Let's Talk about the manager -- The John Farrell Thread

Status
Not open for further replies.

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
9,424
Miami (oh, Miami!)
lexrageorge said:
Hmmmm, this thread is pretty quiet tonight....
 
We can talk about Farrell later in the offseason.  
 
In a nutshell, he's not going to be fired, nor will he be a disaster in-season for 2014.  His in-game tactics aren't the best as discussed, but I think most would rather have a manager who is likely to get us to the post season (and occasionally make a bad call) than a manager who cannot steer a team into playoff contention in the first place, no matter the in-game tactical ability.   (However, this sentiment would be completely different had we lost.)
 

Paul M

Dope
Dope
Mar 2, 2000
10,385
Falls Church, VA
I was largely silent for much of the last 4 years but Game 3 was too egregious to ignore, but I think for a certain kind of team Farrell is perfect. And between he and Francona these are two of the coolest, nicest dudes to run a team and I feel like there's hope for Farrell. He won some points from me for admiting multiple times and even after the game on MLB that he screwed up badly in Game 3. Toronto was a disaster and there are some nitpicky things and some warning signs, but he and Tito now both led the Sox in their first campaigns to a title. And they won 97 games with a remade bullpen and missing some other keys guys for stretches. And they beat three really excellent clubs along the way. Kudos.
 

JBill

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 17, 2001
2,023
Thought it was classy for Farrell to talk about Tito's influence on him as a manager during the postgame. And he shared that Tito reached out to wish him luck.

"Tito's got a part in this one tonight. There's no doubt about it," Farrell said. "He reached out, said he was pulling for me, pulling for us, and we know that he was with us in some small way. He shares in this one as well."
http://m.espn.go.com/general/blogs/blogpost?blogname=bostonred-sox&id=33256&city=boston&src=desktop
 

JimD

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 29, 2001
6,610
I don’t see how any Red Sox fan can complain about the  job that John Farrell did in 2013 and not feel really good about this team’s future.  It is absolutely clear that he commands that clubhouse and the respect he gets from a guy like David Ortiz speaks volumes.  His intelligence and the level of preparedness from him and his coaching staff is remarkable and it was easy to see how it grew as these players soaked it up and constantly worked at perfecting the craft of playing baseball.   Equally important was the singular focus he instilled into his players to concentrate on each pitch, at-bat, inning and game – it is no surprise that this team excelled at coming back to win and was able to bounce back from October setbacks so quickly. 
 
Farrell still has to improve as an in-game tactician, but as I noted earlier in the thread he came into the job with far less managerial experience than Francona did.  Yes, there were occasional blunders and tendencies throughout the season and a few whoppers this month, but he has also exhibited a refreshing ability to admit when he was wrong and to adjust accordingly.  Playoff Farrell came into his own these past three games – the move to Ross, the pitching moves in game 4, the wiliness to use Doubront if needed last night, and the way he had every man of this team ready to contribute when called on.  Mike Matheny’s moves by comparison seemed much more tentative and scattershot – at times he seems like he gets paid by the pitching move, but then he leaves Wainwright in too long in game 5.  I had confidence as the series went along that Farrell would make most of the right moves – I don’t know if Cards fans could say the same about their manager.
 

Gash Prex

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 18, 2002
1,744
Farrell had some issues, but he showed a willingness to learn and adapt, and IMO he got the critical stuff right (bringing in Koji in the 8th, playing Xander etc...).   I couldn't have been prouder or more impressed with the class and leadership he displayed this year.  It was never more evident in the contrasts between Farrell's post-game interviews and other managers.
 
Very happy to have him manning the ship for many years to come.  
 

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
9,424
Miami (oh, Miami!)
JimD said:
I don’t see how any Red Sox fan can complain about the  job that John Farrell did in 2013 and not feel really good about this team’s future. 
 
Kudos to Farrell, and to the team.  You don't have to be perfect.  You only have to be better.  
 
That said, SOSH has always been about looking at what's there, not blindly praising mystique, aura, and the other intangible beings.  As you noted, there are some flaws in Farrell's approach - and, as you noted, he seems to be adaptable (thankfully.)  I didn't want to do a Farrell discussion until the afterglow wore off (still don't.)  A couple of weeks from now we should all revisit this though.  The short series told us a lot about how Farrell thinks, and may have hinted at how he and the team processes information.  
 
