|Image courtesy of Zimbio|
This is a subject I was hoping I wouldn't have to address simply because it initially seems so ludicrous that John Farrell would ever consider going back to manage the Red Sox. Much like the Toronto Blue Jays themselves, this is an issue that is going to have to be dealt with head on.
First of all, I'll give John Farrell credit that he doesn't want to discuss his status with the Blue Jays during the middle of the season. He's under contract through 2013, so as far as he's concerned, he just wants to get through this season before talking about the future.
However, it seems the worse things get in Red Sox land, the worse they want to poach John Farrell from the Blue Jays. And with the way Bobby Valentine has been acting lately, they're ready to run Bobby V out of town and anoint Farrell as their saviour.
If there are in fact any truth to the reports, it sounds like the Red Sox were close to prying John Farrell from the Blue Jays on a few occasions . It's really all just hearsay, but if at any point Farrell was actually considering going back to Boston, then Toronto has already lost him to the Red Sox.
For a manager who doesn't even have two full seasons of managerial experience under his belt, I've always wondered why John Farrell was so sought after by the Boston Red Sox. Would he really cure all the issues, or would he merely just become the next scapegoat in Beantown?
From Farrell's perspective, he'd probably love to ride into Boston on a white horse and restore some order to a franchise that has seen itself go down the tubes. Heck, isn't that why Theo Epstein left town .. because he wanted to be the one to bring the Chicago Cubs back to prominence?
The way the Boston media is portraying this situation isn't helping, but the way that the Blue Jays handled the Farrell situation in the offseason was very bizarre. After the rumours reached a boiling point that John Farrell was being recruited by the Red Sox, Toronto's front office finally instituted a "no lateral moves" policy.
Why didn't they just come outright and say "John Farrell is not going to Boston ... period"? It certainly would have doused the flames of speculation right there. However, it was just another instance where Alex Anthopoulos' reluctancy to comment on anything actually did more harm than good.
As much as AA wanted to keep Farell's contract details a state secret, he could have at least said Farrell was signed through 2013, and that also would have ended the speculation about who would be the new manager in Boston.
And once again, the Blue Jays would do well at the end of this season to nip these rumours in the bud by either signing John Farrell to a contract extension or at the very least just reinforce to the media that Farrell isn't going anywhere in the near future.
The Blue Jays don't owe it to the Boston media to put this rumour to bed, but the problem is that it's not just the writers and bloggers who cover the Red Sox that are writing about this; it's something that's garnered league-wide coverage.
In cases like that, it doesn't make sense to stick to continue to hook your wagon and cart to a no-comment policy, because by saying nothing, the Blue Jays are in fact are saying a lot.
If for some reason the Red Sox do get their prized possession in John Farrell from the Blue Jays, it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. As much as it would suck seeing him go back to a division rival, there are plenty of internal candidates who could likely step in.
Brian Butterfield, Don Wakamatsu and even Sal Fasano are all viable candidates within the Blue Jays organization that could take over as bench boss if John Farrell leaves town. So it's not like Farrell has built his managerial equity so high that he's irreplaceable.
I would really hate to see John Farrell go to the Red Sox ... I really would. The fact that he'd be returning to Boston with all the new intel from the Blue Jays would be doubly unfortunate. But if Farrell's heart is in Boston, then let him go.
But make no bones about it, make the Boston Red Sox pay through the nose for him. They should ask for the most ridiculous package of players in return, and not deviate from that list no matter what. If the Red Sox want John that bad, they'll do the deal.
If John Farrell really loved the Red Sox organization as much as some folks would lead us to believe, he would've stayed there. Even though the prospect of restoring order to the Red Sox might appeal to him, there's also some merit in getting a team back to the playoffs that hasn't been there in nearly 20 years.
I'm hopeful that John Farrell is a loyal company man and wants to stay with the Toronto Blue Jays. Obviously he saw something in this organization ... that's why he applied for the managerial job in the first place.