Sox 0, Yankees 0 Buchholz retired the Yankees in order. He struck out Alex Rodriguez on an awkward check swing for the third out.

Top 1st: Red Sox 0, Yankees 0 CC Sabathia retired the Red Sox in order with a strong showing in the first. Both Daniel Nava and Cody Ross, the Nos. 2 and 3 hitters, went down on strikeouts.

Pedroia, Ellsbury out of the lineup

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 1, 2012 06:45 PM

NEW YORK — Dustin Pedroia jammed his left ring finger when he slid into second base on an unsuccessful steal attempt in the eighth inning against Baltimore on Sunday.

He had the finger wrapped today and was scheduled to get x-rays before the game.

"I don't think it's too bad, but it's bothering me," he said.

As for the absence of Jacoby Ellsbury, here is what Bobby Valentine had to offer:

"Ells hasn't played in a long time. We've got the lefthander [CC Sabathia] out there and a big outfield. He'll play the next two days, hopefully, if he's feeling good."

Ellsbury is 6 of 28 (.214) against Sabathia in his career with nine strikeouts.

Ellsbury has started only two of the last 10 games.

The Red Sox lineup has six players who started the season at Triple A Pawtucket.

In other news:

• The Yankees will start David Phelps on Tuesday instead of struggling Ivan Nova. Phelps, a 25-year-old rookie, has started two games against the Red Sox (Aug. 18 and Sept. 12) and allowed four earned runs over 12.1 innings with 12 strikeouts.

Nova is 2-5, 7.05 in 11 starts since the All-Star break.

• Will Middlebrooks took batting practice on the field for the first time since fracturing his right wrist on Aug. 10 when he was hit by a pitch. He seemed to get through it OK.

Game 160: Red Sox at Yankees

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 1, 2012 03:15 PM

Here is a preview of the game:

RED SOX (69-90)
Ciriaco 2B
Nava LF
Ross RF
Gomez 1B
Lavarnway DH
Saltalamacchia C
Valencia 3B
Lin CF
Iglesias SS
Pitching: RHP Clay Buchholz (11-7, 4.22)

YANKEES (92-67)
Jeter SS
Suzuki LF
Rodriguez DH
Cano 2B
Teixeira 1B
Swisher RF
Granderson CF
Martin C
Chavez 3B
Pitching: LHP CC Sabathia (14-6, 3.42)

Game time: 7:05 p.m.

TV/Radio: NESN, YES / WEEI, WCBS

Red Sox vs. Sabathia: Pedroia 11-43, Ellsbury 6-28, Aviles 6-16, Podsednik 2-13, Salty 3-12, Valencia 3-10, Loney 1-6, Ross 1-4, Ciriaco 2-3, Nava 1-3, Quiroz 0-3.

Yankees vs. Buchholz: Jeter 6-22, Rodriguez 9-22, Cano 10-23, Swisher 4-14, Granderson 1-14, Teixeira 4-18, Gardner 2-11, Martin 3-11, Cervelli 3-6, Ibanez 1-6, Nix 0-5, Suzuki 1-6, Chavez 4-5, Jones 1-3.

Stat of the Day: The Sox are 23 games out of first place, their furthest back since the end of the 1992 season. They haven't been 24 games out since Sept. 22, 1969.

Notes: The Yankees start the day tied with the Orioles for first place in the division with three games to play. The O's are in Tampa. If the teams tie, they would play a one-game playoff in Baltimore on Thursday to determine the division winner. The loser would then host a one-game wildcard series on Friday, most likely against Oakland. ... The Yankees have won 11 of 15 but are 4-4 in their last eight. ... The Sox have lost five straight and 9 of 10. ... Sabathia is 1-4, 6.81 in five starts against the Red Sox the last two seasons. He faced them on July 28 and allowed six runs on eight hits over six innings. ... Buchholz has faced the Yankees once this season, back on April 26. He allowed six runs (five earned) on nine hits over six innings. Five of the hits were home runs. Buchholz is 2-4, 5.84 in eight career starts against the Yankees but 2-1, 3.10 in three starts at Yankee Stadium. Buchholz is making his career-high 29th start. ... Ciriaco is 18 of 42 (.429) in 11 games against the Yankees this season with 11 runs scored, seven RBIs and four stolen bases. ... Ross has a 1.032 OPS against lefties, second in the AL. ... Teixeira, who is back from injury, has 18 RBIs and seven extra-base hits in nine games against the Red Sox this season.

