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October 23, 2013

John Farrell


Q.  Could you explain what the situation is with Clay Buchholz, and how that could affect the planning for he and Felix Doubront?
JOHN FARRELL:   Right now he's scheduled to pitch on the weekend over in St. Louis.  We have yet to determine whether Peavy is in Game4 or Game 3.  Some of that will be determined on how we see the style of John Lackey go up against this team tomorrow night.

Q.  Yesterday Victorino said he went the whole year without having a team meeting.  Do you not believe in team meetings or you didn't see a need for one?
JOHN FARRELL:   Well, we meet before every series, as we're getting ready to here when everybody leaves here.  It's also a time for us to check in on some other things that might not be relevant to the game that night, as reminders.
But other than the first day of Spring Training and Opening Day in New York, this has been a group that has done a great job of policing themselves.  They've committed to one another.  And there's a clear framework of maybe expected and accepted behavior.  And guys have done a great job of that.  So other than those two timelines, there's not been a team meeting, no.

Q.  Beyond his offensive contributions, what does it mean to have David Ortiz and the institutional knowledge he has of this organization, having been around for so long?
JOHN FARRELL:   I think as every new player that has come here, whether it's through the system or from another organization, they all look to him as the guy that's paved the way, that has dealt with the challenges that are present here in Boston, that has also succeeded at the highest level.  And he's so open with his experiences, to maybe help a guy transition into this environment and this market.  And he's been great for a lot of years doing that.

Q.  Is there much talk about getting him that third ring, what that would mean or put him in Red Sox history?
JOHN FARRELL:   I can tell you he's no less motivated this year than he was in '04 or '07.
Q.  With Bogaerts starting at third base again, 21 years old, do you think it would be a surprise to have a 21‑year‑old starting Game 1 of the World Series?  But how impressive has he been?
JOHN FARRELL:   Well, what's not normal is Xander Bogaerts.  He's not a typical 21‑year‑old.  We've talked a lot about the poise, the presence, the composure in which he plays.  Even in the tightest moments, the smile never seems to leave his face.  He might be flying on the inside, but externally there's no outward anxious moments.  And he certainly performed much the same.
But he's a pretty special young man.

Q.  When it comes to Wacha, how difficult is it to prepare for him considering how few starts he's made?  And would you compare him to anybody else that you've seen?
JOHN FARRELL:   Yeah, without seeing him firsthand, I don't know that we could go that far yet.  But it's clear that in a very short period of time, he's not feared the environment, the challenge.  He's a strike thrower with two premium pitches, his fastball and his change‑up.  And to do it at the time of the year in which he is, at the age he is, to me that's what stands out the most.
From the physical side of things, when you get guys in their first year of pro baseball, to maintain this kind of stuff this late in October, it's remarkable with what he's doing, and obviously a very talented guy.
Q.  What challenges does the return of Allen Craig present to you guys?
JOHN FARRELL:   Run producer in the middle of the order as a right‑handed hitter.  I'm sure they're feeling pretty good that they can use him in the DH role.  We also recognize that there's been 40‑some games missed, and that's not being taken lightly on our part, because we've seen guys step back in after sizable games missed and have performed very well.  Jhonny Peralta, obviously, we came off a series in which we just saw that.
So anytime you have the ability to lengthen out the lineup with that kind of power bat in the middle, it's a further challenge for us.

Q.  Do you expect nerves to be a problem in Game 1 of the World Series for both teams?
JOHN FARRELL:   Well, if guys aren't feeling some adrenaline, they might not be human.  It's perfectly natural to have some adrenaline and emotion in situations like this.  It's much the reason why we talked about how guys perform in this environment in the postseason.  And if that causes you to make personnel decisions that are separate of maybe some performance numbers across the course of a regular season, that comes into it.  But I'm sure that this will be an electric environment here tonight, as will be the case Game 3 in St. Louis.

Q.  How big a factor is your bullpen, just being able to go to them earlier in games because of the confidence you have in them?  And generally how important is a good bullpen this time of year?
JOHN FARRELL:   You can never undervalue it.  There's added stress on every pitch that a starter is going to throw.  And if that causes them on average to pitch an inning less, as we've kind of experienced in the postseason.  The work of Workman, Breslow, Tazawa and Koji have been invaluable.  If it weren't for that bullpen and the success of them, you might be in Detroit right now.
So we can't underestimate their importance to us.
Q.  Usually a team is lucky if they have two or three hitters that are good with runners in scoring position.  The Cardinals have been that way all year.
JOHN FARRELL:   They have a very consistent approach up and down their lineup.  They do such a good job of staying inside the baseball, using centerfield in the off field; right‑handers using the big part of the field in right‑centerfield.  It's allowed them to stay on some breaking balls away.  They have a pronounced two‑strike approach.  They're difficult to strike out.  Because of that same approach, they make a lot of contact.  There's not a lot of swing and miss that enables them to drive in runners that are in scoring position.  To think that they've hit 52 points higher than us with runners in scoring position is pretty remarkable.

Q.  Could you talk a little about the decision to keep Jonny Gomes in leftfield, and the process between Gomes and Nava and how to keep them both involved?
JOHN FARRELL:   With Wainwright and Wacha, there's not the pronounced left‑right splits as there might be with Lynn and Kelly.  Jonny has done an excellent job in the time that he started, evident by the way that we've performed by a team, but I can't single him out as the reason why.  He plays leftfield extremely well here.
Keeping Daniel Nava involved will be there.  And with more ground to cover in St. Louis, that will be something that will be factored in with the lineup over there, in addition to the right‑handers we'll face there.  At the same time Daniel Nava, as we sat down and talked a couple of times and given my thoughts and rationale behind some of the decisions, he's on board and very much a team player.  He admits and recognizes to his credit that this is about us as a team and not an individual.

Q.  In 1988 you were on a team with Ron Washington, Terry Francona, Bud Black, Charlie Manuel.  You all went on to manage in the big leagues.  Was that always your goal?  And was there something about that team or those guys that you could look forward to and see that happening?
JOHN FARRELL:   Must have been something in Lake Erie.  You know, at the time I can remember having conversations with Black in the outfield during BP, and there was always a thought of remaining in the game.  But to say what role that was going to be, I don't know that he knew or I knew ‑‑ I know I didn't know exactly what role that would have been in.
Whether it's coincidental that five guys off of that team have gone on to manage, it's a unique situation, for sure.  But the one thing I can say about all five people, and even though Charlie was a hitting instructor at the time, it's just the care and respect for the game that you love.  And it's more about a life as opposed to a job.  And I don't mean to sound corny about that.  There was a real desire to continue on after playing days were over.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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