John Farrell says he understands decision to fire him

Jim Davis/Globe Staff file

John Farrell managed for five years in Boston.

By Globe Staff 

On Oct. 11, the day he was fired as manager of the Red Sox, John Farrell did not take questions from reporters. He instead issued a 311-word statement saying he was grateful for the opportunity and thankful for the work done by his players and coaches.

Farrell then vanished from public view, declining numerous interview requests seeking insight into why he was let go after winning consecutive division championships.


Farrell emerged on Wednesday, choosing the safe harbor of MLB Network to express some views. Among them, he said he understood why the Sox replaced him with Alex Cora.

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“I felt we as a team, as an organization, as a coaching staff, we were proud of the accomplishments we had there,” said Farrell, who appeared on several MLBN shows over the course of the day. “But, hey, every situation has a shelf life. A change took place. Respect the change that did take place.”

Farrell suggested his demise was inevitable because president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski had not hired him. Dombrowski inherited Farrell in 2015.

“That may have had some influence on his decision to make the change,” Farrell said.

Farrell also said the job changed over his five seasons.


“When you think about the volume of the media you have to handle, the ability to manage up to the front office and then manage down to the guys in your clubhouse,” he said. “It’s a much more dynamic role than it was five years ago.”

When Farrell was fired, Dombrowski suggested the Sox needed a new voice in the clubhouse. Farrell addressed that, saying he tried to do what was right for the team and not to stay popular among certain players.

Farrell interviewed for the managerial openings with Philadelphia and Washington but wasn’t chosen. At 55, he almost surely isn’t done with baseball but expressed a desire to take some time away.

Wednesday’s series of interviews had the feel of a showcase for Farrell.

After the Red Sox fired him in 2011, Terry Francona landed at ESPN for a year before returning to the dugout to manage the Cleveland Indians.

Farrell is not as glib as Francona, but a media job could serve as a transition to another organization. He was 432-378 in five seasons with the Sox, winning the American League East three times.


Farrell has connections to the front offices of the Blue Jays, Cubs, Diamondbacks, and Indians and could land a role with one of those teams.

Cora had one season of major league coaching experience before the Sox hired him as manager. New Yankees manager Aaron Boone had none.

Farrell predicted the new managers would face scrutiny like never before.

“That’s going to have varying degrees, depending on the city. Coming out of five years in which there might have been the most scrutiny on a team, on an individual player or manager, that’s Boston. But that’s also what draws people to those places,” Farrell said.

“The expectations are high. The ability to win is there every single year. If that’s not in your DNA, if that’s not what you aspire to do — and that’s to win — maybe those places aren’t for you.”

Farrell said Cora and Boone should understand it’s not personal.

“It’s the seat in which they sit in, it’s not them individually and personally, things are going to get thrown their way just because of the job that you have,” he said.

Farrell suggested the Red Sox are positioned well moving forward.

“So many good players have come through there,” he said. “It’s a stacked team as it stands today. Alex Cora is inheriting a very good team with a lot of expectations. That’s the norm there. It will be interesting to see how things unfold.”

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Major League sources confirmed a report by NBC Sports Boston that the Sox placed lefthander Henry Owens on waivers. The 25-year-old former supplemental first-round pick has been ineffective for several years because of control problems and last season was demoted to Double A. With the 40-man roster full, the Sox will likely need several spots as they acquire players . . . Rockies righthander Chad Bettis was named winner of the Tony Conigliaro Award, which is given by the Red Sox to a major leaguer who has overcome adversity. Bettis returned from cancer treatments last season and pitched in nine games. The award will be given at the Boston BBWAA dinner Jan. 18 . . . The Christmas at Fenway event will be Dec. 16. Registration runs through Monday at noon on Select tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on the 16th, also through the website or by calling 877-REDSOX9.

Alex Speier of the Globe staff contributed Peter Abraham can be reached at
Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.