Song of the Day: "A Get Together To Tear It Apart" by The Hives.

No Red Sox among popular jerseys

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff October 1, 2012 03:08 PM

The Major League Baseball Players Association put out a list of the most popular jerseys purchased since the All-Star break. Note that in the top 20, there are no Red Sox. Evidently, that No. 77 Pedro Ciriaco jersey and that No. 60 Ryan Lavarnway just haven’t caught on.

1. Derek Jeter, New York Yankees
2. Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers
3. Ichiro Suzuki, New York Yankees
4. Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
5. Mike Trout, LA Angels of Anaheim
6. Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates
7. Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers
8. Chipper Jones, Atlanta Braves
9. Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers
10. Robinson Cano, New York Yankees
11. Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers
12. David Freese, St. Louis Cardinals
13. Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds
14. Ian Kinsler, Texas Rangers
15. Prince Fielder, Detroit Tigers
16. Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays
17. Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
18. Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals
19. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
20. Brett Lawrie, Toronto Blue Jays

Trout or Cabrera for AL MVP?

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 1, 2012 01:15 PM

NEW YORK — There is a fierce debate going on in and around baseball about who should win the American League MVP award, Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers or Mike Trout of the Angels.

Because Cabrera has a chance to win the first Triple Crown since 1967, he seems like an obvious choice to some. Because Trout comes out ahead in more nuanced statistics, he is just as obvious of a choice to others.

First, a few things to keep in mind:

• Votes are cast after Game 162. So postseason play has no bearing on the matter.

• The selection panel consists of 28 members of the BBWAA, two from each American League city. So there is no regional bias.

• Voters are asked to select 10 players.

• Pitchers are eligible.

To me, it's fairly simple. I'd give Cabrera the Most Valuable Hitter Award if such a thing existed. But the most valuable player is Trout. If you combine hitting, fielding and base running, he is the most valuable player in the league and it's not really close.

In terms of advanced statistics, Trout has a 10.5 WAR (wins above replacement), a statistic that calculates how many wins a player has been worth when his total contributions are assessed.

Cabrera checks in tied for fifth with teammate Prince Fielder at 6.5.

Cabrera has had an amazing season. He is hitting .325 with a .991 OPS, 43 homers and 136 RBIs. He is the guy you would want at the plate in almost any situation.

But Trout is hitting .321 with a .952 OPS, 30 home runs and 80 RBIs as a leadoff hitter. He also has 48 stolen bases in 52 attempts and has scored 127 runs in 136 games. His defense in center field is ridiculously good and puts pressure on the defense with how well he runs the bases.

Other than his teammates, you won't find too many players who will support Trout for MVP. Cabrera is a veteran and most players feel like rookies should wait their turn. Beyond that, the virtues of WAR are not a hot topic in most clubhouses.

If the Tigers make the playoffs (which seems likely) and the Angels do not (which also seems likely), Cabrera could get some extra votes. Given that the Tigers are 86-73 and the Angels are 88-71, that seems incredibly silly. But nonetheless, some people will take that into consideration.

When Felix Hernandez won the Cy Young Award with a 13-12 record in 2010, it created hope that writers were willing to look beyond traditional counting statistics. The MVP vote this season will test that theory some more.

Who's your choice, Cabrera or Trout? Leave a comment and let's have a discussion.

Pitching matchups for the Yankees series

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff October 1, 2012 10:00 AM

Monday: RHP Clay Buchholz (11-7, 4.22) vs. LHP CC Sabathia (14-6, 3.42), 7:05 p.m., NESN, YES

Tuesday: LHP Jon Lester (9-14, 4.94) vs. RHP Ivan Nova (12-8, 5.02), 7:05 p.m., NESN, YES

Wednesday: RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-6, 7.68) vs. RHP Hiroki Kuroda (15-11, 3.34), 7:05 p.m., NESN, YES

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