The Boston Red Sox announced Wednesday that manager John Farrell would not return for the 2018 season. Farrell was under contract until the end of that season, but it appears his time at Fenway Park is at an end.
Farrell had managed the Red Sox the last five seasons, a period of last place finishes and World Series triumph. But recent disappointment in the postseason seems to have cost him what was described as a dream job when he returned to Boston in 2013.
The Red Sox abruptly sent out a Tweet on Wednesday morning announcing that both sides would move on, with the Sox “immediately” conducting a search for his replacement.
Farrell was hired as manager in 2013 after two seasons at the helm of the Toronto Blue Jays. The former Red Sox pitching coach led the team to a World Series in his first year with the club. The team also put out an official statement shortly after the Tweet.
Boston won the AL East the last two years with consecutive 93-win efforts, but lost in the American League Divisional Series in both years. On Monday, the Houston Astros eliminated the Red Sox in four games at rainy Fenway Park.
Farrell’s tenure with the Red Sox ended Monday with him not in the bench for much of that game. He was ejected early in Game 4 of the ALDS after second baseman Dustin Pedroia argued a strike three call with an umpire. Farrell managed to subdue Pedroia, but was ejected by the home plate umpire and missed the remainder of the game.
The high of the 2013 title, going from worst to first, helped Farrell stay in Boston despite issues managing a bullpen and the disappointment of teams expected to do more in the postseason. Many fans were frustrated with Farrell’s management, including the benching of Hanley Ramirez in Game 1 of the ALDS. Ramirez went 8 for 14 in the series after his replacement, Eduardo Nunez, was injured on his first at-bat of Game 1.
Boston limped to the finish line in clinching its second straight AL East crown this year and looked overmatched in the postseason despite individual efforts of young talent like Rafael Devers and Andrew Benintendi.
Those two players will make up a young core of talent that hopes to compete in the AL East for years to come. Who manages that talent, though, is anyone’s guess at this point.