Appearing on WEEI's "Red Sox Hot Stove Show" Thursday night, Sox manager John Farrell was asked if he had located any of the three envelopes former manager Bobby Valentine said he left in his Fenway Park office. (It should be noted that while Valentine insisted he left the envelopes, such a gesture often is viewed as a symbolic -- rather than realistic -- action.)
"I haven't," Farrell said, "and honestly, I did look."
When appearing on Bob Costas' NBC Sports Network show Tuesday night, Valentine also encouraged Farrell to reach out to him at some point, to which the current Red Sox manager said, "I haven't ruled it out only because I've gone through about 200 or 300 calls since last Sunday trying to touch base with former players, current players, staff, prospective staff. As Ben [Cherington] mentioned at the outset, we hit the ground running and we have a staff to fill out and we're tracking down a lot of people right now."
Farrell touched on a variety of subjects regarding his new team, including plans he might have for controversial pitcher Alfredo Aceves. Aceves not only struggled with a 9.42 ERA in August and 7.56 ERA in September, but he experienced multiple run-ins with Valentine.
"I definitely plan on speaking with him," Farrell said. "I would like to get a little more understanding of the history over the last two years. I can tell you from across the field this is a very, very good pitcher. He's got some abilities about him, particularly resilience and how often he can pitch and to the extent he can pitch. Those are the things you just don't find. Having a development background you're always going to look at a player and say, 'How can we or how can I have a positive impact?' Whether that's holding him accountable, or whether it's communicating consistently with him, those are the types of questions I'm interested in finding out about because you don't come across a guy like this on any sort of regularity. Before any drastic decision is made on him I think we're going to exhaust every avenue as it relates to Alfredo."
Regarding another reliever, Andrew Bailey, Farrell said the goal is to get the righty healthy before making any decision regarding his role as the team's closer. Earlier Thursday, it was reported by ESPN.com's Buster Olney that the Blue Jays could have chosen Bailey instead of Mike Aviles as compensation for Farrell.
Farrell was asked if Bailey would be the closer if the season started today. The manager reiterated that such a decision could only be determined after seeing a healthy Bailey.
"I would say this, provided he's healthy, because when you look back at 2011 that's an absolute 'yes,' " Farrell said. "This year, in his case, the amount of time he missed, and what he had to come back from, I don't think he was his normal self. I do know when he was with Oakland he would get a tremendous amount of swing and miss up in the strike zone and he has well-above-average life to his fastball up. He's one of those pitchers who is more effective when he does pitch up rather than down in the strike zone. That's my initial view of him. My answer to that question is, is it a 100 percent Andrew Bailey, and I think the answer comes quickly after that."
Another subject that was broached regarding the pitching staff was the conditioning of the Red Sox' pitchers, and their continued perceived weight gain.
"That's all part of what I'm in the early stages of finding out," he said. "What has been the program? How have guys been held accountable? What does the physical routine consist of? Has it changed from a couple of years ago? And that's not to say what was done two years ago was the end-all, be-all, but if there are areas that have shown up to be less, then obviously we need to correct those. First and foremost, whether it's position players or pitchers, we have to prepare ourselves to the best of our abilities first before we can prepare to attack our opponent.
"When you come in for two or three days you might see one guy for an outing, you can't sit there and say a guy put on 10 or 15 pounds. As an opponent, we're looking at ways to attack them. There were some subtleties in the way that deliveries changed. Now, is that the result of added weight or not being in the best physical condition? That's what I hope to find out more on."
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