Red Sox

Drellich: Dombrowski's criteria for the new manager

Drellich: Dombrowski's criteria for the new manager

BOSTON -- Amidst the little that Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski explained Wednesday, he did indicate a clear preference for experience in his next manager replacing John Farrell. 
 
Here’s what we know about the outset of Dombrowski’s managerial search. He didn't name any potential interviewees, but it's expected that both Astros bench coach Alex Cora and Diamondbacks bench coach Ron Gardenhire are brought in for interviews.

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-- If you haven’t been a major-league manager or coach, you’re probably not gonna make the cut. “I think managerial [experience] helps,” Dombrowski said. “I don't think it's of 100 percent necessity. But I think being in a dugout during a game, seeing what the manager encounters is probably helpful, yeah, I do think it is. I do think it would be difficult for a person more so here than in some other places to walk directly onto the field without some on-field managerial experience at some level or big-league coaching.”
 
-- Dombo has been keeping a list of candidates. “The way I would look at it is you would ideally like to name somebody as quickly as possible but not speed up the process so you don't make a wise decision,” Dombrowski said. “I always keep a list of names for any position that I would be hiring, so I have a list and have added names to that list from some recommendations from our personnel. We'll have to whittle that list of names down and interview some individuals. I don't have a specific timeframe other than ideally it's quicker than sooner or later, but I think you deal with that dependent upon finding the right person.”  (Story continues below.)


 
-- Someone currently on the Red Sox staff, i.e. bench coach Gary DiSarcina, is not likely.  “At  this point, successor from the staff, I don’t really know,” Dombrowski said. “I’m not going to get into specific names that I’m really contemplating at this time, because I really haven’t narrowed  it down. I’d say most likely not, but I’m not going to say for sure not.” 
 
--  Someone elsewhere in the Red Sox system is not likely, either. Meaning, you can probably rule out Jason Varitek. “I don't think anybody else in the system is a candidate, within the system like that,” Dombrowski said. “And I am hesitant, as I think I said already, he should have probably some experience either managing or being on a major-league coaching staff. I'm not going to say that 100 percent, but I think that that’s important in a market like this with the club that we have that’s trying to win a championship, that that would most likely be a necessity.” 
 
-- The new manager looks like he’ll be able to bring in his own coaching staff. Farrell’s coaches are under contract under 2018, but have been told they can look for opportunities elsewhere. “What I told [the coaches] is, first  of all, I think very highly of  them,” Dombrowski said. “They’re good people. They’re good baseball people. I would recommend  to our new  manager any  of them, it’s not  a problem for me, but I do  believe a new manager needs to have his own coaching staff in place, [with our] approval . . . and making sure that there’s proper areas coached within the club . . . [I] would grant permission for any club to talk to our personnel. I know they’re signed, but I wouldn’t want to stand in their way of getting a job somewhere  else if that opportunity came up. Some of them could come back, but again, I’m  going to wait until we get a manager and I won’t  stand in  their way of interviewing elsewhere.” 
 
-- An ability to handle young players well will matter. "It will be very important,” Dombrowski said. “We have a young core of players that are outstanding young talents. I think they have a chance to be championship-type players. They're still in their growth stage. It's a great foundation for a baseball club. We do have some veterans, of course in that mix, too. But I think it's going to be very important for whomever it is to be able to relate to those youngsters, and not only relate to them, but help them get better as players." 
 
-- How well the manager handles the media handles more than it did the last time Dombrowski hired a manager, Brad Ausmus, ahead of the 2014 season. “Communication, leadership, personal skills -- probably here, I think your ability to deal with the media probably weighs more than I would say in Detroit at that particular time,” Dombrowski said. “So I think that some skills in that one to 100 may weigh more in some markets than others. That's probably an important part, maybe more so than it would have been in Detroit and some other markets but I think the overall attributes are very similar.” 
 
-- Dombrowski seems to keeping a broad window open. He also seems adept at saying a lot without saying much of anything.  “You have all different types of attributes that you’re looking for in a manager and with that job, there’s a lot of them. When you’re talking about job knowledge, you’re talking about running the game, running a pitching staff, communication with the players, communication with the front office, dealing with the media, dealing with the training staff. The list just goes on and on,” Dombrowski said. “Any individual that you talk to, you weigh how all those things fit together, and then you end up making decisions who you think will be the best for the job. 
 
“Some people may be more fiery, some people may be more level-headed. Some people maybe be better at handling a pitching staff, some people may be better at running the offensive part of the game. again, define somebody that has all those are very difficult to find, probably most of them are in the Hall of Fame and then you’re in a position where you make the best decision you possibly can."

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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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