ESPN analyst Curt Schilling pitched under John Farrell’s tutelage from 2006-08 while they were both with the Red Sox and thinks the newly appointed manager has the makeup to succeed in Boston.
“If you look at the comments from the players, how excited they are (about the Farrell hire), that’s an indicator No. 1 that you have something different,” Schilling said this morning on Boston sports radio station WEEI. “And I kept trying to think of why ... and the word that keeps coming back to me is presence. John Farrell has a presence and that’s a big deal. That’s got to be part of being a manager now.
“(Cardinals manager) Mike Matheny has a presence. They’re incredibly well respected, they are mentors, they are friends, they are coaches, they are teachers, they are disciplinarians. They are all the things you need to be without ever having to be in the story. And I think that’s a big deal. Given the 24-7 media cycle we live in, you have to have a manager that buys into the old (Tom) Brady quote, ‘Anybody can do anything as long as nobody cares who gets the credit.’”
Schilling was pressed by the WEEI hosts about whether the players endorsing Farrell could be construed as a negative, as giving an undeserving bunch exactly what they wanted.
“The way this looks from the outside is that the players whined hard enough to get what they want even though they didn’t play hard enough or good enough to deserve it,” Schilling responded. “And I think that’s a fair criticism. I think at the end of the day though is (Farrell is) as overqualified a man as I’ve ever been around for pretty much any position in baseball. This guy, he gets it.”
Schilling described Farrell as a straight-shooter, someone who will tell it like it is even if it’s something they might not want to hear.
“He won’t tread lightly anywhere,” Schilling said. “He will step on people’s toes. He’ll do the job he needs to do. I think whoever he brings in as pitching coach, they’ll both understand the relationship.
“John is absolutely there if the pitchers need help. ... Some of the guys like (Jon) Lester and (Clay) Buchholz can reach to him if things aren’t clicking or working and getting back to the things that made them good in the first place.”