John Farrell must find way to send off Derek Jeter
MINNEAPOLIS — John Farrell will be in a unique position for a Red Sox manager Tuesday night. It will be his job to find a suitable way to honor one of the all-time greatest Yankees in Derek Jeter.
As manager of the American League, it’s up to Farrell to decide how and when to take Jeter out of what will be his final All-Star Game.
Farrell has spoken to MLB officials and others and knows what he wants to do. It is likely Jeter will be taken out of the game after he takes the field in the middle innings.
Last season, when Mariano Rivera was playing in his last All-Star Game, manager Jim Leyland had him come in for the eighth inning and the legendary closer warmed up alone on the field while players from both teams applauded.
Farrell wants to make sure Jeter gets a similar moment. He also is batting Jeter leadoff.
“We are able to celebrate a player who is not only a champion, but a guy that sets the bar that I think all players should aspire to,” Farrell said. “The way he has handled himself with class, with performance. No doubt a Hall of Famer.
“This will be a day that I think many baseball fans that are either in the ballpark or watching will remember, Derek’s last All-Star Game.”
Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who wears No. 2 in honor of Jeter, is eager to take part in the moment.
“Everything that Derek has done he’s done it the right way. I hope he gets to do what he wants to do in his next life. He’s always been a winner and that’s what I take from his career more than anything,” Tulowitzki said. “His demeanor, his class, the way he conducted himself on and off the field. It’s a pleasure to watch.”
National League starter Adam Wainwright will be facing Jeter for the first time.
“Spring training, big leagues, I have been in the big leagues for nine years, I’ve never faced him. I’m very excited about it, just to say I faced the best,” he said. “I’m very fortunate and I feel very proud to be able to say I am going to face Derek Jeter.”
Red Sox infielder Xander Bogaerts went into the All-Star break 14 of 121 (.116) in his previous 32 games with two extra-base and six RBIs. One of the team’s best hitters in May is now one of the worst.
Agent Scott Boras believes it’s all part of a longer process.
“I have all the data that shows every young player goes through this. It’s a learning curve,” Boras said. “Coming up as a young player, the knowledge of the league is not there. They don’t believe you’re that good of a hitter and they’re going to challenge you. You get acclimated to those fastballs and now it’s the secondary [pitches].”
Boras said minor league experience cannot replicate the kind of adjustments hitters have to make against major league pitchers.
“As a [younger] hitter you can time pitches. A great big-league hitter can get his front foot down and hold his hands back. They can wait on the pitch. A lot of great young hitters, they’ve never had that.”
Boras does not believe the move off shortstop to third base is the cause of Bogaerts’s slump.
“His success in the big leagues last year was at third base,” Boras said. “Look at what he did at third base.”
Boras also represents rookie center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr.
“His glove is so extraordinary. I’m not sure people knew how good his defense was,” Boras said. “The Red Sox knew what they had in that draft when they signed Jackie.”
The Drew defense
Stephen Drew has hit .151 in 28 games since returning to the Red Sox. But he has a fervent supporter in Jon Lester.
“I love everything he does, everything he brings. I think he’s the most consistent shortstop I’ve ever played with as far as just you know what you’re going to get,” Lester said.
“He makes a play and you know he’s going to make the next one.”
Lester said Drew was a victim of the qualifying offer and having a draft pick attached to his free agency. That led to his going unsigned until May.
“As players we get a lot of information from the players union and our representation. You have to make a decision off of that information and he made a decision,” Lester said. “I guess it didn’t work out in long run like he wanted it to. I feel bad for him. He’s three months behind. He’s still in spring training. He’s facing pitchers with 120 or 130 innings who are locked in.”
Yoenis Cespedes successfully defended his title in the Home Run Derby. The event was delayed at the start by rain and finished under more showers. The A’s outfielder beat Reds slugger Todd Frazier in the final round. Cespedes belted nine home runs and Frazier cracked just one. Cespedes became the first back-to-back winner since Ken Griffey Jr. in 1998 and 99 . . . Rain also interrupted both sessions of batting practice . . . Feverish Red Sox fans are always throwing out trade proposals for Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton in the belief that he eventually will get dealt by the penny-pinching Marlins. But he pays little heed to such talk. “Anything important will come from inside the circle and you’ll know when it’s legit,” Stanton said. “There’s nothing I can do about it. I’m just going to go out there and play.” . . . The Kansas City Royals, who need a righthanded hitting outfielder, may be interested in a trade for Jonny Gomes. The Red Sox left fielder is hitting .306 with an .832 OPS against lefthanders this season
Peter Abraham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.