Red Sox fire Far­rell af­ter another play­off fail­ure

The Prince George Citizen - - SPORTS - Kyle HIGHTOWER FAR­RELL

BOS­TON — John Far­rell racked up a lot of wins and World Se­ries ti­tle with the Bos­ton Red Sox. But past suc­cess wasn’t enough to save his job af­ter con­sec­u­tive early play­off ex­its.

Bos­ton fired Far­rell on Wed­nes­day af­ter the team’s sec­ond straight loss in the AL Di­vi­sion Se­ries.

The Red Sox an­nounced the move less than 48 hours af­ter they were elim­i­nated from the World Se­ries hunt with a 5-4 loss to the Hous­ton Astros. Far­rell’s con­tract had been sched­uled to run through the 2018 sea­son.

Bos­ton won back-to-back Amer­i­can League East ti­tles for the first time in fran­chise his­tory this sea­son de­spite los­ing the bat of re­tired slug­ger David Or­tiz. It also did it de­spite start­ing the sea­son with $217 mil­lion pitcher David Price on the dis­abled list and watch­ing as 2016 Cy Young Award win­ner Rick Por­cello stum­bled to an 11-17 record.

“I thought it was the ap­pro­pri­ate time to make a change for the bet­ter­ment of the or­ga­ni­za­tion,” pres­i­dent of base­ball op­er­a­tions Dave Dom­browski said.

Far­rell man­aged the team to its eighth World Se­ries ti­tle in 2013, his first sea­son in charge of the club.

Far­rell went 432-378 over five sea­sons with Bos­ton. He be­gan his coach­ing ca­reer with the Red Sox as a pitch­ing coach from 20072010. Far­rell also was part of the team’s 2007 World Se­ries ti­tle. He be­gan his ma­jor league man­age­rial ca­reer with Toronto and went 154-170 over two sea­sons.

Dom­browski wouldn’t go into specifics on his thought process, but said “a lot of dif­fer­ent fac­tors” went into the de­ci­sion to make the move. He said the team plans to move swiftly on its next hire and that the next man­ager would “most likely not” be a mem­ber of Far­rell’s cur­rent coach­ing staff.

Dom­browski said it would be im­por­tant to be com­fort­able in front of me­dia and re­lat­able to the team’s cur­rent young core.

Far­rell leaves with a win to­tal that ranks sixth in club his­tory and he is sec­ond in post-sea­son ap­pear­ances (three) be­hind Terry Fran­cona (five). He is also the only man­ager in in club his­tory to fin­ish in first place in the di­vi­sion three times.

Dom­browski said the base­line for suc­cess in Bos­ton is dif­fer­ent.

“I think you can weigh suc­cess in a lot of dif­fer­ent ways and that’s very suc­cess­ful. For me, the ul­ti­mate suc­cess is win­ning the world cham­pi­onship,” Dom­browski said.

Far­rell said af­ter los­ing to the Astros that the team didn’t meet its goals but had some good young play­ers con­tinue to develop.

“We had a num­ber of chal­lenges thrown our way from in­di­vid­ual in­juries to per­for­mance,” he said. “But as a team they stuck to­gether.”

The of­fence slumped af­ter Or­tiz re­tired, even though the team had base­ball’s third-high­est pay­roll. Sev­eral play­ers also had health is­sues, in­clud­ing sec­ond base­man Dustin Pe­droia and pitcher Drew Pomer­anz.

There also was an off-field in­ci­dent June when Price con­fronted Hall of Fame pitcher and cur­rent tele­vi­sion an­a­lyst Den­nis Eck­er­s­ley on a team flight.

Price was upset Eck­er­s­ley didn’t make him­self avail­able to the play­ers af­ter what they felt were crit­i­cal com­ments about the team. Far­rell later said the team had “moved on” from the in­ci­dent, but the way it lin­gered raised ques­tions about his con­trol of the club­house.

Dom­browski re­it­er­ated that the or­ga­ni­za­tion was past that in­ci­dent and said his per­sonal re­la­tion­ship with Price is “fine.”

But Dom­browski con­ceded that be­ing able to thrive as a man­ager un­der Bos­ton’s un­re­lent­ing spot­light is a must. He said he’s talked to qual­ity man­agers in the past that he re­spects that won’t man­age in Bos­ton.

It will make his search tougher, but he be­lieves he can find the right per­son.

“You have to be pre­pared to take it,” Dom­browski said.

“This is a great base­ball city... But there’s a lot of scru­tiny... I think it’s for some peo­ple and it’s not for oth­ers.”

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