Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 10/24/12
BOSTON –– John Farrell isn't afraid of the tough conversations. As manager of the Blue Jays, he was willing to challenge legendary shortstop Omar Vizquel's assessment of his managerial style. Farrell hopes that aggressive personality will continue to translate onto the field. "I do know this -- an aggressive style is what we want, and that takes place from the mound, on the bases and in the box," Farrell said. "That means attacking the strike zone early. This can be a very simple game if you apply a game of firsts to it –– first-pitch strikes, first out of an inning, score first. "Not to oversimplify things, but sometimes the mind can do crazy things to a pitcher. And they start to get into a little bit of a rut, and they want to be sure we put them in a positive environment, and prepare them to the best of their ability." The Red Sox could benefit from rededicating themselves to attacking the base paths, especially with steals. Last season, Dustin Pedroia led the team with 20 steals and Pedro Ciriaco was nipping at the second baseman's heels with 16, despite playing less than half the year. During his news conference, Farrell preached the importance of playing an "up-tempo" brand of baseball. It's a philosophy that Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington completely endorses. "We want to be aggressive on the base paths in a smart way," Cherington said. "If you can advance a base without giving up an out, that helps you score runs. The more you can do that, the better. "He's going to put together a staff and ultimately a working plan that allows players to feel like when the game starts, they've done everything they can do physically, mentally and fundamentally to be prepared, be aggressive and let their talent come out." In the process, they hope to put the rest of Major League Baseball on notice. Have a question for Didier Morais? Send it to him via Twitter at @DidierMorais or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.
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