There’s a way for Terry Francona to avoid the question about which closer he’ll choose to finish the All-Star Game. He’s already been asked – ad nauseam – if he’d pick his own, Jonathan Papelbon, or Mariano Rivera, who has helped add to the history in Yankee Stadium.
Perhaps there’s another solution: Start Rivera.
It’s an idea that has been circulating in recent days as a way of honoring Yankee Stadium – site of Tuesday’s game – and Rivera, although he has started just 10 games in his 14-year career, none since his rookie season in 1995.
The first three questions during yesterday’s All-Star conference call, with American League manager Francona and National League manager Clint Hurdle, had to do with Rivera starting. And Francona deflected all of them.
“What we’re going to do is we’re going to try to do multiple things,” said Francona, who emphasized that his starter will not be named until Monday. “We’re going to try to win the game. We’re going to try to use people appropriately and do what we can. We are aware of where we’re playing, who some of the guys are who are representing some teams, and try to do that respectfully.
“You are expected to take a starter because that’s the rules you play under. How we go forward this week, we have time to do that. I think the Mariano thing is picking up steam, but I think that everybody and every situation is going to be treated with some respect for where we’re playing.”