Q&A with new Red Sox manager John Farrell

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Q&A with new Red Sox manager John Farrell

BOSTON Before Thursday night's annual Boston Baseball Writers Association of America dinner, new Red Sox manager John Farrell -- who plans to be at the teams spring training complex in Fort Myers on Feb. 1 -- addressed some topics concerning the team:

On the teams offseason:
Productive in the standpoint of outing a staff together, getting familiar with guys that I've spent some time with before, getting to understand at least initially some interaction with the guys weve signed in the offseason, reconnecting with many in the organization. We just finished three full days of organizational meeting here that was almost maybe a re-centering as we go into this upcoming season. Above and beyond all, everyones eager to get on the field down in Fort Myers.

On the current roster:
Balanced, professional, successful individual track records. Guys that have come from winning, playoff teams and World Series teams and to bring those ingredients, those individuals here, were looking forward to bringing everyone together in spring training. We have a pretty good challenge ahead of us. Nine new players projected on a 25-man roster. Thats a lot to integrate, to understand that were coming together and sacrificing for one another towards a team approach and thats where I think the people above and beyond the talents that there are have that reputation.

Potential lineups:
If guys play to their abilities . . . I think everybody looks at Jacoby Ellsbury . . . as a leadoff guy with the kind of ability, not only to steal bases but to drive the ball with some consistency . . . The one variation to look at, against a left-handed pitcher we could see Shane Victorino in the 2 hole but then see him down in the 5, 6 hole against right-handers . . . But I think the one thing that stands out is with Stephen Drews addition, and now Mike Napoli, it gives us that complement, that balance, left-right all the way through the lineup.

Victorino has moved around in the past. it's something weve talked about with him and hes comfortable with it, as hes done it, so that switching back and forth in the lineup for him wouldnt be out of the norm.

Several players are already in Fort Myers, including left-handers Franklin Morales and Felix Doubront:

Like all pitchers, theyre going through their long-toss program. Theyre out to 120-150 feet, protocol, and they're right in line for spring training.

Doubront is strong. He looked in great shape. Having the benefit of seeing and being with guys a couple of years ago, and then I left to manage the Blue Jays for two years . . . and now that I'm back, I see some physical maturity having taken place with several players, as has been the case with Felix. This is someone who really started to come into his own last year and I fully expect that progression to continue.

On the addition of Pedro Martinez as a special assistant:
A lot of experience, a lot of great pitching experience. He and Jason Varitek, also a special assistant being back in our organization in roles where they can afford and give back to young players coming through the system right now and really at the big-league level to give advice. This is a unique place that when you have the ability of two guys that have had the success that they have to have them accessible to our players, its going to be an asset to all of us.

Just being around the last couple of days . . . I had an impression of him across the field (as a member of the opposition) but to be around him in these meetings and then meeting downtown with Boston Mayor Tom Menino, the life and the confidence that he has . . . are a genuine past of his personality. Thats infectious. That rubs off on people. And I think when you have that type of ability to tap into by others around him, those players will be able to pull some pieces of information or experiences that should help them.

We had a lunch today. Incredible because he spoke of a story that Mayor Menino gave him some advice his first year here: where to live, things to stay away from. And it was a really cool recount of that experience. It was almost like the father figure talking to a young, talented guy, giving advice and guidance. And his appreciation was very evident and really a pretty neat setting.

On the roster:
I think weve got a very good roster. I like our team as it stands today, and we havent even gotten to spring training yet. But not only the talent that general manager Ben Cherington and his staff have brought in, but they people that they are, and I will tell you, from Day One of being named to this position and talking to players throughout the offseason, there are many, many players that are eager to rewrite the story that took place a year ago and are looking forward to getting back on the field in Fort Myers.

On former manager Terry Franconas new book:
Ive seen some of the excerpts. Ive talked to Tito directly about it and hes given his innermost thoughts. All I can say is that hes had a tremendous amount of success here, as did everyone during those eight years . . . two world titles . . .we can only hope to continue in some fashion close to that.

What he takes from his time working with Francona:
Fortunate to stand by him four years here in Boston in a unique place. He did such a great job with balancing the demand of this position. There were a lot of different types of players that have come through his door for those eight tears and how he blended those personalities, how he kept issues in-house is a stroke of talent, a stroke of genius in some ways, to blend that and to let every player know that he had their back. They felt that, they played hard for him and as a result had a lot of success.

