BOSTON -- John Farrell has worn the Red Sox uniform hundreds of times and knows every inch of Fenway Park from his time here as pitching coach.
Still, his first game in the hallowed park as Boston’s manager is something he intends on cherishing.
“This is a great day,” he said Monday in the hours before being introduced along the first-base line as Red Sox skipper.
Farrell indicated that he never allowed himself to think of this day during his time as a pitching coach for the Sox. He felt as if Terry Francona would last forever in the managerial role. Now that Farrell has his hands on the reins and the responsibility of upholding the hopes and dreams of thousands of fans, he is eager to soak it all in.
“Probably as much as guys who signed here in the offseason,” he said of his excitement level. “Everybody that’s come in here as a visiting player understands what the atmosphere is. I think guys like [David] Ross, [Jonny] Gomes, [Shane] Victorino, [Ryan] Dempster, all the guys that signed as free agents, today is the first day they get to taste that in a Red Sox uniform and heck, I’m no different.”
Gomes has played 31 games in Boston in his career, most of those while a member of the Tampa Bay Rays. He said that once the game starts it is business as usual, but until then he is just like a lot of newcomers.
“Soak in the history of this ballpark, the history of those fans and to be able to stand on that same line that many legends have,” he said.
Ross drew the start in the home opener with a left-hander on the mound, which adds a little extra pizzazz to his return to Fenway Park. He appeared in five games off the bench at Fenway while with the Sox in 2008, but never caught that first pitch.
“Where do I start?” he said when asked what makes Fenway special. “You’ve got the Green Monster, which is just an iconic symbol, and Fenway itself and being in Boston, a huge market and a great fan base. Just being home.”
“Today will definitely be a huge memory in my life.”