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Sports

February 16, 2013

Farrell speech opens Red Sox full-squad workouts

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell addressed his full team for the first time on Friday, and it went about as expected.

On an optimistic day at JetBlue Park, the team’s new manager spoke to his staff and players for nearly an hour about moving past last season’s last-place finish, and the rash of issues that left the Red Sox 69-93.

Indeed, the Farrell era is off and running, and with opening day on the horizon, time is of the essence.

“Everything has a purpose,” he said. “I don’t want to say there’s a sense of urgency but every day in spring training because of our current situation — new staff, a number of new players — we’ve got a lot of ground to cover.”

The Red Sox open the Grapefruit League season on Feb. 23 vs. Tampa Bay.

“There’s a lot to mention,” said Farrell, who replaced Bobby Valentine, and is the third Boston manager in three years. “More than anything, a lot of it was introductory for a number of new players, new people they’re coming in contact with. They were able to hear from ownership, from (general manager) Ben (Cherington), from myself. Pretty typical, I would think, for an opening of spring training.”

Farrell was Boston’s pitching coach from 2007-10 before leaving to manage the Blue Jays for two seasons. There are still players he is familiar with. But there are also 10 newcomers to the organization.

“More than anything, that first conversation, first talk is a way to set the tone, which I think was clear,” he said. “But the thing we want to emphasize is that it’s a matter of what we do on the field and not what we’re talking about. We’re hopeful — and with every intent — that our actions speak certainly more volume than our words.”

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