However, I pretty much expect that Speire, et. al., will reveal some stuff re: injuries and readiness that will change our thoughts on particular Farrell decisions.  There's always stuff that's played close to the chest at the end of the season.  
 
I do feel good about the future though.  
 
Hell, I feel good about everything today.  
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill
SoSH Member
Sep 9, 2008
26,435
AZ
I thought Farrell was masterful in managing the bullpen in general, and, in particular, managing the 8th inning, which was a critical inning so often in the postseason.  Going into the post-season, I thought the weakest link of this team was the bridge to Koji.  I knew that Koji would be available to get an out or two in the 8th inning every once in a while, but that wouldn't be sustainable.  
 
We had no real LOOGY, once Breslow took on the role of pitching to both sides of the plate.  t didn't seem like Farrell really was much about matchups or defined roles or anything like that, except for Tax, and that was more about situations where he needed his hardest strike thrower.  Other than Taz, he used the fresh guy, and showed an ability to play the hot hand -- when one guy started to crack he moved on to the next hot hand.  (He sort of did this overall in the playoffs with batters too -- moving on to Ross when Salty was gassed, inserting Xander at the right time, going to Gomes over Nava despite the platoon splits, using Carp very sparingly.)  The seventh innings were more of an adventure, for sure, so I'm cherry picking here.  But the stats are unbelievable, and really do, at least to me, show a manager who had his finger on the pulse of the team.  There were sixteen 8th innings in the 16 games, obviously.  The team gave up 1 ER -- Morales -- for an ERA of .5625 in the 8th inning.  Farrell used 25 pitchers to get the 48 outs.  Eight different guys pitched in the 8th inning in the post-season, only one of whom was a game starter (Lester x3).   They were:  Workman, 4 appearances, 3.2 innings, 0 ER.  Breslow, 5 appearances, 3.0 innings, 0 ER.  Tazawa, 5 appearances, 2.1 innings, 0 ER.  Lester (as game starter), 3 appearances, 2.0 innings, 0 ER.  Doubront, 2 appearances, 2.0 innings, 0 ER.  Uehara, 4 appearances, 1.2 innings, 0 ER.  Lackey, 1 appearance, 1.0 innings, 0 ER.  Morales, 1 appearance, .1 innings, 1 ER.
 
So, 25 appearances 16 innings, 8 pitchers, with no pitcher appearing more than 5 times or pitching more than 3.2 innings, and only 1 run.  (Just by way of comparison, the Red Sox scored 12 runs in the 8th inning in the postseason this year, or 6.75/9 innings.)  It was set-up man by committee, and Farrell really didn't make a single mis-step except for Morales in a situation where his options were narrow.
 

Stitch01

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
18,155
Boston
Rovin Romine said:
 
Kudos to Farrell, and to the team.  You don't have to be perfect.  You only have to be better.  
 
That said, SOSH has always been about looking at what's there, not blindly praising mystique, aura, and the other intangible beings.  As you noted, there are some flaws in Farrell's approach - and, as you noted, he seems to be adaptable (thankfully.)  I didn't want to do a Farrell discussion until the afterglow wore off (still don't.)  A couple of weeks from now we should all revisit this though.  The short series told us a lot about how Farrell thinks, and may have hinted at how he and the team processes information.  
 
However, I pretty much expect that Speire, et. al., will reveal some stuff re: injuries and readiness that will change our thoughts on particular Farrell decisions.  There's always stuff that's played close to the chest at the end of the season.  
 
I do feel good about the future though.  
 
Hell, I feel good about everything today.  
 
Tazawa not feeling great would be my guess. 
 

MakeMineMoxie

Well-Known Member
Bronze Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
689
The floor of Punter's Pub
JimD said:
I don’t see how any Red Sox fan can complain about the  job that John Farrell did in 2013 and not feel really good about this team’s future.  It is absolutely clear that he commands that clubhouse and the respect he gets from a guy like David Ortiz speaks volumes.  His intelligence and the level of preparedness from him and his coaching staff is remarkable and it was easy to see how it grew as these players soaked it up and constantly worked at perfecting the craft of playing baseball.   Equally important was the singular focus he instilled into his players to concentrate on each pitch, at-bat, inning and game – it is no surprise that this team excelled at coming back to win and was able to bounce back from October setbacks so quickly. 
 
