Unclear what Jays would want from Sox for Farrell

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Unclear what Jays would want from Sox for Farrell

DETROIT -- Even as they interviewed their fourth different candidate Thursday for their managerial opening, the Red Sox have begun preliminary talks with the Toronto Blue Jays regarding compensation should they hire John Farrell.

Farrell, who served as the Red Sox pitching coach from 2007-2010, recently completed his second season as Toronto's manager. He has a year remaining on his contract with Toronto.

A year ago, when the Red Sox approached Blue Jays ownership for permission to speak with Farrell and were told that the Jays wanted pitcher Clay Buchholz in return. That ended talks immediately.

Farrell directed the Blue Jays to an 81-81 record in his first season managing the Jays before the team slipped backward to a 73-89 mark in 2012, four games ahead of the last-place Red Sox.

It's unclear what the Jays' demends might be this time. The fact that Farrell has one year -- and not two, as was the case last fall -- remaining on his contract may reduce the asking price.

Further, there have been reports that some friction has developed between Farrell and Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos

Lastly, the Jays may be coming to the conclusion that Farrell would prefer returning to Boston. This marks the second time in as many years that the Sox have approached the Jays about Farrell and neither time did Farrell -- while repeatedly pointing out that he remains under contract as the manager of the Blue Jays -- do anything to publicly discourage the Red Sox' interest.

One executive with another major league team speculated earlier this month that the Jays -- who, it should be pointed out, have all the leverage in these negotiations -- would ask for "significant'' compensation. The executive identified pitching prospect Matt Barnes, the Red Sox' No. 1 pick from the University of Connecticut in 2011 -- as a logical asking price.

Precdent is difficult to determine. Two of the most recent "manager trades'' in baseball resulted in widly different compensation packages.

In 2011, the Chicago White Sox allowed Ozzie Guillen to leave with a year remaining on his contract and become manager of the Florida Marlins. In return, the White Sox got two minor leaguers generally acknowledged to be two of the Marlins' Top 10 prospects.

Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Rays were able to hire Lou Piniella away from the Seattle Mariners in 200x by sending the Mariners outfielder Randy Winn -- a regular outfielder, but hardly an All-Star.

The Sox are Thursday interviewing DeMarlo Hale for their vacancy. He follows Tim Wallach (last Friday), Tony Pena (Monday) and Brad Ausmus (Wednesday) as candidates to receive interviews.

It's clear, however, that Farrell remains the favorite of the field. Moreover, both ownership and Baseball Operations would be satisfied with him, making him the lone consensus choice among the five candidates.

Red Sox celebration quickly washes away walk-off loss

Red Sox celebration quickly washes away walk-off loss

NEW YORK -- It had the potential to be the most awkward celebration ever.

In the top of the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium, before their game was complete, the Red Sox became American League East champions, by virtue of one other division rival -- Baltimore -- coming back to beat another -- Toronto -- in the ninth inning.

That eliminated the Blue Jays from the division race, and made the Sox division champs.

But that ninth inning reversal of fortune was about to visit the Red Sox, too.

Craig Kimbrel faced four hitters and allowed a single and three straight walks, leading to a run. When, after 28 pitches, he couldn't get an out, he was lifted for Joe Kelly, who recorded one out, then yielded a walk-off grand slam to Mark Teixeira.

The Yankees celebrated wildly on the field, while the Red Sox trudged into the dugout, beset with mixed emotions.

Yes, they had just lost a game that seemed theirs. But they also had accomplished something that had taken 158 games.

What to do?

The Sox decided to drown their temporary sorrows in champagne.

"As soon as we got in here,'' said Jackie Bradley Jr., "we quickly got over it.''

From the top of the eighth until the start of the bottom of the ninth, the Red Sox seemed headed in a conventional celebration.

A two-run, bases-loaded double by Mookie Betts and a wild pitch -- the latter enabling David Ortiz to slide into home and dislodge the ball from former teammate Tommy Layne's glove --- had given the Sox a 3-0 lead.

Koji Uehara worked around a walk to post a scoreless walk and after the top of the ninth, the Sox called on Craig Kimbrel, who had successfully closed out all but two save opportunities all season.

But Kimbrel quickly allowed a leadoff single to Brett Gardner and then began pitching as though he forgot how to throw strikes. Three straight walks resulted in a run in and the bases loaded.

Joe Kelly got an out, but then Teixeira, for the second time this week, produced a game-winning homer in the ninth. On Monday, he had homered in Toronto to turn a Blue Jays win into a loss, and now, here he was again.

It may have been a rather meaningless victory for the Yankees -- who remain barely alive for the wild card -- but it did prevent them the indignity of watching the Red Sox celebrate on their lawn.

Instead, the Sox wore the shame of the walk-off -- at least until they reached their clubhouse, where the partying began in earnest.

It had taken clubhouse attendants less than five minutes to cover the floor and lockers with plastic protective sheets. In a matter of a few more minutes, the air was filled with a mix of beer and bubbly.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski wore a goggles and only socks on his feet.

As the spray reached every inch of the clubhouse, David Ortiz exclaimed: "I'm going to drown in this man.''

Defeat? What defeat?