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John Farrell: Larry Lucchino ‘demanding’, but ‘main player in an unprecedented run of success here in Boston’ 08.02.15 at 11:58 am ET
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It was revealed early Saturday evening that Larry Lucchino would be stepping down at the end of this season.

While this wasn’t a surprise to many in the organization, it presented a chance to reflect back on what he’s meant to the organization as president and CEO for three World Series titles.

“The announcement of Larry stepping down, that’s been the succession plan probably in place and talked about for quite some time,” manager John Farrell said. “But just personally, someone who is obviously deeply involved in not only the roster constriction, but with everything that has gone on around Fenway here. I can tell you, someone who is demanding, but yet willing to invest the best available for resources available to players to get the most and highest production out of guys.

“While he’s demanding, there’s some things that Larry was always willing to go above and beyond to make available to all of us here.”

Some have said the near 70-year-old has already begun to take a step back this year, but Farrell said that isn’t the case, although he’s been heavily involved with new group who has bought the Pawtucket Red Sox.

“No, I wouldn’t say that,” Farrell said of Luchhino’s possible diminished role this year. “I wouldn’t say he was less involved. There’s a number of people who are involved when it comes to selecting players — whether it’s about how we go about our daily work. With the addition of the Pawtucket situation there was probably more involvement with that on his end there, but I can’t say he was less involved here.”

Despite the team’s struggles each of the last two seasons, Lucchino left his mark in Boston, not only with the three titles, but the improvements made in and around Fenway Park.

“He’s clearly been a main player in an unprecedented run of success here in Boston,” Farrell said. “That will carry on not just in World Series trophies, but tangible things here with additions to Fenway and the renovation plans and programs that this ballpark went through. Still, the thing that will stand out most is the interactions that you had with him frequently whether it’s here at home, during spring training and just a driving force behind being the best that we could be.”

Read More: John Farrell, Larry Luchhino,
Like father, like son: Travis Shaw hits first major league home run(s), scores 5 runs in Red Sox win 08.01.15 at 6:51 pm ET
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Travis Shaw went 4-for-4 with his first two major league homers in the Red Sox' win Saturday. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Travis Shaw went 4-for-4 with his first two major league homers in the Red Sox‘ win Saturday. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Listening to Travis Shaw after Saturday’s game you’d never know he went 4-for-4, hitting the first two home runs of his major league career and falling a triple short of the cycle while scoring five runs in the Red Sox‘ 11-7 win over the Rays.

The 25-year-old barely cracked a smile during the roughly five minutes he spoke to the media after the game, but maybe there’s a reason for that.

Shaw’s dad, Jeff, was a reliever who played 12 seasons in the majors and was a two-time All-Star. Growing up, Travis was always at the park shagging fly balls during batting practice and even serving as bat boy during road games. He probably had seen many performances better than his own.

“Son of a major leaguer, maybe that’s why he keeps it in stride. He’s been around it his entire life,” said manager John Farrell, who played with Jeff on the Indians, Jeff’s first three years in the majors.

“Jeff never shut up, Travis is quiet. They both have the last name Shaw, but very different,” he added.

Shaw stepped to the plate a triple shy of the cycle in the eighth inning, but instead of the cycle he crushed a homer to dead center field for his second of the day. He became the first Red Sox player since at least 1914 to record four hits, five runs and 11 total bases in a game.

He admitted he was thinking about the cycle stepping to the plate.

“It’s in your head,” he said. “Everyone is talking about it. If you hit the ball in the gap, everyone is like, ‘Don’t stop running.’ I’ll take the homer.”

His first home run came in the third inning when he took Rays starter Matt Moore deep into the Rays bullpen for his first career home run.

The left-handed hitter who stands 6-foot-4 said he felt some sense of relief as he had played in eight games before recording his first major league hit in his ninth game (back in early July before being sent down) and then in his 10th he was able to hit his first home run.

“It’s about the same,” he said of more weight being off his shoulders after his first homer. “Everyone is looking at me to hit home runs, especially with the type of body that I have. Being able to go out there and do that it takes some weight off your shoulders.”

