Farrell's selections for A.L. All-Star team TBA

Farrell's selections for A.L. All-Star team TBA
July 6, 2014, 12:15 pm
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BOSTON -- John Farrell has been pulling double-duty lately, and not only because his team played two with the Orioles on Saturday. 

Since the Red Sox won the 2013 World Series, Farrell has the honor of managing the American League team at this year's All-Star Game in Minnesota. He also had the task of making seven selections to round out the roster of players who will be joining him and his Red Sox coaching staff in the dugout. 

After a few days of consideration, he has made his choices. All-Star rosters will be announced tonight at 7 p.m. on ESPN.

"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 said he had roster discussions with not only the Red Sox staff but also others around the league -- including his friend and Indians manager Terry Francona, who will join him as part of the A.L. coaching staff -- to help him determine who belonged.
Still, there was only so much Farrell can do. Though he has seven selections of his own, he needed to make sure every A.L. team was represented, and he needed to construct a 13-man pitching staff.
"There's a number of things that are kind of in place in terms of the fan voting, the player voting," Farrell said. "It really guides your final selections. 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."
Farrell did acknowledge that if there are pitchers on the roster who are unavailable for the All-Star game, which takes place July 15 at 8 p.m., he will be able to replace them with a player of his choice. There may be other position players -- like possibly Toronto first baseman Edwin Encarnacion, who left a game with the A's injured Saturday -- who also need to be replaced.
But, for the most part, the 34-man roster was already in place even before Farrell made his seven selections.
"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."
Farrell was asked how he feels about the All-Star game determining home-field advantage -- something from which the Red Sox benefited last season. 
"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 Tito deal with a number of different things to balance, knowing the outcome does have an effect 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."