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"But I don't know if it's fair for him to walk into this situation that we are in right now. Hopefully everything goes well and he can change things around. He's up for the challenge and what he's going to bring to the table. Hopefully everything goes great. I know things didn't go the way he expected in Toronto and hopefully it works out for him here.
"We needed something different. I think you're going to notice a difference. We need somebody to increase the way things are around here and John's the guy. I'm excited."
The Red Sox came to terms with Farrell on a three-year contract after completing compensation negotiations with Farrell's former employer, the Toronto Blue Jays, in which the Red Sox sent shortstop Mike Aviles to the Jays and received journeyman reliever David Carpenter in return.
When asked if Boston was guilty of gamesmanship or whether he suspected any tampering had taken place, Anthopoulos said that the process did not go "as smoothly as it could have" but seemed to exonerate Red Sox officials. He referred to Cherington as "first class.""I didn't have any issues with Ben,'' Anthopoulos said. "Paul had no issues with the ownership group.'' Cherington and his baseball operations staff interviewed four other candidates in a week-long process that ended Thursday: Dodgers third-base coach Tim Wallach, Yankees bench coach Tony Pena, Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus and Orioles third-base coach DeMarlo Hale. Like Farrell, Hale had been a member of Terry Francona's coaching staff in Boston. At the same time, the Red Sox were in contact with the Blue Jays, seeking their permission to negotiate with Farrell, who had a year remaining on his three-year contract to manage the Blue Jays. Ausmus, in particular, greatly impressed the Red Sox during his interview. But Boston ownership, determined to avoid the mixed signals created by Valentine's hiring last winter, gave its support to Cherington's choice of Farrell. Farrell, who in his first year in Boston won a World Series ring in 2007, inherits a team that lost 93 games and finished in last place for only the second time in the last 80 years. Under Valentine, the Red Sox not only endured an unprecedented siege of injuries but were wracked with internal issues that pitted the manager against players and coaches, culminating in a late-July meeting with ownership in New York in which Valentine was not included. Farrell faced criticism of his own in Toronto, where the Blue Jays, after going 81-81 in his first season, 2011, slipped to 73-89 in 2012. This past season Toronto lost three starting pitchers in the span of four days to serious injuries (season-ending for two, a nine-week absence for the other) and also lost star slugger Jose Bautista for the season's last 10 weeks because of a wrist injury. Veteran shortstop Omar Vizquel called out the Blue Jays for a lack of accountability. "It's part of the inexperience," Vizquel said. "If you make mistakes and nobody says anything about it -- they just let it go -- we're going to keep making the same mistakes over and over again. We have to stand up and say something right after that mistake happened. We have to talk about it at meetings. We have to address it in a big way in the clubhouse.'' But Red Sox officials privately downplayed those criticisms, saying they had not altered their opinion of Farrell. During the period when he was pitching coach, the Red Sox staff held opponents to an American League-low .254 batting average and led the league in strikeouts (4,771).
Anthopoulos said, "I don't think it's fair to pin on anybody,'' saying the Jays bore collectively the responsibility for their disappointing performance. "His work ethic did not waver, his focus did not waiver,'' Anthopoulos said of Farrell. "He was always fully committed to his day-to-day job.'' Anthopoulos said no one could have foreseen the Red Sox firing Francona as Red Sox manager following the 2011 season, creating a "perfect storm" of circumstances that led Boston to seek to bring Farrell back as manager. For that reason, he said, he did not regret hiring Farrell, and refused to be drawn into a discussion of any negative feelings he might have regarding his departure.
"This is the one job (for Farrell),'' Anthopoulos said. "There's no other city that was more of a perfect fit and a perfect opportunity."Anthopoulos said he spoke with Aviles and assured him that at minimum, he would be the team's utility infielder and might be given a shot at the team's second-base vacancy. "No doubt he has his flaws, but he is a high-energy player and has some power.'' Aviles went to social media to thank Boston fans. "Wanna thank #RedSoxNation for all the support, great city, team and fans!" Aviles posted on Twitter as @themikeaviles. "Loved my time there but now it's time for a new chapter! #gojays" Aviles, 31, played 136 games for the Red Sox in 2012, primarily at shortstop (128 games). He hit .250 with 13 home runs and 60 RBIs. He exceeded expectations defensively at short, but his on-base average of .282 tied J.J. Hardy of Baltimore for lowest in the AL among hitters qualified for the batting title. Carpenter, 27, has struck out 60 in 60 innings over 67 career major league games, all in relief, with the Astros (2011-12) and Blue Jays (2012). He is 1-5 with one save and a 5.70 ERA (38 ER) in his big league career.
The right-hander appeared in 33 major league games in 2012, including 30 with the Astros prior to being sent to the Blue Jays in a 10-player trade July 20. In 2012, he also pitched in 23 minor league games for Houston's Triple-A club in Oklahoma City and Toronto's Triple-A Las Vegas affiliate, posting a 1-1 record with four saves, a 3.08 ERA with 25 strikeouts and only seven walks in 26.1 innings.