Red Sox notes: John Farrell on All-Star Game: 'Overall record in Interleague play should determine home-field advantage'

July 06, 2014 - 9:00 am
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Not many teams have benefitted from the All-Star Game more than the Red Sox in the last decade. The Sox have made the World Series three times since 2004 and have been awarded home-field advantage in each occasion thanks to the American League's victory in the Midsummer Classic in those seasons. The All-Star Game has determined home-field advantage since 2003, but not all are pleased that the game still counts for something, including Red Sox manager John Farrell. Farrell, whose team celebrated a world championship at Fenway Park for the first time since 1918 thanks to the AL's 3-0 win at Citi Field last season, said he would prefer overall record in Interleague play determining home-field advantage in the World Series. "My preference, personal opinion, I think the overall record in Interleague play would be more representative of who deserves home-field advantage," Farrell said. "There are so many different factors. Having gone through this in '08 and watched [Terry Francona] deal with a number of different things to balance, knowing the outcome does have an affect on, obviously, the home field in October. "That's a one-game showcase. It's not necessarily -- I don't want to say it's not a competitive game, because it is. But I just think a whole body of Interleague play is more representative of who's more deserving of home-field advantage." Farrell will manage the AL squad this season after the Sox' World Series win last fall, which means he had the challenge of putting together the roster that will be announced Sunday night. "There's a number of things that are kind of in place in terms of the fan voting, the player voting, it really guides your final selections," Farrell said. "There's so many deserving players, that's when it really begins to get difficult. There's going to be deserving players that are going to be omitted because of making sure that every team is represented and there's a limit to the amount on the roster.  "But in the end, obviously it'll be a very good team." While this is Farrell's first time managing an All-Star team, he did get second-hand experience in 2008 when Francona managed the AL after the Sox' 2007 championship. Farrell was still pitching coach of the Red Sox at the time. "I consider the whole process to be not only fun but challenging in its own right," Farrell said. "The fact that we're representing the American League is the greatest significance of all, and that is as defending world champs, our staff and conversations that have generated because of the players involved with the final selection, it's an honor." Farrell added: "I reached out to others that have been in this position before and a lot of the dialogue goes on between the staff that's already here. Their input is most valued because of all that we share and all that we meet, all the challenges we work to meet together." Farrell said it was difficult trying to balance making the best choices for both the AL and the Red Sox. "I will say, having now gone through this the first time, you're handed an awful lot to make sure you include," he said. "So it begins to narrow selections quickly, and you want to do what's right by the individuals who've had a great first half of this season, and then you look at, 'OK, what's the best roster?' Particularly when you look at the extra players in the event of a need late in the game. That also factors into it as well. "We have an obligation to do everything we can to win the game for home-field advantage in October." In regards to the AL roster as a whole, Farrell had no word on whether Edwin Encarnacion's leg injury he suffered Saturday will impact the final team that takes the field July 15 in Minneapolis. Other Red Sox notes:

  • Farrell had no word on who would be starting for the Red Sox on Wednesday, due to the doubleheader on Saturday, but he said it's likely that pitcher won't come out of the bullpen, which likely means it will not be Felix Doubornt. "A couple candidates certainly, but nothing yet to announce," he said. "We've got to get through these next couple days to determine who that's going to be."
  • Farrell said both Mike Carp and Will Middlebrooks will be re-evaluated after their scheduled rehab games  to play for Triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday.
  • Farrell reaffirmed his comments on Shane Victorino from Saturday. He said he still hopes to have the right fielder, who has played in just 21 games for the Red Sox this season with a hamstring injury, by the middle of the week.
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