Sox learn from '07 experience

BOSTON -- Memories of a similar situation during the 2007 season have inspired the Red Sox to buck tradition and wait until morning to fly across country to San Francisco, where they are scheduled to play the Giants on Monday night in the first game of a three-game set.

The Sox played the Yankees at Fenway Park on June 3, 2007, on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. First pitch was at 8:09 p.m. The game went 4 hours and 4 minutes, ending at 12:13 a.m. Alex Rodriguez won it for the Yankees, 6-5, with a ninth-inning home run off Jonathan Papelbon.

On that occasion, the Sox followed custom and flew out after the game, meaning it was closing in on 3 a.m. before they took off for a series in Oakland that began the next night. The Sox lost the next three against the Athletics before Curt Schilling played stopper, winning 1-0 in a game in which he had a no-hitter until Shannon Stewart singled with two out in the ninth inning. [Schilling lamented afterward shaking off the sign from catcher Jason Varitek before Stewart’s hit].

That win restored the Sox lead in the AL East to 10 games.

The Sox are currently locked in a much tighter race; with the Rays already winning Sunday, the Sox are 1½ games ahead of Tampa Bay pending the outcome of their game Sunday night with the Yanks.

This time, Farrell said, the Sox decided that it was better to try and get a good night’s sleep after this ESPN "Sunday Night Baseball" start and fly to the West Coast in the morning. The team is scheduled to leave Fenway at 9:20 a.m., take off from Logan at 10, and arrive in the vicinity of 1 p.m. Pacific time. Three players -- pitchers Jon Lester and Jake Peavy, who are scheduled to face the Giants in the next two games, respectively, and catcher David Ross -- took an earlier flight to San Francisco on Sunday and will await the team’s arrival.

Upon arriving in San Francisco, players will have the option of taking a bus directly to AT&T Park or go first to the team hotel.

“I can remember in ’07 we had a very similar situation where we played here against the Yankees on Sunday night, went to Oakland and felt the effects for three or four days following," said Farrell, the pitching coach on the ’07 team. “Just felt like the priority was to make sure a good night’s sleep was here and get some rest. We’ll travel tomorrow and show up and play.

“We recognize what the schedule is and that’s why we polled a number of [players] if they were open-minded to changing up the routine and making sure we get a decent night’s rest, and we’ll change things up. The guys were all for it.”