David Ortiz expresses support for John Farrell: 'John was a good manager to me'

Alex Reimer
October 12, 2017 - 2:45 pm

David Ortiz has nothing but kind words to say about ex-Red Sox skipper John Farrell.

In a segment on Fox Sports Wednesday, the former slugger praised Farrell’s five-year tenure with the club. “I live in Boston, and in Boston, the whole talk sometime during the year was that that was going to happen. Managing in a big market, it’s a survive-and-advance type of job, so it finally ended up happening. I played for John, and John was a good manager to me. He kept things under control in the clubhouse. But like I said, managing in a big market is hard. It’s not an easy thing to do,” he said.

Ortiz played under Farrell from 2013-16. They also were around each other when Farrell served as Terry Francona’s pitching coach last decade. 

Francona, who remains friendly with Farrell, also reflected Ortiz’s commentary when asked this week about the manager’s dismissal. “I talked to Johnny today — I mean, he’s one of my dear friends. … Knowing John, the way I do, he’ll land on his feet and he’ll be in a better position than he was before,” Francona said, per Boston.com. “I do think, for whatever reason, that place is a little crazy. I think (Farrell) felt like he probably had a target on his back for a while. He said he was at peace with it. And I think he’s done some amazing things.”

The Red Sox won the World Series, three divisional titles and finished last twice under Farrell. He posted a 432-378 record in Boston. 

Despite that success, the Red Sox decided to let him go with one year remaining on his contract. WEEI’s Rob Bradford reports Farrell’s relationship with president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski became untenable, which might be why Dombrowski was so curt during his press conference Wednesday. The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier writes Farrell also failed to cultivate close relationships with many of the team’s young players, and veteran Dustin Pedroia.

If Farrell’s firing was based at least partially on clubhouse issues, then some of his downfall can be traced to Ortiz’s retirement last season. It’s clear the Red Sox never replaced Ortiz’s leadership, never mind his bat in the middle of the lineup.

This offseason, the Red Sox must continue their post-Ortiz makeover. It’s apparent firing Farrell is the next big step in that. 

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