Major league notes
CLEVELAND — Terry Francona has joined Sandy Alomar Jr. as a candidate to become manager of the Cleveland Indians.
Alomar prepared for his first game as interim manager Friday, a day after Manny Acta was fired. General manager Chris Antonetti said both were candidates and others currently employed by teams could become part of the search.
“I’m excited and I’m honored that they would give me an interview,” Francona told the Associated Press. “I know Sandy Alomar is also a candidate. He’s a good friend of mine. I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself. I will do my homework over the next week.”
Francona, who managed Boston to World Series titles in 2004 and 2007, was a special assistant in Cleveland’s front office in 2001.
Darvish: No discomfort in bullpen session
ARLINGTON, Texas — Yu Darvish felt no discomfort after throwing in the bullpen for the first time since skipping his previous turn for the Texas Rangers because of neck stiffness.
Darvish, who is 16-9 with a 3.90 ERA, says he has rested and undergone treatment on his neck since being scratched about 2˝ hours before Tuesday’s game.
“When I make my next start, I don’t think it’s going to be a factor.” Darvish said through a translator.
Manager Ron Washington says Darvish is still on track to start Sunday against the Los Angeles Angels.
Vizquel apologizes for critical comments
TORONTO — Omar Vizquel apologized to his Toronto Blue Jays teammates for telling a local newspaper the ballclub wasn’t doing enough to correct repeated mistakes by their players.
The 45-year-old Vizquel, who is retiring at the end of the season, also told the Toronto Sun on Thursday that the Blue Jays needed better communication between coaches and players.
He spoke to his teammates in a 30-minute closed-door meeting before the Blue Jays took batting practice ahead of Friday night’s game against the New York Yankees.
Emerging from the meeting, Vizquel said he didn’t regret his comments and insisted he wasn’t trying to blame manager John Farrell and his staff for a poor season. Toronto was 69-87 entering play Friday, tied with Boston for last in the AL East.
“We have a young team and sometimes we just need to talk and communicate a little more with the coaches,” Vizquel said. “It was no intention at all on my part to kind of blame or point fingers at any coaches or the manager. It was just a constructive comment, something that we needed to do to become a better team.”
Farrell was displeased, pointing out that Vizquel is not privy to individual conversations he has with players, or additional coaching sessions that occur before the 24-year veteran arrives in the clubhouse.
“We continue to teach the game, that’s our job,” Farrell said. “We provide leadership with decisions that are made on the field and you look to provide that respect and treat them as men. Once we get to a point where things have to take a different approach, we adjust accordingly.”