Ever since John Farrell rode west to the Toronto Blue Jays, Red Sox ownership has suffered a bad case of the blues every time he came to town.
Now Farrell has been restored to the position of Cardinal (no longer a Jay) in the Cathedral of Boston.
We still are undecided if the steed on which Farrell returns to Boston makes him the Lone Ranger—or Dudley Do-Right.
As Sheriff of the Toronto team, he managed to win fewer than a handful of games more than the Red Sox with the troll under the bridge.
Whether Farrell and the Fenway faithful turn out to be a match made in heaven, only the 2013 season will tell. Farrell comes across as a stalwart, central-casting movie hero. If you put a cowboy hat on him, he would be Tom Mix.
Farrell will join fellow captains of sport, Bill Belichick and Doc Rivers, as centerpieces of the daily High Noon with the media. He likely will fall somewhere between the 'nope' and 'yep' of Belichick and the smooth molasses flowing out of Rivers.
Farrell’s simple contrast to his predecessor who resembled the Snidely Whiplash of Red Sox managers will be pronounced. We don’t expect Farrell to tie Dustin Pedroia to the train tracks out of sheer pleasure, as did Bobby Valentine.
We expect that the new sheriff will straighten out the starting rotation and bullpen singlehandedly, like Chuck Connors in a single episode of The Rifleman. Like John Wayne in The Searchers, Farrell may wander for a season, looking for lost fans.
A few cynics who play cards at the Fantasy League Saloon may scoff at a manager who only kisses his horse, but we take comfort that John Farrell knows what end to kiss and what end to kick.