Red Sox

Notes: Crawford shows off his speed

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Notes: Crawford shows off his speed

By MaureenMullen
CSNNE.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. The Red Sox got their first glimpse of Carl Crawford's speed Monday when he and Kevin Youkilis engineered a double steal in the first inning.

Well . . . hopefully, Crawford stealing bases will happen a lot, said manager Terry Francona.

It was a good day for Oscar Tejeda, who is hitting .500 (8-for-16) with two triples and six RBI this spring. He got the only hit off Jon Lester in the simulated game and went 1-for-2 with two runs scored, including the winning run, on Yamaico Navarros two-out ninth-inning single, to beat the Orioles.

The Red Sox have split-squad games Tuesday. They travel to Jupiter to play the Cardinals, with the Astros coming to City of Palms Park. Josh Beckett, Jonathan Papelbon, Daniel Bard, Dennys Reyes, Matt Fox and Matt Albers are scheduled to pitch the home game. Stolmy Pimentel Brandon Duckworth, Jason Rice, Clevelan Santeliz, and Tony Pena are scheduled to pitch against the Cardinals. Regulars among the position players traveling to Jupiter are David Ortiz, Jacoby Ellsbury, Kevin Youkilis, and Darnell McDonald.

Before Mondays game, Red Sox players met with representatives of the Major League Baseball Players Association, including executive director Michael Weiner and former Sox first baseman Tony Clark, for about 90 minutes. The expiration of the current collective bargaining agreement, which is set for Dec. 11, is a large portion of Weiners presentation to the players Most of my talk is about how bargaining works and what role players will have, how they stay informed, how they have input, Weiner said. We do some updates on union matters, but its mostly just explaining to them how bargaining works. This is a big year.

Revenue sharing is one of the major topics in the negotiation sessions with the owners, which are ahead of schedule, Weiner said.

We spent as much time on bargaining revenue sharing in the last four rounds or last here rounds of bargaining as any issue, he said. From our perspective, its crucial because the industry of baseball is driven by local revenue unlike some of the other sports.

Theres not a particular issue that stands out . . . Theres a broad range of issues . . . I dont think theres a particular issue that will stand out over the others.

Other topics that could be part of the negotiations include the drug testing program, a potential world-wide draft, rules changes regarding the disabled list, and expanded playoffs.

Lester and Clay Buchholz have new charity wines, CabernAce and ChardonClay, respectively, from Longball Cellars. All money raised will benefit a charity. For Lesters vintage, proceeds will to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; Buchholzs will go to the Jimmy Fund. For more information, visit charitywines.com.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp:twitter.commaureenamullen

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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