The Red Sox will hold a press conference at 12:00 PM today to introduce their new skipper, former Blue Jays manager and Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell, to members of the Boston Media. While Farrell is an obvious upgrade from the recently relieved Bobby Valentine, the position he finds himself in isn’t exactly enviable. While it’s up to Ben Cherington and management to put the pieces together that this team requires in order to get back on top- and there’s a lot missing- it will be up to Farrell to avoid becoming the latest casualty of the train wreck that the Red Sox have become over the last two seasons.
Some are criticizing the Red Sox for passing on Brad Ausmus for a guy who hasn’t experienced a whole lot of success in his managerial career. Farrell posted an underwhelming record of 154-170 in his two years at the helm of the Toronto Blue Jays, and while Ausmus doesn’t have any managerial experience, many felt he was the perfect candidate for the vacancy left by Valentine on October 3rd. Farrell’s lack of success in the small baseball market of Toronto has people wondering how he will fare under the pressure that comes with playing and managing in Boston. But Farrell is familiar with the city of Boston and the culture that surrounds the region, as well as many of the players on the roster. He left the Red Sox as their pitching coach following the 2010 season to manage the Blue Jays. Under Farrell, the Red Sox lead the American League in strikeouts, opponents batting average, and shutouts, as well as finishing 3rd in ERA.
Many of the players on the Red Sox roster have voiced their support for the new skipper via twitter. Jon Lester tweeted out “Welcome back John!! Can’t wait to get back to work!!”. “He’s excited, I’m excited. We’re all excited.” said Second Baseman Dustin Pedroia of Farrell’s hiring. ”He has that instant respect when he walks into the room, because it’s leadership, and it’s going to be nice.”. David Ortiz didn’t sound quite as optimistic: “I don’t know if it’s fair for him to walk into this situation that we are in right now. Hopefully everything goes well and he can change things around. He’s up for the challenge and what he’s going to bring to the table. Hopefully everything goes great. I know things didn’t go the way he expected in Toronto and hopefully it works out for him here.” Ortiz said in an interview with NESN.