BOSTON (CBS) — Red Sox manager John Farrell announced Friday afternoon that he’s been diagnosed with stage 1 lymphoma.
Farrell underwent hernia surgery earlier this week in Detroit, and the cancer was discovered during that procedure.
“Thankfully, it was detected in the hernia surgery, so I can honestly tell you that I’m extremely fortunate that it was found,” Farrell said. “Treatment will begin in the coming days.”
Lymphoma is the name for a group of blood cancers that develop in the lymphatic system.
Read: Lymphoma Information
Farrell, 53, has served as the Red Sox manager since 2013. He’s compiled a 372-390 managerial record over five MLB seasons — two with the Toronto Blue Jays, and nearly three full seasons with the Boston Red Sox. His career postseason managerial record, all with the Red Sox in 2013, is 11-5.
“[It was] a little bit of a shocker to be told later that afternoon that this was going on, but like I said, I’m fortunate. Stage 1, it’s localized, it’s highly curable, and I’m extremely fortunate to be with not only the people on the Red Sox, but access to [Mass General Hospital] and all the world-class talent that can handle this over at MGH,” Farrell said. “So it’s been a surreal four, five days. I never had one symptom before the notification of it — no fatigue, no night sweats, no loss of weight, obviously, no lack of appetite, none of the things that are commonly asked when you’re facing something like this. So it’s been a shocker. But I take a step back and I am extremely, extremely, extremely fortunate to be able to have caught this at this stage.”
Farrell led the 2013 Red Sox to a World Series title, completing an improbable turnaround from last place in 2012 to a championship. But the Red Sox couldn’t follow up that success in 2014, finishing in last place, where the current year’s team currently resides as well. Throughout the past two years, Red Sox ownership as well as the front office supported Farrell as the club’s manager.
Farrell served as the Red Sox pitching coach from 2007-10, serving in that role under Terry Francona when Boston won the ’07 World Series.
“Pretty much all of us, we were kind of in shock,” David Ortiz said. “When they mention the word ‘cancer,’ it’s something that doesn’t matter what it comes from, it kind of impacts you. So we’re going to give John all the support that we can give him so he can get through this and be back next year, back to normal. … We’ve got a big family around here.”
Ortiz added: “We’re going to give him all the support, like he gives to us always.”
Dustin Pedroia also spoke about Farrell, saying “anybody in that room would do anything for John.”
“We love John. We go through a lot together every day. He’s in it with us — the ups and downs, the everything,” Pedroia said. “He’s a guy that just doesn’t deal with what’s going on on the field. He cares about your family, he cares about your kids, things that are going on at home. He’s managing 25 guys’ lives, not just baseball. So he’s a pretty important part to each and every one of us. So we need him to get better, and he will.”
Bench coach Torey Lovullo will assume Farrell’s duties as manager for the remainder of the season while Farrell undergoes treatment, which will begin on Tuesday at Mass General and is expected to last nine weeks. Farrell said he has “every intent” to resume his duties as Red Sox manager next season.