Red Sox Pre-Game 2 notes: No thought of Mike Napoli catching; Dustin Pedroia done sliding headfirst into first; Xander Bogaerts, future team leader

October 24, 2013 - 4:08 pm
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Both David Ortiz and Mike Napoli are delivering considerable thump in the middle of the Red Sox lineup. Napoli had a three-run double in Game 1 of the World Series, his sixth extra-base hit of the postseason (tied for the most this October), while Ortiz mashed his fourth homer of the playoffs and nearly had a fifth that was pulled back from over the wall by Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran. And so, Farrell was asked, was there a way that when the World Series shifts to St. Louis for three games, he could find a way to keep both middle-of-the-order mashers in the lineup. "The one outside view might be to put Mike Napoli behind the plate, but we wouldn't do that," said Farrell. "One or the other is going to sit, unfortunately." OTHER RED SOX NOTES -- Dustin Pedroia offered an interesting degree of candor about playing through the torn thumb ligament that he incurred with his headfirst slide into first base on Opening Day. "It was a little difficult. Actually in the end, I'm going to look back and it helped me because I kind of take huge swings in the past trying to hit home runs, and sometimes I get a longer swing than what I normally have, when I just use my hands and stuff like that," said Pedroia. "So that kind of helped me being short to the ball, making sure I go the other way, not try and pull everything. But it's one of those things, I did it to myself, I slid headfirst into first. I don't think I'll ever do that again." -- Pedroia spoke glowingly of Xander Bogaerts -- both who he is already as a player, and who he will become for the Red Sox. "He's been unbelievable. Not only on the field but the way he acts in the clubhouse, the respect he gives everybody. He works his tail off, too. The sky is the limit for him. And him getting this experience and playing on this stage, it's only going to help him down the road," said Pedroia. "He's going to take over a leadership role, too, soon. This guy has it all and we're happy to have him here." -- Farrell said the Sox are still anticipating that Clay Buchholz will be the Game 4 starter in St. Louis. "Everything that he's going through right now is indicating that he will start on Sunday," said Farrell. "There's been nothing that has happened since we spoke yesterday here or with Clay that would indicate otherwise. So we fully expect him to go." -- The Red Sox manager expressed surprise and relief that the umpiring crew overturned the call of second base ump Dana DeMuth in the first inning of Game 1, noting that the fact that the crew discussed the play and overturned the initial ruling suggested considerable an evolution in the umpiring ranks. "Honestly, I was a little surprised that it was changed last night because typically you don't see that happen. Thankfully they did," said Farrell. "I think there's more of an acceptance to set aside your decision-making to, hey, let's see if someone saw this differently. And just talking to umpires, they want the right thing to be done as well. It has evolved and I think there's been a lot of publicity drawn to calls that have been made that might have been, maybe if this approach was taken, maybe the right one would have been had in those previous moments as well." -- At the conclusion of his playing career, Farrell spent five years as the assistant coach at Oklahoma State University, where the head coach was Tom Holliday. Holliday is in Fenway for the World Series, but his allegiances lie with the Cardinals rather than Farrell's Red Sox -- an unsurprising development since Holliday is the father of Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday. "Blood is thicker than water," acknowledged Farrell, who recalled knowing Matt Holliday from the time that Farrell was a college player at Oklahoma State, and having intersected with him again when the slugger was in high school (while Farrell was the assistant coach at OSU). "A lot of paths intersect along the way in this game. And they were great to me, the Holliday family, to go back and not only play for them but work for them. And now to see what Matt is doing here, kind of an interesting side story to say the least."

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