Hazen remembers Farrell during time with Indians

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Hazen remembers Farrell during time with Indians

BOSTON Mike Hazen was an intern in the Indians scouting department when John Farrell was hired as the organizations farm director in 2001.

The way he walks into a room, said Hazen, now Red Sox assistant general manager, when asked of his first impression of Farrell. The commanding presence, his intelligence, his ability to communicate a message.

Commanded a tremendous amount of respect, intelligent, held his staff accountable, held his players accountable, developed a system, a philosophy. While it was developed there he oversaw it, took it over, and really probably sowed the seeds for that 2007 Indians team that we faced in the LCS.

All of that, along with Farrell's experience and familiarity with the Red Sox, went into his selection as the teams new manager. But Hazen didnt initially see him as a future manager. He had another job in mind for Farrell.

GM, Hazen said. But when I got over here some of the conversations that we had, knowing that he had a desire to get on the field as well, and then as a pitching coach and certainly he had a tremendous amount of talent and ability to do that as well. You could see he could probably do anything he wants in the game. Thats what makes him pretty unique in this situation.

Farrell was the Sox pitching coach for four seasons, from 2007-2010, before leaving to manage the Blue Jays for two seasons. The Sox attempted to hire him away from the Blue Jays last year, after Terry Francona was fired following the collapse of September 2011. But the Sox advances were rebuffed by the Jays. This time, though, they were not turned away.

Its gratifying to have Farrell back in the organization, Hazen said, but that was not why they got him.

Look, this is a business, said Hazen. Its not about personal gratification in any way shape or form. Johns the right man to be the manager of the Red Sox. Its great because I've known him for so long and I think thats important. Its not gratification. Its the comfort knowing that we can start right in having the conversations that we need to have, knowing that in order for this to turn around theres a lot of tough questions that need to be asked by the manager to the front office and so on down the line.

Knowing that everyone is on the same page is vital because, for the second consecutive offseason, the Sox will be attempting to turn the page on a season.

I think its important. I think more than anything else, Hazen said. I think the conversations that have to happen are taking place right away, and not the easy conversations either. The tough conversations, mining down through exactly what happened to get us where we were last year. And that may be questioning roster decisions, the current state of the roster, player performance, role of the coaching staff, all of the things from the teaching aspect of it to the contributions of the farm system or lack thereof that went into last season.

Its extremely important for us to be able to turn the page on 2012 and for John to be able to start having those conversations and those challenging conversations, I think its only going to help us.

While there has been tremendous turnover on the roster since Farrell was last in a Red Sox uniform, there is still a core group of players from his tenure -- Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, and free agent David Ortiz who is discussing a return with the Red Sox. That familiarity will help Farrell launch his new role.

Im assuming the conversations that John is having with the players right now, that hes having with GM Ben Cherington and us right now take a different tone when you have that prior relationship," Hazen said. "Theres not a lot of getting to know or wondering what the other persons thinking. Look, thats not going to translate into wins but it can definitely start the process of evaluations and where were at today, which is not where we want to be.

And the Red Sox will have a lot of work to do on their roster this offseason. Hazen and Cherington will be looking to Farrell for input on those kinds of decisions.

A lot, not necessarily in the ability to pull the trigger on something but certainly in his contacts and evaluation from across the field, his makeup information, what he knows about that player, is that player one that has the ability to come play in Boston, Hazen said. Those are key components to a lot of the evaluation.

Quotes, notes and stars: Donaldson dominates Kelly

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Quotes, notes and stars: Donaldson dominates Kelly

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 7-5 loss to the Blue Jays:

 

QUOTES

 

* “He had quality stuff, but the story of this one is not being able to contain (Josh) Donaldson. Big night for him . . . I though Joe had quality stuff . . . [He] wasn’t as sharp with the overall location as he was the first time out for us.” John Farrell on Joe Kelly’s second start since his return from the disabled list.

 

* “He’s such a good player and does it in critical moments.” Farrell on Josh Donaldson after his two-homerun, 4-5 performance for Toronto.

 

* “He throws hard and has a lot of sink on his ball. Not much you can do with it. Just try to put it in play and see what happens.” Xander Bogaerts on facing Toronto’s start Aaron Sanchez.

 

* “Bottom line is the results. I think there’s been a strong precedent set with that,” Farrell before the game on moving Clay Buchholz to the bullpen to make room for Eduardo Rodriguez.

 

 

NOTES

 

* Following Friday night’s performance, Josh Donaldson is now 12-20 in his career against Joe Kelly with a double, two home runs and nine RBIs.

 

* The Red Sox’ five runs brings their season total to 38 on the road, averaging 3.8 per game through ten road games. At home, Boston has averaged 7.8 runs through 18 games.

 

* Despite a rough start, Joe Kelly still didn’t record a loss. He hasn’t been on the wrong side of a decision since 7/22/15.

 

* Xander Bogaerts extended his streak to 20 games in his second at-bat against Aaron Sanchez. Boston’s shortstop now has the longest active streak in the league.

 

 

STARS

 

1) Josh Donaldson

Toronto’s third baseman dominated not only Joe Kelly, but Koji Uehara, launching two balls over the fence in a 4-5 day.

 

2) Aaron Sanchez

Although he got tired late, Toronto’s starter only had three earned runs through 6.2 innings against one of the most potent offenses in the league.

