Just in case you were wondering how things would be different with John Farrell at the helm, we have this: the first cuts of Spring Training include Drake Britton. Britton’s demotion is not much of a surprise in and of itself. He was a 100:1 shot to make the big league club at best. However, being one of the first cuts on a list of relative no-names and also rans might be considered a slight.
But now there’s news of Britton getting arrested for DUI over the weekend… and then sent to the minor league camp the same weekend. Bryce Brentz was a surprise non-invitee to the major league camp given the hot stove chatter that he was a dark horse candidate as the fourth or fifth outfielder. But Brentz misfired during the offseason, literally and figuratively, and he was given a clear and direct message about what the Red Sox think about him playing with guns. Alfredo Aceves tested Farrell in the first week of camp, lobbing batting practice pitches rather than working on his arsenal, and he was met with both instant correction from Juan Nieves as well as a “discussion” with Farrell after his session.
This seems to be a pattern and a good one at that.
Farrell is direct about his expectations and deals with issues decisively. Rather than hang his players out to dry in the court of public opinion, he uses reasonable measures to communicate when expectations and conduct have fallen short. It remains to be seen how this style translates to game results but it seems reasonable to assume that the players will respond well to being like adults with both clear expectations and clear rewards/punishments guiding their conduct.