BOSTON - In a shocking and sobering development, Red Sox manager John Farrell Friday revealed that he is suffering from Stage 1 lymphoma, and will miss the rest of the 2015 season while undergoing chemotherapy and treatment.
Bench coach Torey Lovullo will serve as interim manager for remainder of the season.
Farrell said the cancer was discovered Monday, when he underwent what was thought to be a relatively routine hernia procedure in Detroit. He had suffered the hernia the previous week in New York while moving an equipment bag.
Farrell made the announcement of his condition in his usual pre-game media session. He was accompanied by general manager Ben Cherington, assistant GM Mike Hazen, incoming team president Sam Kennedy and the two longest-tenured players in the organization: David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia.
His voice cracking initially, Farrell said: "I know we usually start out with the injury report and I'll probably start with myself on this one. Monday's surgery for the hernia revealed that I have lymphoma. Thankfully, it was detected in the hernia surgery. So I can honestly tell you I'm extremely fortunate that it was found. Treatment will begin in the coming days.''
During the procedure, Dr. Gary Talpos removed the cancerous mass in its entirety.
"A little bit of a shocker to be told later that afternoon that this was going on,'' acknowledged Farrell. "But like I said, I'm fortunate. [It's] Stage One. It's localized; it's highly curable and I'm extremely fortunate to be not only with people with the Red Sox but access to [Massachusetts General Hospital] and all the world-class talent that can handle this.
"It's been a sureal four of five days.''
Farrell said he never experienced any of the usual symptoms associated with the onset of lymphoma, making the diagnosis all the more surprising.
The chemotherapy is expected to last nine weeks, and unsure of how it will impact him, Farrell thought it best to leave the task of managing the club for the final seven weeks to Lovullo, who has been the bench coach with the Red Sox since the start of 2013.
"The uncertainty to how I'll react, particularly on days of adminstering the chemo, and the couple days subsequent to that, Torey is going to take over in the dugout,'' Farrell said. "I don't think it's fair to anyone to be hinged on how I respond. There's too much of a variable, too much involved for the guys in the clubhouse and too important for the organization to have some continuity in that spot.''
As word got out, support began pouring in:
-- Former Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino, traded to the Angels several weeks ago, said on Twitter: "Wishing nothing but the best to my former manager in his battle!!! Thoughts and Prayers John."
-- On their official Twitter account, the New York Yankees wrote: "Wishing @RedSox manager John Farrell a full and speedy recovery."
-- From Blue Jays pitcher (and long time Tampa Bay nemesis) David Price: "Prayers go out to John Ferrell (sic) and his family...everyone please include them in your prayers or prayer chains!! He can beat this.."