Carrabis: Red Sox coaches were upset at John Farrell's usage of Craig Kimbrel

Carrabis: Red Sox coaches were upset at John Farrell's usage of Craig Kimbrel

Jared Carrabis says he was told that some Boston Red Sox coaches were not happy with the way John Farrell was over-using Craig Kimbrel, perhaps because he was trying to save his job.

Angels score three after overturned call, beat Red Sox, 4-2

Angels score three after overturned call, beat Red Sox, 4-2

BOSTON -- The Los Angeles Angels benefited from a fairly-new rule and relied on an old-fashioned type save to beat the Boston Red Sox.

Parker Bridwell pitched a solid 6 2/3 innings and Los Angeles scored three runs after its challenge overturned an inning-ending double play in the second, leading the Angels to a 4-2 win over the Red Sox on Sunday.

Bridwell (2-0) gave up two runs and seven hits, striking out four without issuing a walk.

Yusmeiro Petit pitched two scoreless innings for his first save.

"I don't care if it's old-fashioned or it's cutting edge, we need them," Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "We need guys to hold leads. Most closers are primarily the one-inning guys that are in that bubble."

Ben Revere had three singles and Kaleb Cowart drove in two runs for Los Angeles, which won two of three against the Red Sox for its fifth series win in the last six.

Doug Fister (0-1) lost his Red Sox debut, giving up three runs and seven hits in six-plus innings. He was signed by Boston on Friday after being released by the Angels.

Mitch Moreland and Jackie Bradley Jr. each hit a solo homer for the Red Sox, who lost their second straight at Fenway Park after winning 10 of the previous 12. Boston remained tied with New York atop the AL East.

Bridwell was Fister's teammate at Triple-A Salt Lake before he was let go.

"That's weird," Bridwell said. "I was in the same clubhouse with him a week-and-a-half ago or whatever and we were talking pitching. I was asking him certain things he did along the game, and the next thing you know we're starting against each other on the big-league level."

After the challenge overturned Danny Espinosa's 3-6-3 double play, Los Angeles got to Fister.

"That's modern-day baseball," Scioscia said.

Fister was pleased by his first start with Boston, and 200th of his career.

"Overall, it wasn't a bad day," he said. "They just put together some timely hits and took advantage of well-placed baseballs. That's what good clubs do and that's what they did today."

Espinosa was credited with a fielder's choice and RBI after the review. Cowart followed with an RBI double and Juan Gratetrol had a run-scoring single.

"He's a bang-bang play from a scoreless outing," Red Sox manager John Farrell said.

Moreland homered over the Angels' bullpen in the bottom half. Bradley Jr. hit his into the center-field bleachers in the fifth.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Angels: Scioscia said LHP Tyler Skaggs was scratched from a scheduled rehab start in the Arizona League on Saturday night with soreness in his oblique and abdominal area.

Red Sox: Farrell said ace lefty David Price has a middle finger-nail issue on his pitching hand, but "is expected" to make his next scheduled start. ... LHP Eduardo Rodriguez, on the 10-day DL with a right knee subluxation, will make a rehab start for Double-A Portland on Thursday after he felt fine following a 68-pitch bullpen session on Saturday.

ROSTER MOVE

The Angels recalled infielder Cowart from Triple-A Salt Lake before the game and optioned RHP Eduardo Paredes there before the game.

INSPIRATIONAL MESSAGE

The Red Sox put a message on the center-field board, wishing NESN analyst Jerry Remy: "Best of Luck, Jerry, on your surgery tomorrow!"

The crowd gave him a huge ovation when he was shown on the scoreboard. The popular former Red Sox second baseman (1978-84) waved.

He is being treated for cancer for the fifth time.

NICE PERFORMANCE

Nine-year-old Shea Braceland from Westfield, Mass., got a long and loud ovation when she completed a flawless rendition of the national anthem.

UP NEXT

Angels: Ricky Nolasco (2-9, 5.23 ERA) is set to face Dodgers LHP Rich Hill (4-3, 4.73) when the teams open a two-game series at Dodger Stadium on Monday. Nolasco has lost his last seven decisions.

Red Sox: LHP Chris Sale (9-3, 2.85) is in line to work against Minnesota RHP Jose Berrios (7-1, 2.67) when the teams open a four-game series in Fenway Monday. Sale leads the majors with 146 strikeouts.