Boston Red Sox

Varitek not considered a managerial candidate for now

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Varitek not considered a managerial candidate for now

Jason Varitek won't be the next Red Sox manager. But he may well have a hand in helping to determine who will.
While there has been media speculation that Varitek, hired as a special assistant to the front office last week, could emerge as a darkhorse candidate to replace Bobby Valentine, baseball sources indicate that isn't the case.
Varitek has told people close to him that, recently re-married and father of a baby girl, that he's not ready to commit the time necessary.
Speculation surrounding Varitek comes at time when several other clubs have enjoyed success hiring players with no managerial experience. Robin Ventura (Chicago White Sox), Mike Matheny (St. Louis Cardinals) and Kirk Gibson (Arizona Diamondbacks) have all enjoyed winning seasons early in their major league managerial careers, with Gibson and Matheny both guiding teams to the playoffs in their first full seasons.
What's more, that trend hasn't gone unnoticed by the Red Sox. Both general manager Ben Cherington and CEO and president Larry Lucchino acknowledged that the success enjoyed by that trio -- and others -- has encouraged the Sox to take a more open mind in the hiring process.
But for now, Varitek won't be one of those candidates under consideration. Instead, Varitek will concentrate on learning more about scouting, player development and player evaluation. In time, Varitek has told some, managing could be an option he'd explore.
Both the Red Sox and Varitek are said to be aware that it would problematic for the ex-captain to be asked to manage players who were recent teammates -- just one more obstacle to Varitek managing so soon after the conclusion of his playing career.
As part of his role, Cherington said Varitek will sit in on some of the managerial interviews and evaluations and be asked for his input as a recently retired player.

Red Sox move closer to AL East title with 5-0 win over Reds

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Red Sox move closer to AL East title with 5-0 win over Reds

CINCINNATI - Mitch Moreland ended his long slump with a three-run homer, Eduardo Rodriguez pitched three-hit ball into the eighth inning, and the Boston Red Sox took another step toward a second straight AL East title, beating the Cincinnati Reds 5-0 on Saturday.

Boston has won 13 of 16, holding off the Yankees as it tries to win back-to-back East titles for the first time since divisional realignment in 1969. The Red Sox have their best record of the season at 90-64, reaching 90 wins for the second year in a row.

They remain four games in front of the Yankees, who beat Toronto 5-1.

Moreland was in an 0-for-19 slump when he connected off Robert Stephenson (5-6) in the sixth inning, his 20th homer of the season but only his second in September. The Red Sox are last in the AL with 160 homers.

Rodriguez (6-6) has given up two or fewer earned runs in each of his last four starts, the best stretch of his career. The left-hander gave up three singles and two walks in 7 2/3 innings, his longest outing since May 21.

The Red Sox have shutout victories in three of their last four games, including two at Baltimore. They are 7-1 on a trip that ends Sunday. Boston wraps up the regular season at Fenway Park with three games against Toronto and four against Houston.

Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi, who grew up in suburban Madeira and had hundreds of relatives and friends in the stands for the series, singled home a run in the seventh at the ballpark where he regularly attended games as a youth.

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Betts (foot), Pedroia (knee) out of Red Sox lineup

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Betts (foot), Pedroia (knee) out of Red Sox lineup

Mookie Betts, who fouled a ball off his left foot Friday night, and Dustin Pedroia, who has been bothered by a knee injury almost all season, were out of the Red Sox lineup Saturday against the Reds in Cincinnati.

Chris Young started in right field for Betts and Brock Holt at second base for Pedroia.

Betts was scratched from the original lineup but was a late scratch. Pedroia, who had been getting intermittent days off to rest his knee was originally expected to play but needed treatement and hopes to be able to play Sunday, according to Scott Lauber of ESPN. 

Manager John Farrell told reporters, including Christopher Smith of MassLive.com, that Betts "was hindered by it last night in the second half of that game. [He] woke up a little bit more sore. Went through treatment. But felt it was best to give him a day to fully recover and get some additional treatment."

The manager added that Betts was available to pinch hit Saturday and did not have X-rays, but that step could be taken if there's no improvement in the next 24 hours.