New Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell

Farrell introduced as Red Sox new manager

Larry Lucchino cracked open a fortune cookie from the Chinese dinner that Red Sox officials and John Farrell shared during their final discussion about Boston’s managerial job. The message inside drew a chuckle from the team’s president.

BOSTON — Larry Lucchino cracked open a fortune cookie from the Chinese dinner that Red Sox officials and John Farrell shared during their final discussion about Boston’s managerial job.

The message inside drew a chuckle from the team’s president.

“One that I opened after everyone left was quite interesting,” Lucchino said Tuesday. “It said, ’you will solve a major problem that’s very important to you.”’

From that meeting at Lucchino’s home Saturday night, also attended by owner John Henry and general manager Ben Cherington, the Red Sox are moving forward from their worst season since 1965 with a contributor to their World Series championship of 2007.

Two days after announcing the hiring of Farrell, their pitching coach from 2007-10, the Red Sox introduced him at a news conference. He succeeds Bobby Valentine, who was fired after one year and a 69-93 record.

Farrell, who managed the Toronto Blue Jays the past two seasons, called Boston “the epicenter” of baseball.

He’s familiar with some players and members of the front office from his experience with the team. He expects that to smoothe his transition. But, he said, he won’t take for granted his relationships with players.

“I will work my butt off to earn their trust, to earn their respect and create an environment in that clubhouse that is just that,” Farrell said. “It’s a trusting one. It’ll be a learning one and, yes, it’ll be a competitive one and, hopefully, a very successful one.”

That wasn’t the case last season when Valentine had a cool relationship with some coaches, publicly criticized Kevin Youkilis before he was traded to the Chicago White Sox and was the target of players’ complaints at a meeting they had with team officials.

The Red Sox also were hurt by numerous injuries and management finally gave up its post-season hopes when it traded Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Aug. 25. That left Valentine with starting lineups in September that looked better suited to their Triple-A team at Pawtucket.

“I can’t speak to what the Red Sox clubhouse was last year,” Farrell said. “I think it’s important that we communicate consistently to the players, we outline expectations and we have to hold players accountable to what we’re trying to get done.

“It’s got to be a positive place that they want to come to every single day.”

Farrell, 50, received a three-year contract to become the 46th manager in Red Sox history.

“I truly believe in an aggressive style of play,” he said. “That creates a strategy that is relentless, and I think that is critical.”

The Red Sox wanted Farrell last year when they let Terry Francona go. But the Blue Jays wouldn’t release him after they went 81-81 in the first year of his three-year contract. But after going 73-89 this season, finishing one spot above the last-place Red Sox in the AL East, they allowed Farrell to leave in exchange for Red Sox shortstop Mike Aviles. Boston also received reliever David Carpenter.

Cherington reportedly had wanted Dale Sveum to succeed Francona. But Lucchino preferred Valentine and Sveum became manager of the Chicago Cubs.

“It’s important that I have a relationship with the manager that’s strong to the point that you can disagree and be candid with one another and walk away knowing that that relationship is still intact,” Cherington said. “I feel confident about that with John, based on my existing relationship with him.”

Farrell had a key role in the development of starters Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz. Both are coming off subpar seasons, but Farrell said those two, plus Felix Doubront and John Lackey, who was sidelined all this year following Tommy John elbow surgery, can form a solid core of the rotation.

“We all recognize how important pitching is and, particularly, starting pitching,” Farrell said. “You look at every team that’s advanced to the post-season … and it typically starts and ends with the strength of your starting rotation. So that is a priority.”

The Red Sox need another reliable starter and an everyday outfielder. They can use an upgrade at first base and must settle on a replacement for Aviles.

David Ortiz and Cody Ross, two of Boston’s top hitters, are eligible for free agency but have said they’d like to return. Ortiz was working out at Fenway Park on Tuesday and Cherington said he’s talked several times with the designated hitter’s agent.

“When you look at the roster, there are still some very good major league players here,” Farrell said. “We do need to get healthy.”

Farrell drew criticism from Toronto fans for leaving, especially after he talked about his loyalty to the Blue Jays last month.

“That means there’s passion, there’s caring from the fan base,” he said, “but I would take exception with the thought that there was no intent to fulfil a contract.”

Toronto general manager Alex Anthopolous has said Farrell told him that “there’s no other city that was more of a perfect fit or a perfect opportunity.”

He takes over a Red Sox team that ended its last two seasons in disarray.

The Red Sox lost their last eight games under Valentine. In 2011, they went 7-20 in September, leading to Francona’s exit. Afterward, there were reports that players ate chicken and drank beer in the clubhouse during games.

On Saturday night, it was Hunan shrimp and wonton soup at Lucchino’s house.

“We were sitting around eating some Chinese takeout,” Farrell said. “I said this is a place that I would love to take on the challenge. It’s an incredible city.

“It’s an incredible baseball environment.”

Just Posted

Update: Hundreds pay respects to Stettler homicide victim

Gofundme account created to help the Heritage House in Stettler

Victim Services information event planned

Information on becoming a Victim Service volunteer available at April 26 meeting

Much left to fight for beyond legalization, pot activists say as they mark 4-20

TORONTO — Cannabis activists say although this year’s 4-20 celebrations across the… Continue reading

Canadian Pacific starting operations shutdown ahead of possible strike

CALGARY — Canadian Pacific Railway says it has begun shutting down train… Continue reading

Nicholas Butcher says he fatally stabbed Kristin Johnston by accident

HALIFAX — Nicholas Butcher has told his second-degree murder trial that he… Continue reading

WATCH: Fine wine and food at Red Deer College

The Red Deer College Alumni Association hosted its 14th annual Fine Wine… Continue reading

Sarah Jessica Parker calls Cynthia Nixon’s run ‘exciting’

NEW YORK — Cynthia Nixon’s quest for the governorship of New York… Continue reading

Lawyers for Russian player say FIFA ends anti-doping case

By Graham Dunbar THE ASSOCIATED PRESS GENEVA — Lawyers for Russia defender… Continue reading

Woman who lost pink house, court case seeks box office win

WASHINGTON — Susette Kelo’s Supreme Court case now has a Hollywood ending,… Continue reading

Recent retail sales far weaker than initial estimates, revisions suggest

OTTAWA — Canadian retail sales during the crucial holiday shopping season were… Continue reading

U.S. woman sentenced to life in Valentine’s Day shooting plot at mall

HALIFAX — An American woman who plotted to go on a Valentine’s… Continue reading

Alabama mail-bomber the oldest executed in US modern times

ATMORE, Ala. — An Alabama man convicted of sending mail bombs during… Continue reading

The Latest: It was Putin call that had Trump fuming at Flynn

WASHINGTON — The Latest on former FBI Director James Comey’s memos (all… Continue reading

Boston’s Tuukka Rask, Riley Nash step up in Game 4 win over Leafs

Bruins 3 Maple Leafs 1 TORONTO — The Boston Bruins didn’t need… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month