Farrell proves perfect fit as Red Sox manager

Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:02pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

BOSTON (Reuters) - Presiding over a Boston Red Sox team that bubbles over with characters and charisma is a strong, quiet baseball lifer who fits the manager's job like a glove - John Farrell.

Besides handling a wide assortment of personalities, baseball is also a game of constant on-field adjustments between pitchers, hitters and fielders.

Farrell passed all the tests with flying colors in his first season at the helm in Boston, his rock-solid stability and know-how helping to put the club on track over the marathon season.

It added up to a sensational turnaround year for the Red Sox, who improved from 69-93 to 97-65 and earned a trip to the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

"John, since day one, gives us a lot of confidence," Red Sox slugger David Ortiz said after clinching the American League Championship Series over the Detroit Tigers.

"He wasn't trying to be a boss, he was trying to be a dad. He babysit all of us. He take a bullet for all of us. He let us know since day one that he got our back."

Ortiz's ringing endorsement was a major change from tensions between the players and combative manager Bobby Valentine during a 2011 season that was Boston's worst in 47 years.

Farrell, a former major league pitcher and former pitching coach for the Red Sox, was brought back to Boston through a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays, where Farrell had been given his first managerial job.   Continued...

Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell holds the American League championship trophy after defeating the Detroit Tigers in game six of the American League Championship Series playoff baseball game at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports