Red Sox to open vs. Yankees in draft of 2013 schedule

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Red Sox to open vs. Yankees in draft of 2013 schedule

Not unlike most fans of the Red Sox, Major League Baseball's schedule makers are already focused on 2013 -- and they have a first draft of next year's schedule already in place.

Several baseball sources who've seen the schedule -- which is tentative and subject to change -- shared some of the details on the condition of anonymity.

The schedule features, among other items:

The Red Sox are expected to open the 2013 season exactly where they will end the 2012 season -- in New York.

The Sox are expected to open the year with a three-game set April 2-4 in Yankee Stadium. Their season opener is set to be on Tuesday, April 2, though it's conceivable that MLB will push back the first game of that series to Sunday March 31 to open the season on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball.

The Sox then travel from New York to Toronto, where, for the second straight year, their second series of the year will have them playing the Blue Jays for three games.

Boston is set to open its home schedule on Monday, April 8 against the Baltimore Orioles. The Sox are expected to host the Orioles on Tuesday and Wednesday April 9 and 10 with an off-day set for April 11. The Sox are said to be trying to move their off-day to Tuesday, in case rain threatens the home opener.

In fact, the Sox have reportedly been lobbying MLB to lighten their load of April home games out of concern for cold andor rainy weather in the spring. Because of the complications involved with changing the schedule, the Sox are resigned to the fact that any changes to the glut of home games in the season's first month will be minimal.

The Tampa Bay Rays follow the Orioles into town for a four-game set that carries over to the traditional early start on Patriots Day, Monday, April 15. The Kansas City Royals then follow the Rays into town to complete the first homestand.

In another statistical oddity, following this year's quirk that saw the Sox not visit New York until after the All-Star break, the reverse will be true in 2013: the Yankees won't come to Boston until the first series after the All-Star break: July 19-21.

The Yankees will also visit Fenway for another weekend set from Aug. 16-18 and again, on a weekend in the final month, from Sept. 13-15.

In interleague play, the Sox will host four teams: San Diego (July 2-4); Philadelphia (May 27-28); Colorado (June 25-26) and Arizona at an unknown date.

On the road, the Red Sox will travel to AT&T Park in San Francisco from Aug. 19-21 and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles from Aug 23-25. The Sox will also travel to Colorado for a two-game series as part of their final road trip of the season.

Thanks to a realignment that will feature two 15-team leagues -- with Houston switching from the National League to the American League -- baseball needs to have interleague play virtually every day.

The Astros will make their first visit to Fenway as an A.L. team on April 27-29.

The Sox will make their annual trek to the West Coast in the trip immediately preceding the All-Star break, visiting Anaheim, Seattle and Oakland in the first two weeks of July.

The regular season will end in Baltimore for the second time in the last three seasons.

What makes a good manager? Rangers GM Jon Daniels explains

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What makes a good manager? Rangers GM Jon Daniels explains

Across the way from John Farrell in the Rangers dugout this series is a manager who was voted the American League’s best in his first year at the helm, 2015.

Jeff Banister is one of three full-time skippers Rangers president Jon Daniels has had in his time running the Rangers.

Much has been made about how Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski views the manager’s job: that in-game management isn’t the most important, but running the clubhouse is.

How does another top baseball exec look at it? Daniels explained on the CSNNE Baseball Show podcast.

“I think manager’s an enormous role,” Daniels said. “Huge importance, I don’t buy into any of the sort of snarky commentary. … What I think sometimes gets a little blown out of proportions, at times whether it’s lineup construction, some of those — the in-game stuff, bullpen management’s very real. 

“Certainly the knowledge of the game is big. I think the ability to teach the game is big. But the No. 1 separator, in my opinion, is managing people. It’s really the word ‘manager.’ Helping to mold the culture in the clubhouse. Getting everybody on the same page. Young players, older players, everybody’s got different self-interests and to be able to get all those unique self-interests enough on the same page for a common goal while representing the club publicly, with the media, with the fans, and doing it under a pretty intense spotlight — I think that’s the biggest piece. Probably the hardest to truly evaluate unless you’re like, in the clubhouse or around the clubhouse on a daily basis and have a sense for who’s good at it, who’s not. That for me is like where guys really separate themselves.”

Asked if he’s ever surprised by player sensitivity, Daniels underscored what stage of life most ballplayers are in.

“Everybody’s different, right?” Daniels said. “So everyone has different insecurities, everyone has different level of ego, grown up in different circumstances. At the end of the day everybody wants a few basic things. You want to be like kind of communicated on a pretty forthright, direct way. You want to be treated with respect. Some guys can handle a little more criticism than others. 

“Some guys can handle a little more criticism from their peers than others can. I think that’s a manager’s job, to understand kind of the different approaches. Players, the guys are in their 20s. Think about where you were when you were first out of college … a few years off that, and your maturity level and really your lack of life experience in a lot of ways. And, kind of like evaluate under those circumstances: you’re going to be somewhat sensitive when you’re in that time period in your life.”

How well a manager handles a clubhouse isn’t something the Rangers, at least, have tried to quantify.

“More anecdotal for me. There may be ways,” Daniels said. “I haven’t really been part of that. If there is [a way] we haven’t figured it out, and we haven’t really tried to do, to be honest with you.”

For the full interview, listen to the podcast below

Farrell: Price to make first Red Sox start of year Monday in Chicago

Farrell: Price to make first Red Sox start of year Monday in Chicago

David Price may have allowed six earned runs in 3 2/3 innings Wednesday night during his second rehab start in Triple-A, but the Red Sox apparently liked what they saw.

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Manager John Farrell announced moments ago that Price will rejoin the Red Sox Monday and start that day's game in Chicago against the White Sox. Farrell said the Sox were more concerned with how Price felt physically after his rehab start, not the results, and they're satisfied he's ready to return.

More to come . . .