The Boston Red Sox made their manager search a quick one this time around. Late on October 20, after seemingly endless speculation, sources reported that the Red Sox would name John Farrell their new manager. The team officially confirmed the hire on October 21. For the last year, Farrell's name has been thrown around in fan and media circles as the preferred choice to manage the team. He served as Boston's pitching coach from 2007 to 2010 before earning his first managing job with the Toronto Blue Jays.
After the 2011 season, Farrell still had two years on his contract in Toronto and Larry Lucchino and the Red Sox chose Bobby Valentine to serve as Boston's unfortunate stopgap manager. Farrell's name came up throughout Valentine's tenure, in large part due to Valentine's shortcomings.
The key contrast between Farrell and Valentine will be respect. Farrell earned the respect of players, coaches, and the front office during his original tenure as Red Sox pitching coach. His predecessor as manager did quite the opposite in his season with the team. Whatever chance Valentine had of earning the respect of his players went out the window after his early season comments questioning the commitment of Kevin Youkilis. Personality conflicts, miscommunication with players and coaches, and unfortunate sound bytes served as the dominant themes of his brief stint. With the hire of Farrell, the Red Sox seek to mend those failings and to help the pitching staff (particularly Jon Lester and Daniel Bard) return to its pre-2012 form.
Because Farrell still had one year left on his deal with the Blue Jays, the Red Sox had to provide compensation. Shortstop Mike Aviles is the compensation heading in Toronto's direction. Aviles was a shining example of what went wrong with the Red Sox' offense in 2012. His lack of plate patience and hacker mentality made him painful to watch at the plate. The result of his approach was 3.61 pitches per plate appearance and a dismal .282 on-base percentage in 546 plate appearances. His OBP wasn't only the worst on the team, but the worst in the American League among 82 qualified players. He won't be missed.
Peter Abraham, "John Farrell named Red Sox manager," Boston Globe
Red Sox press release: "Red Sox name John Farrell Manager," MLB.com
MLB Stats, ESPN.com
William Menna is a native New Englander and longtime Boston sports fan.
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- Sports & Recreation
- John Farrell
- Toronto Blue Jays
- Red Sox
- Bobby Valentine