Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz became the first player to publicly applaud the Red Sox hiring of John Farrell as their new manager on Sunday.
Ortiz, in an interview with The Boston Globe's Peter Abraham, recognized the importance of hiring a manager that the players feel comfortable with, and someone who immediately gains the players respect.
"[Farrell] will walk in there and handle his business right away. There is respect there," said Ortiz. "Farrell is going to be good for us. He knows this team and he'll get the pitchers to produce. That's big."
Other than the obvious praise for the former Sox pitching coach, Ortiz also alluded to himself as a member of next year's team. The 36-year-old is once again a free-agent, after his one-year-deal with Boston expired following the season. In 90 appearances in 2012, Ortiz hit 23 home runs and drove in 60 RBI's. He also hit a career high .318 in his 10th season with the team.
His season was cut short after a barrage of injuries, the latest being an Achilles problem that sidelined him for the remainder of the season. Big Papi also relayed to Abraham that his ankle was feeling much better.
With a manager in place and a roster to take shape, there remains plenty of work to be done before Opening Day in 2013. But, at the very least, the man at the helm has been identified, and a player whose been with Boston for over a decade approves of the hiring.