Boston Red Sox: John Farrell Returns, Should He?


On Sunday, the Boston Red Sox announced that John Farrell will return as the team’s manager in 2016. Farrell recently finished his last course of chemotherapy after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma earlier in the season.

In Farrell’s absence this season, bench coach Torey Lovullo stepped up and filled in admirably as the interim manager. The Red Sox also announced that Lovullo will be returning to his position of bench coach next season after signing an odd two-year extension where he waived the right to chase any managerial jobs this off season.

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“The commitment is made to John, he’ll be our manager for 2016, he should be fine,” Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski said on Sunday, according to Gordon Edes of “But I also want to make sure how do we protect ourselves in case — and again, I’m not saying it’s going to be six months, I hope it’s three months, and if it’s three months, the time frame works out well. But what happens if it’s six months?

“Well, you’re already into the start of next season. You’re also in a position where you start talking about spring training, preparation for spring training. It’s a great time of year, but it can also be a grueling time of year. And I don’t want that extra stress on [Farrell] to feel, ‘I got to be ready, I got to be ready.'”

It’s great to hear that Farrell is in good health and the Red Sox are confident in him going forward. That being said, I cannot help but think that the protection that Dombrowski speaks of could be the better option. Sure, it would be sad to see a guy lose his job after battling cancer, but the Red Sox have to do what is best for their team, and Lovullo certainly seemed to have the team under control down the stretch.

Under Lovullo, the Red Sox played their best baseball of the year, finishing with a 28-20 record down the stretch. More than the record, the Red Sox appeared to play more freely under Lovullo, with young guys like Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts really starting to show-off their skill-set down the stretch.

Regardless, having Lovullo on the staff is a great insurance policy for the Red Sox. After his success with the team down the stretch, Lovullo undoubtedly would have been a popular name on the managerial coaching searches this off season. Now, he will support the Red Sox int he background while be ready to step in if needed.

An argument could certainly be made for Lovullo being the better choice to bet the Red Sox’s manager, but it is just nice to see Farrell heading towards a full recovery. Farrell is certainly a strong choice as well, as the Red Sox are spoiled with strong manager options on their staff.

Next: Five Red Sox Free Agent Targets

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