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After strong season for Breslow, gala up next

After strong season for Breslow, gala up next

After strong season for Breslow, gala up next
NEW YORK -- Craig Breslow's ERA with the Red Sox this season was the same as it was with the D-backs, 2.70. Between both stops, the lefty threw 63 1/3 innings in 63 appearances.

There's some unusual symmetry going on there.

"If that's not the sign of consistency, then ... " Breslow said last week at the Fan Cave in New York City. "It's kind of like, if you're expecting to know what you're getting when you trade for someone, you got exactly that."

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Breslow's also got a lifetime ERA of 3.00, right on the dot. That's a good thing for a 32-year-old who's arbitration-eligible and potentially one year away from free agency.

Breslow is the rare of breed of southpaw who can handle right-handed batters as well as he can lefties. From 2008-12, he held righties to a .219 clip, fourth-best in the Majors among lefty relievers with at least 150 innings.

This season fell right in line. He held righties to a .228 average, 10th-best in the Majors for southpaw relievers with 50 or more innings.

"On a personal level I feel like I had a pretty productive season," Breslow said. "I felt like I was consistent, I showed that I can get lefties and righties out."

Sources told MLB.com there haven't been any talks between Breslow and the Sox about a deal to avoid arbitration yet, but that's not unusual considering it's still October. The Sox want him back next season, and the only question is whether Breslow gets something longer than a one-year deal.

"I think my consistency and track record speak to my dependability," Breslow said of that possibility, "but [I] have to see where the Red Sox stand."

Breslow's done a lot of bouncing around in recent years. This is his second stint with the Sox, and he's played for six big league teams already. Boston picked him up in a Trade Deadline deal with Arizona.

In terms of innings, tour No. 2 with Boston has already lasted longer than No. 1. And off the field, he's comfortable here.

Breslow has a very strong relationship with Sox closer Andrew Bailey, dating to their time in Oakland. Breslow's from Connecticut and he went to Yale. He recently bought a home in Florida not too far from Fort Myers, where the Sox train. And he has a charitable organization, the Strike 3 Foundation, that's based in Connecticut and that has seen immense growth.

"I loved my time in Oakland, [appreciated] the opportunity," Breslow said. "But moving to Boston has helped the charity picked up momentum, given the market, just given the proximity. It's back home to me."

The Strike 3 Foundation's signature event is the First Pitch Gala, which Breslow proudly says can keep folks out until the wee hours of the morning. The fifth annual night is approaching on Nov. 17 at the Hilton in Stamford, Conn., with a goal of raising $250,000 for childhood cancer research.

The Gala started in a much smaller venue with about 175 people and $60,000 raised. Now there's about 600 people coming, and that includes a good number of Major Leaguers.

"We're a long way from 150 people in a country club serving chicken and mashed potatoes," Breslow said.

Breslow's sister Lesley, now 34 and healthy, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer when she was 14, so the cause is personal for him. Lesley's story leads Breslow to underscore the philosophy he takes in organizing the Gala: it's as much about celebrating life as it is remembering those who have passed, and the night is about fun, from start to finish.

"The biggest thing is getting the idea out that a lot of people have charity events, but it's not the kind of thing you go, you sit down, 'This is so boring, somebody sneeze so I can run out the door,'" Breslow said. "People will stay 'til 3 o'clock in the morning, 'til they shut down the bar, because they have a good time."

A speed-painter who can create a portrait in minutes was a huge hit last year and he's coming back again this year. There will be a special music guest that "everyone's heard of" -- not the Counting Crows, whom Breslow listened to and interviewed when they came to the Fan Cave. But past acts include Sister Hazel, Everclear and Shaggy.

"Dessert has actually become sort of a signature thing for this event, we ended up having to rent out an entirely new room for the dessert menus that come in," Breslow said.

Local and well-known vendors bring the food and giveaways. The Red Sox Foundation and plenty of others donated packages for the night's auction.

Red Sox teammates Bailey and Rich Hill are expected to be there.

Breslow said he followed the search process for new Red Sox manager John Farrell, but didn't drive himself crazy over it.

"I've interacted with him a little bit," Breslow said of Farrell. "He's definitely a bright man, has a strong presence. You know, we need somebody to come in, and, as it's been talked about, kind of change the culture of the clubhouse. I know John's got a lot of support within the organization, he's an extremely intelligent man. He's got a good relationship with a number of the players already and that probably helps him. It'll be interesting to see the change - you know, I knew him as a pitching coach, now as a manager, his responsibilities change in that capacity."

Breslow said he talked to Bailey when Farrell was hired, but that wasn't to sing praises or complain. It's too soon to know how things will work out.

"I was interested in who my next boss would be, but at the same time I try not to get too wrapped up in it," Breslow said. "I talked to Andrew, a little bit, just because I think we both wanted to make sure that the other had heard. It wasn't, I don't think it makes any sense to try and make any conclusions or pass judgment right now."

Evan Drellich is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @EvanDrellich. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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