BOSTON In their quest to find the 46th manager in team history and second in less than a year after Bobby Valentine was fired two weeks ago, the Red Sox interviewed DeMarlo Hale on Thursday. This appears to conclude the interview process for candidates not named John Farrell.Of the four candidates who met with the Sox Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach, Yankees bench coach Tony Pena, and Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus, along with Hale only Pena has major league managerial experience, leading the Royals from 2002 2005. He was named the 2003 American League Manager of the Year. Wallach has managed in the minor leagues, while Ausmus has no coaching or managerial experience.But, Hale, 51, has paid his dues, and knows the Red Sox roster and organization better than any of the other three candidates. Before serving as the Orioles third base coach in 2012, he had spent the previous six seasons on the staff of former Sox manager Terry Francona, the first four years as third base coach, the last two as bench coach.The Chicago native was a 17th-round pick of the Sox in 1983 and spent five seasons in the Sox minor league system. He began his professional coaching career in the Sox organization in 1992, becoming a manager the next season. In 1999, his Double-A Trenton Thunder went 92-50, and he was named the Eastern Leagues Manager of the Year, and minor league Manager of the Year by three national outlets Baseball America, The Sporting News, and USA Today.He went to the Rangers in 2000 to manage their Triple-A team, joining the major league team as first base and outfield coach for 2002 2005 when Buck Showalter, now the Os manager, was the Rangers manager for Hales last three seasons in Texas before returning to the Sox and the major league coaching staff.Hale has interviewed for several other major league manager jobs in recent years including the Blue Jays, Mariners, and Mets. He also met with the Sox in 2003 after Grady Little was fired, in the search that led to Franconas eight-year tenure with the Sox.Hale was not interviewed by the Sox last year, though, in the process that led to Valentine being named manager on Dec. 1, the Sox apparently believing Franconas bench coach was too close to the issues that resulted in the historic collapse of September 2011. It was not until the winter meetings in early December, though, that Valentine announced Hale would not be returning to the team.But, now, a year removed from the Sox, he is under consideration to be their next manager. Or is he? Are any of the four interviewees viable candidates? Or are the Sox just biding their time until they can work out compensation with Toronto to extricate Farrell from his position with the Blue Jays? This is the second consecutive year the Sox have tried to lure Farrell to be their manager. Talks between the teams last year ended when the Jays requested Clay Buchholz in return for releasing Farrell from his contract. But Farrell now has just one year remaining on his contract with Toronto after posting a combined record of 154-170 in his first two seasons as a big league manager.It appears Farrell remains their top choice. But, they could certainly do worse than naming Hale.
BOSTON — Congratulations, Dave Dombrowski. It’s September, and you built a certified, top-notch bullpen.
Credit goes all around. The pitchers themselves receive the most, with the front office, John Farrell and the rest of the staff taking their slices as well.
But the success is particularly notable for an executive who perennially had terrible bullpens in Detroit. Dombrowski knows the reputation he garnered, too.
Maybe now he’ll start to shed it.
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The trouble in his old job wasn’t for lack of trying. Joe Nathan didn’t work out. Many folks didn’t.
“I think that there’s a few factors there,” Dombrowski said in 2016 of his bullpens in Detroit. “At one time we had (Jose) Valverde (from 2010-13 who) was the best closer for a couple years. (Joaquin) Benoit pitched very well as a set-up guy. We had a very solid bullpen at that point.
“We were unlucky a little bit in, for example, a guy like Joel Zumaya — who was a dominant guy, young — hurts his arm. Somebody you’re counting on. . . . Really (Bruce) Rondon never lived up to the early expectations. I know he’s still young, he’s doing better. So we got a little unlucky on those things. He got hurt too.”
So it goes. Per FanGraphs’ measurement of WAR, the Tigers had the worst bullpen in the majors from 2003-15, Dombrowski’s tenure.
The Sox’ bullpen is fifth in WAR this year, and second in ERA. Last year’s group was good, but not this good.
One of Dombrowski’s premier pick-ups in Boston, Addison Reed, has a common refrain when asked about his own pitching: he doesn’t change a thing.
When Reed got rocked in one of his early outings with the Red Sox, against the Yankees, he said he didn’t change. When he got in and out of trouble in the eighth inning Monday night in another extra-inning win for the Red Sox, 10-8 over the Orioles in 11, he said he didn’t change.
Same for Dombrowski, it would seem.
He continued to go after established relievers. There was the huge trade for Craig Kimbrel. Carson Smith took a while to contribute because of arm injuries, but he had the 11th-inning save Monday, and his velocity appeared to be creeping up.
