Newly-hired Red Sox manager John Farrell is, of course, well known in Boston thanks to his time as the pitching coach. It was clear based on the front office's push for the former Jays manager that they were still fans, but after some critical comments from an unnamed player, ti wasn't entirely clear if the same was going to come from the clubhouse.
So far, however, so good for Farrell. Unsurprisingly, it's the veterans who are coming out to support Farrell as he makes his way to Boston.
Jon Lester told Gordon Edes that it was "good to have a familiar face" in the position and commenting on the communication that Bobby Valentine so lacked:
"I can only speak for myself, but for me he was always up front with me. Whatever the issue -- a problem, a concern, even a dumb idea -- I always knew I was going to get a very truthful answer. I knew going forward that he was thinking of what was in my best interests.
"I always respected John. Whether it was about life, pitching, anything, I knew he would give me a straight answer.''
David Ortiz gave his own support to Farrell in an interview with Pete Abraham:
"He has a great relationship with our pitchers and I think they need that. If you can line up your pitching staff, it makes everything easier."
"I'm pretty sure he'll walk in and handle his business. He'll be in a situation where he doesn't have to come in and learn the program. He can just do his thing."
And then there was Dustin Pedroia, providing perhaps Farrell's most glowing review to Joe MacDonald:
"He's excited," Pedroia told ESPNBoston.com Sunday night. "I'm excited. We're all excited.
"He has that instant respect when he walks into the room because it's leadership and it's going to be nice."
There's plenty more support coming from Pedroia in there, which is interesting given that Pedroia was suspect number one for that mystery critic given the tone and content of the comments.
Whether this means that Pedroia is not said critic or just putting a good face on it now that the hire is made isn't really important, though, because what matters is that Farrell is coming into this with the support of the top guys in the clubhouse. So long as they project the same support behind closed doors as they do in public, Farrell shouldn't have any problem connecting with the players.
Even if Farrell doesn't end up being the perfect manager baseball-wise--lineups, bullpen management, etc.--that certainly won't preclude the Red Sox from winning ball games. Terry Francona was certainly far from perfect himself in that regard. Ideally we'd wind up with a manager who is great both on and off the field, but after last year's total disaster having someone who can just keep things peaceful will be a aint step up. Add in some reduced expectations, and hopefully a positive offseason from Ben Cherington, and Farrell should have a decent shot at success.