The idea of the “10th man” has long been used to explain home-field advantage in baseball. An entire ballpark of fans cheering for one team while booing the opposition is just one benefit to playing any game, especially in the postseason, at home. Aside from fan participation, field layout, capacity and weather can all factor into the advantage as well.

The Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals earned home-field advantage throughout the 2013 postseason after securing the best regular season record in their respective leagues. Red Sox manager John Farrell joined SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio and discussed the benefits of his team playing at Fenway Park.

“Our guys have thrived in this environment,” Farrell said. “And it’s a special atmosphere. That’s why you play 162, to give yourself that right.”

According to Farrell, Fenway Park’s Green Monster can be one of the biggest challenges for visiting teams.

Young players that come into this environment, particularly pitchers, sometimes when you’re winding up they feel like that left field wall is moving in during the middle of the delivery because it can look daunting at times. I think because our guys have played 81 games here, they’ve become accustomed to it. That’s what home-field advantage is all about.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny also talked to MLB Network Radio about earning home-field advantage, and praised the consistency of his players throughout the season to get them to this point:

It was really something we were proud of; just the guys continuing to play that caliber of baseball and you see this time of year, that’s pretty special. It says a lot about the makeup of the guys and also physically how they’re feeling. We stuck with our plan and fortunately, some of the guys you didn’t expect ended up coming up big and gave us an opportunity to walk out with the best record in the National League.

How much will home-field advantage help the Red Sox and Cardinals?  Listen to MLB Network Radio for comprehensive coverage of the postseason through the last out of the World Series.

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