Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/15/14
A lot has changed since last December, and that was no more clear than it was Tuesday on a sunny October day in Boston. Just 11 months ago, Bobby Valentine was in front of the podium at Fenway Park, speaking about how excited he was to have another chance at managing again, let alone leading the Boston Red Sox. "This day is a special day, and it's more than a special day," Valentine said at his introductory news conference. "It's the beginning of a life that I think is going to extend beyond anything else that I thought of doing. The talent level and the players that we have in this organization, I think, is a gift to anyone. And I'm the receiver of that gift." It was more about the man, not the team, and not the reclamation project in front of Valentine and the Red Sox. The veteran manager even felt the need to defend his character ("I'm not the monster that breathes fire that some people have referred to me as" as well as his reputation ("I am not the polarizing guy the people refer to me as"). The video board once again welcomed a new manager at Fenway Park on Tuesday, but that's where the similarities ended. Where Valentine was happy just to be back in managing, you got the feeling Tuesday that John Farrell always expected to be back in Boston. The Sox went in a completely direction with this managerial, nabbing the man who was presumably the guy they wanted when they ended their relationship with Terry Francona in 2011. Farrell was unable to escape Toronto, though. Valentine was supposed to bridge that gap between the two, but that bridge was faulty, collapsing early in his tenure. The Sox went for the splash and ended up drowning.  Now they turn to Farrell, who made his triumphant return to Boston on Tuesday afternoon. He was impressive, presidential even, as he was reintroduced to New England. He never wavered in his tone, speaking sternly and confidently about what he can do to help the club win ball games Farrell laid out a plan, and that plan coincides with the theme of this ongoing Red Sox cleansing. When the club parted ways with Valentine, the need for a "cultural change" was stressed, and the Sox certainly have that with Farrell.  It's fairly clear that Farrell is going to put his stamp on this ballclub. He spoke with confidence and authority on Tuesday, driving home the belief that he is a no-nonsense leader. It's safe to assume that "passive-aggressive," a term used to describe Valentine, won't be placed in front of Farrell's name any time soon. Farrell preaches preparation -- always has -- and he made a point to mention that multiple times on Tuesday. It's clear that the preparation and planning has already begun, the vision that Farrell has for what he wants his team to be is clear. He spoke of how he wants the ballclub to employ an "up-tempo, aggressive style of play." That change is pivotal to changing the culture, he says. "To play that style of game, it does create an attitude with I think is critical to win at the major league level," he said, also preaching the importance of hustle. "That is non-negotiable. Our effort is controlled. It's controlled every night and that is a minimum. I expect professionalism at the major league level and in this organization." Farrell's familiarity with Boston, whether it's with Ben Cherington, the baseball ops department, the players, the fans, the market, etc., will make all of this easier. Yet, Farrell is not taking the relationship with his players for granted. Despite his no-nonsense ways, Farrell said more than once that a team's success is ultimately rooted with the players, noting that cultivating successful relationships will lead to that success.  "I will work my butt off to earn their trust, to earn their respect," he said. "If that's being described as a players' manager, then that's what I am." And where Valentine faltered as a communicator, expect Farrell to flourish. "I can't speak to what the clubhouse was last year, but I think it's important to communicate with the players, we outline expectations and we have to hold players accountable for what we're trying to get done," he said. "That's leading people." The Red Sox' culture change is under way, and that was abundantly clear on Tuesday. However, that cultural change is not exclusive to the manager's office. It has to continue into the offseason, where the manager-general manager relationship will be crucial. "Ben you said an awful lot of nice things," Farrell said upon taking the podium, "but we know it's going to come down to the quality of the players on the roster." That much is certainly true, and there is a ton of work to be done for Farrell, Cherington and everyone else who calls Yawkey Way home. But if Tuesday is any indication, it appears that the Red Sox are finally headed in the right direction.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Phillies GM: Asking price for Cole Hamels has not dropped

Could Ohio State really use all three quarterbacks?

Report: Florida CB arrested following armed robbery

Celtics looking to make LeBron's life difficult in playoff series

WATCH: Luke Rockhold chokes out Lyoto Machida

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

WATCH: Masai Ujiri fires up Raptors fans with expletive

Andre Johnson: Signing with Colts not about revenge

Pete Rose joining FOX as baseball analyst

Josh Hamilton filed for divorce around time of relapse

Isaiah Thomas once peed himself to avoid subbing out

Report: ESPN employees want Britt McHenry fired

WATCH: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. tells his corner to stop fight

Mets pitcher Alex Torres wears massive protective hat

Report: Todd Gurley's knee checks out well in evaluation

WATCH: All 286 3-pointers Steph Curry made this season

WATCH: Devan Dubnyk makes great save while leaving net

Sabres GM not happy about losing draft lottery

Yordano Ventura ejected for plunking Brett Lawrie

Five early takeaways from the 2015 MLB season

WATCH: Cubs fan catches foul ball in beer cup, chugs it

WATCH: Cardale Jones throws ball 74 yards during contest

Shaka Smart was quite popular at the Texas spring game

Ohio State sets spring game attendance record

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Alex Torres wears protective hat

Josh Hamilton filed for divorce from wife

Report: McHenry's coworkers want her fired

WATCH: Raptors fans taunt Paul Pierce

Five things to watch in NBA Playoffs

Jarret Stoll busted for drugs

CJ Wilson: Hamilton is 'ready to go'

Leaked Clippers jersey redesigns

Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase preview

Home runs ruined our ability to appreciate production

Why we love the NFL draft

The "worst" player on each NBA playoff team

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.