John Farrell’s focus through the first week of the baseball season was on getting the Red Sox off to a good start. With a 4-2 season-opening road trip now in the rearview mirror and Opening Day at Fenway Park upon us, though, Farrell can finally admit how excited he is to kick off the home slate.
“Probably as much as guys that signed here in the offseason,” Farrell said when asked about his excitement level for Monday’s home opener. “Everyone that’s come in here as a visiting player understands what the atmosphere at Fenway is. I think guys like [David] Ross, [Jonny] Gomes, [Shane] Victorino, [Ryan] Dempster, all the guys that signed as free agents, today is the first day that they get to taste that in a Red Sox uniform, and heck, I’m no different. This a great day, and we’re looking forward to getting things under way.”
Monday will hardly be the first time Farrell dons a Sox uniform at Fenway Park, as he served as the club’s pitching coach from 2007 to 2010. He never envisioned during that time, however, that he would someday return to Fenway as Red Sox manager, especially given the team’s success under Terry Francona.
“No, while I was a pitching coach, no. The way things were during those four years, we had some challenges along the way, but this is four exciting years, four successful years,” Farrell said before Monday’s game. “It seemed at the time Tito would be here for a long, long time and he had a great eight-year run, so no, that was never looking past the position I was in at the time.”
The success that Farrell speaks of includes a World Series title in 2007, his first year as pitching coach. Surely, he wouldn’t mind if Year 1 of his managerial tenure ended in a similar fashion.