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Red Sox Notebook: Craig Kimbrel Named American League Reliever of the Year

Photo Credit: David Butler II/USA TODAY Sport

Boston Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel received the Mariano Riviera American League Reliever of the Year Award in a news conference last Saturday at Minute Maid Park.

Kimbrel is limited in his ability to travel due to the approaching due date of his first born daughter. He filmed a video accepting the award from his home.

“I’m sorry I could not be there tonight to receive the Mariano Rivera Award from the man himself, a man that I’ve always looked up to and always respect,” Kimbrel said on the video. “Mr. Commissioner, Trevor, Mariano, Kenley, Mr. Elliot, I wish I could be there with you tonight. Although I’m anticipating my first child to be born, knowing that she could be here any day now, it makes it difficult to get too far away from home.”

Also in the video, Kimbrel thanked those that voted for him and his teammates for their respect and support.

“I want to thank everyone who was involved in voting for this, all the legends and Hall of Famers who made this happen,” Kimbrel said. “Getting respect from ex-players who have done this means a lot to me. [And] I have to thank my teammates and coaching staff for everything they’ve done for me. This may be an individual award, but it’s not an award that an individual can do on his own.”

This was Kimbrel’s third time receiving this award, also having taken home the hardware in 2013 and 2014.

Kimbrel was undoubtably the most dominant closer in the American League, despite his disappointing final appearance of the 2017 season against the Houston Astros. He finished this season leading the league in strikeouts per nine innings (16.43) and ERA (1.43), and tied for first in strikeouts (126).

Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies interview John Farrell

Former Red Sox manager John Farrell met with the Washington Nationals on Friday to interview for the team’s currently vacant managerial position.

According to the Washington Post, Farrell is the third confirmed candidate to have been interviewed for the position, along with Chicago Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez and New York Mets hitting coach Kevin Long.

Two days prior to his meeting with the Nationals, Farrell also met with the Philadelphia Phillies, according to MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki.  This past Monday, however, the Phillies announced the hiring of Los Angeles Dodgers player development chief, Gabe Kaper.

Farrell managed five seasons for the Red Sox and led the team to three division championships as well as a World Series Championship in 2013. He was released from his position on October 11, shortly after the team was knocked out of the playoffs by the Houston Astros.

Mookie Betts to compete in the World Series of Bowling 

Since the Red Sox were eliminated from the playoffs, outfielder Mookie Betts has been occupying his time by preparing for the upcoming GEICO Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) World Series of Bowling IX.

Betts grew up as an avid bowler and made his first appearance in the PBA World Series of Bowling in 2015, where he placed 212th out of 240. Coming into this year’s tournament, Betts is not expecting to win, but hoping to improve on his previous performance.

“I hope I can do a little better than I did last time,” Betts said. “I think I understand the mental side of what I need to do a little more, but it’s not like I have it down pat. But I can use my experience from last time. We’ll see.”

According to PBA officials, Betts’ participation in professional bowling has had a positive impact on the PBA community.

“It’s really important to us to have people understand that [bowling] is cool, and Mookie is cool,” PBA commissioner Tom Clark said. “He’s one of the best players in baseball. He’s young and he’s hip and he’s engaging. When you see him standing there at a bowling event, and he’s with pro bowlers, tell me bowling isn’t cool.”

Betts will compete against bowlers from 27 different countries for five-game qualifying rounds from Nov. 8-12th. Based on that performance, he has a chance to move forward into the more serious stages of the competition.

La Russa to Join Red Sox

The Red Sox announced Thursday that former Arizona Diamondbacks executive and Hall of Fame manager Tony LaRussa will be taking a role with the organization.

LaRussa, 73, won three World Series titles during more than thirty years as a manager and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014.

LaRussa will assist Dave Dombrowski as vice president and special assistant to the president of baseball operations.

 

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