Red Sox notes: Ortiz named HR Derby captain

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Red Sox notes: Ortiz named HR Derby captain

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
HOUSTON -- Suddenly, David Ortiz finds himself as a general manager of sorts.

Ortiz is the captain of the American League Home Run Derby squad, by virtue of winning the event in Anahehim at last summer's All-Star game.

Under a new format for the game on July 12 in Phoenix, MLB has selected captains for each league who will select three players other than themselves to compete in the derby.

Milwaukee's Prince Fielder will serve as the NL captain.

"We're just going to try to put a show on,'' said Ortiz. "It's tough (to pick just three); there's a lot of players, even players who aren't home run hitters who can put on a show (in batting practice).''

Ortiz said he hasn't started contacting players yet, but has three players in mind whom he will invite. He wouldn't divulge any names, but it's hard to believe that Toronto's Jose Bautista isn't among them.

"I think it's better for a (fellow) player to come and ask you,'' said Ortiz, "rather than MLB coming to ask you. There's a relationship between us as players instead of someone you don't know from MLB coming.''

Even when he isn't participating, Ortiz is entertained just being a spectator.

"I'm like my son out there,'' he said, "enjoying it all.''

So many top starters in the American League are schedueld to pitch Sunday, July 10 -- the final game before the break -- that A.L. manager Ron Washington might seek other options to start the annual All-Star game.

CC Sabathia, Justin Verlander, Jered Weaver and the Red Sox' own Jon Lester are lined up to start the 10th.

Josh Beckett, who has only six wins but who went into Friday's games with the second-best ERA in the American League, could be a candidate.

Jacoby Ellsbury was a late scratch from the lineup, felled by illness.

To adjust, Francona moved Marco Scutaro into the leadoff spot for the first time this season, shifted Josh Reddick from left field to center and inserted Drew Sutton into the lineup in left.

Francona hinted that he may have Adrian Gonzalez back in right and Ortiz at first Saturday night in the middle game of the series.

Francona found himself managing against best friend Brad Mills Friday night for the first time in a regular season game.

The two have faced off before, but only in spring training games "when the results don't matter. I'm not really crazy about this. It's hard. We want to win so bad and so does he.''

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

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