BOSTON -- The Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles were back at Fenway early Monday morning, ready for their 11:05 a.m. Patriots' Day start roughly 12 hours after they concluded Sunday night's contest. While the annual matinee is special for all involved, there were some tired eyes at Fenway Park.
“This is a quick turnaround. This is a rarity today,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said in his Monday morning media briefing.
Farrell was later asked if the spirit of the day helped to offset the fatigue, to which he smiled and asked a question in return.
“How do you feel this morning? We’re on short rest but the game goes on. We’ll be there,” he said. “I can’t say with bells on, but we’ll be raring to go.”
Mike Napoli, who was struck in the knee with a pitch in the ninth inning of Boston’s 6-5 win Sunday, slept overnight at the park in the team’s sleep room. Clay Buchholz, Monday’s starter, and John Lackey also stayed at Fenway in order to adjust to the quick turnaround.
The Sox have hosted a game on Patriots’ Day every year since 1959, with the morning start becoming tradition in 1968. This year’s edition comes amid a month that has seen the team go through many emotional ceremonies, off-field events and quirky shifts in the schedule.
The schedule finally begins to achieve some normalcy beginning with a 7:10 p.m. start against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park on Tuesday. That might help the club gain more consistency as well.
“We would hope so,” Farrell said. “At the same time, some of the things you acknowledged are in recognition of the achievements of last year. The schedule is what is it and we have to react accordingly. It’s thrown some body clocks off kilter and in this sport, more than any, routine is critical and it would be a welcome sight to get back to that consistent start time.”
Boston does not play another afternoon game on a weekday until May 15 in Minnesota, and it has four days off in the next 21 days.