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Read More: Jeff Shaw, John Farrell, travis shaw,
Ben Cherington admits being ‘wrong’ with beginning of year expectations for Red Sox 07.31.15 at 8:24 pm ET
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Ben Cherington admitted being "wrong" with the expectations for the 2015 Red Sox. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Ben Cherington admitted being “wrong” with the expectations for the 2015 Red Sox. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

There were certainly high expectations for the 2015 Red Sox as going into the season with the acquisitions of Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval some thought the Red Sox offense could score 800 runs.

That’s been far from the case as the team has averaged 4.13 runs per game, 16th in the baseball. It’s not just the offense either, as overall the team is 45-58 and 13 games behind the Yankees in the AL East.

There’s plenty of blame to be thrown around, but speaking following the trade deadline pasing Friday, general manager Ben Cherington said he’s the person who should be blamed the most.

“Look, obviously the results are the results and that means the team we built is not as good as what we thought it could be. We’re all responsible. I’m more responsible than anyone for that, but we’re all responsible,” he said. “Players are responsible. The staff is responsible. I’m responsible. I’m more responsible than anyone. That’s how I feel. That said, I still look at the field and see a bunch of guys that are going to be part of a really good team in the near future. I don’t see this as a situation where we have to go and reverse in anyway. We have to keep building. We have to clear areas that need improvement.

“There are solutions out there too and we just have to find more. We have to find a way to get more out of some guys that are here. I think John [Henry] said, they’ll either prove us right or prove us wrong and it’s safe to say at the end of July we were wrong at the beginning of the season as to what this team could do. We’ve got to figure out, we’ve been in the process of trying to figure out why that is and we have to fix it and have to play better baseball.”

Speaking to reporters in Houston about a week before the trade deadline, Cherington was very complimentary of his manager John Farrell, saying, “I fully support John. He’€™s part of the solution.”

Friday, Cherington was asked if he wanted to see anything different from Farrell during the remaining two months of the season. While Cherington didn’t say anything definitive, it wasn’t the same tone as just over a week ago.

“As I’ve said, I think we are all responsible for being better,” he said. “I don’t think anyone is exempt from that. I know we believe in the people that are here, but we all have to find ways to perform and improve our performance. That’s up to us to work together, to help each other figure out what that is. Beyond that I can’t say anything more specific than that.”

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John Farrell: ‘Guys are fully aware that the deadline is fast approaching’ 07.28.15 at 5:31 pm ET
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It’s no secret there will be more Red Sox players traded in the coming days.

With the Red Sox 13 games back of the Yankees in the AL East and 12 games below .500, there will be some movement as the team begins to shift its focus towards 2016.

Manager John Farrell noted there is a little different feel than last year, as there were many names rumored in trade talks — notably Jon Lester. There isn’t that one premier player or rumor this year.

“The difference between this year and last year is I think you see a lot of rumors surrounding individual names, precipitating in trades,” Farrell said. “That rumor hasn’t been nearly as strong surrounding guys last year. It is that time of year. Guys are fully aware that the deadline is fast approaching. I don’t think it’s as prevalent in the minds of the guys here and the lack of that rumor. If there’s anything that is kind of leaning that way, we try and give guys a heads up as best possible, but that’s not the case.”

One player who has been rumored in trades after Shane Victorino was dealt yesterday is Mike Napoli. After struggling much of the season, the first baseman has turned it around of late. Over his last 10 games he’s hitting .355.

“It’€™s something that’€™s out of my control,” Napoli said of possibly being dealt. “I come here, work hard every day to get myself better. Go out there, play hard and try to help us win that day. It’€™s something I don’€™t really think about. I come here and get my work in and do what I can.”

The Red Sox first baseman did speak of how much he loves Boston, but didn’t want to get into much about how sad he would be if traded.

“I don’€™t know. I guess I’€™ll answer that if it happens,” he said. “I love this place. I bought a place here, I live here. Love this city, love the people here. I’€™ve really enjoyed it. If that time comes, I’€™ll touch on my thoughts then.”

