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Breaking: John Farrell out as Red Sox manager

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The Boston Red Sox just announced that John Farrell will not be back as manager for the 2018 season. A manager search is underway.

The club gave no official statement about the reasons for Farrell’s dismissal. The press release simply stated that he was out and recited his record as a manager and history as a coach. General Manager Dave Dombrowski is expected to speak to the media later this morning when he will, presumably, explain the club’s reasoning. For what it’s worth, Farrell was not technically fired. His contract ended with the season and had a 2018 team option that Boston is declining.

Farrell was 432-378 as Red Sox manager. He led the team to a World Series title in 2013. After two last place finishes in 2014 and 2015, Farrell’s teams won 93 games and the AL East in each of the past two seasons. They were swept out of the Division Series by the Indians last season and lost 3-1 to the Astros this year. Before that he was the Blue Jays manager, going 154-170 in two seasons before replacing Bobby Valentine at the helm in Boston.

His last act as Red Sox manager: getting ejected after arguing balls and strikes in Game 4 of the ALDS.

Mets invite Tim Tebow to spring training

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Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.

Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.

Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.