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October 24, 2013

John Farrell


Q.  Could you just talk about your relationship with Tom Holliday and what it's like to have someone who is your mentor here, probably rooting against you?
JOHN FARRELL:¬† ¬†Well, the old saying "blood is thicker than water."¬† And Matt, seeing him, when I was a player at Oklahoma State, at the age of three or four.¬† And then to go back as a coach there, to see him go through his high school days, watch him develop from a person into a man, and into a perennial All‑Star.
A lot of paths intersect along the way in this game.  And they were great to me, the Holliday family, to go back and not only play for them but work for them.  And now to see what Matt is doing here, kind of an interesting side story to say the least.

Q.  I saw a statistic yesterday that said fewer pitchers have been Major League managers than any other position; more catchers.  If you don't mind kind of why you think having been a pitcher prepares you to be a manager, and conversely why so few pitchers have become managers?
JOHN FARRELL:   I'm on the other end of the decision making as far as selecting managers.  So what the perception is by GMs or others that figure or feel that because of the position of catcher, where you're seeing the game from a different perspective, you're involved in so many different aspects of the game as a player, and that might serve as a reference point going forward for guys.
I still think as a pitcher, if you have a true desire to learn all aspects of the game, and if you have a way to maybe connect with individuals, in this case, players, and you want to lead people and work towards combining efforts to achieve a goal, which has been my approach to a post‑playing career, I don't know why the stigma is there for former pitchers as managers.¬† Obviously Brian Price now makes the third former pitcher that are currently managers.¬† Bud Black has blazed a trail recently that we are now following.

Q.  What do you make of the allegations that Jon Lester had some form of foreign substance on his glove during last night's game?  Is there an explanation for it or what's your impression of the photos and accusations?
JOHN FARRELL:   Obviously Major League Baseball has reviewed the pictures.  They've issued their statement and basically determined this to be a closed case.  The Cardinals have responded to what's been out there.  And from my perspective, if you know Jon Lester, he sweats like a pig and he needs resin.  And you know what, he keeps it in his glove.  Other guys will keep it on their arm.  Other guys will keep it on their pant leg.  So that's my response to the allegations.
The one thing that seemed very odd is that it shows up in a lime green color.  I don't know how that can happen.

Q.  Does it surprise you that a member of the Cardinals organization brought it up, a Minor Leaguer?
JOHN FARRELL:   No, I don't think we look at anything where it originates from is anything of significance.

Q.  With Papi's performance last night, it seems like you might have Pedroia, Ortiz and Napoli going all at the same time for maybe the first time in the playoffs.  How encouraged are you from what you're seeing from the middle of your order?
JOHN FARRELL:¬†¬† I'm very encouraged, particularly with what Mike Napoli has done since probably Game 3 of the ALCS.¬† Probably each guy has the ability to carry us.¬† And the fact that we can get the middle of the order going like that‑‑ we still have other guys we need to get going.¬† We've seen games where Jacoby has been that impact player in the ALDS, and even for the majority of the ALCS.¬† He sets the tone for us in terms of being a much more diverse offense.
But when you can lengthen out the lineup, whether that's with Bogaerts in the bottom third, we're still hopeful Stephen Drew is going to get going.  But anytime you get multiple guys that are swinging the bat as the guys you mentioned, it gives us the ability to put a crooked number up inside an inning.

Q.  Just to follow up on the question about Lester, when you mentioned resin, can you say categorically that's the only substance in his glove?  There's no bullfrog or anything else?
JOHN FARRELL:¬†¬† Yes.¬† And the one thing that our umpires are very well aware of and looking for, to enforce the rules‑‑ having been Jon Lester's pitching coach, and you know what, he's got resin that he uses, and he happens to put it inside his glove.¬† Categorically, yeah, that's what he used.

Q.  Rule 8.02 says that no foreign substance should be used, on the other hand pitchers across baseball say they need to get a better grip on the ball, and sometimes they would use things beyond resin to do so.  Do you think that rule needs to be updated to reflect that?
JOHN FARRELL:¬†¬† How it's updated, I don't know.¬† Do you start to list individual products?¬† At the same time I know talking to our own hitters, they want to be sure that a pitcher has got a complete grip of the baseball.¬† Last night and in this series, there are pitchers on both sides that are going to be mid to upper 90s‑type velocity.¬† If a hitter in the batter box has a little more comfort knowing the pitcher has a good grip, then maybe they're a little more at ease as well.
So to adjust the rule, where does it end?  I don't know.  You've got to draw the line somewhere, and the way it is right now seems to fit.

