October 11, 2017

John Farrell Has Been Fired

Update: Statement from John Farrell below.

The Red Sox announced today that John Farrell will not return as the club's manager for the 2018 season.

Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski:
I thought it was the appropriate time to make a change for the betterment of the organization moving forward. You weigh a lot of different things to come into play. You watch day in, day out over a season. You come up with a decision based upon that. And for me, at this point, sometimes change can be better. ... It's not a snap decision that says "Oh, we lost in the postseason." That is not by any means the case. ... In my position, you're always thinking about how you get better in every different facet, so it's a thought process that takes place in everything you do.
Dombrowski's press conference can be watched here (NESN, 40 minutes).

Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe tweeted: "Dombrowski said Farrell was fired for reasons he won't disclose and that no level of team success would have prevented that."

Dombrowski added:
I'm not going to share facts. Those are things that I keep to myself. ... I'm not going to get into particular situations that really made the final decision.
Farrell managed the Red Sox for five seasons (432-378), winning the AL East three times (including the 2013 World Series) and finishing in last place twice. Farrell was also the Red Sox's pitching coach under Terry Francona for four seasons (2007-10).
Chad Jennings, Boston Herald:
After five years of near constant scrutiny, which never went away despite three division titles and a World Series, John Farrell is out as Red Sox manager. ...

Farrell's tenure began with a championship and it ended with back-to-back division titles, something no manager in franchise history had ever accomplished, but in between were two losing seasons and persistent questions about his job security. ...

Like most managers, Farrell's in-game decision making was regular fodder for second guessing on social media and talk radio. His bullpen management and lineup construction were questioned to the very end ...

But in the past year, Farrell also became a focal point for the Red Sox' unusual clubhouse dynamic.
Tim Britton, Providence Journal:
There was not a peep Wednesday from [John] Henry or [Tom] Werner. Neither attended the press conference, and the club did not include statements on their behalf in the press release announcing Farrell's firing, as is customary. Even Bobby Valentine earned four paragraphs from ownership the day he was let go.

This is Dombrowski's call, and he decided it wasn't necessary to explain it much. He offered hints but little of substance, repeatedly declining to elaborate on why a manager who had won three divisions and a World Series in five seasons was no longer the right man for the job. ...

He said Farrell asked him a single question during their 9 a.m. meeting on Wednesday, but decided against sharing it — a tease on par with the Internet's worst clickbait. ...

Few managers had been subjected to the kind of unceasing scrutiny that Farrell endured over the past several seasons — scrutiny built by consecutive last-place finishes ...
Ron Borges of the Herald wonders: "When will the Red Sox players get some blame?"
[N]o manager can hit for his players. None can pitch for them either. When they get into the postseason the players decide who wins and who loses. Even the devotees of Moneyball admit that.

Is John Farrell the reincarnation of Earl Weaver? Not hardly. But if in five years you win a World Series, two division titles and reach the playoffs three times it shouldn't produce your dismissal ... What it should produce is a re-evaluation of your talent because, in the end, managers and coaches don't win games and neither do heads of baseball ops. Players do.
ESPN's Scott Lauber wrote that with Farrell gone, "maybe the Red Sox can address their real problems":
Drink a toast, all you champions of the #FireFarrell movement. Surely this is cause for rejoicing.

It also doesn't solve anything. ...

This isn't to say Farrell was unjustly fired. ...

But pinning it all on Farrell and pretending things will be different with another manager is as shortsighted as it is foolish. The problem runs much deeper than that. It goes to a clubhouse run by two defiant veterans, the inability of a bunch of young players to mature into team leaders and the overall makeup of a team that often seemed to be joylessly slogging back to the top of the American League East.
John Farrell released a statement on Wednesday afternoon:
Despite an end to this season that we all wanted to be different, I am proud of this ball club and the resiliency shown. I have enjoyed every moment of this job -- its peaks and its valleys. There are few, if any, positions in life that create so much passion on a daily basis.

I am grateful to an ownership group that gave me such a unique opportunity, and one that shared my desire to bring World Series championships to this great city. They supported me through a challenging and scary period in my own life, and I remain forever indebted.

I am grateful to two front office groups that worked tirelessly to provide me with the players that could consistently match up with the very best in the game. Their time and resources made my job so much easier and fulfilling.

I am thankful for fellow coaches who are far more than that -- they are close friends. They have provided the necessary direction, guidance and humor that have made the daily activities of a long season all that much more enjoyable.

I am especially grateful for five years of great players -- and people. This game has always been built around and for the players, and I have tried to respect that for five years in Boston. I have witnessed Hall of Famers, memorable Fenway wins and countless private moments that will always be with me. Those relationships will remain cherished for years.

The legions of fans who support this franchise keep their manager on his toes day in and day out. There are no days off when managing this proud franchise. I would not have wanted it any other way.

Again, I thank John Henry, Tom Werner, Michael Gordon and the ownership team for their faith in me and wish them nothing but the best moving forward.


johngoldfine said...

"...no level of team success would have prevented that [firing]."

No level? Hard to believe that if the 2017 Red Sox had won the World Series, Farrell would still have been fired!

Dr. Jeff said...

I wonder how much the sign-stealing incident played into this. If Farrell was unaware, that's inexcusable. If he was aware, that's also inexcusable. Certainly it was embarrassing for the organization.