John Farrell: Alex Cora inheriting 'a stacked team' with Red Sox

Evan Drellich
NBC Sports Boston

In a TV appearance Wednesday, John Farrell took a matter-of-fact approach with the Red Sox' decision to fire him. 

"Hey, every situation has a shelf life and a change was made and I respect the change that did take place," Farrell told Harold Reynolds and Matt Vasgersian in an appearance on MLB Network's Hot Stove. "It's a stacked team as it stands today. Alex Cora is inheriting a very good team with a lot of expectations, which, that's the norm there. But it'll be interesting to see how things unfold."

Wednesday was the first time Farrell has made public comments since issuing a statement through the Red Sox when he was fired in October. He was set to appear on three MLB Network shows throughout Wednesday, including High Heat at 1 p.m. ET and MLB Tonight at 6 p.m.

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Farrell was asked about the challenges for new managers with little to no experience. Cora spent one year as the Astros' bench coach, while Aaron Boone, introduced Wednesday as the Yankees' manager, has never coached or managed.

"It's no doubt going to be the scrutiny," Farrell said. "And that's going to have varying degrees depending on the city. You know coming out of five years in which there might have been the most scrutiny on a team on an individual player or a manager, and that's Boston. But that's also what draws people to those places, that the expectation is high and the ability to win is there every single year. And if that's not in your DNA, and that's not what you aspire to do, and that's to win, maybe those places aren't for you. So the talk certainly of Aaron Boone going into New York, I don't know if he managed anywhere else would he be ready for the job that he's walking into, I don't know that you can prepare for those positions until you're in them. I think it's great to see. Great hire in Aaron Boone."

Farrell, a former pitching coach, was asked what traps he would advise Mickey Callaway to avoid as Callaway, also a former pitching coach, begins managing the Mets. Farrell said he's spoken with Gary DiSarcina, the 2017 Red Sox bench coach under Farrell who is now Callaway's bench coach.

"Mickey's going to lean on Gary a lot," Farrell said. "And the fact is that Mickey's reference is always going to be from a pitching standpoint. He's going to know the ins and the outs of the mindset of a pitcher. What the mindset is of a position player? That's going to be all new to Mickey. 

"Relying on his coaches around him, use ‘em to the best of his ability to give that feedback, and seventh inning on, those decisions are going to come fast and the game's going to speed up. So, having that rapport and that conversation and that dialogue ongoing, Torey Lovullo was a great help to me along the way."

Callaway, Farrell said, is going "to have a great ability to connect with guys."

"That's almost a buzzword today, is how are you connecting with individual players," Farrell said, "and he'll do a very good job."

Reynolds followed up with a question about what Farrell meant by the seventh inning speeding up.

"More of your decisions, certainly with the bullpen - starters are probably going to be nearing the end of your day, so you got decisions to be made there," Farrell said. "You're running out of outs, and are you at the point where you can continue to sacrifice outs? To put a man in motion, to try to do some things offensively? So as the sand is dripping through the hourglass, the magnitude of those decisions become a little bit more at that point."

The Red Sox under Cora hired Ramon Vazquez to serve what Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski called a quality control role. In the press release, Vazquez was termed a "liaison between the major league club's advance scouting and statistical analysis efforts, for the purpose of presenting information to players and coaches."

Farrell was asked about the flow of information in a question that was not directly related to the Red Sox. But from his answer, one can infer Farrell would have been a fan of adding someone like Vazquez had he stayed around.

"The biggest marker in the use of the information - because every team has got the information available to them - what is the structure in the system in place to deliver it to the player to be more applicable to their game?" Farrell said. "So if there is not a liaison, if there's not a coach that is well versed in all the PITCHf/x, to all the objective data that's available, if that kind of falls by the wayside, then it's going to waste. So it's, what organizations are putting that system in place to make it tangible, understandable, and really kind of water it down to the point of two or three key points."

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