In light of Boston’s recent struggles, many have suggested that it’s time for John Farrell to go. He’s the first manager in more than 20 years to guide the Sox to back-to-back losing seasons, and they’ve faded after a fast start this year. Fans and media are understandably frustrated with the team’s recent performance, but firing John Farrell is not the answer.
Dismissing Farrell would be an overreaction to one bad month; the Red Sox were great under him in April and May. They stunk in June, but that was because their lineup cooled off and their pitching staff was exposed. Farrell doesn’t have a dependable fourth or fifth starter right now; his bullpen options are limited. Dave Dombrowski needs to get him some help, not kick him to the curb.
Making Farrell the scapegoat for one bad month of baseball isn’t just unfair—it’s wrong. It’s not his fault that the rotation is in shambles, or that a bunch of key players got hurt around the same time. Boston’s crazy offense was bound to cool off sooner or later.
The Red Sox have a lot of problems, but Farrell is the least of them. He’s not a great manager, but he’s not terrible, either. He has the respect of his players and handles the media well. Often times managers are fired to send a message, but what kind of a message would that send to Boston? They’re only a few games out of first and could easily regain control of the AL East if their hitters get hot again.
Firing Farrell isn’t going to magically fix the rotation or bolster the bullpen. It won’t make Pablo Sandoval any skinnier or Koji Uehara any younger. It’s not Farrell’s fault that David Price is struggling or that Clay Buchholz has turned into a pumpkin. The best manager in the world couldn’t help Joe Kelly find the plate or Christian Vazquez hit major league pitching.
The Red Sox are flawed, and firing John Farrell isn’t going to change that. At least give him until the end of the season. If the Sox go nowhere, then fine, fire him. But right now, there’s no need.