Red Sox

Cherington, Farrell: Filling coaching staff is first priority

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Cherington, Farrell: Filling coaching staff is first priority

BOSTON While former Pawtucket manager Torey Lovullo is expected to be named bench coach for new Red Sox manager John Farrell, the status of the Sox 2012 coaches remains undetermined.

Hitting coach Dave Magadan has already departed to take the same position with the Rangers.

We gave all the coaches permission to look around as soon as the season was over, general manager Ben Cherington said. Now that Johns here, well go about the process of filling out the staff and that will include consideration of the current coaches. But we dont have anything to report on that.

All the coaching positions are considered open, Cherington said.

Were looking at them as open, he said. That doesnt mean were closing the door to someone who was here before, but wanted to give John the latitude to have a fresh canvas to work off of. He has been talking to, and will talk to, some of the people who were on the staff this year. Well see where it ends up, but most importantly, hes got to put the staff together that he believes fits the criteria that he talked about.

Getting a staff together is Farrells immediate priority.

They will have different sets of experiences but the fact that they will have the players best interests in their minds and may be their guide will be a criteria that Ill look to include in every guy that's added to the staff, Farrell said. I think it's critical that we work as a unit, that there's the ability to challenge one another and express opinions in that coaches room, in our offices downstairs, but when we go out we will be on the same page and working in one voice.

I wouldnt say were really advanced in the process. Id say weve got a number of names that are candidates for the roles that exist. Still determining coaches that were here last year and will they continue to go forward. So were probably in the third or fourth inning.

While the Sox are in need of continuity at their helm, perhaps no position needs it more than the pitching coach. Whoever Farrell chooses will be the teams fifth in four seasons. And with Farrell himself a former pitching coach, that person needs to know he will have a certain amount of autonomy, Farrell said.

I think with any position stabilitys critical, Farrell said. I think its important to know, or for the pitching coach to know coming in that this isnt going to be a situation, because so much has been brought out with the return here that its not going to be micromanaged. Certainly theres going to be involvement but that person needs the freedom to do his job and do it to the best of his ability. Thats why to me its important to get the most qualified pitching coach available and bring him in here.

Before Farrell was announced as the new Sox manager on Sunday, Cherington and his staff met with Dodgers third-base coach Tim Wallach, Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus, Yankees bench coach Tony Pena, and Orioles third-base coach and former Sox bench coach DeMarlo Hale. Cherington said he did not explore with any of those candidates the possibility of joining the organization in any other capacity.

Havent had that conversation, Cherington said. I talked to the four other candidates on Saturday, expressed my appreciation for allowing us to get to know them. Those are tough phone calls because theyre all good people and they wanted to express an interest in the job and wanted to see through, go through the process. And all four of them are quality people and capable of being a manager someday.

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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