The Tyler Thornburg situation was troubling, so Dombrowski went out and got Reed from the Mets.
Could Dombrowski have had success sooner if he had changed his approach? Well, maybe, but that’s a different argument.
It’s worked. He didn’t change a thing.
How cliche. But cliches, we should point out, have become a central theme in all these extra-inning wins for the Sox (they're 14-3). Grit, resiliency, determination — you run the risk of drowning on those words, even if they’re well deserved.
Those relievers, though. Both throughout the season and in these marathon games the Sox too often seek, the ‘pen has been unexpectedly excellent, with a rotating cast of characters.
“It’d be nice if we started winning those games in nine and not going extras,” Reed joked, with a presumed kernel of truth. “If it takes 19, 20 innings to get that win, we’ll take it.”
The roles for the postseason are still up in the air, which is strange for a ‘pen that’s been so successful. But at the same time, it suggest an equal distribution of success (and at times, challenges).
The bottom line: Dombo did it, with his relievers making him look smart.
BALTIMORE -- Roaring from behind and then finally winning in extra innings, the Boston Red Sox did more than merely maintain their lead in the A.L. East.
They showed their mettle, a characteristic that should come in handy during the postseason.
Xander Bogaerts homered and scored three runs for the Red Sox, who remained three games ahead of the second-place Yankees in the AL East and reduced to four their magic number for clinching a playoff berth.
Boston erased a five-run deficit with a six-run fifth inning and needed 10 pitchers to beat a skidding Orioles team that has now lost 10 of 12.
"This is a big one, being down early and coming back," Benintendi said. "Obviously it's a good win, but it's kind of a character win. Everybody contributed tonight."
After three walks - one intentional - off Miguel Castro (3-2) loaded the bases in the 11th, Benintendi hit a grounder past diving second baseman Jonathan Schoop to give Boston its major-league leading 14th extra-inning win against three defeats.
"That's one of the reasons we stand here today," manager John Farrell said.
"Our group has such grit, such determination, such competiveness," Farrell said. "There's no quit in them."
Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia left in the fourth inning after being struck in the face by a foul ball he chopped off the plate. The team described the injury as a bruised nose and listed his availability as day to day.
It was the second freak injury Pedroia sustained at Camden Yards this season. On April 21, the All-Star was spiked on a late slide by Manny Machado, a play that created bad blood between the teams into May.
Baltimore built a 5-0 lead against Doug Fister over the first three innings, taking advantage of five walks and getting a two-run double from rookie Austin Hays.
After Betts hit an RBI double in the fourth, Adam Jones countered with a run-scoring single in the bottom half. But the 6-1 advantage vanished in the fifth under a torrent of six hits against Dylan Bundy and two Baltimore relievers.
The key blows in the six-run inning were a two-run double by Brock Holt - Pedroia's replacement - and a bases-loaded double by Betts that scored all three runners.
"It was just that one inning. I let things slip away from me," Bundy said. "I didn't really limit the damage very well, obviously. I was just leaving balls over the middle of the plate and they made me pay for them."
Pedro Alvarez homered in the bottom half and Tim Beckham put Baltimore back in front with a two-out RBI double .
"We find a way to build a big inning, we give it right back and then from that point on the bullpen is outstanding," Farrell said.
The see-saw leveled in the seventh when Bogaerts homered off Donnie Hart to make it 8-all.
BUNDY WILL CONTINUE
As the Orioles stagger to the end of the season, there's speculation that manager Buck Showalter might shut down Bundy, who's now at a career-high 169 2/3 innings.
"I don't think we're at that point yet," the manager said. "Stuff's fine, he feels great between starts, he's getting extra days rest."
Bundy said: "It's September. Everybody is tired right now. So, you've got to battle through it."
Red Sox: Betts was in the starting lineup despite hurting his thumb in two places Sunday. ... DH Hanley Ramirez (left arm soreness) did not start but appeared as a pinch-hitter in the ninth. ... 2B Eduardo Nunez will test his sore right knee running the bases Wednesday. Farrell said: "Wednesday will be a good test in terms of where he is at."
Red Sox: LHP Drew Pomeranz (16-5, 3.28 ERA) looks to keep his outstanding season going in his fourth start of the year against Baltimore. Pomeranz was 25-36 lifetime before this season.
Orioles: Kevin Gausman (11-10, 4.83 ERA) makes his 32nd start of the year, the fourth against Boston. He's 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA against the Red Sox in 2017.