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.

Transcript - will not be 100% accurate

It is the fourth -- final hour on our first up 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 -- the code word. Plastic you've got ten minutes to enter enter plastic at WEEI dot com slash -- do it now the page 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 here -- degrees I don't what's more back in Boston this is a good place to -- -- and they're good plays to -- and everybody within the sound horrible with -- New England is jealous and or angry at -- -- be that does that make. Off the top. Who first created the turn the page idea on the ballclub -- up some big club wider to one -- 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 to what's that -- 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 -- hitting 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 leads -- my second question we're discussing I wonder what worries John fail right now is it 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 work him there there's a lot of things to keep your -- night because you care. We're we're gonna we're gonna filtering two 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 and it's back to the building block approach spring training to prepare prepare for 2004 -- you you were known as the biggest. Stephen Drew fan out there. I understand why he was reliable solid. Dependable guy would you still welcome him back if someone asked do you still have room for them. We would you know that there would I 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. Ended up being champions is the depth of our roster at any time you can -- quality Major League players to your roster you're gonna be better off. You know. Yeah I was on record very clearly in supporter Stephen Drew he's a darn good player and in a final supporter like my players and I -- I like the team we have right now but I've got to show that support who who hits lead off right now opening day it 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 -- 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 six hole and that puts him in between Pierzynski in the seven hole a novice in the five hole. 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 matchups that might. Be able to extend to two or three hitters so that that's just the first ball -- his hitting not a first there there are times -- absolutely it there could be Jonny Gomes and a leadoff spot to I would not rule him out that's but you know he might not be the classic leadoff guy. With a stolen base. Characteristic in his in his skill set but he's an on base guy and you know Jonny -- 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 -- right go left. Well if we get to that point that that I ever and I mean -- get so much not let David Price two weeks into the season let's say. What's a lively and tough lefty you know all things being equal all all guys being available healthy to us. You know. We're -- always prioritize. Defense and you know what Jackie Bradley is our best center fielder defensively as as we sit here today. That's not to say this team victory and couldn't go -- it one game -- look. But you know. Again where we we'd be we'd be prioritized defense it's gonna feel great great right fielder. Well I know is that part if BI for play at home. Shape it's in victory over right field is is as good as we're gonna find in the game and then we were forced a -- a great job -- gonna find 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 -- all over the years -- slated -- you he's always say what you don't what 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 that could have some this team like losing two closers and -- steps up like losing Clay Buchholz and -- that the starter missed the start after that responding well to injuries is something that is invaluable to not. Well and that goes to the depth of the roster right that that been put together in and we feel good about the depth that we have as well but. I think that's when we identify players that would embraced Boston that would fit in our clubhouse and really kind of changed the you know I kind of wanted to 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 a 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 with a -- for the broadcast -- the press box or even in the stands there didn't seem to be any. Few if any brush fires was there behind the scenes about what -- dresses 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 -- year over course -- 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 but. We we've got. And did address some things and -- kept it at that. I got to look you saw nick -- Rose called me at that day he ranked the Major League manages from -- one -- -- I 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 cant 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 it turned out what else did you turn that and to -- Jimmy Kimmel Caldwell 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 together last year and it 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 -- Ortiz so. Attempt. Campaign to another contract extension he really does seem that -- a lot of 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 or -- 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 of that or not they didn't try to fake their way through anything that it try to exploit this certain situation for the Rome benefit. They came together they worked his tail off and they and they're chomping at the bit to do against it Clay Buchholz 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 for -- 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 a little differently this season especially early on is because the season so long last for the Lester threw more innings -- any pitcher in baseball that changed. April may -- -- I don't -- that the thing that is probably changed initially is how we're gonna get to opening day typically you've got 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 pitches before opening day but. You know what once the bell rings. War or about winning and you know you're not gonna just run a guy into the ground at the same time -- week baby step away into the start of the season oh. You know people say -- height and defend I don't look at it defending we have to go get it again. And and that's adept and that's a drastically different mindset from pitchers to catchers told -- about the learning curve for AJ Pierzynski -- the -- one of these guys amazed 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 faced them. At least 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 pitcher on a projected twelve man staff. In Campbell exist. But as much is that is that the repetition in between the lines it's going to be the conversation in the clubhouse were okay in certain situations this was a lot like to go to. What's the one pitch that gets your delivery back in -- those. All the things that will fall through conversation you. Dustin Pedroia took a hometown discount I mean obviously makes a good Livan but you know half what you know got. Lester said he wants to take on that and sisco Mike Napoli told his 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 hasn't always been that appealing a -- 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 that respect that they care for the they'd like. They talk about on -- Brothers. Whether it's bonded by a beer 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 you know resources can provide and and what we're a fortunate situation. What -- great things about baseball the conversations that can be had about the minutia and all the stuff the 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 -- season last year. I've made the case the based on what I saw in spring training before he got caught he might be the -- improves the most on this team I'm title I think about. No would. Think he he's kept you know -- read -- look at. You're one where he can broke on the scene split a big splash you know lot of home runs last year. Couple things kind of challenge him and derail the -- of my leagues I think he was. Humbled as as this game will do for everyone he's learned a lot about himself. You know and -- and an early work out here and he's been down here for couple weeks already he is primed and ready to go many consider the production we had 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. It's not a good and the -- 24 note and they can do it this year at a movie does -- the Buick only got a runaway hit it wanted tomorrow what you know what I'm looking for to see him throw and hopefully we get a chance at least in spring training to see him but. I think you know you were or ultra competitive we all are. Rivalry no robbery whatever it is but I think deep down all fans of the game and when he she got it comes to the states. As Tanaka as with a with a lot of that. You know that the credibility and -- and what he's done over Japan where we're looking for same amount of good combo guards -- -- -- I was stunned at the surprise of poise 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 where the crystal ball and get the what you have to look at it hard to put the number two up on that wall. Just a -- -- -- -- 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 -- 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 much to -- -- just -- when your shoulders. -- he still was Grossman and -- you know in the work used on what Brian Butterfield shortstop. He's shown very good range for step. Quickness or explosiveness is improving. Because there's a lot of talk radio is he gonna grow out of position if -- to the ultimate you know ceiling for lack of a better work. And you know what there's there's no reason why we don't think he does play shortstop every -- couple follow quick questions -- -- Koji does it have to be -- based that'll work load last year and part of that solution -- to -- Well me he can hit it well we. Again. Premium strike thrower closer experience alternate. In the case of something happened -- -- is not here last year. What we're not talking about last right based on the interest -- you know to the other discussion Billy and I -- Coaching you know what. He's developed Breslow and when he gets it was lesser extent we're gonna bring them will you know make their first approachable but later when training. -- one think Koji 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 durability question. In the in his bull -- right now those look like it's taken time off with the -- on a baseball so. He's our closer is anything you get positively out of Sizemore considered gravy cherry on top of the Sunday it would expecting. Because so much questioner had played together as and you know what republic reserving any thoughts on that until we get. Through spring training yeah 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 opening day -- for needs additional at bats that you know somewhere before that we we get before he gets going. Time will tell. Time will tell because it 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 -- got a chance because short jumper a place that's umbilical forwards could be done it with you -- going to be here are actually got -- Chara with Dennis and Callahan.

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