The Red Sox have asked permission to speak with John Farrell directly

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We heard last night that the Red Sox were “making progress” in negotiations to acquire John Farrell from the Blue Jays to be their new manager. Barring something unexpected, it looks like a deal will get done.

According to the Associated Press, the Red Sox have asked permission from the Blue Jays to speak to Farrell directly. This would seem to indicate that talks have progressed to the point where the Red Sox want to negotiate a contract with Farrell.

Farrell has one year left on his contract with the Blue Jays, so the Red Sox will have to give up a player or players as part of a trade. While one rival executive told Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com last night that compensation negotiations resembled “a staring contest,” the Blue Jays are prepared to start over following a disappointing 73-89 record this season.

“There’s no question it gets done in my mind,” said one rival executive. “Toronto doesn’t want him there anymore.”

The Blue Jays surely want to get something of value in order to give up their manager to a division rival, but quotes like this one won’t help their leverage.

The Red Sox have interviewed Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach, Yankees bench coach Tony Pena, Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus and Orioles third base DeMarlo Hale for their vacant managerial position, but Farrell is widely considered the top choice to replace Bobby Valentine. Farrell, 50, previously served as pitching coach with Boston from 2006-2010 under Terry Francona.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. saved by the ivy

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The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.

After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.

Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.

Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.