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John Farrell fixing Red Sox's clubhouse culture

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10:25 AM ET 02.17 | If Disney World is the happiest place on earth, Camp Farrell is a narrow runner-up. A few days ago, team president Larry Lucchino referred to "good vibrations" emanating from JetBlue Park, but not even the Beach Boys could do justice to the mood here. "Everyone's positive," Dustin Pedroia said, "and when you're around people that are positive, you want to go out there and push yourself and do all you can do to not let them down." Of course, none of this guarantees the Red Sox will have a winning season, especially after last year's 93-loss debacle. None of this would be noteworthy, either, if not for the stark contrast to a year ago. Farrell, 50, is a bear of a man, 6-foot-4 with broad shoulders, big hands, a square jaw and a steady gaze. He speaks in thoughtful run-on sentences, not pithy sound bites, and he's a straight-talker, so direct that right-hander Clay Buchholz cops to having once been "scared" of him. But Farrell also is the anti-Valentine, both in words and deeds. He's direct and low-key, and he has placed an emphasis on substance rather than style.

Boston Herald

Ben Cherington, John Farrell, Jared Wickerham/Getty Images Ben Cherington, John Farrell, Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Comment #1 has been removed
February 17, 2013  10:35 AM ET

I give it two months.

February 17, 2013  11:37 AM ET

We need all the optimism we can get. Perhaps the sox will be a good team this year.

February 17, 2013  11:40 AM ET

Wow!

I've been saying for 2 years that the decline of the Red Sox can largely be attributed to the loss of Farrell to the Jays. He is *the* missing ingredient, and it took ownership years to figure it out.

The New England media is still chasing its tale. They're too busy eating donuts and looking for scapegoats. Meanwhile... the collapse of 2011 started with the collapse of the starting rotation, and finished with a burned-out bullpen. The hiring of Bobby V was the wrong solution to the wrong problem. And the trash coming out of the press? Good for the lining of bird cages.

> Farrell also is the anti-Valentine, both in words and deeds.
> He's direct and low-key, and he has placed an emphasis on
> substance rather than style.

Amen.

The pitchers respect him. Like Torre and Tito, he is a player's manager. He may or may not make loquacious link to the rabid media, but he will keep the melodrama where it belongs - behind the closed door of the manager's office.

Will this ship turn around in a winter? Regression to the mean says do nothing (better than doing a Bobby V) and you'll improve. Adding Farrell will only accelerate the transformation.

February 17, 2013  11:41 AM ET

the red sox would need as much motivation in every game,,regardless of the situation,,,in any given day!!!

February 17, 2013  11:42 AM ET

A career managerial record of 154-170 and two fourth place finishes. Let's not size the WS rings just yet.

February 17, 2013  11:42 AM ET

KYLE lohse still waiting on the red sox phone call,,,,,

Comment #8 has been removed
Comment #9 has been removed
February 17, 2013  11:52 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

A career managerial record of 154-170 and two fourth place finishes.

What was Tito before he came to Boston?

What was Boston before and after Farrell left?

February 17, 2013  11:53 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Its not so hard to be a pitching coach when you have guys like pedro and schilling

It's hard to screw up Buchholz and Lester, but Bobby V accomplished that.

Comment #12 has been removed
February 17, 2013  12:06 PM ET
QUOTE(#10):

What was Boston before and after Farrell left?

1. They were world champs before Farrell got there. He was in the Cleveland organization in '04. 2. They failed to make the playoffs in his last year in Boston. Don't over value the guy.

February 17, 2013  12:08 PM ET
QUOTE(#12):

are you saying that those 2 are equivalent to pedro and kurt?lol

Pedro was on the decline in 2004, and they reversed the curse. He wasn't the star of that show.

Schilling was also on the tail end of his career, and yet maintained through 2004 and 2007.

Buchholz and Lester are good pitchers being managed badly. Their records before Farrell left speak for themselves.

February 17, 2013  12:11 PM ET
QUOTE(#13):

Don't over value the guy.

I am not overestimating the impact of replacing Farrell with incompetents. And I am not overestimating the impact of bringing Bobby V in to fix something that wasn't broken when something else clearly was.

Beer and chicken? Really? In the past, the press used to interview superstars after games while they drank a brew and smoked a cigarette. Newsflash - both beer and chicken are everywhere.

February 17, 2013  12:32 PM ET
QUOTE(#15):

I am not overestimating the impact of replacing Farrell with incompetents. And I am not overestimating the impact of bringing Bobby V.

Nobody on this thread is saying the Sox should have kept Bobby V. We are all in violent agreement on that point. But, as you mentioned earlier, anything would be an improvement over Bobby V. To quote the great philosopher, B. Parcells, "you are what your record says you are". Farrell is, right now, a fourth place manager and he's taking over a last place team that is 3 seasons away from a playoff appearance. Don't over value this guy and don't expect to be waving at players in duck boats on Tremont street this October.

February 17, 2013  12:57 PM ET
QUOTE(#15):

I am not overestimating the impact of replacing Farrell with incompetents. And I am not overestimating the impact of bringing Bobby V in to fix something that wasn't broken when something else clearly was.Beer and chicken? Really? In the past, the press used to interview superstars after games while they drank a brew and smoked a cigarette. Newsflash - both beer and chicken are everywhere.

actually as of 2011 there were only 12 teams that allowed alcohol in the clubhouse.

February 17, 2013  01:02 PM ET
QUOTE(#17):

actually as of 2011 there were only 12 teams that allowed alcohol in the clubhouse.

Only 6 allowed chicken.

February 17, 2013  01:04 PM ET

Adding extra crispy to the menu????

 
February 17, 2013  01:08 PM ET
QUOTE(#16):

Let's not size the WS rings just yet.

***

don't expect to be waving at players in duck boats on Tremont street this October.

Strawman arguments. Reread what I posted. Quote me where I'm stating the above.

Rome wasn't built in a day.

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