Sunday, August 16, 2015
If Red Sox Keep Winning for Torey Lovullo, What Becomes of John Farrell?
In the wake of Red Sox Manager John Farrell’s announcement that he has stage 1 lymphoma, I wondered how his team would react.
Would they respond positively to bench coach Torey Lovullo, who is acting as interim manager in Farrell’s absence?
There was a resounding answer.
The Red Sox crushed the Mariners in Lovullo's first game as acting manager. The Sox offense pounded out 15 runs on 21 hits, both season-bests.
After that outburst, on Friday night, the Sox offense outdid that stellar performance by accounting for 26 hits, including 11 extra-base knocks, in a 22-10 beat down of the Mariners on Saturday.
Two consecutive blowout victories for Boston.
The first concern is surely the health of John Farrell.
However, one has to wonder what becomes of him if this team goes on a late-season run in his absence.
This Red Sox team should be much better than it has been, given its assembled roster. It is a group of past All Stars, proven veterans, and top prospects.
Yet, they just haven't performed. There has been no sense of passion, pride, or urgency. There has to be an underlying reason.
Somehow, Farrell simply hasn't motivated this team.
When Farrell announced Friday that he was immediately leaving the team to seek medical treatment, the Red Sox were 50-64 -- a .439 winning percentage.
If Lovullo can markedly improve on that over the season's final 48 games, it will have to give ownership pause for consideration.
Over five years as a major league manager, Farrell has just one winning season -- 2013, the year the Red Sox won the World Series.
Overall, Farrell has lost far more games than he’s won, something that would, and should, normally cost a manager his job.
How the Red Sox perform for Lovullo in Farrelll's absence down the stretch will be telltale.
Were these blowout victories a tribute to Farrell, or a positive response — even an embrace — to Lovullo?
If these wins are any indication of things to come, Farrell’s job may be in jeopardy, and Lovullo could be in for a longer ride as manager than anyone expected.