Acting Red Sox manager Torey Lovullo called Friday one of the hardest days of his life. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Torey Lovullo details emotional day, how he will communicate with John Farrell

Ryan Hannable
August 14, 2015 - 8:10 pm
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It was a difficult game for everyone in the Red Sox organization. Although the Red Sox blew out the Mariners 15-1 Friday night, that wasn't the story -- the story was their manager John Farrell announcing to the team and the world that he has stage one lymphoma and he will not manage the rest of the season. Bench coach Torey Lovullo will take over. Lovullo, one of Farrell's closest friends, was misty-eyed when he spoke for the first time following the game. "We as group have been walking around with a heavy heart today," Lovullo said. "Our leader, our friend and our manager shared some pretty devastating news with us today. We had just about every emotion you possibly can. It was capped off with a lot of excitement in the dugout. These guys did that for John. They went out played hard and with a ton of energy for John." The 50-year-old said Farrell told him Thursday night and was able to help him process the news. Lovullo said he didn't sleep much Thursday night and then Farrell told the team on Friday. His overriding message was he will take care of his business and the team should take care of theirs on the field. "Something that I'll never forget. You hear those words -- those three words and they shock you for a moment," Lovullo said. "Seem to put everything in perspective. You set aside the wins and losses. Like I said, my friend, our manager, our leader is struggling. You can never get used to hearing those words. He stood up before the guys, composed himself and said, 'This is my story. I don't want to be the story. I don't want to be a distraction.' That's just a classic John Farrell moment -- make it about the guys. "That's kind of what his message was today. You got and do this -- I'll take care of my business, you take care of your's. That was the basic idea." Although Lovullo has managed with four different teams in the minor leagues and stepped in when Farrell has been ejected, nothing could compare to Friday. "Tonight was a difficult night. I found myself probably 250 times thinking about John," Lovullo said, "I tried to just let that go and move off of it. It's one of my closest friends. It was difficult for me at times. The guys made it easy. They went out there and performed." Lovullo hinted Farrell would be around this weekend as he and the coaching staff and organization prepare for things when he begins his chemotherapy early next week. While Farrell is away undergoing treatment, Lovullo said he wants to keep him as up-to-date on what is happening with the team as possible, but he knows that is all dependent upon how Farrell feels on that given day. He said their friendship will be able to help them through this process. "I want to give him a dugout view of what's happen as often as I can," Lovullo said. "But, getting ready to understand a little bit of what he's going to go through, I'm not going to force that upon him. As we always do, we have a clear line of communication because of our friendship, but I want to keep him as close as I possibly can. I'm going to let him control the climate. "He might be having a bad day -- and I did tell him. 'We're going to talk baseball, but if you're not having a good day, just tell me. We'll postpone this.' This is uncharted territory for all of us. We don't know what's going to happen, especially in John's case. Here's this warrior telling us it's going to be OK, but I know he doesn't know. He's going to run it and I am going to give him as much as he wants on a daily basis just because he's my friend and I want to keep him as engaged as possible." At the end of the day, baseball is put aside and it's about Farrell and getting him back to health. "Like Papi said, we're on this ride with John. We're all together. We're a family," Lovullo said.

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