BOSTON – The Red Sox named Jason Varitek a special assistant to the general manager.

The catcher announced his retirement on March 1 after 15 seasons with the team.

“Jason was one of the most respected players of his era and will be a key voice as we move forward,” General Manager Ben Cherington said Thursday. “He will be involved in a number of areas including major league personnel decisions, evaluations, and mentorship and instruction of young players.”

Varitek served as Red Sox captain from Dec. 24, 2004, until his retirement.

INDIANS: Manager Manny Acta was fired by Cleveland, which collapsed from contention with a 5-24 record in August, the worst month in the franchise’s 112-year history.

The Indians, who have six games remaining, are 21-50 in the second half.

Bench coach Sandy Alomar will replace Acta on an interim basis for the last six games.

ASTROS: Bo Porter was hired as manager.

Porter, who was the Washington Nationals’ third-base coach this season, replaces Brad Mills, who was fired last month. Tony DeFrancesco has served as interim manager.

GIANTS: San Francisco informed Melky Cabrera’s agent it won’t bring the suspended outfielder back at any point this postseason.

Cabrera’s 50-game suspension takes him through the first five games of the playoffs, so he would have been eligible in the NL Championship Series if San Francisco advanced.

TIGERS: Right-hander Max Scherzer will miss his start Friday because of a lingering problem with his throwing shoulder.

ROCKIES: Jim Tracy says he wants to return as manager even though the team is on pace for the worst record in franchise history.

Tracy took over as manager 46 games into the 2009 team and went 74-42 and led the Rockies to the NL wild card.

Injuries and a shaky pitching staff this season put the Rockies at 62-94.