Red Sox

Red Sox reflect on labor issues in other leagues

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Red Sox reflect on labor issues in other leagues

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
HOUSTON -- The NFL lockout is in its fourth month, with no end in sight.

The NBA locked its players out earlier this week and some believe the 2011-12 season is in jeopardy.

The NHL has a year remaining on its current labor deal, but already there is speculation that the league and its players may be headed for a work stoppage a year from this fall.

And then there's baseball.

Remarkably, the same sport which had the worst labor record as recently as 15 years ago now has the best. The current CBA expires in December and a new agreement has not yet been reached, but both sides -- ownership and the Players Association --
expect a deal will be reached without any interruption, or, for that matter, much difficulty.

This peaceful co-existence between management and labor would have been unimagineable not long ago. Now, each day in the Red Sox clubhouse, players watch TV and see updates on labor disputes in basketball and football, secure in the knowledge that the divide that once existed in their own game has been closed.

And some within that clubhouse shake their heads at the messes that exist in the NBA and NFL, just as fans expressed disgust toward baseball a generation ago.

"You mean to tell me there's not a way for both sides to be happy and the fans don't get screwed?" asked manager Terry Francona. "I do understand that someone making 50,000-60,000 and is paying for a ticket would be very put off. I can understand that. They don't want to hear this and I don't blame them.

"I think we all have a responsibility to figure it out. I think baseball has done a good job figuring out that we need to be partners and they're doing a great job.''

"Sometimes, when it comes to this kind of stuff,'' said David Ortiz, "I think we forget about the most important (people) and that's the fans. One thing you don't want to do is piss them off. They're the ones who make this interesting.''

Ortiz, a die-hard Green Bay Packers fan, said he doesn't even want to think about the prospect of football-less Sundays this fall.

"I'm having nightmares all ready,'' he said with a laugh. "Seriously, there's no way you want to think about (not having games). And I'm from the Dominican Republic (where football doesn't have much of a following) and I see it that way. Think about if you're born and raised here.''

Dustin Pedroia says improved communication between labor and management in baseball is the key to the improved relationship.

"It took a long time to get over the last strike (in 1994-95),'' said Pedroia. "We don't want to go through that again. Both sides know how great the game is and how much money there is in it, so the best thing is to play and not have any work stoppages.''

Tim Wakefield, the only Red Sox player who was playing in 1994, said it's a relief to not go through the distraction of a labor impasse.

"It's nice,'' Wakefield said. "I don't think either side wants to be in that situaton again.''

Ortiz, too, believes that baseball learned the hard way in the 1980s and 1990s how damaging labor strife can be.

"We all have those bad memories,'' he said. "We don't want to be going through that.''

And aside from the professional kinship, players want the NFL and NBA to resume so that they, too, can be entertained.

"I hope they get it done,'' concluded Ortiz. "I'm a baseball player, but I'm a huge fan of football and basketball.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Astros beat Yankees in Game 7 to advance to World Series, 4-0

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Astros beat Yankees in Game 7 to advance to World Series, 4-0

HOUSTON - Charlie Morton and Lance McCullers combined on a three-hitter, Jose Altuve and Evan Gattis homered and the Houston Astros reached the World Series, blanking the New York Yankees 4-0 Saturday night in Game 7 of the AL Championship Series.

Just four years removed from their third straight 100-loss season in 2013, the Astros shut down the Yankees for two straight games after dropping three in a row in the Bronx.

Next up for the Astros: Game 1 of the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night. Houston aces Dallas Keuchel and ALCS MVP Justin Verlander will have plenty of rest, too, before the matchup begins at Dodger Stadium.

Houston has never won even a single World Series game. The only previous time the Astros made it this far, they were a National League team when they were swept by the Chicago White Sox in 2005.

Now, manager A.J. Hinch's club has a chance to win that elusive first title, while trying to boost a region still recovering from Hurricane Harvey.

Houston improved to 6-0 at Minute Maid Park in these playoffs and became the fifth team in major league history to win a seven-game postseason series by winning all four of its home games.

Morton bounced back from a loss in Game 3 to allow two hits over five scoreless innings. Starter-turned-postseason reliever McCullers limited the Yankees to just one hit while fanning six over the next four.

Combined, they throttled the Yankees one last time in Houston. Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and their New York teammates totaled just three runs in the four road games.

CC Sabathia entered the game 10-0 with a 1.69 ERA in 13 starts this season after a Yankees loss. But he struggled with command and was gone with one out in the fourth inning.

Houston was up 2-0 in fifth when former Yankees star Brian McCann came through for the second straight game by hitting a two-run double after snapping an 0-for-20 skid with an ground-rule RBI double to give Houston its first run on Friday night.

The Yankees, trying to reach the World Series for the first time since 2009, lost an elimination game for the first time this season after winning their first four in these playoffs. New York struggled on the road this postseason, with this loss dropping the team to 1-6.

Red Sox reportedly make offer to Cora

Red Sox reportedly make offer to Cora

UPDATE: The deal is for three years, per Ken Rosenthal.

BOSTON — We’re just waiting on an announcement now.

A pair of national reports on Saturday afternoon, one from FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal... 

...And another from MLB Network and FanRagSports.com's Jon Heyman...

have firmed up Alex Cora’s expected hiring as Red Sox manager. Both reported that Cora, the Astros bench coach, is expected to take the job once Houston's season ends, which could come as soon as Saturday night after Game 7 of the American League Championship Series. 

Heyman reported a contract offer has already been made to Cora. 

A baseball source said this week that there was “not a doubt” Cora, the Astros bench coach, would wind up with the Red Sox gig. It’s unclear when exactly the offer was made to him, but one had not been made as of midday Wednesday, the source said. 

Cora, 41, a former Red Sox infielder (2005-08) who's also worked in the media and is the most sought-after managerial candidate at the moment, appeared the front-runner since the outset of what proved a small search for the Red Sox.

Earlier, Boston Globe reported that the Washington Nationals were interested in Cora after they fired Dusty Baker on Friday.