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Soaring expectations and past results don’t change the approach, said Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell, who is entering his fourth season managing the team. (Patrick Semansky/AP Photo)
Soaring expectations and past results don’t change the approach, said Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell, who is entering his fourth season managing the team. (Patrick Semansky/AP Photo)

Manager John Farrell returns to Red Sox with a clean bill of health Add to ...

Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell said Thursday he recognizes his team hasn’t met expectations the past two years.

The team knows that getting off to a good start would go a long way this season, Farrell said as pitchers and catchers reported for spring training.

After bringing in left-handed starter David Price for seven years and $217-million (U.S.) to be their ace and acquiring Craig Kimbrel to close in a trade with the San Diego Padres, expectations are high for the Red Sox to rebound from two straight last-place finishes in the American League East.

But the expectations and past results don’t change the approach, said Farrell, who is entering his fourth season managing the team. He led Boston to a World Series title his first season.

“It doesn’t change the intensity or the thoroughness that you go about each and every day,” he said. “We just want to put every guy in a position to succeed and that should allow us as a team to hopefully get off to a good start.”

Farrell is back and healthy now after leaving the team in August because of a cancer diagnosis. He was given a clean bill of health 10 weeks later.

“It causes you to slow down a little bit and maybe see some of the smaller things in life a little bit more clear,” he said. “Your awareness to your surroundings becomes heightened. You appreciate every day more than you have. It goes back to the relationships you have with people and the fortunate ability to be involved in a great game with a great organization.”

Farrell left behind a record of 78-84, and bench coach Torey Lovullo led Boston to a 28-20 record the rest of the way in his first stint managing a big-league club. To keep Lovullo from seeking other managing possibilities, the Red Sox gave him a two-year extension on the final day of the season.

“I think his choice by staying here represents a number of things: One, this is a special place to work; two, Dave [Dombrowski, president of baseball operations] and the organization stepped up to keep him here,” Farrell said. “Torey and I have had a number of candid conversations. I think our players understand and know the relationship that Torey and I have.”

This is Farrell’s first season under Dombrowski, who joined the Red Sox on Aug. 18. Farrell is still getting to know his new boss.

“That’s happening naturally,” Farrell said. “There are so many topics that need discussion, whether it’s from our roster to our schedule to the game situations that will unfold. And I’m sure as we get into the game schedule in spring training and then certainly beyond there’s going to be those daily postgame conversations that typically take place. That will happen in time.”

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