WEEI>On Demand>>Red Sox Manager John Farrell answers all the pressing questions heading into the spring

Red Sox Manager John Farrell answers all the pressing questions heading into the spring

Feb 19, 2014|

John Farrell sits down with John, Gerry and Kirk as Spring Training gets rolling in Fort Myers. Farrell explains his expectations for the spring and the approach the team is taking to fill the void in center.

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It is the fourth and final hour on our first -- seven days here Red Sox spring training jetBlue park Fort Myers, Florida time now for your chance to win 1000 dollars go to WEEI dot com slash cash in -- code word. Plastic you've got ten minutes to enter into plastic that WEEI dot com slash -- do it now the -- mobile friendly. She could enter with your Smartphone your next shot will be at 1 PM very pleased that our first day. Of the Red Sox manager John -- join us here at the broadcasts like that morning John how are doing well powered out -- eighty degrees I don't what's more back in Boston this is a good place to -- that there be good -- to -- -- within the sound horrible with -- New England is jealous and or angry at a could be that does that make. Off the top. Who first created the turn the page idea on the ballclub what's up some -- club wider -- one back up and say you know what it's time to set aside the the duck boats at parties and hang overs in the celebrations and turn the page -- what's that guy. You know I think that was. Really borne out of a ongoing text. Is messaging that that has not stopped since I game six of last season. You know -- -- contact are probably fifteen guys from what I've come to understand fifteen guys that were in touch with one another daily. So when it shifted from the celebration of what took place in 2013 at some point along the line -- it morphed into hey what's done is done. And that's the beauty of this group their attitude is come down here stay hungry stay determined drive to. To really do something potentially special which -- my second question we're discussing I wonder what worries John fail right now is -- human nature is it are they still thirsty is it used what what. He'd show up at night if anything does at all about the state ball rather. Because of what we do -- -- that you probably say the same about your own working there there's a lot of things to keep your vote night because you care. We're we're gonna we're gonna filtering too young guys up the middle right now for a start opening day tomorrow with Jackie Bradley Center field and and -- Bogart's shortstop. We we've got those two young guys to transition and at every day positions yeah we sitting here today. So different from a year ago so whether whether or not some natural motivation is removed. I would say no it's not but we can't just assume that -- back to the building block approach of spring training to prepare prepare for 2014 you you were known as the biggest. Stephen Drew fan out there. Understand what he was of reliable solid. Dependable would you still welcome him back if someone asked do you still have room for them. We would you know that there would if if he were to come back and let's say he's a free agent -- as we don't know if you were to come back you know that that kind of adjust where our plans are today. But the thing that really stood up to us question but the one main reasons why we. Into -- -- is the depth of our roster at any time you can Ed -- -- players to your roster you're gonna be better off. You know. Yeah I was on record very clearly in support of Stephen Drew he's a darn good player and in a -- supporter like my players and I -- I like the team we have right now but I've got to show that support who who its lead off right now opening they would tomorrow. Probably chain victory know. And while he's probably performed a little bit better and at two hole and sometimes in the five hole. You know this is about how we as a team can become a top five offensive club. In the American League that's what's gonna allow us to put it would -- in a position to be successful is he a switch hitter as of today as of today yes but as we all know we shape. He can change on the fly if the season SARS today -- -- over that line. Right now I'd have him in the sixth hole and that puts him in between present -- in the seven hole a novice in the -- -- all. So and then just you know a quick look at it if you're go victory -- Pedroia Ortiz Napoli Nava. Bogart's. Pierzynski. Middle middle rules Bradley you know you got a little left right combination in there you've got to maybe just a way to stay away from match -- that might. Be able to extend to two or three hitters so that that's just the first blogs are visiting not -- first there there -- times absolutely it there could be Jonny Gomes and a leadoff spot to I would not rule him out -- but you know he might not be the classic leadoff guy. With a stolen base. Characteristic of -- in his skill set but he's an on base guy and you know Johnnie -- go play a pivotal role forces while -- if you face David Price or CC sabathia. Or or Clayton Kershaw on the World Series. Does Bradley sit Gomes and does not a playwright called the left. Well if we get to that point that. I -- -- get so much Robert David Price two weeks into the season let's say. What's a lively and tough -- you know all things being equal all old guys being available healthy to us. You know. We're -- always prioritize. Defense and you know what Jackie Bradley is our best sort of fielder defensively as as we sit here today. That's not to say that -- victory and couldn't go in it one game kind of look. But you know. Again where we we'd be we'd be prioritizing defense and feel great great right fielder. Well I know is that part if BI for bringing home. -- as in victory right -- is is as good as we're gonna find in the game and then we were fortune -- great job of identifying a guy like him and could play it. And I think he exceeded all of our expectations defense with practically