Word has gotten around on John Farrell.

Word is, one thing he can cross off his "to-do'' list as new manager of the Red Sox is devoting much time to earning the respect and loyalty of his players.

Even among the new faces, the ones who weren't around when he was pitching coach from 2007-10, they understand that when they arrive in Fort Myers a couple of weeks from now, Farrell will be in command and in control.

For a team that had a difficult time dealing with those starting points with Bobby Valentine when he ran his first and only spring training as manager, the fast start should count a great deal.

"The reputation and things we've heard .?.?. hey, I've played with all these guys that have had him here, so everything you hear about him is great and everything you guys write about him is great, so I'm excited," reliever Andrew Miller said last week. "I think the same thing with (new pitching coach) Juan (Nieves) — the reputation is great, and I'm excited to work with him. I hope these are the guys that are here for a long time and I hope that I'm a part of it. It's a good thing for the organization."