BOSTON (CBS) — The Red Sox wanted John Farrell to be the next Red Sox manager for a long time and they finally got their wish.
Farrell, the Sox pitching coach from 2007-10 here in Boston, has a lot of good qualities as he takes over for Bobby Valentine.
First of all, he has experience in this tough market. Farrell watched Terry Francona go through the job for four seasons(and offseasons). He saw the ups and the downs, the dealings with Sox ownership, the front office, the coaches, the players and the media. He learned.
Talk to John Farrell for just a few minutes and you can’t help but come away impressed. He knows the game, but he also knows how to deal with people. He’s easy to trust. He can be stern with the players when he needs to, but he also seems to know when to wrap his arm around a guy and encourage him.
He was impressive as a pitching coach, too. According to ESPN Stats and info, “the Red Sox pitching staff between ’07-10 seasons with John Farrell as pitching coach ranked 1st in AL in K’s, Opp BA and shutouts”.
Granted he had an “in his prime” Josh Beckett leading the way as well as Jonathan Papelbon on the back end, but you saw good numbers from Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz, too. I can’t imagine just how happy Jon Lester is. This may be exactly what he needs to get things going again after a down season.
Farrell also seemingly had a good relationship with Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and others. That should go a long way in getting everyone on the same page from Day One in Spring Training.
Now, is this what turns this franchise back around? Of course not. But, it seems like a good start. What ultimately will decide just how good the Red Sox are next season and beyond is talent — what kind of talent Ben Cherington and his baseball ops staff bring in here.
However, I think Farrell is a perfect choice to develop that talent, especially on the pitching side.
It should be fun to watch. And, it looks like the Red Sox have begun to clean up their mess from 2012 with one very positive step in the right direction.
Follow WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche on Twitter @RochieWBZ.