The Red Sox are out of the playoffs, but if the postseason did not go at all according to plan, the 93 wins were enough to keep John Farrell in a Red Sox uniform. Speaking to the media today, Dave Dombrowski wasted little time in announcing that there would be no changes in management.
Sorry, #FireFarrell crowd. Your movement extends into another season.
John Farrell is not a good in-game manager. It’s pretty hard to deny that at this point. He makes questionable decisions when it comes to the bullpen, lineup construction, and pinch-hitting. He undoubtedly costs the Red Sox some small amount of win expectancy each and every time. What he costs the Red Sox compared to an ideal manager is anyone’s guess. Whether he actually costs them compared to an average manager is too, given how unclear the quality of an “average” manager actually is.
But as Dombrowski said himself, in-game management is not what the Red Sox are most concerned with. And whether you like it or not, the reality is that much of John Farrell’s job duties are not visible to those of us outside of the organization. The front office, on the other hand, has ready access to the players, and are much more likely to get candid answers from them on Farrell’s performance in those areas than anyone else. If they say he’s performing well in that department, chances are that the players are the ones informing that evaluation.
And really, 2017 is a year the Sox could use a leader ahead of a tactician. With David Ortiz gone, the Red Sox are without one of their biggest pillars in the locker room. Dustin Pedroia is still there, yes, but Farrell is the guy after him with the deepest roots in this organization, having initially signed on as the pitching coach back in 2007. Hell, there’s few enough players who can even claim to have been around for 2013.
So yes, get ready for more questionable and frustrating decisions. John Farrell is imperfect, but so are all managers. With the Sox having claimed the East, it’s no surprise to see Farrell will be back for another season, no matter what happened in those last three games.