Red Sox

Youkilis says Red Sox need manager that can 'handle the media, first and foremost'

Youkilis says Red Sox need manager that can 'handle the media, first and foremost'

LOS GATOS, Calif. — Kevin Youkilis knows better than most what can go wrong with a Red Sox manager, particularly when it comes to the media.

The former Red Sox star said Friday afternoon that he thinks both Alex Cora and DeMarlo Hale would be great fits to replace John Farrell because of their experience in the market. He acknowledged both are friends — Cora as a former teammate, Hale as a former coach. But he believes in their credentials as well.

“I think Alex Cora’s a great fit, I think DeMarlo Hale’d be a great fit,” Youkilis said Friday afternoon from the restaurant he owns in California, Loma Brew. “Because they both have experience in that city, they know that city, they’ve been around it. I think it’s hard — I don’t know what it takes to be a manager. I’ve played for good managers. I just know in Boston the key is one, the media, and two, culture-clubhouse. It can go sour quickly, and if you’re that guy, the glue that can hold the team together while also holding the glue together and handling that, it’s a great fit. 

“The reason I’d hire them is they have the experience working not only with the media, but just being in that town and seeing winning in that town. And understanding success and the failures, even when we lost. They’ve seen both.”


Youkilis was criticized by Bobby Valentine in a television interview early in the 2012 season, an incident that prompted Dustin Pedroia to speak out and proved the beginning of the end for Bobby V.

“I think Tito worked out well because he came from a long background in baseball and his personality was perfect for Boston,” Youkilis said. “So I think Tito’s personality — just, you got to have somebody that can handle the media, first and foremost, and that can separate the team from the media and how to be the middle man. So [to me] personally, the Red Sox job, probably more than 50 percent is media driven. A sense you have to be able to handle the media and take on that role and be OK with it.”

Youkilis is still involved in baseball, helping out the Cubs and his first general manager, Theo Epstein.

“And the other half is making sure the culture of the clubhouse is good and the product on the field [is good] and the guys are doing the right thing,” Youkilis said. “That’s easier when you hire a good coaching staff. I’ve learned that through the Cubs. You put together a great staff, your in-game management’s easier. 

“But, managing in Boston’s a very tough task. And you got to have very, very thick skin. You just got to want to take on the challenge. And you’re going to have to force laughter when there’s no laughter to be around, and I think that’s why Tito did so well. And so, you have to have a good personality in a way. Or, you just have to be this guy that just enjoys that spotlight. Because if you don’t enjoy that spotlight…. you’re going to have a lot of clashes that aren’t needed.”

Living in Northern California, Youkilis has teamed up with Jonny Gomes — who’s from the area — to help those affected by the wildfires in the area. Youkilis is storing supplies at his restaurant and plans to deliver them himself next week.

“I’m driving up a truck on Tuesday,” Youkilis said. “We got a bunch of stuff here.”


MLB will institute rules to pick up pace, with or without players' agreement


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


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

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.