Q.  Can you talk about Pedroia and his gritty style.  And what does he add to this Red Sox team, both on and off the field?
JOHN FARRELL:   His personality is one that doesn't match his size.  It's a big personality.  It can be loud, but it can be full of confidence.  And one of the guys and probably the guy that sets the tone in terms of our work pace, the competitive nature that I think has filtered through our clubhouse, and not just because of Dustin, but because of other guys that have similar types of approach towards the game.
From the first day of Spring Training, the pace in which he works, set the tone for this season, and it has every year he's been in this uniform.  A lot of times so much of this game is just reviewed in numbers.  And what Dustin brings and what Jonny Gomes brings, the intangibles that we talk about, that filters over to other people, and I think gives the group the added confidence that can make a difference inside the lines.

Q.  Gomes has bounced from team to team in recent years.  Everywhere he goes, even back to his days in the Minor Leagues, his team has basically won.  What makes a winning player out of a guy like that, that's not a superstar, but everywhere he goes has success?
JOHN FARRELL:   One, in Jonny's case, he understands and clearly accepts his role.  It might be a role that sometimes he disagrees with, because he views himself as an everyday player, but at the same time he might take maybe that internal disagreement and channels it in a positive way.
It's a motivator for him.  He's had to work for everything that he's gotten inside the game, and that means including becoming a student of the game.  So he anticipates situations as they arise.  And because he fills that role so specifically, he finds a way to contribute.  And when you have a bench that includes guys like Jonny Gomes or Mike Carp or Daniel Nava, guys that stay prepared, they give that depth to a roster that allows you to win more games than the opposition.
We talked about this year being ‑‑ one of the main differences in our team this year is our overall depth.¬† We've been able to overcome performance slumps, injuries.¬† When you have guys like Jonny that you can turn to, that's the reason why you're on winning teams.

Q.  How is Buchholz feeling?  And what will be the protocol to go through to determine whether he starts on Sunday?
JOHN FARRELL:   Well, everything that he's going through right now is indicating that he will start on Sunday.  There's been nothing that has happened since we spoke yesterday here or with Clay that would indicate otherwise.  So we fully expect him to go.

Q.  Is the assumption that when the DH goes away when you go to St. Louis, is the assumption that you will have to sit either Papi or Napoli, the correct assumption or is there some way that you're thinking of that you could get them both in the lineup?  They're both pretty hot.
JOHN FARRELL:   No, the one outside view might be to put Mike Napoli behind the plate, but we wouldn't do that.  One or the other is going to sit, unfortunately.

Q.¬† You started to match Ross with Lester because the results have been so good.¬† Is matching pitchers ‑‑ and you have Salty in tonight.¬† Is matching pitchers with catchers something you've always been comfortable with or have these results caused an evolution in your thinking and a new look at pairing certain pitchers with certain catchers?
JOHN FARRELL:   If we're talking about the regular season, I wouldn't go down the path of assigning one catcher to a specific pitcher.  If you're talking about a Tim Wakefield, that's a different scenario.  But in this type of setup, because of what I would want to keep away from is if a certain catcher is not catching a pitcher on a certain night, does that become an excuse that things didn't turn out the way it was intended?
But we can't deny the fact that while Salty has done a good job with Lester over the course of the year, this last six or seven weeks this tandem has really taken some major strides forward.  It's another way to keep David Ross involved, who's not only handled Jon Lester well, he's swung a bat very well, since coming back from the concussions that he suffered.
So they've gone out and executed a very good game plan, and that consistency, if we need to, which we fully expect, will take place again in Game 5.

Q.  Do you like when Victorino comes up making that throw on what looks like a single to the rest of us or does it make you nervous at all?  Do he and Napoli practice that or have some sort of communication out there?
JOHN FARRELL:¬†¬† It's more the read on or anticipating the situation.¬† If you've got a runner that might not be a lead‑off or base‑stealing type of guy and it's a hard one‑hop line drive to right field.¬† He did it against Iglesias over in Detroit, as well.¬† He's a heads‑up player.¬† The one thing that our guys have become accustomed to is what other guys in the lineup or on the field at the same time are likely to do.
So they all anticipate a certain play, and that's one.  Last night it ends up being a bang, bang play.  But we certainly are not going to take that away from Shane Victorino.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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