Both John Farrell and Mike Matheny were working for their respected teams the last time each won the World Series – but not as manager. Farrell was the pitching coach under Terry Francona in 2007 and Matheny was a Special Assistant in Player Development while Tony La Russa was managing the Cardinals.
After the Cardinals won the World Series in 2011, La Russa decided to retire after 33 years managing the White Sox, A’s, and Cardinals. In November, Matheny was named the new manager of the Cardinals, and at 41 became the youngest active manager in the majors. In his first season, Matheny led the Cardinals to a wild-card berth, a win against the Braves in the wild-card game; a series victory over the Nationals in the NLDS; and held a 3-1 series lead over the Giants in the NLCS before falling just short of winning the pennant.
Matheny’s second season was different, and after battling the Pirates and Reds throughout the course of the season, the Cardinals captured the NL Central title, going on to beat the Pirates in the NLDS and the Dodgers to win their fourth pennant in nine years.
Farrell served as pitching coach of the Red Sox from 2007 to 2010, when he was hired to manage the Toronto Blue Jays, a position he held for two seasons. Coming to the Red Sox in October 2012 after the firing of Bobby Valentine, Farrell instantly changed the atmosphere in the Boston clubhouse, leading the team in an entirely different direction. The Red Sox went from 69 wins in 2012 to 97 wins in just one year, a single-season turnaround frequently compared to the Sox’ 1967 “Impossible Dream.”
Farrell led the Red Sox to their first playoff appearance since 2009 and their first AL East title since 2007, taking down the Rays and the Tigers on the way to winning the American League championship.
Farrell and Matheny are both looking for their first World Series titles as a manager.