Farrell proud to have been part of All-Star Games
Skipper served as American League coach in 2008 and '11
TORONTO -- Manager John Farrell has represented the American League in two All-Star Games, an honor he says will never get old.
Farrell was part of the festivities in 2008, when he was the pitching coach for the Red Sox, and again in 2011 -- his first year as the Blue Jays' skipper.
Although both instances brought joy, 2008 stands out in his mind because he was able to represent the AL fresh off his World Series title with the Red Sox in 2007.
"It had to be the one in '08," Farrell said when asked to name his favorite All-Star Game memory. "It was the final All-Star Game played in [the old] Yankee Stadium; it was a 15-inning game. There was a lot of controversy around who was available to pitch, there is a lot to contend with. What [then-Red Sox manager Terry Francona] had to deal with that night was probably above and beyond the normal circumstances."
That's not to say 2011 wasn't special, too.
Farrell was invited to last year's Midsummer Classic by AL manager Ron Washington, and, just like any player does, felt proud to be selected to the game by his peers.
"Any time you are involved in such a great event, one that is the center of this game at the midway point of the season, is an honor," Farrell said. "Last year, when Ron Washington extended that invitation, it was an honor to be there, and it's a great spectacle to be involved in."
As a manager, Farrell gets to break the news to chosen players that they are heading to the game, a task he enjoys.
Farrell may have the chance to deliver that news to his No. 3 and 4 hitters, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, who have both made strong cases to be selected.
Though he knows his players' greatest focus is on the regular season and making it to the playoffs, he also knows they are extremely humbled when chosen for such an event.
"I think the outward acknowledgment of being selected to an All-Star Game, particularly from your peers, might be one of the pinnacles inside the game for an individual player," he said. "To share that news with them -- I don't think the players play for the All-Star Game -- but when they are noticed by the fans and the players within the game, it's a great message to deliver."
The 2012 All-Star Game will be played at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City on Tuesday, July 10. Come to MLB.com for extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.The 83rd All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and Sirius XM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com or royals.com/asg.
Chris Toman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.