With the Victorino trade on Monday, Farrell himself admitted it says the team is focusing now on the future. The manager didn’t want to get into what that would mean for the team overall until after Friday’s deadline has passed.

“I think it’s probably best we get through these next few days,” Farrell said. “It’s kind of a mark on the calendar that you — I think there are some things that are obvious and if it affects an individual then that’s when a sit down 1-on-1 comes down a little more regularly.”

OTHER RED SOX NOTES

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Read More: 2015 Trade Deadline, John Farrell, mike napoli, Shane Victorino
Joe Kelly’s struggles continue in Red Sox’ loss to White Sox at 12:42 am ET
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Joe Kelly allowed five runs over 3 1/3 innings taking a no-decision in the Red Sox' loss Monday night. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Joe Kelly allowed five runs over 3 1/3 innings, taking a no-decision in the Red Sox‘ loss Monday night. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Joe Kelly’s reentry into the Red Sox rotation has been met with unrelenting difficulties. After a month at Triple-A Pawtucket, Kelly’s major league troubles have persisted, and Monday’s game against the White Sox saw that trend continue.

The right-hander lasted just 3 1/3 innings in a 10-8 loss to the White Sox, allowing seven hits and five runs (four of them earned). He struck out two and did not walk a batter.

“Rough outing,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said of his starter’s performance. “A lot of elevated pitches in the strike zone. There were strikes, but the command within the strike zone was lacking. A lot of hard contact early.”

Kelly’s struggles started just as soon as the game did; he allowed a leadoff triple to Adam Eaton on his second pitch of the day. The very next pitch was another triple, this off the bat off Tyler Saladino. Two pitches after that, Melky Cabrera doubled to left and the White Sox quickly staked a 2-0 lead.

Kelly noted the aggressiveness of the White Sox hitters in pouncing on pitches to hit early in the count.

“Those guys came out swinging the bat right away, obviously that was their game plan, so I tried to make adjustments from there,” Kelly said.

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Read More: Joe Kelly, John Farrell, Ryan Hanigan,
John Farrell: Shane Victorino felt special bond with Boston, gave ‘heart and soul’ on field at 12:17 am ET
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Shane Victorino was a vital part of the 2013 World Series. (WEEI.com photo)

Shane Victorino was a vital part of the 2013 World Series winning Red Sox. (WEEI.com photo)

For Shane Victorino, the right fielder was traded to the first-place Angels on Monday from the last-place Red Sox in exchange for Triple-A infielder Josh Rutledge.

Normally that would be looked at as all positives, but not for Victorino, who even with the struggles of the 2015 Red Sox was “disappointed” to be traded away.

The gritty right fielder felt a special bond with the city of Boston, especially after winning the 2013 World Series in his first year in a Red Sox uniform where his “Three Little Birds” walkup song became so famous.

“He was disappointed,” manager John Farrell said. “He didn’t want to leave in general and yet leaving — the one thing about Vic whether in Philadelphia he became very attached to Philadelphia. In similar ways he felt very attached to Boston. He’s a unique player in that sense in that he feels a bond in which the city he plays. He gives his heart and soul when he walks on the field. He takes a lot of pride in the uniform he wears for a particular city and that was the case here in a Red Sox uniform.”

Just like general manager Ben Cherington said earlier in the night, Farrell said he didn’t think the 2013 World Series win would have happened without Victorino.

“No and I think you’d say that probably about a number of players,” Farrell said. “Shane was a vital cog in our offense, certainly a Gold Glove defender in right field. Arguably played right field as well as anyone who wore a uniform. He brought energy every day. A very instinctual player. He was a main reason we won that World Series.”

The right fielder had a slash line of .294/.351/.451 with 15 home runs and 61 RBIs in that 2013 season. In the playoffs he was most known for his World Series in Game 6 of the ALCS against the Tigers.

For Farrell and the Red Sox, moving on from a player like Victorino signifies the team has turned its attention towards the future as Rusney Castillo will now get regular at-bats in right field.

