Deseret News sportswriter Dirk Facer interviewed Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell before Tuesday night's University of Utah baseball fundraising dinner at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City. Farrell, who knows Utah baseball coach Bill Kinneberg through a common friendship with Terry Francona, led the Red Sox to the World Series championship last fall.
Q: What brought you to Utah for this event?
A: Having also coached in college baseball, I know that you've got to be creative and you've got to be resourceful. In getting to know Coach Kinneberg through Terry Francona over the past five or six years, when the request came through it was a no-brainer — and knowing that he's into his 10th year here and doing whatever he can to continue to build this program, this is a great way to help him out.
Q: How rewarding was it to win the World Series as a manager as opposed to being the pitching coach?
A: Oh yeah, you've got to answer all the questions. So that being said when you can help form and build a team, help provide individual opportunity for players or coaches that have joined you, it's rewarding — particularly to deal with a group of people that you respect and that you like. So to achieve, in our sport, the pinnacle was just a great 2013.
Q: Are you ready to get back at it, despite a relatively short offseason because of the extended postseason run?
A: We're 12 days away from starting. Yeah, the offseason has gone a little bit quicker than in the past, but my daily life has not changed. There's nothing changed since we won the World Series. So I know we're all looking forward — as probably everyone in the sport is — to getting down to spring training and getting things started for 2014.
Q: What was the best part about winning the World Series for you personally?
A: I don't know if there's any one moment. It's the journey from the first day of spring training to the final out in Game 6 against St. Louis. You can pick out certain moments along the way that might have been a little bit more meaningful. But when you look back and know that you shared so much with a group, it's the entire year and the challenges that we faced as a team and how we met them.
Q: What do you like most about baseball?
A: It challenges you in a few different ways. It challenges you mentally. It challenges you physically to endure a 162-game schedule. So I think every year, every player gets ready to answer the questions of, "What if?" "What if I can't do this?" Or, "What do I have to do to succeed in certain ways?" So I think it's that instant feedback you get for the work that you put in and how you succeed on the field.