Farrell still has to improve as an in-game tactician, but as I noted earlier in the thread he came into the job with far less managerial experience than Francona did.  Yes, there were occasional blunders and tendencies throughout the season and a few whoppers this month, but he has also exhibited a refreshing ability to admit when he was wrong and to adjust accordingly.  Playoff Farrell came into his own these past three games – the move to Ross, the pitching moves in game 4, the wiliness to use Doubront if needed last night, and the way he had every man of this team ready to contribute when called on.  Mike Matheny’s moves by comparison seemed much more tentative and scattershot – at times he seems like he gets paid by the pitching move, but then he leaves Wainwright in too long in game 5.  I had confidence as the series went along that Farrell would make most of the right moves – I don’t know if Cards fans could say the same about their manager.
 
JimD nails it.  I admit to a Grady flashback when he let Lackey talk him into facing Holliday.  I think a manager should never go to the mound and let a pitcher change his mind and while I love that Lackey wanted to stay in, doesn't every guy say that?  Make the change or stay in the dugout.
 
Needless to say, if this is all I can criticize, I'd say he and the coaching staff did a hell of a job.
 

Koufax

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
4,307
There was a great call on WEEI this morning at around 9:15.  An older guy called up and said that he was really upset about all the bone-headed calls that Farrell made.  At first, Minehan said "Really, you woke up this morning and that's what was on your mind?"  Then they all started playing along with the guy, getting him to elaborate on everything Farrell had done wrong, seeming to agree with every point.  After awhile the caller got the scent, realizing that they were making fun of him, but he kept going anyway. 
 
So there are still fans out there for whom 2004 did not cure the gloom and doom.  And last night didn't either.  It was very funny radio.
 

Jnai

is not worried about sex with goats
SoSH Member
Sep 15, 2007
13,789
<null>
MakeMineMoxie said:
 
JimD nails it.  I admit to a Grady flashback when he let Lackey talk him into facing Holliday.  I think a manager should never go to the mound and let a pitcher change his mind and while I love that Lackey wanted to stay in, doesn't every guy say that?  Make the change or stay in the dugout.
 
Needless to say, if this is all I can criticize, I'd say he and the coaching staff did a hell of a job.
 
I thought Sam Miller's take on it (on the BP Podcast) was actually a strong possibility.
 
John Farrell knew Lackey was struggling a bit, and knows him just as well if not better than anyone, and so he went out to the mound as if he was going to lift him - with no intention of lifting him and provoking the kind of FUCK YOU THIS IS MY GAME ASSHOLE reaction that he got, and getting the huge ovation from the crowd when he stuck with Lackey - just to fire him up.
 
Because, everyone knows that Lackey is going to keep fighting to keep the ball, including Farrell.
 

ricopetro6

lurker
Oct 25, 2013
1,558
Farrell got a lot more right than wrong...but of course those who think they know the game of baseball better will nitpick him to death.
I'd say managing your players is more important than in game moves, that can go either way.
 

LostinNJ

lurker
Jul 19, 2005
428
I was surprised he left Lackey in to face Holliday, but I was okay with it. Even if Holliday homered, the lead would still be still two runs with a totally fresh bullpen and the Cardinals heading toward the bottom of their lineup. I was really surprised he took Tazawa out for Workman, though. I guess he thought Workman could handle the 5-6-7 hitters, and if something bad happened, he still had plenty of options.
 
One thing we have to acknowledge is that Farrell prepares well. Despite the Game 3 blunder, he seems to have plans for various contingencies. I bet he knew before first pitch that he would use Workman late with a big lead.
 
We should also credit him for making some bold moves. He replaced the starting third baseman with a rookie partway through the playoffs (shades of Ellsbury in 2007); he abandoned his left field platoon; he sat his starting catcher for the last three games and used the backup. How many managers would deviate from the season-long playbook like that? And it's a sign of his cred with the players that nobody squawked.
 