 

3) Xander Bogaerts

After teammate Jackie Bradley, Jr. saw his streak die Thursday night, Bogaerts squeaked one up the middle, bringing his streak to 20 games, against a starter who’s caused problems for him before.

Marchand: Selection to Canada World Cup 'on a different level'

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Marchand: Selection to Canada World Cup 'on a different level'

Bruins left wing Brad Marchand definitely altered a lot of people’s perceptions about him as a hockey player when he scored 37 goals this season, and embraced more of a leadership role on a B’s team getting younger by the year. The B’s agitator started to reap the rewards of those changed opinions with a gold medal at the IIHF World Championships in Russia earlier this month, and on Friday with his inclusion on a ridiculously talented Team Canada roster set for the NHL and NHLPA-organized World Cup of Hockey in the fall.

Marchand will join linemate Patrice Bergeron and head coach Claude Julien as part of the Team Canada contingent, and could even be part of a reunited Marchand-Bergeron-Tyler Seguin line if Mike Babcock and Co. are looking for instant chemistry.

Either way Marchand was excited about suiting up for his country, and being part of a World Cup tournament that will include Bruins players Tuukka Rask, Zdeno Chara, David Pastrnak, David Krejci (who may not be available to play due to his hip surgery), Loui Eriksson and Dennis Seidenberg along with the Team Canada contingent.

“It’s an incredible honor to play for Team Canada. It’s something that I think we all take a lot of pride in, and something that is…it’s not an easy accomplishment,” said Marchand. “It’s not something you get to do very often, and to have that opportunity twice this year is very special and it’s not something I take for granted

“I think being part of a team like this is on a different level, and people may give a little more respect to that fact and may look at more of the kind of player I am, other than just the stuff they’ve seen in the past, with the hits and being a pest and stuff like that. Maybe those people will realize that I’m an OK hockey player, and I do play the game as well. But regardless, that’s not why I play the game. I play it to help our team win and just because I love the game, so however they feel, then that’s their opinion. But [earning more respect league-wide] is a possibility.”

This is the fifth time Marchand has been selected to compete for his home country of Canada in international play. The 5-foot-9, 181-pound forward tallied four goals and three assists in 10 games while helping Canada earn a gold medal at the aforementioned 2016 IIHF Men’s World Championships, held earlier this month in Russia. Marchand previously won gold with Team Canada at the U-20 World Championships in 2007 and 2008. He also earned a bronze medal with Team Canada Atlantic at the 2005 World U-17 Hockey Challenge.

The 2016 World Cup of Hockey will take place from Sept. 17 to Oct. 1, 2016 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, home of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs. The two-week tournament, featuring eight teams comprised of more than 150 of the best players in the NHL, will progress from the Preliminary Round to the Semifinals and ultimately the Final. 

The involvement of so many Bruins players along with Julien will make for a spare NHL camp in Boston come September with so many important pieces out for what is traditionally the first two weeks of camp. 

First Impressions: Kelly’s setback unsettling

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First Impressions: Kelly’s setback unsettling

First impressions of Red Sox 7-5 loss to Toronto:

 

Joe Kelly still has to prove he can be trusted to start for the Red Sox.

With the demotion of Clay Buchholz to the bullpen after Kelly’s lockdown start in his return from the DL, Kelly went back to his old ways.

After mixing pitches well in his first outing, Kelly threw 94 pitches -- 70 fastballs -- in 4.2 innings. In his previous start, he threw 66 fastballs over 104 pitches.

That approach won’t fly, especially if his fastball command is as subpar as it was against Toronto.

The Blue Jays’ batters seemed very comfortable in the box, despite Kelly throwing as hard as he does with so much movement. That can’t become the norm for opposing hitters.

 

The Red Sox offense can handle any starting pitcher -- but they can’t do it alone.

After Jon Gray shut down Boston in the final game of the Colorado series, Red Sox hitters faced a familiar foe that had already had success against them earlier in the year in Aaron Sanchez.

Despite using his curveball much more than his start earlier in the season, Boston’s hitters made adjustments. He did hold them down for much of the early going, but Red Sox hitters still scraped out four runs in his seven innings.

But the pitching staff didn’t hold up it’s end, essentially letting Josh Donaldson beat Boston by himself.

 

Xander Bogaerts made sure Sanchez didn’t ruin the streak.

Now hitting safely through 20 games, Bogaerts extended his streak against the starter who had him baffled when they faced off earlier in the year. The biggest difference from their last matchups was Bogaerts put good swings in against Sanchez mistakes -- and he didn’t appear off-balance after every swing.

 

Matt Barnes will not be Carson Smith’s replacement in 2016.

Despite his upper 90s fastball and 12-6 curveball, Barnes still can’t put together dominant appearances. His lack of command -- with a straight fastball -- is the big reason. Boston will have to look elsewhere -- internally or from another organization -- to give the bullpen another reliable set-up man given Koji Uehara’s age and durability.

 

The baseball gods are on Boston’s side -- for now.

As if Jose Bautista sitting out after appealing an earlier suspension wasn’t enough, the Red Sox scored their first run without a hit. Then the red Sox tied the game in the eighth on an error, after Dustin Pedroia had reach on a double that landed because Michael Saunders and Kevin Pillar had a communication breakdown.