Red Sox

Scutaro waits patiently while on the DL

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Scutaro waits patiently while on the DL

By JessicaCamerato
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- It has been over two weeks since Marco Scutaro was placed on the disabled list with a left oblique strain. Sixteen days later, he still hasn't figured out how to bide his time.

"Its just boring, just watching the games all day and doing nothing," he said. "I walk around like crazy. I eat sunflower seeds like crazy too, stuff like that."

Scutaro isn't used to having all this down time. The shortstop had suffered injuries before, but not like this. One move during batting practice landed him in a place he had avoided his entire career -- the disabled list.

"This thing, it was just one swing in the second or third round of batting practice," he recalled. "My body was loose and everything. Its just one of those things, I dont know, it just came out of nowhere."

At 35 years old, Scutaro finds himself trying to adjust to being unable to play the sport that been part of his daily routine for as long as he can remember. After taking 3,441 Major League at bats since 2002, he will have to wait a little longer for number 3,442.

"Theres nothing I can do, just treatment and stuff like that, Scutaro said. Its not really one of those injuries were you can play through it because probably its going to bother you the whole year. So you just take it easy and dont rush it, just wait. I feel like I can play right now, but they told me if you irritate it again, youll probably lose at least two months.

What's more frustrating than the injury itself is the fact that Scutaro feels good most of the time. He knows, though, that he isnt healthy enough to make the swinging motion that has become second-hand nature to him. Manager Terry Francona said he hoped Scutaro would be able to begin taking swings during their road trip, but he has not been cleared yet.

"When you sneeze, you feel a pinch," Scutaro explained. "When you laugh or put pressure on your core it hurts. But right now, taking ground balls and stuff like that, I dont feel it at all. Its only when I swing."

As strong as Scutaros urge is to play, he is doing his best to stay patient while the injury heals. He said his teammates have offered encouragement and reminded him that he could hurt himself even more if he rushed back too soon.

So Scutaro waits. And walks around. And eats a lot of sunflower seeds.

Yet amid the frustration and anxiousness, he manages to keep a good attitude about it all.

Its my time to be on the DL, I guess, after 16 years, he says, knowing his next at bat will come if he waits.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter athttp:twitter.comjcameratoNBAShe can bereached at jessicacamerato@gmail.com.

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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