John Farrell's pregame team meeting receives rave reviews from Red Sox

Rob Bradford
June 09, 2014 - 12:20 am

DETROIT -- They don't happen very often, so when they do come around the participants usually take notice. Prior to the Red Sox' series finale against the Tigers at Comerica Park Sunday night, manager John Farrell called a team meeting. With the Sox entering the night riding a five-game losing streak, while sitting at seven games under .500 (27-34), Farrell wanted to make sure his players weren't getting too down on themselves. "Sure, it was well-timed. But it wasn't like there was any panic or any scolding," said outfielder Jonny Gomes. "It was just kind of to get us back on track. "I think the vibe he was trying to get across that he appreciated how we were going about our business. We lost 10 in a row and we went through this stretch and no one has been benched for not hustling, not one has gotten benched for mental errors and nobody has been late to the field. It was just to acknowledge that we should keep playing the game right and keep grinding." While nobody was suggesting the meeting supplied the impetus for the Red Sox' 5-3 win over the Tigers, there did appear to be a sense of heightened focus in some areas. One example was the Sox' ability to drive up the pitch count on Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez, the kind of plate discipline that had come and gone during the club's recent skid. The only other known team meeting this season came April 25 in Toronto, a day after the Red Sox had turned in one of their worst performances in a loss to the Yankees at Fenway Park. That get-together, however, was conducted within the routine of preparing for the three-game series against the Blue Jays. It is believed the Red Sox didn't hold a single team meeting throughout 2013. "We had a little meeting with our manager and he made a clear point," said Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, whose three-run homer proved the game's decisive blow. "We've been struggling trying to win ball games, but everybody is giving a good effort and everybody is busting their tails. Things aren't going our way, but we still have four months of the season and things will change. We have a lot of good swings tonight, they were just right at people. "John, he doesn't do that many meetings, but when he has one with us it's just to make sure we're not struggling mentally just because we're not seeing the results."