The curtain is open on the John Farrell era for the Red Sox.
The team unveiled Farrell as its 46th manager in an afternoon news conference at Fenway Park. Farrell, the Red Sox pitching coach from 2007-2010, is returning to the team after managing the Blue Jays the past two seasons.
“I’m honored and extremely humbled to be standing here today,” Farrell said.
“This is an incredible privilege to be standing here today,” said Farrell, who added he wanted to return to Boston last year but was not allowed to by the Blue Jays.
Farrell said he was not daunted by the enormity of the job facing him in taking over a last-place team. In fact, he wants the challenge, along with the pressure that comes with the spotlight of the Red Sox job.
“I think that’s one of the drawing cards to this position,” he said.
Farrell stressed that he will insist on accountability from his players and intends to earn respect from his players as well. Having a harmonious and hard-working clubhouse is important to him, he said.
“It’s got to be a positive place that they want to come to every day,” Farrell said.
General manager Ben Cherington introduced Farrell. “His integrity, leadership skills, intelligence are second to none and make him the right person for this job,” Cherington said.
The Red Sox sent infielder Mike Aviles to Toronto as compensation for Farrell, who was under contract to the Blue Jays for one more year. Farrell went 154-170 as Blue Jays manager, but the Red Sox aggressively pursued him as the replacement to Bobby Valentine.
“Ben Cherington and John will form a very strong partnership in leading this club back to where it needs to be,” Red Sox owner John Henry said in a statement. “John knows our club and division well.”
Cherington said he was “thrilled” to add Farrell, a year after he targeted Farrell to replace Terry Francona but could not work out a deal with the Blue Jays to hire him.