John Edward Farrell (born August 4, 1962) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher and the current manager of the Boston Red Sox. Farrell served as the Red Sox pitching coach from 2007 to 2010, before leaving to be manager of the Toronto Blue Jays from 2011 to 2012. He returned to the Red Sox in 2013 and led them to a World Series title that year. During his playing career, Farrell was a member of the Cleveland Indians, California Angels and Detroit Tigers.
Farrell was diagnosed with stage 1 lymphoma (cancer of the lymph system) in August 2015 and left the team to undergo treatment, with bench coach Torey Lovullo assuming his duties for the remainder of the 2015 season. On October 22, 2015, the Red Sox announced that Farrell's cancer was in remission.
Farrell grew up in Monmouth Beach, New Jersey. His father, Tom, pitched in the Cleveland Indians farm system in the 1950s until an injury ended his baseball career. John Farrell was a star pitcher for Shore Regional High School and Oklahoma State, where he had a 20–6 record one season.
Upon graduating from high school in 1980, Farrell was drafted by the Oakland Athletics, but he did not sign. Four years later, after graduating from college, he was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the second round of the 1984 Draft. He made his major league debut with the Indians on August 18, 1987, playing for them until the 1990 season.
Farrell enjoyed success as part of the Cleveland starting rotation, but injuries to his right elbow caused him to miss the entire 1991 and 1992 seasons. He returned to action with the California Angels (1993–94), again with Cleveland (1995), and finished his career with the Detroit Tigers (1996).
In 1997, Farrell joined his alma mater, Oklahoma State University, as assistant coach and pitching and recruiting coordinator. He remained with the college through 2001.
From November 2001 through the end of the 2006 season, Farrell served as the director of player development for the Cleveland Indians. In 2003 and 2004, the Indians were named MLB Organization of the Year by USA Today's Sports Weekly. In 2003, they were also named as having the top farm system in professional baseball by Baseball America.
Following the 2006 season, the Boston Red Sox hired Farrell as its new pitching coach, replacing Dave Wallace. Farrell rejoined Red Sox manager Terry Francona, as they had been teammates together on the Indians.
Toronto Blue Jays
During the 2010 off-season, Farrell was rumoured to be one of four finalists for the job of manager of Toronto Blue Jays, along with Brian Butterfield, DeMarlo Hale, and Sandy Alomar Jr. The Blue Jays held a press conference on October 25, 2010, formally introducing Farrell as the team's manager for the 2011 season.
Farrell suffered a dislocated jaw while attempting to restrain pitcher Jon Rauch from going after umpire Alfonso Marquez, during a game on July 2, 2011. Both Rauch and Farrell were ejected from the game.
On August 25, 2011, during a home game against the Kansas City Royals, Farrell was forced to leave the dugout in the ninth inning due to a then unknown illness. He was later diagnosed with pneumonia at Mount Sinai Hospital, and was released from the hospital on August 26.
He finished his stint as Toronto Blue Jays manager with a record of 154 wins and 170 losses.
Boston Red Sox
On October 20, 2012, it was reported that Farrell had asked to be allowed to interview for the manager position with the Boston Red Sox. The next day the Blue Jays officially confirmed Farrell had accepted the manager position with Boston. In the same transaction, Toronto sent pitcher David Carpenter to Boston in exchange for infielder Mike Avilés. On October 22, 2013, Farrell was named Sporting News' 2013 AL Manager of the Year. In 2013, Farrell became the fifth first year Red Sox manager to win the A.L. pennant. The Boston Red Sox subsequently went on to win the 2013 World Series, going from worst to first under Farrell in just a year's time. It was also the first time in 95 years that the Red Sox won the Series at home, the last time being the 1918 World Series. However, the team struggled during Farrell's second year as manager and subsequently finished last in their division. Farrell accepted responsibility for their poor performance and also attributed their problems to inconsistencies in their offense.
Farrell's 2015 season was cut short in August when he was diagnosed with lymphoma and forced to seek treatment. By the time of his departure, the Red Sox's struggles were continuing and they again found themselves in last place in their division, where they ultimately finished for the second year in a row. Nevertheless, it was announced that Farrell would return as the Red Sox's manager in 2016. The Red Sox announced on Oct. 22, 2015, that Farrell's cancer was in remission.
The 2016 season was a noted improvement for Farrell and the Red Sox, who finished at the top of their division and returned to the playoffs. However, the team would be swept in the American League Division Series against the Cleveland Indians, led by their former manager Terry Francona, whom Farrell had served under.
|Team||From||To||Regular season record||Post–season record|
|G||W||L||Win %||G||W||L||Win %|
|Toronto Blue Jays||2011||2012||324||154||170||.475||—|
|Boston Red Sox||2013||Present||652||349||315||.526||19||11||8||.579|
John Farrell and his wife Sue have three sons, all of whom were selected in the MLB Draft. Jeremy, an infielder, went to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2008 in the eighth round after playing at Virginia. He now plays in the Chicago White Sox minor league system. Shane, a right-handed pitcher out of Marshall, was taken in the 46th round by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011, and then worked for the Chicago Cubs in their baseball operations department. Finally, their youngest, Luke, a Northwestern right-hander, was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the sixth round of the 2013 draft. Farrell and Sue separated in 2014 after 30 years of marriage and are in the process of obtaining a divorce.
Farrell was diagnosed with stage 1 lymphoma in August 2015. In announcing his diagnosis, Farrell indicated that he would begin chemotherapy later that month, and that bench coach Torey Lovullo would manage the Red Sox for the rest of the 2015 season. The cancer was discovered when Farrell underwent surgery for a hernia, and Farrell described his cancer as being localized because it was discovered early, and indicated that his treatment would take approximately nine weeks. He also stated that he planned to resume his managerial duties for the 2016 season.