thrown a baseball. I've said this Bill Parcells story dozens of times of the year though all over the years also -- do you he's always say what you don't -- to do was give eighteen an excuse to lose cause more often than not they will take that. It seems to me that one of the great things about this team last year was you responded very positively and competitively to things to could have -- this team like losing two closers and -- steps up like losing Clay Buchholz and battle that the starter -- the start after that responding well to injuries is something that is invaluable is about. Well and that goes to the depth of the roster right that that been put together and and we feel good about the depth that we have as well but. I think that's when we identify players that would embrace Boston that would fit in our clubhouse and really kind of changed the you know I don't -- just keep using the word culture but that's kind of what it is and it is it is the environment -- clubhouse was one that. Guys bought into a team they bought into the team concept they play for something bigger than themselves. And and they'd love to work we did not lose more than three games at one point in time in the year that was for a couple of reasons a strong starting rotation. Their willingness and gonna work ethic of this group that was second to none. On the surface from the outside looking in whether it be for the broadcast -- the press bought street in the stands there didn't seem to be any. Few if any brush fires was there behind the scenes about what do you addresses are not acrimony that you dealt with that we never heard about because it's like it was smooth sailing on the ought to ought to merely. I think anytime you have upwards of 4548. Players that are gonna come through that door at any point in time during the year over course of 678. Months. There's going to be some things that pop up in and I think. You know what we try to set. From the first day of spring training last year is that if something does come -- we're gonna handle it internally behind closed doors that doesn't mean we're discriminate brush it under the rug and let it go by the we we've got. And did address some things and -- kept it at that. I got -- -- you saw nick of photos call me at that day he ranked the Major League managers from -- won the thirtieth believe. Number one Toronto. Can you believe you're among the best managers in baseball. I don't you think twice about the -- of you know I I -- every -- get in here 530 can't wait to get started and you know. What we. Accomplished last year was -- comedy -- the contributions from so money. In them I'm thankful to have to be in this position to contribute my way and you had a few chances to write your story that turned out what else to turn them to. The Jimmy Kimmel called -- let Delgado who actually you know what. You know last year incredible run great experience but my daily life has changed my routine is pretty much the same. And I think if anyone were to do something that focused on themselves. Rip away from everything that we put to get election that was about a group with team. And how we work together and still have that going on no one else what book I mean no one else other than usual the tees so. Attempt. Campaign another contract extension there really does seem -- -- -- -- -- off field stuff now and and it. It speaks to the the people that are in our clubhouse the players in our clubhouse they're genuine you know people ask well are you afraid of complacency RU -- afraid of a let down. My first initial reaction is no because they are genuine what we went through last year what how they responded how the achieved. It wasn't because they try to be somebody -- that or not they didn't try to fake your way through anything that it try to exploit a certain situation for the Rome benefit. They came together they work detail often and they're chomping at the bit to do against -- clay -- livers start thirty games of the season pitched 210 innings is that just not in his DNA. -- I think he will you know it. Has he been the most durable starter forest knowing is not but I tell -- what the innings that he does pitcher probably as good as you can find in baseball and and you know what what war will work with that. But he comes in the spring training at -- right now he saw a couple of opens he's looked solid. The shoulder strength is back to normal levels and yet -- ability is something we continue to work with him you have to manage your starters will definitely deceased especially early on is because she's so long last for the Lester threw warnings any pitcher in baseball -- changed. In April and may now -- occurred that the thing that is probably changed initially is how we're gonna get to opening day typically -- six starts and given spring training were or cutting them back by one just to give a little bit more to build up time for. Particularly Lester and Lackey and because Buchholz is coming off the shoulder situation. What will give them five starts that's still that allow them to get that ninety to 95 minutes before opening day but. You know what what's the bell rings. War or about winning and you you know you're not gonna just run -- -- into the ground at the same time -- we -- baby step away into the start of the season oh. You know people say -- -- and defend it I don't look at it defending we have to go get it again. And and that's -- DF and that's a drastically different mindset from pitchers to catchers told -- about the learning curve for AJ Pierzynski lowering the step one of these guys amused at how hard is that a steeple a mountain. I think because we have six weeks here hill and one he's he's been around which we -- them. At least that the place has an idea what this stuff is. But that time spent the conversations that will take place in the opportunities to catch each starter and each picture on a projected twelve man staff. In Campbell exist. But as much as is that the repetition in between the lines it's going to be the