ALCS notebook

Mills, Bogar interview

Sox coaches meet with Astros GM

By Amalie Benjamin
Globe Staff / October 20, 2009

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ANAHEIM, Calif. - Two members of the Red Sox’ coaching staff interviewed with the Houston Astros yesterday for their vacant managerial position. Bench coach Brad Mills and first base coach Tim Bogar were the final candidates to interview with general manager Ed Wade, the same man who fired current Sox manager Terry Francona when he held the job with the Phillies.

It’s the second straight year that Mills has been considered for an open manager spot, after interviewing for the Seattle job that eventually went to Don Wakamatsu. Sox third base coach DeMarlo Hale also interviewed in Seattle last year, so Mills knew what it was like to go up against a colleague for a job. Mills and Bogar had dinner together the night before their interviews, and talked in between interviews yesterday.

“I thought it went well,’’ Mills said. “I thought this one seemed to go a lot smoother, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. There’s no doubt that the experience of going through it and how guys handle it, things that are done the same or differently [helped]. They were very good. It was a good conversation, a good baseball conversation. I enjoy baseball conversation.’’

Unless Mills or Bogar leave for managerial jobs, the Sox expect their coaching staff to return intact. Pitching coach John Farrell declined an opportunity to interview with the Indians for their manager position, after Cleveland asked for and was granted permission to speak with him.

Mills has been with the Sox for six seasons, coming on when Francona was hired. Bogar, who played with the Astros and managed in their minor league system, has been the Sox’ first base coach just one year. The Astros have reportedly interviewed 10 candidates for the job.

In other Sox news, reliever Takashi Saito cleared waivers, and has elected free agency, which becomes official tomorrow. The Sox might work out another deal with Saito, although no discussions have taken place yet. “I like this team and I would like to come back,’’ Saito said last week. “This is a good team and I have felt like that the whole year.’’

Sabathia ready to go
It got to be routine for CC Sabathia last season, pitching on three days’ rest in the midst of a playoff push with the Milwaukee Brewers. And now, with the Yankees up two games to one over the Angels in the American League Championship Series, Sabathia is set to pitch on three days’ rest again. This time it will come in Game 4 tonight in a matchup with Scott Kazmir.

“You know that going on certain rest that you’re not going to have like your best fastball,’’ Sabathia said. “So you’ve just got to stay under control and make sure my delivery is good, and make sure I go out there and throw strikes.’’

To prepare to throw on short rest, Sabathia said he skipped his bullpen session between Game 1 and his start tonight. In that first start, Sabathia was nothing short of dominant, allowing just one run on four hits over eight innings. Over his career, in the regular season Sabathia has a 3-1 record with a 1.01 ERA on three days’ rest. He had a 2-1 record with a 0.83 ERA in three starts on three days’ rest last season.

“We’ll just watch carefully, like we would any other start, and make sure that location is there and physically he feels fine and doesn’t have any real long innings,’’ manager Joe Girardi said. “As far as the pitch count, I would have no problem letting him go 110, 115, if that’s what it took. But more, you look at the results and how he’s throwing than anything else.’’

Not so fast . . .
The Angels, one of the most aggressive teams in baseball, made a big mistake on the base paths. Tied at 4 in the eighth, Bobby Abreu led off with what looked like a rally-starting double, but he got caught midway between second and third, and was out on a relay from Melky Cabrera to Derek Jeter to Mark Teixeira at second. “Oh, he was mad,’’ hitting coach Mickey Hatcher said. “You don’t have to say anything. He was mad. He got caught in between a great relay, and that guy [Jeter] knows how to play there . . . We don’t get negative about it because we want our guys thinking aggressive first, and sometimes that happens.’’ . . . The Angels struck out 13 batters last night, a postseason high for the team . . . By the 11th, the Yankees had lost their DH after putting Jerry Hairston in left field (replacing Johnny Damon) after he had come came in as a pinch hitter in the designated hitter spot . . . . . . Rather than watch Alex Rodriguez beat them, Brian Fuentes intentionally walked Rodriguez with two outs and nobody on in the ninth. “It was just the way it worked out with two outs,’’ Fuentes said. “It was more sensible to walk him and go after someone behind him.’’ As Angels manager Mike Scioscia said, “I can just think of Barry Bonds. That’s the only time I think I can remember doing anything like that.’’

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