Red Sox stars David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia stood along a wall to Farrell’s left when he made the announcement. Vice-President Sam Kennedy, general manager Ben Cherington and Lovullo also were in the room.
"A little bit of a shocker to be told later that afternoon that this was going on. Like I said, I’m fortunate," Farrell said. "Stage 1. It’s localized. It’s highly curable. I’m extremely fortunate to not only be with people with the Red Sox, but access to MGH (Massachusetts General Hospital) and world class talent that can handle this."
Cherington said Farrell told him yesterday when the GM was travelling between flights en route to Greenville, South Carolina, to visit one of the team’s Single-A affiliates.
"He called me on a quick layover," Cherington said. "I was sort of in shock. A few minutes to sink in and I figured I had to get back to Boston last night. I’ve been talking to him yesterday and this morning."
Cherington said many have reached out to support Farrell.
"There’s a lot of respect for him, not just in the Red Sox organization, but throughout baseball," he said. "There’s a lot of people already reaching out. He’s someone that spent his whole life in baseball. He’s played, he’s coached, worked in the front office and, obviously, he’s managed now."
"He probably knows just about more people in baseball than just about anybody. He’s hearing from a lot of people, as you’d expect," he said.
On Tuesday, Minnesota Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders said he is being treated for Hodgkin lymphoma, and his doctors consider it "very treatable and curable." His plans were to remain coach and team president while being treated.
The Red Sox are in last place in the AL East with a 50-64 record. In February, Farrell’s contract was extended through 2017 with a club option for 2018.
Farrell guided Boston to the World Series championship in his first season in 2013.
The former major league pitcher was the pitching coach for the Red Sox in 2007 when they won the World Series. That season, ace Jon Lester returned from lymphoma in late July and started the clinching game of the Series in Colorado.
Farrell said he never had any symptom before the notification of the cancer discovery.
Ortiz said he heard about Farrell’s condition from teammate Hanley Ramirez, who was crying when he delivered the news.
"When they mentioned the word ‘cancer,’ it’s something that it doesn’t matter where it comes from, it kind of impacts you," Ortiz said.
"We have a big family around here and definitely when it comes down to health issues, you want to be sure that everything goes OK. The organization is taking a lot of responsibility on that to make sure that John gets through it the way it’s supposed to be," the slugger said.
Farrell was touched by his players’ support.
"In a way, you live vicariously through their careers," he said. "Yours is over, you try to help when you can with them, and when they show that support, it’s meaningful."