Andrew

broke his neck in costa rica
SoSH Member
Jan 20, 2006
12,011
Western Massachusetts
Jnai said:
 
 
John Farrell knew Lackey was struggling a bit, and knows him just as well if not better than anyone, and so he went out to the mound as if he was going to lift him - with no intention of lifting him and provoking the kind of FUCK YOU THIS IS MY GAME ASSHOLE reaction that he got, and getting the huge ovation from the crowd when he stuck with Lackey - just to fire him up.
 
 
I don't know if you were joking with this, but that's exactly what I thought when it happened.
 

smastroyin

simpering whimperer
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2002
20,684
We nitpick because it is interesting to talk about, not because it is some kind of personal vendetta against the manager.

As for last night, Lackey pretty much owns Holliday for whatever reason. Even early in the game when everyone else seemed to be squaring him up, Holliday had a couple little weak ground balls.

The question I have about the 7th is (again), the positioning versus the pitching. The Carpenter double went right through where I would have expected Xander to be standing, instead he was 6 feet to the left. Then, even with runners on second and third, they put the full shift on Beltran (which had worked in the first), and he dinked a little ground ball that would have been fieldable by a 3b positioned normally. As near as I could tell, these pitches were both nearly out of the zone outside...so contributing toward the ball going the other way, against the positioning. I realize that there are reasons to pitch against your positioning, but it seems odd/unlucky that this bit them a few times this postseason when it is one of the things they really think they have a good handle on.



(bear in mind this plot is from behind the catcher, so those pitchers over on the left are outside to LHB)
 

Jnai

is not worried about sex with goats
SoSH Member
Sep 15, 2007
13,789
<null>
Andrew said:
 
I don't know if you were joking with this, but that's exactly what I thought when it happened.
 
Nope, 100% serious. I think it's not a bad idea as to Farrell's rationale there.
 

Harry Hooper

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jan 4, 2002
25,571
Jnai said:
 
Nope, 100% serious. I think it's not a bad idea as to Farrell's rationale there.
 
 
At the very least, he was giving Lackey a breather before taking on his last batter.
 

JimBoSox9

will you be my friend?
SoSH Member
Nov 1, 2005
16,549
Mid-surburbia
Harry Hooper said:
 
 
At the very least, he was giving Lackey a breather before taking on his last batter.
 
There's no doubt, if Farrell already knew he liked the Holliday matchup enough to leave in Lack, going out himself rather than sending Nieves to do the breather thing was a stroke of genius. Get him snorting fire.  The only thing the other way is that Farrell's been publicly consistent that his MO is to always tell it straight good or bad.  So I'm not sure if it's his style and he could have been playing it straight.  Sure seemed like a good time to go get Lack on spec.  The good news: we'll find out when the books comes out.
 
M

MentalDisabldLst

Guest
What we need is the animated GIF of Lackey saying "this is my &%^$ing game, John!"
 

rembrat

Well-Known Member
Bronze Supporter
SoSH Member
May 26, 2006
36,058
The Red Sox are in 29th place with sacrifice hits all year long. Perhaps the gripe should be that no one knows how to bunt anymore.
 

richgedman'sghost

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
May 13, 2006
1,331
ct
adam42381 said:
My apologies.
If you had a question about strategies during Sunday's game it should logically go in the Second guess thread. Am I wrong in my thinking? Why would you revive an almost 6 month old thread? Plus as abs stated, you did not provide any context behind your objections other than "too much bunting"! One sentence objections should probably stay in the game threads where they are more apropriate.
 

absintheofmalaise

too many flowers
Dope
SoSH Member
Mar 16, 2005
12,884
The gran facenda
richgedman'sghost said:
If you had a question about strategies during Sunday's game it should logically go in the Second guess thread. Am I wrong in my thinking? Why would you revive an almost 6 month old thread? Plus as abs stated, you did not provide any context behind your objections other than "too much bunting"! One sentence objections should probably stay in the game threads where they are more apropriate.
This is what the SGC threads are for. We will break threads out of there as warranted.
The main thing we want here are new threads.
 

richgedman'sghost

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
May 13, 2006
1,331
ct
absintheofmalaise said:
This is what the SGC threads are for. We will break threads out of there as warranted.
The main thing we want here are new threads.
I was agreeing with you and seconding your statement. Hopefully you did not misunderstand me.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.