Red Sox

Wakeup call: Does it get any worse than this?

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Wakeup call: Does it get any worse than this?

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Monday, October 1:

BASEBALL
Quite a day for the Yankees: They rallied from a four-run deficit, stayed tied with the Orioles for first place in the A.L. East, and clinched their 17th postseason berth in 18 years. (AP)

And now they get Mark Teixeira back. (AP)

Quite a day for the Rangers, as well: They not only secured a playoff spot for themselves, but for the Yankees and Orioles, too. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

And quite a day for the Orioles (and it had nothing to do with beating the Red Sox, or getting into the postseason for the first time since 1997): They had their charter to Tampa diverted to Jacksonville Sunday night because of a small fire in flight. (CSN Baltimore) It was nothing serious, however, and they were able to reboard the plane for the final leg of their trip.

Magic number time! For the Tigers, it's one (to clinch the A.L. Central) and for the Cardinals, it's two (to clinch an N.L. wild-card spot). (AP)

The A's, meanwhile, are "pumped"; they could clinch a playoff spot on Monday and they could also still win the A.L. West if they sweep Texas. (CSN Bay Area)

The Angels, Rays and Dodgers (thanks to Josh Beckett) still have a playoff pulse . . . but they're weak. (AP)

The White Sox, however, are about to be pronounced dead. (CSN Chicago)

Even so, Robin Ventura says he's coming back. (CSN Chicago)

On the other side of town, Matt Garza sees good things ahead for the Cubs, 100 losses or no 100 losses. (CSN Chicago)

The 3030 Club has a new member. And the youngest one ever, to boot. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

In spite of all that's happened -- and continues to happen -- this year, Tim Lincecum will be in the Giants' postseason rotation somewhere. And he's grateful. (CSN Bay Area)

Way to go, Bill! (CSN Chicago)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Louisville has lost Mike Marra -- again -- for the season. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
It's unanimous: Alabama's still No. 1. (AP)

GOLF
Does it get any worse than this? Hard to see how, says Randall Mell. (golfchannel.com)

And Tiger certainly didn't help. (golfchannel.com)

Nor did any of the veterans that Davis Love III selected expressly for moments like these. (AP)

In their moment of triumph, the Europeans remembered Seve. (AP)

HOCKEY
Nice that they're talking. Be nicer if they were talking about something that might actually end this thing. (AP)

Adam Oates and and the rest of the Capitals' coaching staff have found work during the lockout. (CSN Washington)

PRO BASKETBALL
LeBron James is downright frightened at how good he thinks the Heat can be. (AP)

File this under "The Rich Get Richer": Mike Miller says he's feeling better and stronger. (AP)

The Wizards are going to have to play the first month or so without John Wall. (AP)

But Chris Paul vows the Clippers won't have to play any games without him. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
Me, I always thought this "icing the kicker" stuff does nothing more than give a professional kicker two shots to make one attempt. That's what Andy Reid did to Lawrence Tynes last night . . . but luckily for Reid and the Eagles, Tynes missed 'em both. (AP)

And speaking of misses, Billy Cundiff's been conjuring memories of Missin' Sisson (remember him?) over the last nine months. Still, he saved the Redskins -- and probably his job -- by kicking the game-winning field goal with seven seconds to play. (CSN Washington)

Still undefeated: The Falcons (AP), Cardinals (AP) and Texans (AP).

Still winless: The Saints . . . (AP)

. . . even though they got plenty of help from the referees. (NBC's Pro Football Talk) But this time the Packers were able to overcome poor officiating.

Peyton's in town next week, and he's coming here on a high note. (AP)

Rex Ryan continues to insist Mark Sanchez is "the answer at quarterback" for the Jets. (Pro Football Talk) Makes you wonder: What's the question?

Report: Ex-Red Sox reliever Reed gets deal with Twins

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Report: Ex-Red Sox reliever Reed gets deal with Twins

He was dubbed "Closer B" by Red Sox manager John Farrell when acquired at the trade deadline last summer, now Addison Reed is "Closer B Gone"...to the Twins.

The right-handed reliever, 29, has agreed to a two-year, $16.75 million free-agent deal with Minnesota, pending a physical, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and TheAthletic.com reports. 

Reed began last season with the Mets and had 19 saves and a 2.57 ERA before being traded to the Red Sox, where he had a 3.33 ERA in 29 games (27 innings) without a save as a setup man for Craig Kimbrell.  
 

Red Sox, Mookie Betts far apart on salary and heading toward arbitration

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Red Sox, Mookie Betts far apart on salary and heading toward arbitration

The Red Sox and star right fielder Mookie Betts intend to go to an arbitration hearing in February, and there were signs this was coming even a year ago.

Betts was the only arbitration-eligible player on the Red Sox who did not settle on a contract with the team on Friday, when a deadline arrived for all teams and arbitration-eligible players to exchange 2018 salary figures. Jackie Bradley Jr., Xander Bogaerts and Drew Pomeranz were the biggest names to avoid hearings.

Betts filed for a $10.5 million salary and the Red Sox filed at $7.5 million.  Betts and the Red Sox agreed previously that if no figure could be settled on by the Friday deadline, they would proceed to a hearing, assistant general manager Brian O'Halloran said. 

A three-person panel of arbitrators therefore is set to determine what Betts makes in 2018: either the $7.5 million figure the Sox filed or the $10.5 million figure Betts' camp submitted. The arbitrators won't settle on a midpoint for the parties. 

O'Halloran noted to the Globe there are no hard feelings involved.

Nonetheless, such a large gap would seem to provide incentive to settle. The parties technically could still decide to do so, but that would take a change of course from the present plan. The idea was to settle any time before Friday, and they did not. 

Betts is asking for near-record money for a first-year arbitration eligible player. Kris Bryant set the record Friday with a $10.85 million settlement.

The hearings can be difficult for player-team relations because teams have to make the case in front of the player that he is worth less money than he wants.

Betts, 25, hit .264, with 24 homers, 102 RBI, 25 stolen bases and a .803 OPS in 2017, numbers that fell from his American League MVP runner-up performance in 2016, but were nonetheless very strong and coupled with first-rate defense.

This offseason is Betts' first of arbitration eligibility. In the first three years of service time in a players' career, there's no recourse if you don't like the salary a team is offering. Teams can pay players anything at league minimum or above. 

The only option a player has in those first three years is to make a stand on principle: you can force the team to technically "renew" your salary, which notes to everyone that you did not agree to the salary. Betts and his agents did that in 2017 when the Sox paid him $950,000, a very high amount relative to most contract renewals.

Some of the standard thinking behind forcing a team to renew a contract is that if an arbitration case comes up down the road — and one now looms for Betts — it's supposed to show the arbitrators that the player felt even in seasons past, he was underpaid.

Still, the Sox may have effectively combatted that perception by paying Betts almost $1 million on a renewal. Per USA Today, that $950,000 agreement in 2017 was "the second-highest one-year deal ever for a non-arbitration-eligible player with two-plus years of big league service." Mike Trout got $1 million in 2014.