“Unfortunately the trade signifies a player that helped us win a World Series two years ago and when you take one of those players off this roster, you’re kind of building towards the future and that’s disappointing,” Farrell said. “We’ll miss Vic. Vic went through a lot of physical challenges here and yet every time he was on the field he gave everything he had. I’ll miss him personally, but he’s got a chance to go to a contender.”

Read More: 2015 Trade Deadline, John Farrell, Shane Victorino,
Red Sox pregame notes: Brock Holt (hyperextended knee) expected back in lineup Tuesday 07.27.15 at 6:25 pm ET
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Brock Holt

Brock Holt

With Dustin Pedroia back on the disabled list and Brock Holt leaving Sunday night’s game with a hyperextended knee, the Red Sox are pressed for infield depth.

Holt’s injury isn’t serious and the utilityman will likely return to the lineup Tuesday, according to manager John Farrell.

“He’s improved today, yet at the recommendation of the medical staff, another day was needed,” Farrell said. “Everything is hopefully pointing to him returning to the lineup tomorrow, but felt like another day would do him well. In an emergency, we’d probably use him but we’d prefer to give him a day of rest if we could.”

After struggling mightily for much of the season, Mike Napoli has begun to heat up since the All-Star break. Farrell has been impressed with his first baseman’s improvement.

“What’s been most encouraging is that pitches in the strike zone he’s squaring up that he’s not missing,” Farrell said. “He’s still taking his walks but I think he’s more confident, he shows more confidence at the plate. There’s at-bats where he’s offering at the first pitch and putting good swings on some pitches that’s, I think, putting some doubt in a pitcher’s mind.”

David Ortiz had one of the best night’s of his career on Sunday, going 4-for-5 with two homers and a career-high seven RBIs. Farrell liked what he saw, especially Ortiz’s second home run, which was launched into the Monster seats.

“The most encouraging swing last night, to me, obviously, is the home run he hits to left-center field,” Farrell said. “That allows him to lock in on left-handers as well. … Home runs come by virtue of a good swing, not by virtue of trying to hit home runs. I think those were two situations last night that reflect that.” Read the rest of this entry »

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John Farrell: Ben Cherington doing ‘everything he can’ to make moves impacting Red Sox in ‘positive way going forward’ at 5:16 pm ET
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It’s no secret the Red Sox will be active during the next four days leading up to Friday’s non-waiver trade deadline.

The Red Sox enter play Monday 11 games below .500 and 12 games out of first place in the AL East. While manager John Farrell isn’t involved as much as members of the front office are in trade talks, it does get to a point where he’s keyed in on what’s taking place.

“It gets to a certain point where conversations are going on and if there’s choices to be made — there’s some interaction there,” Farrell said. “I know that Ben [Cherington] is doing everything he can to make change that is going to affect us in a positive way going forward. That may vary depending on the situation, the involvement.”

With the team likely no longer in playoff contention, they could be in a position to trade away some of their veteran players with expiring contracts such as Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino, while also having an eye towards 2016 and starting to build next year’s team.

“I know that there’s daily conversation going on,” Farrell said. “It’s that time of year where there’s a lot of trade talk that’s going on. Only when it gets to a certain point does Ben [Cherington] kind of give me a heads up. So, right now, we’re who we are.”

Not only was Farrell a former player, he was in Indians’ front office serving as director of player development from 2001-06 before joining the Red Sox as pitching coach in 2007. It’s with this past experience he knows just how much goes into getting a deal done.

“You know that a lot goes into it,” Farrell said. “Ideas are generated in 30 different offices around the game. The reality of those coming to life? There’s a lot of steps that need to be achieved to get to that point. From field level if you have a thought, there’s a long way to go before that thought may turn into reality. I just know there’s a lot of challenges in finding a trade partner and then what makes most sense for both sides.”

Read More: 2015 Trade Deadline, ben cherington, John Farrell,
Eduardo Rodriguez continues ‘interesting,’ record-breaking start to major league career at 12:41 am ET
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Eduardo Rodriguez went seven innings allowing one run in the Red Sox' 11-1 win over the Tigers Sunday night. (Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)

Eduardo Rodriguez went seven innings and allowed one run in the Red Sox‘ 11-1 win over the Tigers on Sunday night. (Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)

As manager John Farrell put it after Sunday’s game, it’s been an “interesting” first two months in the major leagues for left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez.

