In a press release Sunday, the Red Sox said Farrell will be back as manager, provided he obtains a “clean bill of health” following his treatment for Stage 1 Lymphoma.
Perhaps more importantly, Dombrowski worked a deal with interim manager Torey Lovullo to return to his role as Red Sox bench coach next season and waive his right to pursue managerial openings in the 2016 season. That’s not an insignificant concession on Lovullo’s part, whose skillful management of the Boston ball club after Farrell’s departure, likely put him toward the top of the list for manager jobs elsewhere. The Red Sox were 28-20 under Lovulllo.
Dombrowski’s arrangement with Lovullo came with a two year contract extension. Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reported via Twitter that the extension included, according to Dombrowski, a bump in compensation that will make Lovullo one of the higher paid bench coaches in the game.
With Lovullo locked in, Dombrowski has a backup plan in the regrettable instance that Farrell has a health setback next season.
He’s back, but should he be?
After such bad, back-to-back seasons, Red Sox fans can be forgiven for wondering whether Farrell deserves another shot managing this club. Indeed, except for the World Championship season of 2013, Farrell has never managed a winning season in five total years between the Blue Jays and Red Sox.
But even the tone-deaf, almost tottering ownership group had to know that firing their beleaguered manager would stimulate more public relations backlash. In that way, the remarkably bad handling of Don Orsillo’s dismissal—and the ensuing extraordinary anger about it, which was said to have caught the business by surprise—may have somehow benefited Farrell’s cause.
Some coaching changes
Sunday’s announcement included news that third base coach Brian Butterfield, pitching coach Carl Willis, hitting coach Chili Davis, and assistant hitting coach Victor Rodriguez, would all be retained for 2016. First base coach and outfield instructor Arnie Beyeler and strength and conditioning coach Pat Sandora, however, have been dismissed.
Beyeler, 51, told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford that Dombrowski contacted him about the move after the Red Sox game Saturday. Asked if there might be another opportunity elsewhere with the club, Dombrowski told him no.
On Sunday, the Boston Globe‘s Nick Cafardo reported that former Red Sox player Rich Gedman, currently a hitting coach for the Pawtucket Red Sox, may wind up leaving the organization if he isn’t soon promoted to the major league level. We’ll wait to see whether Beyeler and Sandora’s departure means an opening in the big club for Gedman.