Miley engaged in a heated argument with Farrell in plain view in the visitors’ dugout at Camden Yards upon being pulled after the fourth inning of Boston’s 6-5 loss. Farrell said after the game he respected Miley’s competitiveness, but the manager made it clear before Friday night’s series opener against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park that the left-hander was out of line.
“What happened in the dugout (Thursday) was a pitcher who’s competitive, obviously did not like the decision of being removed from the game,” Farrell said. “But the outburst in the dugout was something that’s unacceptable. I won’t stand for it. As a result, we met immediately following the game.”
Farrell declined to provide specific details regarding the postgame meeting. However, he acknowledged Miley was apologetic and understanding of the manager’s viewpoint.
“Yes, and that’s all I’ll say about the meeting,” Farrell said.
It’s been a disappointing season for the Red Sox, who returned home Friday seven games under .500 (27-34) after being swept by the Orioles. Miley’s performance also has been up and down, which perhaps played into his frustration, though the 28-year-old didn’t have much to say about the incident.
“The surprising thing is the setting in which it took place,” Farrell said Friday. “There’s always going to be decisions that players don’t agree with. But there’s a way to go about expressing them. That wasn’t the case (Thursday).”
Some might view Thursday’s spat as an indication that Farrell has lost control of the clubhouse. Red Sox principal owner John Henry publicly backed both Farrell and general manager Ben Cherington in a recent session with reporters at Fenway, though, so a major shakeup doesn’t appear imminent.
Farrell’s dispute with Miley in Baltimore appears to have been something that simply occurred in the heat of battle. The Red Sox thus are looking to put the drama in the rearview mirror in pursuit of better overall results.
“I think the best thing is we addressed it,” Farrell said. “He’s understanding of my thoughts on it and the fact it’s unacceptable. But I think the best thing for all of us is we turn the page and move on from it.”
While it’s fair to question the Red Sox’s collective frame of mind with losses piling up and their deficit in the American League East growing, Farrell doesn’t foresee radical changes regarding his interactions with players. He already monitors the moods of each individual daily.
“That pulse of the clubhouse is ongoing regardless of win-loss,” Farrell said Friday of whether there’s an added emphasis on taking the temperature of the room in light of the Red Sox’s recent struggles and frustration. “Situations like (Thursday’s) are going to draw more attention because of the stretch we’re in, I understand that. But it’s not a patchwork approach. It’s not reactionary. It’s constant. The communication with individuals is constant. It’s based on what their current trend is — whether they’re going well, whether they’re not.
“In our system, we have ample opportunities — regular opportunities — at the beginning of every series to address certain things as a team. And then there are always cases of individual conversations. That’s ongoing. So regardless of a sweep against Oakland or a sweep in the other way against Baltimore, you’re always addressing things along the way.”
The Red Sox have their hands full this weekend, as the Blue Jays have been playing well in all three phases of the game. Boston entered Friday seven games back of the New York Yankees in the American League East.
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