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Francona finishes fourth in Manager of the Year voting
Eric Wedge of the Cleveland Indians won the American League Manager of the Year award today, after taking his team from noncontention to the brink of the World Series.
The Red Sox' Terry Francona finished fourth in the voting with 13 points. In addition to Wedge (116 points), Francona finished behind Mike Scoscia of the Angels (62 points) and Joe Torre, formerly of the Yankees (61 votes).
Bob Melvin of the Arizona Diamondbacks won the National League Manager of the Year award.
NEW YORK (AP) - Eric Wedge and Bob Melvin, former backup catchers who found far more success in the dugout than on the field, were honored Wednesday as managers of the year.
Wedge became the first Cleveland manager to win the AL award, picked by a wide margin after the Indians tied Boston for the best record in baseball. Melvin won the NL prize for leading the young Arizona Diamondbacks to the top mark in the league.
Wedge received 19 of the 28 first-place ballots and got 116 points, finishing ahead of the Angels' Mike Scioscia (62 points). Joe Torre, fired by the Yankees, was next with 61 and Terry Francona of the World Series champion Red Sox got 13.
Melvin was chosen on 19 of the 30 first-place ballots and got 119 points. Philadelphia's Charlie Manuel (76), Colorado's Clint Hurdle (58) and the Cubs' Lou Piniella (25) followed.
Wedge, a no-nonsense guy with a John Wayne calendar in his office, guided the Indians to a 96-66 record. Cleveland made its first playoff appearance since 2001, then lost to the Red Sox in Game 7 of the AL championship series.
Melvin was chosen for his steady hand in leading a team that sometimes started six rookies and finished 90-72.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 2:12 PM | Permalink
Red Sox release full 2008 schedule; raise most ticket prices
The Red Sox have released their entire schedule for the 2008 season. Some highlights:
-The season begins with games March 25 and 26 against the Oakland Athletics in Tokyo. Oakland is the home team; the two teams will fly across the Pacific Ocean from Japan to play two games at McAfee Coliseum on April 1 and 2.
-The home opener is Tuesday, April 8, at 2:05 against the Detroit Tigers.
-The Red Sox host the Yankees for the first time on Friday, April 11. They finish their season with a three-game series Sept. 26-28 at Fenway against the Yanks. Boston plays its last series at Yankee Stadium (which will be replaced in 2009) from Aug. 26-28. The teams will play nine games at Fenway and nine in the Bronx.
-Boston hosts interleague series against the Milwaukee Brewers, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Arizona Diamondbacks. They will visit the Cincinnati Reds, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Houston Astros.
See a copy of the schedule in PDF format
The team is also raising prices on most tickets at Fenway Park. Here are the regular-season ticket rates (valid if paid by early pay due date of Dec. 19), and single-game rates for different ticket categories.
Lower Bleacher $24 (up from $21)
Outfield Grandstand $28 (up from $25)
Infield Grandstand $45 (up from $40)
Right Field Roof Box $45 (up from $40)
Right Field Box $45 (up from $40)
Pavilion Box $85 (unchanged)
Loge Box $85 (up from $80)
Upper Bleacher $12 (unchanged)
Standing Room $20 (unchanged)
Pavilion Level Standing Room $25 (unchanged)
Conigliaro's Corner $25 (unchanged)
Lower Bleacher $26 (up from $23)
Outfield Grandstand $30 (up from $27)
Infield Grandstand $50 (up from $45)
Right Field Roof Box $50 (up from $45)
Right Field Box $50 (up from $45)
New Left Field Pavilion Box $75
Pavilion Box $90 (unchanged)
Loge Box $90 (up from $85)
Posted by Mike McDermott at 12:01 PM | Permalink
| Comments 1
Red Sox agree to open 2008 season in Japan
The Red Sox will open their World Series title defense in Tokyo.
Following months of negotiations, the Red Sox agreed to a two-game series against the Oakland Athletics in Japan on March 25-26, and the commissioner's office announced the trip early Wednesday.
With Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima, the Red Sox figure to be an attractive draw for the games at the Tokyo Dome. The Red Sox and A's also will play exhibition games on March 23-24 against Japanese teams.
After the trip, the teams return to the United States and open the rest of their regular-season schedules with a two-game series at Oakland on April 1-2. That originally was to be a four-game set.
Oakland will be the home team for the games in Japan.
The Japan visit is one of two Asian trips Major League Baseball hopes to make next year. Talks have been under way for months to have the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres play exhibition games in Beijing, most likely on March 14-15, at the ballpark to be used for the 2008 Olympics. That would be Major League Baseball's first trip to China.
If the Beijing games take place, the Dodgers likely would then travel to Arizona for most of their remaining spring training games. Next spring is their last at Vero Beach, Fla., where they first trained in 1949. They switch their training base in 2009 to Glendale, Ariz.
Boston and Oakland will be the third set of teams to open the regular season at the Tokyo Dome, following the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs (2000), and the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Devil Rays (2004). A scheduled 2003 series between Oakland and Seattle at the Tokyo Dome was canceled because of the threat of war in Iraq.
"Opening our regular season in Japan for the third time is another example of Major League Baseball's commitment to continue the global growth of the game," commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement.
-- ASSOCIATED PRESS
Posted by Art Martone at 7:55 AM | Permalink
Download today's sports cover
On today's sports cover, Sean McAdam explains how C.C. Sabathia's heavy workload won him the Cy Young Award, but may have hurt his team's chances to win the pennant. Also, Paul Kenyon previews tonight's matchup of URI and Brown at the Pizzitola Center.
Download a copy of the page in PDF format
Posted by Mike McDermott at 7:00 AM | Permalink