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AP source: Red Sox to hire Farrell as manager

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AP source: Red Sox to hire Farrell as manager

BOSTON (AP) The Red Sox are preparing to announce that John Farrell will be their new manager, according to a baseball official with knowledge of the deal to bring the former Boston pitching coach back one year after the ballclub first tried to give him the top job.

The announcement was delayed by the unusual logistics of hiring a manager under contract with another team, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the final procedural steps had not been cleared. But the three-year deal to replace Bobby Valentine could be announced as soon as Sunday, the official said.

Red Sox spokeswoman Pam Kenn said the team had no announcement to make. Blue Jays spokesman Jay Stenhouse did not immediately respond to a voice mail seeking comment.

Comcast SportsNet New England was first to report the deal.

Farrell had one year remaining on his contract with Toronto, where he went 154-170 over the past two seasons. The Red Sox have agreed to send the Blue Jays compensation for letting Farrell leave for their AL East rivals.

Farrell was the Red Sox pitching coach for four seasons before Toronto hired him as manager two years ago. He was Boston's top target when Terry Francona was let go after the team's September collapse in 2011, but the Blue Jays would not allow him to leave.

But the Red Sox found themselves looking for a manager again just one season later, after Valentine led the team to a last-place finish and a 69-93 record that was the franchise's worst since 1965. And, after Toronto went 73-89 in 2012, the Blue Jays were willing to part with Farrell.

The Red Sox also interviewed San Diego Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus, New York Yankees bench coach Tony Pena, Los Angeles Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach and Baltimore Orioles third base coach DeMarlo Hale.

Farrell is familiar with Red Sox management from his time in Boston and has worked with many of the club's pitchers, including starters Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz.

Even before the announcement, news of the deal trickled out over Twitter, where Blue Jays reliever Casey Janssen wrote: ``Want to wish our skipper the best in Boston, good luck!''

The 50-year-old Farrell had a promising pitching career with the Cleveland Indians before an injury kept him out for the entire 1991 and `92 seasons. He returned to pitch sparingly in four more seasons, finishing his career with a 36-46 record and a 4.56 ERA.

He coached at Oklahoma State, where he pitched in college, from 1997-2001 and then spent five years in the Indians' front office before Francona, a former Cleveland teammate, brought him to Boston as pitching coach. Farrell had been Francona's heir apparent but took the Toronto job when it appeared Francona, a two-time World Series champion in Boston, would remain indefinitely.

However, the team parted ways with Francona after its unprecedented collapse in September 2011, when it went 7-20 over the final month to miss a playoff appearance by one game. In response to overtures from the Red Sox, Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos created a policy prohibiting employees from moving laterally to another organization.

But Farrell, who led Toronto to an 81-81 record and fourth-place finish in his first year, fell to 16 games below .500 in his second. Veteran infielder Omar Vizquel complained that Farrell didn't do enough to help younger players correct their mistakes.

Farrell called a closed-door meeting, and Vizquel apologized.

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New pieces on offense lead to plenty of questions for Redskins at OTAs

New pieces on offense lead to plenty of questions for Redskins at OTAs

Alex Smith in, Kirk Cousins out.

That's certainly the headline, but there are plenty of other questions for the Redskins, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.

For the last two seasons, most of the questions going into OTAs for Washington came from the defensive side of the ball. After consecutive drafts with a first-round defensive lineman selection, the defense should be much improved. 

On offense, however, there are a lot of new parts. 

  1. The headliner - No position in sports is as important as NFL quarterback. This will be Alex Smith's first action in a Redskins uniform with media present. The 34-year-old veteran is coming off the best season of his career, and if he can continue that level of accuracy and play-making, the Redskins could be poised for an explosive year.
  2. The speedster - Washington's wideouts lacked separation in 2017. It was apparent through much of the year, and likely played a roll in some of Kirk Cousins' reluctance to make tough throws. Free agent addition Paul Richardson is supposed to help, immediately. He has elite deep speed and the 'Skins brass hopes he can bring a similar element to the offense that DeSean Jackson provided a few years back. Time to prove it Paul. 
  3. The injuries - There are big reasons for concern, namely two very large men in Jordan Reed and Trent Williams. Reed will not participate in OTAs, and has been dealing with a foot/toe injury for the better part of a year. Williams, who seems highly unlikely to attend OTAs, underwent knee surgery in January. Beyond Smith, Reed and Williams are probably the two most important offensive players on the Redskins. OTAs aren't important, Reed and Williams participating, or even attending, OTAs is not important. Both men being healthy and ready to go in September is quite important. 
  4. The Rookie - Has Derrius Guice become the most popular player on the Redskins? Maybe. The dynamic rookie running back, with an interesting draft weekend slide, has the charisma and ability to be a star. The "off-field concerns" that hurt his draft status seem like myths at this point, but there was some injury concern his junior season at LSU (see video above). Guice has an opportunity to be a huge part of the Redskins offense, and all eyes will be watching the rookie. 
  5. The leap? - In 2017, Josh Doctson showed flashes of the player that warranted a first-round pick in 2016. Will 2018 be the year he proves it, week after week, game after game? Getting off to a good start with Smith should help, and even more important would be an injury-free offseason. 

There are questions for the defense too, particularly at cornerback after Josh Norman, but this year, the offense has more new parts. 

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

— Contract years: Redskins face 5 tough decisions 

— Dead Money: Trades, misses and mistakes hurt Redskins salary cap

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: A trip to the Stanley Cup Final is on the line

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: A trip to the Stanley Cup Final is on the line

The Eastern Conference Final is going the distance!

After losing three straight to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Capitals won Game 6 to force a Game 7 in Tampa Bay. Can the Caps beat the Lightning one more time and advance to the Stanley Cup Final?

JJ Regan, Tarik El-Bashir and special guest cameraman Mike D break it all down.

 

PLEASE NOTE: Due to schedule and time constraints, this podcast was recorded by phone and the audio quality is not up to our usual standards.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.