But, minus three poor outings in which he’s battled tipping pitches, Rodriguez is making history.

The left-hander went seven innings, allowing one run on just three hits while walking one and striking out six in picking up his sixth win of the season in the Red Sox‘ 11-1 rout over the Tigers on Sunday night.

With that performance, Rodriguez’s ERA sits at 4.26, but if you take away his three poor starts in which he’s allowed 22 earned runs in 9 2/3 innings, his ERA is only 1.23 over eight starts.

“This has been an interesting roughly two months that he’s been here,” Farrell said. “He’s been challenged at times in between the lines and it’s the greatest teacher that we have. There’s been some adjustments in his delivery. That’s an ongoing situation, and he continues to adapt and evolve. It shows his aptitude and his attitude to make those adjustments.”

After allowing seven runs, including two home runs, over 1 2/3 innings in last Monday’s loss to the Angels, Rodriguez responded in a big way Sunday. He only allowed one hit to the first 14 batters he faced and his only mistake came in the fourth inning when he allowed a solo homer to Nick Castellanos.

“I think the last one I tried to go too quickly to home plate and made my fastballs in the strike zone,” Rodriguez said. “Today I just got under control to control my fastball where I want. That’€™s what I think made it go better.”

In six night games this season Rodriguez is 5-0 with a major league-leading 1.14 ERA (min. 30 innings). Rodriguez has allowed one earned run or less in seven of his first 11 starts in the majors, becoming the first AL left-hander to do so since at least 1918.

“I just go start to start,” he said. “That’€™s what I think makes me change after the other start. Just thinking, continue to throw strikes and try to get outs.”

Read More: eduardo rodriguez, John Farrell,
Red Sox pregame notes: Jemile Weeks recalled; How will Sox approach trade deadline? 07.26.15 at 6:46 pm ET
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Jemile Weeks

Jemile Weeks

With Dustin Pedroia going on the disabled list prior to Saturday’s game, the Red Sox needed some infield help. With their bullpen in better shape that it was a few days ago, the team optioned Noe Ramirez back to Triple-A Pawtucket and recalled utility man Jemile Weeks.

“All over the infield as well as he’s played a couple of games in the outfield,” manager John Farrell said of Weeks. “So kind of a super-utility that gives us some flexibility all around the diamond.”

It’s the 28-year-old’s first appearance in the majors this season.

In 51 games with Pawtucket this season, Weeks has a slash line of: .207/.307/.310. He came to the Red Sox last season from the Orioles along with Ivan DeJesus, Jr. in exchange for Michael Almanzar and Kelly Johnson.

Ramirez was 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in three games with the Red Sox.

With the Red Sox entering play Sunday 12 games behind the Yankees in the AL East and 12 games below .500, the team will likely be active at the trade deadline. Their focus has shifted towards 2016 and trying to get a head start on building next year’s team.

“There’s a couple things that quickly come to mind. One, that you’re always looking for additions,” Farrell said of how the team will approach this week. “You’re looking for ways to improve your team. You’re looking for guys that might come in to sure up an area that’s in need of. Like I said, I think the temperature in the clubhouse can be different depending on the intensity of some of the rumors. Our guys are smart. They’re aware of what’s going on whether it’s communication from their agent or otherwise. But again, I’d like to think that we’ve got enough veterans that stay focused on what we’ve got to do tonight.”

With a few names already rumored of being shopped around, there could be some distractions leading into Friday’s deadline, but Farrell hopes that won’t become an issue.

“You’d like to think that the attention and focus is on today’s work and preparation for tonight,” Farrell said. “Sure it’s a natural thing to start to see players get traded. Every day there’s probably going to be a prominent name that changes uniforms. But I don’t know that there’s been a lot of rumor surrounding any guys in our clubhouse. If there’s any talk, what has been handled in the past is that there’s some communication with the player that you try to stem some of those distractions or thoughts. But we’re not at that point.”

Read More: Jemile Weeks, John Farrell, noe ramirez,
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