BOSTON — John Farrell isn’t going anywhere.
Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski announced Tuesday at Fenway Park that the manager and his coaching staff will be back with the team in 2017. Many wondered if Farrell would keep his job after the Red Sox were swept by the Cleveland Indians in the American League Division Series.
“At this point in the year until we got to (Tuesday) has really been focused on everything on the field,” Dombrowski said. “So we didn’t have any conversations about anyone for the future. So I just thought that for me, John has done a fine job this year. I’ve been happy with working with him myself. I think he has the respect of the clubhouse. We played hard, we had a good season, we won the division title. We communicate well with one another. So for me, it’s one of those decisions — there’s some decisions you just need to address as quickly as you possibly can because you know how important they are. And I just thought it was the right time to do it.”
Fans and media alike grumbled about some of Farrell’s in-game decisions, but at the end of the day, the skipper pulled the Red Sox out of the AL East basement and won the division for the second time in his four seasons as Boston’s manager. The 2016 Red Sox went 93-69 after finishing 78-84 in 2015. And for Dombrowski, it’s not all about in-game decisions, anyway.
“I do not feel that in-game strategy is the biggest thing as a manager,” Dombrowski said. “I think it’s important, but there’s other things that I think are probably more important. I think the ability to — as I often told managers, to me the most important thing for a manager is that their club plays up to their capabilities day in and day out, which means that they’re communicating with their players and they’re getting everything that they can, and that means that their club’s playing hard.”
“A lot of people think they know more than the manager when it comes to strategy,” Dombrowski added. “And when you get into strategy, you can put — and I’ve been in the room, I’ve been very fortunate, I’ve been at a table with Tony LaRussa and Jim Leyland and Joe Torre and Bobby Cox, and you start talking about strategy and you say there’s a man on first base, it’s a 2-2 game in the eighth inning, and this is how it shapes up. And one of them bunts and one hit-and-run and one steals and one does nothing, and they all have their reasons on doing it. And I think it’s most important that they are able to have a reason why they’re doing it.”
Farrell will get another crack at his second World Series title next season, but it’s up in the air beyond that, as the Red Sox won’t make any decisions on his 2018 option now. The entire coaching staff is invited back for 2017, but they still have the choice to take jobs elsewhere. That includes bench coach Torey Lovullo, who many assume will receive offers to interview for managerial positions. Dombrowksi said Lovullo will be allowed to interview elsewhere if he so chooses.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images