Play­off de­feat costs Far­rell his job

The Mercury News - - Sports -

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.

“De­spite an end to this sea­son that we all wanted to be dif­fer­ent, I am proud of this ball­club and the re­siliency shown,” Far­rell said in a state­ment re­leased by the Red Sox. “I have en­joyed ev­ery mo­ment of this job its peaks and its val­leys. There are few, if any, po­si­tions in life that cre­ate so much pas­sion on a daily ba­sis.”

He also thanked the or­ga­ni­za­tion for its sup­port “through a chal­leng­ing and scary pe­riod in my own life,” re­fer­ring to when he was di­ag­nosed with lym­phoma in 2015.

“I re­main for­ever in­debted,” Far­rell said.

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 post­sea­son ap­pear­ances (three) be­hind Terry Fran­cona (five). He is also the only man­ager in club his­tory to fin­ish in first place in the di­vi­sion three times. Dom­browski said the base­line for suc­cess in Bos­ton is dif­fer­ent.

OTANI TO HAVE AN­KLE SURGERY >> Ja­panese player Sho­hei Otani will have right an­kle surgery on Thurs­day.

The reign­ing Pa­cific League MVP, in his fifth sea­son with the Nip­pon Ham Fight­ers, is prized as both a pitcher and hitter. He is likely to leave Ja­pan and sign with a Ma­jor League Baseball team through the post­ing sys­tem in the off­sea­son.

The 23-year-old Otani ini­tially in­jured his an­kle while run­ning the bases dur­ing the Ja­pan Se­ries last Oc­to­ber, and ended up hav­ing to with­draw from the World Baseball Classic in March.

Otani says “I want to be in per­fect con­di­tion for the new sea­son.”

Otani played in only 65 games this sea­son, bat­ting .332 with eight home runs and 31 RBIs. As a pitcher, he was 3-2 with a 3.20 ERA and 29 strike­outs.

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