Thursday, September 6, 2012

Would Farrell Fly the Blue Jays Nest?

By
Image courtesy of Zimbio
You know how the old saying goes ... "if you love something, set it free. If you find out the Red Sox want what you have, either tell them to screw off or make them pay through the nose for it".

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. 

9 comments:

  1. Personally Farrell couldn't leave soon enough. You watch Farrell for Bard will happen and your new manager of the Toronto Blue Jays....... Omar Vizquel

    Vizquel let it slip that he would like to manage in the MAJORS next year so I have a feeling everything is already in place. Why else would we have suffered through having him on the bench all year? It's apparent they would like to cater to the Hispanic players, and who better to manage them than Omar?

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  2. Does anyone remember when Omar got tossed from the bench for arguing balls and strikes? Farrell came running out to stick up for his player.....er actually never mind he went out there to make sure it wasn't him that got tossed, then turned to Omar and said "you gotta go". Thanks Coach! Same weekend I'm watching Sunday night baseball and Kinsler is disagreeing with the ump's zone, so his manager comes rushing out to his defense and takes the bullet for his player. If Boston wants to take him and actually give the Jays something in return that's not Bobby V sign it, stamp it, and fax it over!!!

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  3. Who better? I dunno, someone who's managed before?

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  4. When's the last time Farrell has rushed out to argue any kind of call? I've seen a lot of players getting tossed this year (Lawrie, Vizquel, Escobar, Alvarez, heck even Butterfield got tossed last year) but I can't remember a time when Farrell actually argued something with an official and didn't come back to the dugout without that stunned look on his face.

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    1. The only instances I can remember of Farrell getting tossed was the game that Lawrie threw his helmet at Bill Millar, and the game last year where he had to hold back Jon Rauch. Not that you mention it, I guess John really doesn't get heated all that often.

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  5. Yeah, the Cardinals, and White Sox are really struggling this year with first time managers aren't they?

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  6. I think Farrell would be crazy to go back to Boston with their recent history of vilifying managers.

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  7. Ian, I don't understand what makes you think Wakamatsu is a viable or acceptable internal candidate. He was absolutely abysmal when he had a chance as a manager, for the M's, and you have to think that, as bench coach, he bears some role in some of the bizarre dugout decisions?

    There has been some clear improvement in Arencibia's pitch-blocking and I know Waka gets a lot of credit for this. If that's his strength, I think they should make him 3rd base coach/catchers' coach and give Butterfield more responsibility, either as manager or as bench coach.

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    1. I wouldn't put him as the number one candidate to take over if Farrell went to Boston, but it's at least comforting knowing there are coaches on the staff who have experience managing at the Major League level.

      Didn't Waka manage a series last year when Farrell was out of town? If anything, at least we'll always know that the lineup cards would look immaculate.

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