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Sports

February 13, 2013

Focused Farrell, Red Sox eager to turn page

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — A new Boston manager opened up Red Sox spring training with a smile on his face, and began the festivities with talk of changing the culture and turning the page.

Sound familiar?

New manager John Farrell gets his chance this season, an at-bat that Bobby Valentine struck out with last season. Farrell met the media on Tuesday at JetBlue Park — the same day pitchers and catchers reported — and spoke about new beginnings and a new era in Red Sox baseball after the franchise missed the postseason for the third straight season last year.

“Certainly we can’t wipe away what’s taken place,” said Farrell, who is the third Boston manager in three years, joining Valentine and Terry Francona. “It’s important that we acknowledge it. But as I’ve talked to guys throughout the offseason, what we do going forward is where the focus has to be. Just by virtue of nine new players on a 25-man roster is going to have some natural tendency to change that.”

The Red Sox, under first-year general manager Ben Cherington and Valentine, stumbled to a 69-93 finish last season. There was controversy in the clubhouse, there were several trades to rid the club of veteran payroll, and there were eight straight losses to finish the season.

“The most important thing is that we earn the trust of one another inside the clubhouse first,” Farrell said. “And going from there is the style of play that people can identify with this group as a team, and (be) confident that the makeup of the group initially will put ourselves in a position to do that.”

Of course, Day 1 wasn’t without news. A year after injuries ripped through the club, right-hander Clay Buchholz suffered a right hamstring strain and is considered day to day.

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