conversation in the clubhouse were okay in certain situations this with a lot like to go to. What's the one pitch that gets your delivery back in sync those. All the things that will fall through conversation you. Dustin Pedroia took a hometown discount I mean obviously makes a good -- but you know -- what -- got. Lester said he wants to take on -- and sisco Mike Napoli -- as agent. Get a deal -- what Boston I don't wanna go anywhere else. That's different for historically you've been here in the past it has always been that appealing a lowering to be in Boston. What do you attribute that to who made this culture this environment so. So terrible. Look no further than those players in uniform. They look around they wanna play with guys -- respect that they care for the they'd like. They talk about one another -- Brothers. Whether it's bonded by a beard or whether responded by -- you know going out competing every night that's what draws players to -- one that got a chance to win every single year. To what they're doing with the group to tell the guys that care for one another and when you combine those things. Yeah this is a very desirable place to be and why wouldn't this is incredible stage to play of the game of baseball on historic. It's gonna always be a team that is going to be equipped to you know what what's the best players that that you know resources can provide and and what we're a fortunate situation. What other great things about baseball the conversations that can be had about the minutia and all the stuff that goes on around baseball were sitting around talking about. Who was going to be worse this year in The Who is going to be much better and of what we read about will middle Brooks rib cartilage injury that sort of way ladies season last year. I've made the case the based -- on spring training before he got caught he might be the gut improves the most on this team are my idol I think about. No would. Think he he's kept you know who's -- you look at. You're one where he -- broke on the scene split the big splash you know -- home runs last year. Couple things kind of challenge him and he -- at parliament minor leagues I think he was. Humbled as as this game will do for everyone he's learned a lot about himself. You know and wash in the -- were captured he's been down here for a couple weeks already he is primed and ready to go many consider the production we have over the course of the whole year last year from third base. That is a position that we can take a big step forward if you're you're the ultimate pitching expert in my mind. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- I think you know you were or Alter competitive we all are. Rivalry no robbery whatever it is but I think deep down -- fans of the game and when he she got it comes to the states. As to -- as with the put a lot of that. You know that the credibility and -- and what he's done over Japan where -- consortium amount of good combo guards -- -- when I was stunned at the surprise -- -- he wasn't huge spots question kaposi's I thought maybe the second best at bats after Ortiz in the World Series in the Pletcher watched. Is he going to be potentially see him down alliance MVP level kind of player while -- He's got I think 35 at bats finally they grew up. That's an excellent way to did you get a great parent or where the crystal ball to the political what do you have to look at that -- to put the number two up on that wall. Just a stockpiles had. You know what he's got everything that you're you're looking for an in -- in front line player. To put any you know label comparison I think it's probably unjust for. For Zander. I think what -- early early workouts he's a very good I think he's cute he's grown probably an inch the or talk -- -- -- -- just one when your shoulders. -- he still it was Grossman and -- you know in the work used on what Brian Butterfield shortstop. He's shown very good range for step. Quick mr. explosiveness is improving. Because there's a lot of talk radio is he gonna grow out of position if -- -- ultimate you know ceiling for lack of better work. And you know what there's there's no reason why we don't think he does play shortstop everyday couple follow quick question Germany. Koji does -- have to be -- based that'll work load last year in this part of that solution -- bleak. Well me he gave it what we. Again. Premium strike thrower -- experience alternate. In the case of something have a coach coach is not here last year. What we're not talking about last -- based on the interest you know to the other discussion Billy and I -- Coaching you know what. He developed Breslow and when he gets it was lesser extent we're gonna bring them will you know make their first approachable but later in training. -- one think -- was very adamant about is to pitch to keep his arm in shape and boy did he ever he stayed healthy he he he answered the -- -- question. In the in -- -- -- right now those look like he's taken time off with the waste on a baseball shall. He's our closer is anything you get positively out of -- considered gravy cherry on top of the Sunday it would expecting. Because so much question has played together this and you know what republic reserving any thoughts on that until we get. Through spring training -- he's had no issues with the needs no you know he's on the field every single day. You know he's probably gonna learn about himself from the spring training because of the time he's missed. And if that means she's ready to go opening day -- for needs additional at bats you know somewhere before that we we get before he gets going. Time will tell. Time will tell because if we've got a chance you know and this is a great risk reward signing Grady Sizemore if he's able to stay healthy which. We feel a medical staff we'll keep on the field. This is got a chance because short jumper a place that umbilical -- could be done it with you -- going to be here are actually got John -- Dennis and Callahan.

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