Sox' Sunday game pushed to Saturday at 5 p.m.

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Sox' Sunday game pushed to Saturday at 5 p.m.

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Attempting to stay a step ahead of Hurricane Irene, the Red Sox have shifted their scheduled Sunday game with the Oakland A's to a 5 p.m. start on Saturday as part of a separate admission doubleheader.

With heavy rain and wind expected by 9 p.m., it became clear that the teams had virtually no shot of playing a game Sunday.

Red Sox ownership, fearful of a Saturday night forecast of approaching rain, first proposed the teams consider playing a day-night doubleheader Friday, when the weather is expected to be more clear than Saturday.

But Red Sox players rejected that outright, according to reliever Daniel Bard, who serves as the team's player representative.

The Sox are due to land in Boston sometime after 5 a.m. Friday morning on an overnight flight from Texas, meaning players would be playing some seven or so hours after deplaning.

"(Other options) weren't real good," said Bard. "This was the thing that made the most sense for everybody. Obviously, travel's going to be pretty rough leading up to it, so we were trying to get creative and find another way to do it. But this is how it worked out."

Red Sox players had the right to refuse the day-night double-header Saturday, but with no common off-days to re-schedule the game later in the season, Major League Baseball could have forced the teams to play a basic double-header.

That plan would have cost Red Sox ownership the gate receipts from the Sunday game, so players agreed to vote for the separate admission option.

"The difference between 12 and 5 (for start times) and 12 and 4 wasn't even worth taking the money out of our (team's) pockets," said Bard.

Bard confirmed that ownership's first choice was the day-night doubleheader Friday.

"We can't do that," he said. "You can't ask guys to play 18 innings after getting in at 5 a.m. That was quickly shot down. We'd rather play the game at the end of the season."

Bard said he was told that playing the game on Sept. 29, the day after the regular season ends, was not an option that MLB would approve.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam.

Farrell suspended one game for last week's run-in with umpire

Farrell suspended one game for last week's run-in with umpire

BOSTON -- Red Sox manager John Farrell has been suspended one game because of Saturday night's scream-fest with umpire Bill Miller, when Farrell objected to a balk call made on Fernando Abad that led to an Angels run in the seventh inning.

Farrell is to serve the suspension on Tuesday night. He has also been fined.

Farrell and the umpire couldn't have been much closer to each other's face, and some contact was made.

"There was contact made, yes. I didn't bump him though," Farrell said a day later. "The tip of my finger touched his shirt."

Miller has ejected Farrell three times, more than any other umpire.

"No, honestly I didn't even know that, someone's brought to my attention that it's been the third time," Farrell said Sunday when asked if that history played in. "I don't have a tote board of who's done what and how many times

Improved Matt Barnes dealing with much more than mechanics

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Improved Matt Barnes dealing with much more than mechanics

BOSTON — Matt Barnes has been coping with more than just a few bad outings on the mound, and he’s asking for help.

The Red Sox set-up man made some mechanical corrections that paid off in the eighth inning Monday night, when he struck out all three Twins he faced in a 4-1 Red Sox win at Fenway Park.

“I just simplified the mechanics,” Barnes said afterward. “Two days ago, I was trying to get with more of an up, down, and out approach. I felt better in that outing. I know I gave up a run and walked the one guy, but I felt better around the zone. And then just kind of went into a slide step, doing what Andrew Miller was doing.”

Barnes allowed four runs spanning his previous three outings, retiring just four batters while walking five. But Barnes has had a lot more to worry about than just a brief professional rut. 

He’s been devoted to helping his girlfriend, Chelsea, through the unexpected loss of her father, who was diagnosed with cancer and suffered a stroke

"Her father passed away [May 27]. That’s why I wasn’t in Baltimore for the two days [in early June], I was at his funeral,” Barnes said. "It’s tough, dealing with that, and she’s obviously having a hard time with it. She’s got her good days and her bad days. But it’s not easy. He was sick for a little while, and unexpectedly passed a lot faster than anybody ever expected him to. So, it’s been tough. She’s been alright, considering.”

There are a ton of medical bills still to be paid. A fundraising page has been set up to help the family with some large medical bills, and Barnes has asked on Twitter for people to spread the word if they’re able to.

“I’ve been able to spend a lot of time with her which is nice,” Barnes said of his girlfriend. “Everybody who’s helped out with donations and spreading the page, I couldn’t be more grateful, and she couldn’t be more grateful.”

Barnes is a big leaguer, but he’s still young and making the major league minimum. For every $1,000 total donated, Barnes plans to send a signed baseball to a random donor.

“I felt like it was a nice way, if they’re going to help me out, I can at least do that in return for them,” Barnes said.