Is John Farrell A Good Manager?

John Farrell’s Complicated History

Red Sox manager John Farrell has had fluctuating performances during his Boston tenure. After being the team’s pitching coach from 2006-2010, Farrell managed the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011 and 2012. When the Bobby Valentine experiement failed, he returned to Boston.John Farrell

His first year saw a World Series victory over the Cardinals in 2013. But that was followed by a pair of last place finishes, which prompted some to question his ability to manage. Then, unfortunately, Farrell was diagnosed with lymphoma in late 2015. Following the diagnosis, bench coach Torey Lovullo led the team to a succesful season’s end. Ultimately, this led to Farrell being put on the hotseat even more, despite his current condition.

After the acquisition of David Price in the offseason, and the emergence of Rick Porcello as an ace, the Red Sox won the division in 2016 primariliy because of consistent pitching. This helped John Farrell’s case for continuing as manager, as he already had signed an extension in 2016.

But is John Farrell a good manager?

Many will cite his occasional gaff in a National League game or his usage of Craig Kimbrel in non-save situations. But I would counter with his ability to keep the teem afloat this season amidst the injuries, rainouts, flu epidemic, and berevement/paternity leaves.

Sure, it’s a small sample size, but it’s still impressive. On this homestand alone, the Red Sox played the defending World Series champions, as well as the two teams ahead of them in the AL East standings.

Personally, I like John Farrell as manager.

Does the post-game corporate-speak sometimes bother me? Sure.

But do I appreciate his sense of accountability when the team his underperforming? Absolutely.

However, I like him mainly because the players respect him. He doesn’t let sour grapes infect the clubhouse. You know what you’re going to get. Plain and simple. He lets guys like Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts learn and grow up. He lets guys like Chili Davis and Brian Butterfield have some autonomy.

Even if the Red Sox wanted to replace him, could they find a viable candidate? Torey Lovullo, who I also liked, is now in Arizona. The Red Sox would need to either find someone in the organization they saw as qualified or look elsewhere. My outlook is, if there’s a former manager available, there’s probably a good reason why.

Cue Bobby Valentine.

Time to move on from John Farrell?

The Red Sox and John Farrell are having a rough time of it this year. There are no ifs, john farrellands, or buts about it. After finishing in last place last year, the Red Sox are 5 games under .500 and coming off a sweep against the Minnesota Twins. And, according to Tony Masseroti, it may be time to entertain letting manager John Farrell go.

At this point, the firing of manager John Farrell has to at least be on the table.

Do the Red Sox want to do that, especially after giving Farrell a needless extension in Spring Training? Probably not. Certainly not. Farrell was signed through this season with an option for 2016 when he arrived at spring training after a last place finish, and he now has a deal through the 2017 season. Many of us deemed that extension to be needless and foolish at the time, and there has been nothing to transpire to change our minds.

In fact, what has happened with the Red Sox this season has only fortified that position. And if Farrell didn’t have his extension today, we’d be talking about him having a very tenuous future with the Red Sox.

And so, deal or no deal, why shouldn’t that be the case now?

I don’t believe that switching managers mid-season is necessarily the answer with this team. Masseroti points out that the Red Sox ownership has been quiet so far, which doesn’t bode well, but history says they’ll wait until after the season to change managers. This team has the talent to win the AL East, and I still believe they can, despite their early struggles. The AL East isn’t exactly the cream of the crop, so they can still overtake the other teams if they get hot. But, to do that,  they have to get their act together on the field. Farrell sets the lineup and the rotation, but ultimately the players have to perform. Maybe I’ll change my mind if this keeps up into July and August, but right now, it’s a performance issue, not necessarily a managerial problem.

John Farrell Signs Contract Extension

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John Farrell and the Boston Red Sox have agreed to a contract extension through the 2017 season that includes a club option for 2018, according to ESPN.

“I’m very pleased to announce, on behalf of owners, no question in our minds John is theJohn Farrell right man to manage this team and we expect him to be here for a long time,” Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com. “Given that we had been entering the final year of the original contract he signed here, we wanted to get something done with him prior to spring training and almost made it, first day.

“Clearly, we want him to be here as our manager for a long time. It gets the question out of the way going into the season and allows us to focus on baseball.”

The 52-year-old came back to Boston in 2013 and won the World Series as a manager for the first time. He spent his previous two years as a manager with the Toronto Blue Jays while going 154-170 as his first managerial position.

With the Red Sox, Farrell has gone 168-156 while winning a title and finishing last place in the AL East last season. He hope to prove himself in 2015 with a pitching staff made up of Clay Buchholz, Wade Miley, Rick Porcello, Joe Kelly and Justin Masterson while also dealing with Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez in the lineup on a daily basis.

The Red Sox manager was a pitching coach under Terry Francona and won a World Series ring with the 2007 team as he helped Josh Beckett and the rest of the starting staff to it second title in four seasons.

With the deal, the Red Sox (and John Farrell) can focus on getting ready for the 2015 season as well as being secure for the next few seasons under a consistent managerial presence.