BOSTON -- There was much discussion Monday surrounding the Red Sox and their ability, or lack thereof, to obtain a decent night of sleep prior to their 11:05 a.m. start against the Baltimore Orioles. Pitchers Clay Buchholz and John Lackey and first baseman Mike Napoli all elected to spend the night at Fenway Park and utilize the team’s sleep room, rather than fight traffic home late Sunday and then return to the park hours later.
On Tuesday, manager John Farrell delved deeper into the matter in an appearance on MLB Network Radio.
“We’ve done a number of sleep studies and as the game has evolved -- and without PEDS and the ability to find some energy in an artificial way -- we’re looking at every possible way, through nutrition, through sleep,” Farrell told Mike Ferrin and Kevin Kennedy. “So we built the sleep room here and that’s where they stayed. We have guys who use it during the middle of the afternoon for a short nap. Again, this is all part of the research that we’ve done here to try to help maintain a certain level of energy and just physical well-being that we can.”
Napoli told reporters that the room consists of two bunk beds and not much else. It is meant to serve just one purpose.
“First and foremost it’s certainly not a country club atmosphere, I will tell you that,” Farrell said. “That’s not where this is going. ... We live in a schedule that’s not normal -- and that’s not to complain -- but when your internal clock is thrown out of sync with game times, with travel, with late nights, early mornings, those types of things, we’re just trying to provide a resource to guys that allows them to be at their peak, or close to their peak, as much as we can.
“And we did this with some [sound] evidence and research," Farrell added. "We have access to some of the best research in the world so we’re trying to find ways to help our players be put in the best position possible, and this is one of the things that we can provide to them.”
The extra rest did not appear to assist Buchholz, who gave up six runs in 2 1/3 innings in his shortest start ever at Fenway Park.