Red Sox

John Farrell: Alex Cora inheriting 'a stacked team' with Red Sox


John Farrell: Alex Cora inheriting 'a stacked team' with Red Sox

In a TV appearance Wednesday, John Farrell took a matter-of-fact approach with the Red Sox’ decision to fire him. 

“Hey, every situation has a shelf life and a change was made and I respect the change that did take place,” Farrell told Harold Reynolds and Matt Vasgersian in an appearance on MLB Network’s Hot Stove. “It’s a stacked team as it stands today. Alex Cora is inheriting a very good team with a lot of expectations, which, that’s the norm there. But it’ll be interesting to see how things unfold.”

Wednesday was the first time Farrell has made public comments since issuing a statement through the Red Sox when he was fired in October. He was set to appear on three MLB Network shows throughout Wednesday, including High Heat at 1 p.m. ET and MLB Tonight at 6 p.m.


Farrell was asked about the challenges for new managers with little to no experience. Cora spent one year as the Astros’ bench coach, while Aaron Boone, introduced Wednesday as the Yankees’ manager, has never coached or managed.

“It’s no doubt going to be the scrutiny,” Farrell said. “And that’s going to have varying degrees depending on the city. You know coming out of five years in which there might have been the most scrutiny on a team on an individual player or a manager, and that’s Boston. But that’s also what draws people to those places, that the expectation is high and the ability to win is there every single year. And if that’s not in your DNA, and that’s not what you aspire to do, and that’s to win, maybe those places aren’t for you. So the talk certainly of Aaron Boone going into New York, I don’t know if he managed anywhere else would he be ready for the job that he’s walking into, I don’t know that you can prepare for those positions until you’re in them. I think it’s great to see. Great hire in Aaron Boone.”

Farrell, a former pitching coach, was asked what traps he would advise Mickey Callaway to avoid as Callaway, also a former pitching coach, begins managing the Mets. Farrell said he’s spoken with Gary DiSarcina, the 2017 Red Sox bench coach under Farrell who is now Callaway’s bench coach.

“Mickey’s going to lean on Gary a lot,” Farrell said. “And the fact is that Mickey’s reference is always going to be from a pitching standpoint. He’s going to know the ins and the outs of the mindset of a pitcher. What the mindset is of a position player? That’s going to be all new to Mickey. 

“Relying on his coaches around him, use ‘em to the best of his ability to give that feedback, and seventh inning on, those decisions are going to come fast and the game’s going to speed up. So, having that rapport and that conversation and that dialogue ongoing, Torey Lovullo was a great help to me along the way.”

Callaway, Farrell said, is going “to have a great ability to connect with guys.”

“That’s almost a buzzword today, is how are you connecting with individual players,” Farrell said, “and he’ll do a very good job.”

Reynolds followed up with a question about what Farrell meant by the seventh inning speeding up.

“More of your decisions, certainly with the bullpen — starters are probably going to be nearing the end of your day, so you got decisions to be made there,” Farrell said. “You’re running out of outs, and are you at the point where you can continue to sacrifice outs? To put a man in motion, to try to do some things offensively? So as the sand is dripping through the hourglass, the magnitude of those decisions become a little bit more at that point.”

The Red Sox under Cora hired Ramon Vazquez to serve what Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski called a quality control role. In the press release, Vazquez was termed a “liaison between the major league club’s advance scouting and statistical analysis efforts, for the purpose of presenting information to players and coaches.”

Farrell was asked about the flow of information in a question that was not directly related to the Red Sox. But from his answer, one can infer Farrell would have been a fan of adding someone like Vazquez had he stayed around.

“The biggest marker in the use of the information — because every team has got the information available to them — what is the structure in the system in place to deliver it to the player to be more applicable to their game?” Farrell said. “So if there is not a liaison, if there’s not a coach that is well versed in all the PITCHf/x, to all the objective data that’s available, if that kind of falls by the wayside, then it’s going to waste. So it’s, what organizations are putting that system in place to make it tangible, understandable, and really kind of water it down to the point of two or three key points.”


As expected, it's Sale, Price and Porcello to start Sox season

As expected, it's Sale, Price and Porcello to start Sox season

New Red Sox manager Alex Cora has announced that, as expected, left-hander Chris Sale will be the Opening Day starter when the Red Sox begin their season nine days from now against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla. David Price will pitch the second game and Rick Porcello the third. 

Cora told reporters in Fort Myers, Fla. that Eduardo Rodriguez would be in the fourth starter's spot if he's ready as he continues to recover from off-season knee surgery and left-hander Brian Johnson is preparing to be the fifth starter for now.

In Price's second Grapefruit League start on Tuesday, he pitched five innings and allowed two runs on three hits, walked one and struck out four in the Red Sox' 12-6 victory over the Pirates. Third baseman Rafael Devers, hitting .349 this spring, hit his third home run of the spring. Andrew Benintendi (.405) had a double and two RBI and first baseman Sam Travis drove in three. 

Sale had a much rougher outing Monday, giving up four runs on five hits, with three walks and six strikeouts in five innings against the Phillies. 



Red Sox, Yankees working to play in London in 2019

Red Sox, Yankees working to play in London in 2019

Mookie Betts and Aaron Judge are about to go global.

Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy on Monday confirmed the Sox are interested to play the Yankees in London during next year's regular season. Bloomberg reported the clubs are nearing an agreement to play two games there in June 2019. Discussions are indeed taking place, but a deal is not done.

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“We would love to participate in a series in London against the Yankees but this is a decision that MLB and the MLBPA will make," Sox CEO Sam Kennedy said.

Bloomberg reported the games would be played at London Stadium, which was the main facility for the 2012 summer Olympics.

MLB has not played any games in Europe before. The Red Sox have made trips before, including to Japan before the 2008 season.