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Red Sox Introduce New Manager

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John Farrell (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

John Farrell (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

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By HOWARD ULMAN,  AP Sports Writer

BOSTON (AP) _ The Boston Red Sox have introduced John Farrell as their new manager.

Farrell appeared Tuesday at a news conference with club officials two days after the team announced it had reached an
agreement with the Toronto Blue Jays to allow him to leave with one year left on his three-year contract as manager. The Red Sox sent infielder Mike Aviles to Toronto and obtained reliever David Carpenter in the deal.

Farrell, Boston’s pitching coach from 2007-10 under Terry Francona, takes over for Bobby Valentine, who was fired after one  of the worst seasons in team history. The Red Sox finished in last place in the AL East with a 69-93 record, their worst since 1965 and four games behind the Blue Jays.

Farrell is the 46th manager in franchise history, and was introduced by Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington.

“As far as what you can expect from us on the field, I truly believe in an aggressive style of play,” Farrell said. “That
creates a strategy that is relentless, and I think that is
critical.”
Boston wanted to hire Farrell after it let Francona go, but
Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos asked for a top player in
return. At the time, Farrell had been with the Blue Jays for one
season, going 81-81.
“We will give forth our best effort,” Farrell said, “as a
minimum.”
In two seasons with Toronto, Farrell was 154-170 and finished
fourth twice.
“We brought in a number of young players (in Toronto), and we
installed a new running game,” Farrell said, looking back on his
time with the Blue Jays. “We ran into some outs because of that,
and we struggled sometimes with that strategy.”
The Red Sox wanted him as a known quantity who they’ve worked
well with, a sharp contrast with Valentine, who clashed with
players and didn’t have full support of management, including
Cherington, who preferred Dale Sveum. The Chicago Cubs hired Sveum
as their manager after he interviewed with both teams.
Farrell brings a measure of stability to the manager’s position
and a familiarity with some players. His background with the Red
Sox could be particularly valuable in improving the starting
rotation.
“We have a number of things to take care of,” Farrell said.
“We will have the players’ best interest in their minds at all
times.”
Jon Lester was 54-23 while Farrell was pitching coach and 15-9
in 2011 but fell to 9-14 with a career-worst 4.82 ERA last season.
In his two full, injury-free seasons, Clay Buchholz was 17-7 with a
2.33 ERA in 2010 but 11-8 with a 4.56 ERA in 2012. Felix Doubront,
who went 11-10 with a 4.86 ERA as a rookie in 2012, was a top
prospect while Farrell was pitching coach. The Red Sox also get
back John Lackey, who missed all of 2012 recovering from Tommy John
elbow surgery.
Lester and Buchholz were All-Stars while Farrell was pitching
coach.
“There are some relationships that I still have with players
here, yes,” Farrell said. “For others, I have to earn their trust
and start new relationships.”
Under Farrell’s guidance, Boston pitchers held opponents to an
AL-low .254 batting average and led the league with 4,771
strikeouts.
There has been considerable turnover among position players
since Farrell left, but David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby
Ellsbury remain. Ortiz, who can become a free agent, has expressed
optimism about returning.
Farrell, 50, received a three-contract with the Red Sox, who
also interviewed San Diego Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus,
New York Yankees bench coach Tony Pena, Los Angeles Dodgers third
base coach Tim Wallach and Baltimore Orioles third base coach
DeMarlo Hale.
Cherington thanked all the other candidates for their time and
cooperation, and Farrell mentioned how honored he was to be in the
mix with those potential managers.
“We think he’s the right person to lead the team. It’s
important that I have a relationship with a manager that’s strong.
One that we can be candid with one another and walk away knowing
that the relationship is still intact,” Cherington said. “I feel
confident with that and John.”
It is the seventh time in major league history that one team has
traded for a manager while he was under contract to another, the
Red Sox said. Last year, the Miami Marlins obtained Ozzie Guillen
from the Chicago White Sox in a deal that also included three
players.
Farrell was 36-46 with a 4.56 ERA as a major-league pitcher. He
had a promising career with the Cleveland Indians before an injury
sidelined him for all of the 1991 and 1992 seasons. He pitched
sparingly for four more years after that.
He coached at Oklahoma State, where he had pitched in college,
from 1997-2001. He then spent five years in the Indians’ front
office before Francona, a former Cleveland teammate, brought him to
Boston as pitching coach.
“We’re eager to get started,” Farrell said, “and hit the
ground running here.”

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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