Red Sox

Valentine 'waiting to hear' about future with Red Sox

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Valentine 'waiting to hear' about future with Red Sox

NEW YORK -- The 2012 Red Sox season was full of drama from the very beginning, and on the last day, it didn't disappoint.
Manager Bobby Valentine, who is almost certainly in his final days as the team's manager, said he hadn't anything about his future from the front office or ownership.
"I'm waiting to hear,'' said Valentine during his daily pre-game media session.
Asked if he was bothered by the uncertainty surrounding his status, Valentine said: "I'm just bothered the last six weeks to have to answer that question, without an answer.''
CBSSports.com reported that Valentine will be fired shortly after the season, a development that has been expected for some time.
General manager Ben Cherington, meeting with reporters in the dugout before Wednesday's game, refused to comment on the report, or on Valentine's status in general.
"I'm not going to talk about it,'' said Cherington. "We have a game tonight. We've said many times that Bobby's managing the team through the end of the year and we'll talk about it after the season. That's what we'll do. I'm not going to talk about it anymore than that.''
In his weekly spot on WEEI Radio, Valentine was asked about his relationship with some of his coaches. Asked if he felt if his coaches were loyal to him, Valentine said: "No.''
Asked if he thought some coaches undermined him, Valentine responded, "Yes.''
Though he didn't identify them by name, it's no secret that Valentine had a rocky relationship with bench coach Tim Bogar and bullpen coach Gary Tuck, along with former pitching coach Bob McClure, fired in August.
Asked during his pre-game session to expand on his thoughts about the coaches, Valentine said the sense that he was being undermined was "a feeling (I had) once in a while, that we weren't all on the same page... There were situations during the year where I didn't think it was all for one and one for all. Just a feeling, at times.''
Valentine offered that, as far as the team's performance was concerned, the friction with some coaches had "very little; I don't think it had anything to do with anything.''
Valentine maintained that, regardless of what happens, he didn't regret accepting the job last December.
"It's a great life experience,'' said Valentine. "That's what life is. It wasn't always an enjoyable experience, but it's been great, one I look back on and I'm sure I've learned from.''
He said that he "absolutely'' had the backing of ownership, and added that he "totally'' had the backing of Cherington.
"Ownership's been incredible,'' he said. "I didn't know very much of any of the three guys, but it seemed like when things got worse, one of them would always be there to say, 'Hang with 'em.' ''
Reflecting back on the season, Valentine said he would do some things differently.
"I wouldn't have made the Youkilis comment,'' he said, referring to a remark uttered on Patriots Day when the manager questioned whether Youkilis was as emotionally and physically involved as he had been in the past. "I would have been more prepared for the bullpen situation at the beginning of the season.''
Valentine said he "didn't expect that reaction'' to the Youkilis remark.

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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