BOSTON (CBS) - Red Sox manager John Farrell sat down with WBZ-TV's Dan Roche for an extended interview on Sunday's Sports Final, opening up about his team's run to the 2013 World Series championship.
After Boston won just 69 games in 2012, Farrell led the team to 97 regular season wins and a dramatic postseason run that ended with the Red Sox clinching their first title at Fenway in 95 years.
The magnitude of the accomplishment finally set in for Farrell last Saturday when the team paraded the World Series trophy through the streets of Boston with masses of fans gather to celebrate.
"That's a clear example of how many people shared in this. For miles, the depth and the volume of the crowd never let up. Two things really stood out for me that day, the interaction between the players and the crowd... and that picture of the finish line," Farrell said of Jonny Gomes' parade day tribute to the Marathon bombing victims. "The finish line, the trophy, and the jersey pretty much summarizes all that we went through as a team, and what it culminated in -- a World Series title."
Throughout the season the Red Sox were a welcome escape for Bostonians as they recovered from the April tragedy, both with their play on the field and their "Boston Strong" mentality off of it.
"It's important that it doesn't get jumped on frivolously, that slogan, because it means so much," Farrell said. "In the clubhouse in Cleveland on the 16th of April before we stood on the line for a moment of silence, our guys completely unscripted were already putting together how they could get out and visit people in hospitals."
"From there it became the beginning such a strong relationship with the guys in our uniform and the people in the stands and our fans, and the rekindling of that relationship as we went through the summer," he said.
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Another symbol of the Red Sox this season was their furry faces. But as beards took over nearly every face on the roster, the manager remained fresh-faced. He explained why to Roche.
"[I was] capable, just not willing.," he said "I've never grown one in my life, and even though it was growing all around us, I wasn't going to start now."
Farrell said he left that up to the players, and welcomed it with open arms when it was first brought up in Spring Training.
"I welcome anything that allows the individual personality to come out. We were very clear in Spring Training on the framework we wanted to set up and the overall direction, including the behaviors that are accepted and what are not, all those types of things. but there is a lot of room inside that for them to be individuals, and that was one outward sign that they said 'maybe this is what bonds us and connects us to one another.'"
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Farrell also talked about the performance of World Series MVP David Ortiz, who was nearly impossible to get out during against the Cardinals. Farrell said Ortiz's amazing run went throughout the regular season as well, but the most jaw-dropping part was to see him thrive on the big stage once again.
"To see him do it at the most critical time, and none bigger than the grand slam that he hit in Game 2 [of the ALCS] against the Tigers to tie it at five. To go against the best pitching that the game has to offer and he's performing the way he is, he makes you step back and recognize how great a hitter he is," said Farrell. "There is a reason guys are starting to call him Cooperstown, and deservingly so."
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Farrell scoffed at the notion that Ortiz may have some "outside assistance" with his unbelievable numbers, noting the DH's uncanny coolness when the game matter's most.
"The one thing I always point to, particularly in the postseason, it's the individual players that can control that emotional spike. Every player has it. David's heart-rate, while he can be an emotional player, he stays under a calm sense in the batter's box. Emotionally he's so under control that he's able to capitalize on mistakes over the plate."
Find out Farrell's take on the upcoming off-season, and all the second-guessing that he put himself through during the World Series:
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Farrell On Sports Final Part 5:
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