BOSTON – Red Sox manager John Farrell has not yet spoken directly with his Cleveland counterpart (and former boss), Terry Francona, since the Indians -- who finished the season on a 10-game winning streak -- secured a wild-card spot.
“A congratulatory text,” Farrell said. “It’s been minimal. That doesn’t mean we don’t follow it close. But they’re on a very good run, very good run.”
The Indians will host the Rays Wednesday night in the American League wild-card play-in game, with the winner facing the Sox on Friday at Fenway Park in Game 1 of the ALDS.
Francona is just one of many connections between the Red Sox and Indians . . .
- Francona was the Sox manager for eight seasons, including four with Farrell as pitching coach
- Farrell was the Indians' director of player development for five seasons before joining the Sox in 2007
- Farrell and Francona are two of five members of the 1988 Indians who were big-league managers this season (the others: Bud Black, Charlie Manuel, and Ron Washington)
- Sox GM Ben Cherington began his career as an advance scout with the Indians in 1998
- Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo played for the Indians in 1998, and managed in the Cleveland organization for seven seasons
- Cleveland bench coach Brad Mills served in the same capacity for Francona for six seasons with the Sox.
- Indians bullpen coach Kevin Cash played parts of three seasons with the Sox.
- Indians right-hander Justin Masterson was a second-round pick of the Sox in 2006 before being sent to Cleveland in a 2009 trade for catcher Victor Martinez.
“There’s a lot of quality and talented people over there,” Farrell said. “And . . . I think because you have past experiences with many people, you want the best for them.
"There’d be an incredible amount of side stories if we do meet up with them in the Division Series. And in some ways it’s reminiscent of the ALCS in ’07 [when the Sox beat the Indians]. There's so much crossover that still exists between people that have worked [in both places], either starting in Cleveland and then coming here [or vice-versa]. Hopefully, we’ve got a chance to meet up.”