On Friday it was revealed that Red Sox manager John Farrell has lymphoma. It was discovered earlier this week, when Farrell underwent hernia surgery. Farrell has Stage One Lymphoma, which means the cancer was caught in an early stage.
Farrell, who is 53, will begin treatment next week and will miss the remainder of the season. Farrell has been managing the Red Sox since 2013, and bench coach Torey Lovullo will take over managing duties for the final weeks of the season. Farrell will begin treatment next week at Mass General.
Here’s the info on Farrell:
1. The Lymphoma Was Discovered During Hernia Surgery
Farrell was scheduled to undergo surgery this week to repair a hernia, and that’s when doctors discovered the mass. The cancerous mass was removed, and Farrell revealed his diagnosis to reporters on Friday. Stage 1 is the best-case scenario for cancer, and Farrell has assured that his cancer is “very treatable”
2. He Will Undergo Treatment Starting Next Week
Farrell will undergo a nine-week chemotherapy program starting next week, which he will receive at Mass General. If all goes well Farrell should finish treatment sometime around October, and fully expects to return to the team next season. Farrell told reporters Friday, “There’s going to be a good outcome to this”. In the meantime, bench coach Torey Lovullo will be the interim Red Sox manager. Lovullo spent ten years bouncing around MLB as a player, and was the first base coach for Farrell in Toronto.
3. Farrell Has Been A Manager Since 2011
Farrell has been involved in MLB since 1987, when he signed as a pitcher with the Cleveland Indians. Farrell had a ten-year career as a pitcher, despite missing two full seasons due to an elbow injury.
Farrell got his first coaching gig at his alma mater Oklahoma State, where he coached from 1997 until 2001. He came back into the majors with the Indians, working in their front office from 2001-06. Farrell returned to the field in Boston, where he served as pitching coach until 2010. The Red Sox were planning on promoting him to manager, but Toronto snuck in first, offering Farrell a three-year contract to be their manager starting in 2011. After two seasons in Toronto and finishing fourth both seasons, the Red Sox wanted their man back. They traded Mike Aviles to Toronto to get Farrell back, one of the rare instances when a player was traded for a manager.
4. He Is The 46th Manager of the Boston Red Sox
Farrell returned to Boston as their manager in 2013, and he immediately made an impact on the club. Despite being a major underdog in the AL, the Red Sox upset the Tigers in the ALCS, and defeated the Cardinals to win their third World Series since 2004. Farrell was credited with the turnaround, and was named AL Manager of the Year by the Sporting News.
Since being crowned champs, Farrell and the Red Sox have been unable to re-capture the magic. Boston finished 71-91 in 2014, finishing last in the AL East. Thus far the Red Sox are 50-64, and are once again headed for the AL East basement.
5. Farrell Has Three Sons Who All Play Pro Baseball
Farrell is supported during this time by his wife, Sue Farrell, and their three sons. John and Sue met during their time at Oklahoma State, and have known each other now for over 30 years. The family is no stranger to cancer, as John and Sue sat by their youngest son Luke as he underwent surgery to remove a tumor while John was coaching in Toronto. That surgery was at Mass General, the same place where John will undergo treatment next week.
Luke’s surgery was a success, and he recently joined the two other Farrell brothers in the family profession. All three brothers work in Major League Baseball in some capacity. Eldest son Jeremy is an infielder in the White Sox system, middle child Shane is a scout with the Cubs, and the aforementioned Luke is a pitcher in the Royals system.