***All information courtesy of Oklahoma State coach/player archive, the Boston Red Sox, and Wikipedia.***
After one of the worst collapses in 2011 under Terry Francona, a 7-20 record in September, and dropping out of the playoff race, the Red Sox declined to exercise the 2012 option for one of the best managers in franchise history. It was a sad day indeed.
Immediately after, the Sox made what many saw as a risky move, hiring Bobby Valentine. Boston entered 2012 with high hopes, ready to make an impact in the AL East and begin their climb back to baseball's elite.
After finishing that season with their worst record since 1965 (69-93.. .426 PCT) and a massive, multi-player blockbuster trade, the Boston Red Sox were once again reeling.
Pitcher John Farrell finished his high school career at Shore Regional High School in Monmouth County, NJ. After completing his senior season, he was drafted by the Oakland A’s in the 1980 MLB draft. He did not sign with the Athletics, instead deciding to attend Oklahoma State University to continue his amateur baseball career.
Farrell’s tenure at OSU was nothing short of stellar. He had a career record of 20-6, including 168 strikeouts in 219 innings pitched, with an ERA of 4.51. During his senior year, John Farrell set a Cowboy record, throwing five shutouts with one no-hitter against Missouri-Southern on his way to an 11-2 record, two saves, a 3.01 ERA, and All Big Eight honors. He lettered all four years and helped set the Cowboys on their way to 16 consecutive Big Eight conference and tournament titles; 19 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances; and 7 consecutive trips to the College World Series (courtesy of Wikipedia).
Farrell headed to the majors and spent time playing for the Indians (’87-’90, ’95), Angels (’93-’94), and the Tigers (’96). He returned to OSU as an assistant in 1997 under head coach Tom Holliday. Farrell immediately began molding and shaping the Cowboys' pitching staff into one of the nation's best. He was responsible for sending eight players to the MLB draft, one of which was 1999 Rookie of the Year, Scott Willamson.
Soon after returning to Stillwater, Farrell became the recruiting coordinator. In 2000, Collegiate Baseball Newspaper ranked his recruiting class 10th best in college baseball.
In 2001 Farrell returned to the big leagues as the Director of Player Development for the Cleveland Indians.
He replaced Dave Wallace as the Red Sox pitching coach in 2006, joining his former Indians teammate, Terry Francona. He left Boston in 2010 to take his first job as a MLB manager with the Toronto Blue Jays.
On October 20, 2012, a report surfaced that Farrell had requested permission from the Blue Jay organization to speak with the Red Sox regarding their recently vacated managerial position. On Sunday, October 21st, John Farrell was officially announced as the new manager of the Boston Red Sox.
Farrell came into the 2013 season with the full support of Red Sox Nation. While being criticized for his lack of managerial experience, he impressed sports journalists with his interviews and conferences, answering tough questions and not backing down from inquiries about his qualifications.
Boston backed his confidence up with an opening day route of their rival Yankees in Yankee Stadium, 8-2. The Red Sox took the series 2-1, and never looked back.
Farrell has taken the worst team in baseball in 2012 and pulled a complete 180, pushing them to the top of the AL East and home field advantage. With a 3-1 series victory over the Tampa Bay Rays, the Boston Red Sox now prepare for their 10th appearance in the ALCS beginning Saturday.
As we struggle through this Cowboy football bye week (and season, honestly), lets cheer on John Farrell, former Cowboy pitcher, coach, and Class of '94 OSU Baseball hall of fame inductee, who may be on his way to an ALCS championship and a shot at the most coveted thing in baseball...a World Series Championship.