Farrell one of five managers on 1988 Indians

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Farrell one of five managers on 1988 Indians

BOSTON John Farrell made his big league debut in 1987, an August call-up who appeared in 10 games, making nine starts, posting a record of 5-1 for the woeful Indians who went 61-101, finishing last in the seven-team American League East.

But, he came back the next year to pitch a full big league season, appearing in 31 games (30 starts), going 14-10. The Indians, though, were only marginally better, going 78-84, finishing sixth. Only the Orioles and their historically inept 0-21 start kept the Indians from last place in the AL East.

But, the impact of the 88 Indians would reverberate years later. Farrell pitched on a roster that would produce four other current major league managers: San Diegos Bud Black, Texas Ron Washington, Terry Francona, who is back with the Indians, and Philadelphias Charlie Manuel, who was the teams hitting coach then.

It was a unique time that so many guys were together, Farrell said. And our conversations were always not only about the game today but how would guys careers look like after playing. I think everybody wanted to stay in the game. I dont think you could say in 1988 I want to be a manager this year. We dont take that approach.

You dont sit there and map out your future. You're consumed by what you do today and if that creates opportunities for going forward, all the better. So that being said, thats where Tito and I first forged a relationship as teammates, as we did with other guys.

Farrell said he will draw on the influence of many people who have impacted his career, from his first professional season, to his time in player development, to his tenure with the Sox. He points to one of his first minor league managers as impacting his managerial approach.

Doc Edwards managed the Triple-A Maine Guides when Farrell made five starts for them in his first professional season. Edwards went on to manage the Indians when Farrell made his big league debut.

"He made me feel comfortable as a young pitcher, someone who was in somewhat awe of the big league environment and he put that at ease and that was important for a young player, Farrell said. I remember those conversations with him, his ability to just put his arm around you and make you feel like, hey, you know what, its going to be OK. And I've taken that approach with young players that I've had over the last two years.

There's no doubt standing next to Tito for four years here. Im the person I am today as far as a manager by the people I played for or worked with.

Farrell also pointed to Karl Kuehl, the long-time baseball veteran manager, scout, coach, player development specialist before his death in 2008 as someone who influenced his approach to young players.

Kuehl was a very influential person in the game in development who had a profound impact on me in dealing with players and dealing with how to develop players in just an old traditional approach that really has stood the test of time, Farrell said.

It all contributes to the torch that he hopes to pass on.

Theres a part of a number of people inside of me, he said. And, hopefully, Ill be able to impart some of that in the guys Ill be working with day in and day out.

Report: Bulls tell teams they won't trade Jimmy Butler

Report: Bulls tell teams they won't trade Jimmy Butler

The Bulls reportedly weren’t making Jimmy Butler available for a trade last month.

As the trade deadline approaches, it seems that hasn’t changed.

K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

The teams that talked to the Chicago Bulls today were told, “Just about everybody on our roster is available, but Jimmy Butler is not.”

The Bulls are not obliged to stand by that, and there’s no indication they’ve assured Butler anything. If they’re offered a package more valuable than Butler, they’ll trade him.

But that’s a lot of value.

Click here for the complete story.

MLB may make rule changes for '18 season

MLB may make rule changes for '18 season

PHOENIX - Major League Baseball intends to push forward with the process that could lead to possible rule changes involving the strike zone, installation of pitch clocks and limits on trips to the pitcher's mound. While baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred expressed hope the ongoing process would lead to an agreement, he said clubs would reserve the right to act unilaterally, consistent with the rule-change provision of the sport's labor contract.

Union head Tony Clark said last weekend he did not foresee players agreeing to proposed changes for 2017. Under baseball's collective bargaining agreement, management can alter playing rules only with agreement from the union - unless it gives one year notice. With the one year of notice, management can make changes on its own.

"Unfortunately it now appears that there really won't be any meaningful change for the 2017 season due to a lack of cooperation from the MLBPA," Manfred said Tuesday during a news conference. "I've tried to be clear that our game is fundamentally sound, that it does not need to be fixed as some people have suggested, and I think last season was the kind of demonstration of the potential of our league to captivate the nation and of the game's unique place in American culture."

Yet, he also added: "I believe it's a mistake to stick our head in the sand and ignore the fact that our game has changed and continues to change."

Manfred said while he prefers an agreement, "I'm also not willing to walk away." He said he will send a letter to the union in the coming days and plans to continue dialogue with Clark and others in hopes of reaching agreement.

Clark met with Cactus League teams last week, five at a time over Thursday, Friday and Saturday, before departing Monday for Florida to visit each Grapefruit League club - and proposed rules changes were a topic.

"I have great respect for the labor relations process, and I have a pretty good track record for getting things done with the MLBPA," Manfred said. "I have to admit, however, that I am disappointed that we could not even get the MLBPA to agree to modest rule changes like limits on trips to the mound that have little effect on the competitive character of the game."

Clark saw talks differently.

"Unless your definition of `cooperation' is blanket approval, I don't agree that we've failed to cooperate with the commissioner's office on these issues," he wrote in an email to The Associated Press. "Two years ago we negotiated pace of play protocols that had an immediate and positive impact. Last year we took a step backward in some ways, and this offseason we've been in regular contact with MLB and with our members to get a better handle on why that happened. I would be surprised if those discussions with MLB don't continue, notwithstanding today's comments about implementation. As I've said, fundamental changes to the game are going to be an uphill battle, but the lines of communication should remain open."

Clark added "my understanding is that MLB wants to continue with the replay changes (2-minute limit) and the no-pitch intentional walks and the pace of game warning/fine adjustments."

Manfred said he didn't want to share specifics of his priorities for alterations.

"There's a variety of changes that can be undertaken," Manfred said. "I'm committed to the idea that we have a set of proposals out there and we continue to discuss those proposals in private."

MLB has studied whether to restore the lower edge of the strike zone from just beneath the kneecap to its pre-1996 level - at the top of the kneecap. Management would like to install 20-second pitch clocks in an attempt to speed the pace of play - they have been used at Triple-A and Double-A for the past two seasons.

Players also have been against limiting mound meetings. The least controversial change appears to be allowing a team to call for an intentional walk without the pitcher having to throw pitches. In addition, MLB likely can alter some video review rules without the union's agreement- such as shortening the time a manager has to call for a review.

"Most of this stuff that they were talking about I don't think it would have been a major adjustment for us," Royals manager Ned Yost said.

Manfred said starting runners on second base in extra innings sounds unlikely to be implemented in the majors. The change will be experimented with during the World Baseball Classic and perhaps at some short-season Class A leagues. Manfred said it was a special-purpose rule "beneficial in developmental leagues."

Manfred also said Tuesday that a renovated Wrigley Field would be a great choice to host an All-Star Game and Las Vegas could be a "viable market for us."

"I don't think that the presence of legalized gambling in Las Vegas should necessarily disqualify that market as a potential major league city," Manfred said.