Francona thrilled with friend Farrell's ASG invite
TORONTO -- Indians manager Terry Francona does not need to worry about picking players for the American League's All-Star roster, and he does not have to worry about making in-game decisions during the game, either. This year, Francona will just get to soak everything in.
Red Sox manager John Farrell -- a close friend of Francona's -- revealed on Tuesday that Cleveland's manager -- along with Twins manager Ron Gardenhire -- will be a part of his AL coaching staff for the All-Star Game in July at Target Field.
"When John asked me at the Winter Meetings, it completely caught me off guard." Francona said prior to Wednesday's game in Toronto. "I was honored as heck. First of all, it's John, and it's the All-Star Game. I was really honored. It'll be really fun, because it'll be the first time where I don't have the obligation of being in charge."
Francona, who won the World Series as manager of the Red Sox in 2004 and '07, managed the American League All-Star team in the '05 and '08 seasons.
"I honestly don't remember the two All-Star Games I've been a part of," Francona said. "I don't remember a lot of them, because it all happens so fast and you're trying to navigate getting guys in. The one in New York had a chance to be a fiasco.
"So, to be there and just to take it in will be really fun. But, to be there with John is really meaningful for me."
The friendship between Francona and Farrell dates back to their days as teammates with the Indians in 1988. Farrell also served as a pitching coach on Francona's coaching staff in Boston for a few seasons.
Francona recalled the time he asked former Tigers manager Jim Leyland to be a part of the AL coaching staff for the 2008 All-Star Game at the old Yankee Stadium. Farrell was Francona's pitching coach for that Midsummer Classic, too.
"I remember calling [Leyland] from the parking lot in Fort Myers [Florida]," Francona said. "I was stunned. He called me back and was like, '[Heck] yes, I'll do it.' Then, it dawned on me why he's so good. Then, to get to spend two days with him, those are some of my best memories of that All-Star Game. Me, John and him sitting in the office just talking and laughing."