Suddenly, Jacoby Ellsbury looks like a player in decline

Sep 21, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Yankees center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury (22) hits an RBI single during the eighth inning in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. The Toronto Blue Jays won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Turchiaro/USA Today

With 5 years and more than $100 million left on his Yankee contract, he is a poster boy for bad free agent signings.

Team president Theo Epstein (right) and manager Joe Maddon were the key leaders for a franchise that won 97 games this season.

Dan Shaughnessy

Cubs looking like the Red Sox’ baseball cousins

With the championship-starved Cubs in the playoffs, many similarities can be drawn to Theo Epstein’s tenure in Boston.


// Astros deliver KO punch to Yankees in AL wild-card game

Dallas Keuchel continued his mastery over New York in Houston’s 3-0 win.

// Pirates will have hands full facing Cubs’ Jake Arrieta

The 29-year-old rigthhander led the majors with 22 wins and posted an 0.75 ERA after the All-Star break.

Mookie Betts has accepted an invitation from the Professional Bowlers Association to complete in the World Series of Bowling VII in Reno, Nev., Dec. 7-19.

Red Sox’ season over, Mookie Betts to give bowling a spin

The Red Sox outfielder, a star bowler in high school, has accepted an invitation to complete in the World Series of Bowling VII.

Alex Speier

// Red Sox could learn from playoff teams

The Rangers offer a reminder that players who sink a team’s postseason hopes in one year can sustain them in another.

// A look at the Red Sox roster entering hot stove season

The team has a good base of talent on its major league roster before Dave Dombrowski starts to reshape it.


// Loyalty, friendship led Torey Lovullo to stay with Red Sox

Lovullo made a vow to support John Farrell — his friend — in any way possible, including staying on his staff.

Sports Log

// Mets fine Matt Harvey for missing workout

New York’s Game 3 starter was a no-show for the team’s mandatory practice.

// Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia enters alcohol rehab center

Sabathia surprised many in the Yankees organization by revealing his problem on the eve of a wild-card game against Astros.

Baseball notebook

// Nationals waste little time firing Matt Williams

Williams, the 2014 NL Manager of the Year, is gone after only two seasons in his first job as a skipper in the majors.

Peter Abraham | Beat Writer’s Notebook

// Two important tasks top Red Sox’ offseason agenda

The Red Sox need to acquire a no-doubt-about-it No. 1 starter, and they must get rid of Hanley Ramirez by any means necessary.


// Presence of John Farrell, Torey Lovullo could spell trouble

The Sox have unintentionally created a potential combustible dugout situation as they prepare for 2016.

// John Farrell will return as Red Sox manager in 2016

Torey Lovullo agreed to a two-year contract and waived the right to pursue any managerial positions for 2016.


// At peak of popularity, Torey Lovullo makes surprising choice

It’s odd to accept a two-year extension to stay as Red Sox bench coach with the proviso that he can’t pursue a managerial job.

Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts, along with Blake Swihart and Eduardo Rodriguez, comprise a foundation of players who could again hoist a World Series trophy if properly augmented.

Jim Davis/Globe Staff

For Red Sox, a contending team can emerge from disappointment

The best part for the Sox: Bogaerts, Swihart, Betts, and Rodriguez are only in their early 20s.


// Red Sox ask Hanley Ramirez to lose 15-20 pounds

Listed at 225 pounds, the team wants him to slim down for a move to first base.


// Once again, Red Sox end season in last place in AL East

Boston ended the season with four consecutive losses, finishing 78-84, alone in last place in their division for the second straight season.

// Don Orsillo says farewell to Red Sox fans

The popular announcer, who was not retained by NESN, thanked his backers for providing an outpouring of support.


// Dave Dombrowski’s history with Max Scherzer says a lot about him as an executive

Dombrowski’s dealings with the Nationals pitcher suggests a willingness to act aggressively but within limits.


// Who is deserving of baseball’s biggest awards this season?

The Globe’s baseball writer offers his take on who should take home the hardware.