BOSTON The Red Sox introduced John Farrell as the 46th manager in team history at a press conference at Fenway Park Tuesday afternoon.
Citing Farrells broad set of experiences as a manager, coach, farm director, and player, and his familiarity with the organization, Sox general manager Ben Cherington said Farrell is a unique person and the right person for this job. As we work to build the next great Red Sox team we are extremely fortunate that John will be with us to lead that team on the field."
Farrell, 50, managed the Blue Jays for the last two seasons, compiling a combined record of 154-170, with fourth place finishes in the American League East each season. He had the Sox pitching coach for four seasons before that, beginning in 2007 when the Sox won the World Series, and had been the Indians farm director for five years before that. He was a second-round pick of the Indians in 1984 out of Oklahoma State, posting a combined major league record of 36-46 with a 4.56 ERA in five seasons with the Indians, two with the Angels and one with the Tigers.
"I think Boston is, in my mind and maybe debatable across the country, this is the epicenter of the game, Farrell said. So to come in and have at least four years of experience previous, not having sat in this seat but been close to it, to see the demands of the position, the passion of this region, the energy that is in this ballpark every single night, I think to a certain extent that energy and what people expect holds our players accountable with the effort that they put out every single night."
The Sox believe it is that familiarity that should help Farrell gain the trust of the players.
It's important and yet it's something that could be very fragile, Farrell said. It's something that you earn, you develop, and you have to maintain it with a consistent approach. But I also think that if you treat people with that trust give them that respect treat them like men it will come back to you tenfold. That doesn't mean its always going to be rosy. There's going to be challenges. There'll be tough conversations to have with individual players. But I think the willingness to have those conversations, and to be candid and upfront, that's where you can earn that trust day in and day out.
While Farrell is familiar with some of the core group of players from his four years Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury andDavid Ortiz, who can become a free agent there has been a tremendous amount of turnover on the roster, and in the organization, since then.
Theres a list of to-dos, Farrell said. "With the roster as it stands today theres a group you can build around and build a very successful team, too. The fact of having a comfort level with Ben and assistant general managers Mike Hazen and Brian OHalloran and everybody in baseball ops, theres no communication barriers, theres no reluctance to give a gut feel or educated opinion on a given player, on a given combination of things that might currently exist or what were trying to achieve on a roster standpoint.
But the game also fosters change whether its through free agency, whether its through opportunity, it would be the same if I were able to assemble a coaching staff that would be able to achieve opportunity elsewhere and become managers. We would champion that. That means were getting quality people and that means were putting our players in the best environment to have success as well.
The Blue Jays had to deal with nearly as much adversity and injuries this past season as the Red Sox did. The result was a poor finish to the season. That did not diminish Cheringtons confidence that Farrell is the right person for the job.
What Im looking for in a manager is someone who can make sure that players that we have are getting everything that we need every day, taking advantage of all the resources, and ultimately that were prepared to play, Cherington said. Theres a lot that goes into that. Theres teaching that goes into that, preparation, game-planning that goes into thatall those thing. Ultimately its on me and us, the organization, to build a roster that then leads to wins.
The managers job is to get the most out of the roster thats given to him and clearly based on our performance this year we need to do a better job of building a roster so that not just John but the entire organization benefits and our fans get what they deserve. So that work is going to continue to go on. Its been going on this month. Its going to go on all offseason, its not going to stop in spring training. I believe John is the right person to make sure that once the rosters together and we hit spring training, that every players given the best opportunity possible to succeed and ultimately our team had the best opportunities.