BOSTON (CBS) — Considering it would be truly difficult to imagine how in the world Alfredo Aceves spends his offseason, it’s not out of the realm of possibility for the Red Sox reliever to have missed the news that Bobby Valentine was fired.
But if he missed the memo, he learned rather quickly on Sunday morning that there’s a new man in charge, and he’s not the clown who ran the Red Sox three-ring circus in 2012.
That leader this year is John Farrell, and the new Red Sox manager was not at all amused by the latest installment of Aceves’ bizarre behavior. The flaky right-hander took the mound for a live batting practice session in Fort Myers on Sunday, but instead of doing what he was told, Aceves did what he wanted. And what he wanted to do was lob some lollipops toward batters instead of going full speed with full effort.
Pitching coach Juan Nieves, who perhaps will hold more authority than Bob McClure or Randy Niemann did combined in the mess that was last season, made a visit out to the mound, where he instructed Aceves (in Spanish) to pitch like a real major leaguer. He complied, but his conversations weren’t done for the day, as Farrell looked to give Aceves a stern talking-to after the session.
(To be completely open, there is a possibility — however small — that Aceves was adding former teammate Vicente Padilla’s eephus pitch to his own arsenal. But even if that were the case, how much practice is really necessary to lob the ball over the plate?)
Aceves continued acting weird when reporters questioned him at his locker later on, but Farrell made things pretty clear when he addressed the media.
“He didn’t go through the drill as intended and we’ve addressed it,” Farrell said. “His session on the mound didn’t go as intended. He’s healthy and it’s been addressed.”
Clearly, Farrell is not going to be Aceves’ door mat like Bobby V was. Already, before the team’s even taken the field against an opponent, it’s evident that dysfunction — the very thing which defined the 2012 Red Sox — is simply not going to be tolerated under Farrell.
That might not be much, but for a team in need of a complete 180 in nearly every single regard, it’s a good place to start.