SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

October 24, 2012

Local coaches feel Farrell is right man for the job with Red Sox

Put down those french fries and poutine, John Farrell, and come back home to the Fenway Franks.

The one-time Boston pitching coach has returned to mange the Red Sox after two seasons as the skipper up in Toronto. Farrell was officially introduced as the team’s 46th manager in team history yesterday. After the Bobby Valentine debacle of this past season, it’s hard not to be optimistic if you’re a Red Sox fan.

After asking a few area baseball aficionados on the North Shore, the coaches we talked to were all in favor of the new hire.

Fans, however, might want to curb their enthusiasm — at least in the immediate future.

Ipswich head baseball coach Gardy O’Flynn, who spent time in the minor leagues before returning to coaching, thinks Farrell’s previous relationships with members of the Red Sox will help the transition.

“He has a positive relationship with the players and that’s key,” said O’Flynn. “I think that’s what they were looking for after this past season.”

New Salem State head coach Mike Ward likes the hire, but thinks a quick fix is out of the question.

“From what I saw last year, (Farrell) has his work cut out for him,” Ward said. “Give him time and I think he’ll turn things around.

“But Red Sox Nation isn’t exactly known for being patient. And I think patience may bring a steady hand to things — which they need.”

Peabody High baseball coach Mark Bettencourt echoed similar sentiments.

“I like the hiring, but it’s a tough job. I’m not sure if anybody is going to be able to get the Red Sox to make a miraculous turnaround,”

Bettencourt said. “I think (the Red Sox) have more problems than one man can fix. Farrell is the most qualified available, but I’m worried Boston fans think this is going to be our savior and get us back to where we were under (Terry) Francona. I don’t think that’s fair on him.”

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