Red Sox

Buchholz: Sox situation 'blown out of proportion'

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Buchholz: Sox situation 'blown out of proportion'

BALTIMORE Some would describe whats gone on over the last calendar year for the Red Sox as a nightmare.
The worst September collapse in Major League Baseball history, the sacking of Terry Francona and airing of nasty grievances over the winter and a 2012 baseball season that appears like it was over before it even started.
The latest is a Yahoo! Sports report that Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez were ringleaders in a player insurgency designed to get Bobby Valentine fired as the Sox manager. Pedroia and Gonzalez have made their statements or lack thereof in the last 24 hours, and some of their teammates have weighed in as well.
It's not a nightmare. I think some things get blown out of proportion a little bit every now and then everything goes from there, said Buchholz. "Everybody's here for the same reason. We're here to win, and that's still what we're trying to do.
Nobody likes losing. There's always going to be a little sour taste in your mouth after you lose some games. This team's jelled very well, even with the stuff that we gone through. Everybody's happy. Everybody comes to the field ready to play, throws it all out there and leaves it on the field.
Yes, everybody is clearly happy. Except for the 17 players that hastily called an organizational meeting in New York City last month and now appear to be scrambling for excuses and alibis. Nobody knows whether Buchholz attended the meeting in question, but it appears the players know that Valentine is going to be there manager for the remainder of the season.
He does his job. It's just like anything else, when something goes wrong, somebody has to be blamed for it. It's usually us. It is what it is, said Buchholz. There has been a lot of stuff that's been going around, a lot of it false. It's hard for a player to sit here and say that it's not true because everybody thinks you're backing up your guys. But he's doing a good job. It's a game, man, it doesn't always work.
For his part, Bobby Valentine doesnt understand where all the manager vs. players stuff is coming from via unnamed sources, but said that its patently untrue. Sox owner John Henry released a statement defending his manager once again, and clarifying that the meeting was an organizational assessment meeting to get on the same page. Henry also denied that the players were attempting to get their skipper canned.
Im not following the whole actively, but I regret that John Henry has come out there to defend me, said Valentine. I regret that were not 10 games over .500 and in first place because I dont think hed have to make any statements.
I dont know that its weighing on me, but the guys are upset that every time we win a game something else pops out of the bag of tricks. I guess this guy has been sitting on the story for three weeks, so he was sitting there waiting for the Yankees series or whatever to pop it out there. Its great stuff really good stuff.
Stay tuned to As the World Turns in the world of the Red Sox because nobody knows whats going to happen next.

MLB will institute rules to pick up pace, with or without players' agreement

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MLB will institute rules to pick up pace, with or without players' agreement

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Major League Baseball will change rules to speed games next year with or without an agreement with the players' association.

Management proposed last offseason to institute a 20-second pitch clock, allow one trip to the mound by a catcher per pitcher each inning and raise the bottom of the strike zone from just beneath the kneecap to its pre-1996 level at the top of the kneecap. The union didn't agree, and clubs have the right to impose those changes unilaterally for 2018.

Players and MLB have held initial bargaining since summer, and MLB chief legal officer Dan Halem said this week he would like an agreement by mid-January.

"My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players, but if we can't get an agreement we are going to have rule changes in 2018 one way or the other," baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday after a quarterly owners' meeting.

Nine-inning games averaged a record 3 hours, 5 minutes during the regular season and 3:29 during the postseason.

Corey Kluber beats Chris Sale for American League Cy Young

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Corey Kluber beats Chris Sale for American League Cy Young

Max Scherzer heard his name and thrust his arms in the air, shouting and smiling big before turning to kiss his wife.

Corey Kluber, on the other hand, gulped once and blinked.

Two aces, two different styles - and now another Cy Young Award for each.

The animated Scherzer of the Washington Nationals coasted to his third Cy Young, winning Wednesday for the second straight year in the National League. He breezed past Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, drawing 27 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Kluber's win was even more of a runaway. The Cleveland Indians ace took 28 first-place votes, easily outpacing Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox for his second AL Cy Young.

Scherzer yelled "yes!" when his award was announced on MLB Network, a reaction in keeping with his expressive reputation. He showed that intensity often this year, whether he was cursing under his breath like a madman during his delivery or demanding - also with expletives - that manager Dusty Baker leave him in the game.

Just a little different than the pitcher they call "Klubot." Kluber was stoic as ever when announced as the AL winner. He swallowed hard but otherwise didn't react, only showing the hint of a smile moments later when answering questions.

Not that he wasn't thrilled.

"Winning a second one maybe, for me personally, kind of validates the first one," Kluber said.

Scherzer's win moves him into rare company. He's the 10th pitcher with at least three Cy Youngs, and among the other nine, only Kershaw and Roger Clemens aren't in the Hall of Fame.

"That's why I'm drinking a lot of champagne tonight," Scherzer said.

Scherzer earned the NL honor last year with Washington and the 2013 American League prize with Detroit.

"This one is special," he said. "When you start talking about winning three times, I can't even comprehend it at this point."

Scherzer was 16-6 with a career-best 2.51 ERA this year. The 33-year-old righty struck out a league-leading 268 for the NL East champion Nationals, and in an era noted for declining pitcher durability, he eclipsed 200 innings for the fifth straight season. He had to overcome a variety of ailments to get there, and Washington's training staff was high on his thank-you list.

"Everybody had a role in keeping me out on the field," he said. "I'm very thankful for all their hard work."

Kershaw has won three NL Cy Youngs and was the last pitcher to win back-to-back. He was 18-4 with a league-best 2.31 ERA and 202 strikeouts. This is his second runner-up finish. Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals finished third.

Kluber missed a month of the season with back pain and still easily won the AL award over Sale and third-place finisher Luis Severino of the New York Yankees. Kluber led the majors with a 2.25 ERA, and his 18 wins tied for the most in baseball. He added to the Cy Young he won with the Indians in 2014 and is the 19th pitcher to win multiple times.

The 31-year-old Kluber was especially dominant down the stretch, closing out the season by going 11-1 to help Cleveland win the AL Central. He and Minnesota's Ervin Santana tied for the major league lead with five complete games - nobody else had more than two. Kluber also led the majors with 8.0 wins above replacement, per baseball-reference.com.

Kluber and Scherzer both had rough outings in the playoffs. Kluber gave up nine runs over two starts in an AL Division Series against the Yankees, and Scherzer blew a save in the decisive Game 5 of an NL Division Series against the Cubs.

Scherzer said he couldn't even watch the League Championship Series, although he did tune in for the World Series.

"That will eat at me this whole offseason," he said.

Voting for the awards was completed before the postseason began.

The final BBWAA honors will come Thursday when the MVP awards are announced in the AL and NL.

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