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Red Sox introduce Farrell as new manager

The Canadian Press

10/23/2012 7:26:48 PM

BOSTON -- New Boston manager John Farrell said that he was always "candid and honest" with the Toronto team brass about his interest in the possibility of taking on the skipper's role with the division rival Red Sox.

Farrell, who was formally introduced by the Red Sox on Tuesday, said he spoke with Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos and team president Paul Beeston after interest was first expressed a year ago.

"When it came up again this year on the heels of two very extensive conversations -- two extensive days of conversations in a year-end review -- I expressed the same interest again and fortunately all parties were able to work out this trade," Farrell said.

The Red Sox and Blue Jays reached an agreement last weekend to allow Farrell to leave with one year left on his three-year contract as manager. Boston sent infielder Mike Aviles to Toronto and obtained reliever David Carpenter in the deal.

Boston wanted to hire Farrell after it let Terry Francona go last year, but Anthopoulos asked for a top player in return. At the time, Farrell had been with the Blue Jays for one season, going 81-81.

In response to overtures from the Red Sox, Anthopoulos created a policy prohibiting employees from moving laterally to another organization.

"In my conversations with Paul and Alex, I expressed to them at that time, 'Yes, this is a place that I cut my teeth as a major league coach,"' Farrell said. "We experienced a lot of success, had a lot of strong relationships that still exist."

Farrell spent four seasons as the Red Sox pitching coach before he was hired by Toronto. In his opening remarks, he thanked Beeston and Anthopoulos and expressed gratitude to the organization.

"The opportunity that they provided in the two years that were spent there, it was an invaluable experience," he said. "Things might not have always worked out the way we intended, but there were a lot of firsts that I was able to experience there and I'll forever be indebted to the Toronto Blue Jays."

Farrell, who guided the Blue Jays to a 73-89 mark this year, said he was always committed to the Toronto job. He added the possibility of a move came up when Anthopoulos asked him where he stood on the issue in the event the Red Sox asked about him.

"I said I would be interested in speaking to them. If you would approve it, I would be glad to speak to them and that's how it evolved," Farrell said. "And then for 10 days following that, I was iced out.

"Did not have any communication and obviously that was when these talks were going on to come to Boston."

Some headlines in Toronto newspapers have not been kind to Farrell since his departure. The issue has also been a regular topic on sports radio phone-in shows in the city.

"The reaction to the anger or the feelings that might emanate from this happening, I appreciate that," Farrell said. "That means there is passion, there is caring from the fanbase.

"But I would take exception with the thought that there was no intent to fulfil a contract."

Farrell would not comment on whether he had discussed a contract extension with the Blue Jays. However, he did describe some recent conversations he had with Anthopoulos after the regular season ended.

"Alex was very candid and his analogy was that you know what, he's a guy from Montreal and if the Montreal Expos were still in play and that opportunity opened up, it would be similar to that situation," Farrell said.

"So he understood it and I thank him for that. But at the same time, when you experience something and have been at a place that you've had success, won a World Series, you've developed strong relationships and trust in a lot of people.

"Those are natural drawing cards and to do it in a setting such as this, in Boston with the Red Sox, this is a very rare opportunity and one that I'm extremely grateful to be sitting here."