Red Sox

Gonzalez, Ellsbury, Ortiz win Silver Slugger awards

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Gonzalez, Ellsbury, Ortiz win Silver Slugger awards

BOSTON For the second time in as many days the Red Sox scored a trifecta in awards, as Jacoby Ellsbury, Adrian Gonzalez, and David Ortiz were named Silver Sluggers.

This marks the fifth time Ortiz has won a Silver Slugger, passing Edgar Martinez and Paul Molitor for most ever by a designated hitter. For Ellsbury and Gonzalez, it was the first Silver Slugger in his career.

Gonzalez, Ellsbury, and Dustin Pedroia were also named as Gold Glove winners on Tuesday. This marks the first time in history a pair of Sox teammates have won Gold Gloves and Silver Sluggers in the same season. Dwight Evans (outfielder, 1981), Ellis Burks (outfielder, 1990), Jason Varitek (catcher, 2005) and Dustin Pedroia (second baseman, 2008) are the only other Red Sox players to win both awards in one season.

The Sox lead all teams with three winners.It is just the second time the Sox have had three players win Silver Sluggers in one season since the awards were first presented in 1980. Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, and Jason Varitek won in 2005.

For Ellsbury, it is his third major postseason award, along with the American League Comeback Player of the Year. He hit .321, setting career-highs with 46 doubles, 32 home runs, 119 runs scored, 105 RBI, and 52 walks. He led the majors with 364 total bases, the most by any teams primary leadoff hitter since San Franciscos Bobby Bonds in 1973 (341), and 83 extra-base hits.

A first-time All-Star in 2011, Ellsbury was just the fourth player in major league history to accumulate at least 200 hits, 30 home runs, 100 RBI and 35 stolen bases in a season. He became the first Sox player ever with at least 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases and also became the first player in team history with a 30 homer100 RBI season while serving as leadoff hitter. Ellsbury is the eighth Red Sox outfielder to win a Silver Slugger Award, the first since Jason Bay in 2009, and is one of three center fielders in club history to be honored as a Silver Slugger, along with Tony Armas (1984) and Ellis Burks (1990).

Gonzalez was second in the majors behind Detroits Miguel Cabrera with a .338 batting average. He led the majors with 66 multi-hit games and matched Texas Michael Young for the major league lead with 213 hits, tied for the fourth-highest single-season total in team history

Gonzalez was the only player to finish the year with at least 200 hits and 115 RBI. He is just the second Sox first baseman ever to win a Silver Slugger Award, along with Mo Vaughn in 1995, and is one of six players to win a Silver Slugger in his first season with the Sox, joining third baseman CarneyLansfordin 1981, DH DonBaylorin 1986, left fielder Manny Ramirez in 2001, third baseman Bill Mueller in 2003, and third baseman Adrian Beltre in 2010.

Ortiz hit .309 with 162 hits, 70 extra-base hits, 40 doubles, a .398 on-base percentage, .554 slugging percentage and .953 OPS in 2011, all his best marks since 2007. He led all DHsin average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, extra-base hits, home runs (29), RBI (96), runs (84), walks and total bases (291).

With his 29 homers in 2011, Ortiz recorded his eighth season with at least 25 home runs, passing Jim Rice (seven seasons) for the second-most 25-homer campaigns ever for a Red Sox batter behind only Ted Williams (14). He also reached the 20-homer mark for the 10th straight year since 2002, and joins Albert Pujols and Alfonso Soriano as the only Major Leaguers with at least 20 homers in each season in that time.Ortiz set the all-time mark for RBI as a DHon April 2with his 1,004that the position, passing Edgar Martinez (1,003). He ended the season with 1,094 career RBI as a designated hitter and also holds the all-time mark for home runs at the position with 333.

Silver Slugger awards are presented annually to the top offensive players at each position in both the American and National Leagues by vote of managers and coaches. The complete A.L. team also includes Robinson Cano,second base, New York; Adrian Beltre, third base,Texas; Asdrubal Cabrera,shortstop, Cleveland; outfielders Curtis Granderson, New York, and Jose Bautista,Toronto; and Alex Avila, catcher,Detroit.

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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