They are the John Farrell Red Sox, with their lumberjack beards, colorful tattoos, and glittering bling, none of which has anything to do with the image their square-jawed, clean-shaven manager projects.
Parked next to his ragtag bunch, the 6-foot-4-inch, 51-year-old skipper at first glance appears to have walked onto the wrong set, straying from his leading man’s role in some PBS documentary on the thinking man’s manager into a land that time — and grooming tools — forgot.
But as Red Sox Nation learned to its delight in 2004 —
“He wants to win, that’s what’s important,’’ said third baseman Will Middlebrooks. “He doesn’t care if we dye our hair purple. If that’s what’s going to bring us together — that we are going to win ballgames — then that’s what it’s about.’’
Farrell, one of a New Jersey lobsterman’s six children, was hired just a year ago, brought back in the choppy wake of Bobby Valentine’s zany and disastrous one-year tour as Boston manager. Previously the Sox pitching coach for four years (2007-10) under manager Terry Francona, Farrell left here to become the Blue Jays skipper in 2011. Out was his only way up, as no one at the time thinking that Francona, with a pair of World Series championships on his Boston résumé, was going anywhere but directly to the Red Sox Hall of Fame.
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