It was one of the worst kept secrets in baseball: The Boston Red Sox wanted John Farrell as their manager. And in the end, all parties involved got what they wanted-except the Toronto Blue Jays.
Late Saturday night/early Sunday morning it was reported that the deal was finally complete and Farrell was indeed the newest manager of the Red Sox.
In return, the Jays received Red Sox starting SS Mike Aviles.
If you were following Twitter during that time, people were all over the map; from claims that Dustin Pedroia was coming to Toronto or that Daniel Bard was on his way. The Blue Jays were in the driver’s seat correct? No they weren’t.
Bob McCown of Sportsnet recently had Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos on his radio show and asked him his thoughts on Farrell’s departure. More specifically, taking a tough stance stating that Farrell made a commitment and he should stick to it-if not fire him.
Anthopoulos was very calm in his response and as usual said the right thing. And In this case, it is the right stance. If Farrell wants to be in Boston let him. What good what it do staying in Toronto, or firing him? Where would that leave the club? It would leave them without a manager and zero compensation.
Unfortunately, what I am dreading in the coming months is the bashing the former Jays manager is going to take in the media.
People will say he was not committed to the job, he was in over his head, he never managed in his life and he lost control of the dugout. I will say that there could be truth to that, but in Farrell’s time at the helm he improved, he made the right moves most of the time, and also learnt from his mistakes.
I for one think Farrell did a great job. Considering all the injuries his team faced this year; a decimated starting rotation, and the loss of slugger Jose Bautista, he kept them in the majority of the games. At the same had an influx of minor leaguers that were at least two years from being ready penciled in the starting line-up.
If you've heard the recent responses from Red Sox players about their former pitching coach’s return, you'd think Farrell was a veteran of this managing game. In all estimations, he is. He spearheaded a Red Sox pitching staff to a World Series championship in 2007 and had great relationships with the players to boot.
Was the dissention on the Jays team a result of Farrell’s laid back approach? I really don’t think so. Before Farrell was announced as the Jays manager, wasn’t’ the same thing said about Cito Gaston? According to a an article in the Toronto Star a few years back, rumours were rampant about a lack of control in the clubhouse, negativity and friction between the players and Gaston.
This year Omar Vizquel’s comments about Farrell’s treatment of young players, and how their mistakes went unaccountable were written about on ESPN. Farrell, as politically correct as he could be said he would rather keep things in house than have them spread throughout the newswire.
Two player/coaches with years of experience who have never had any real documented player disputes all of sudden do not know how to control their team. I find that hard to believe. The players in Boston sure can’t wait for Farrell’s return.
Maybe it’s the players? No one ever seems to question them. It cannot be the manager’s fault all the time. Maybe Farrell wasn’t meant to be in Toronto, but in the end he did all that he could with the hand he was dealt.
After all is said and done Toronto will be on the hunt for a new manager again and Boston has a new skipper on the hot-seat. That’s the game of baseball and this stuff really shouldn’t surprise us anymore.
Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow The GM's Perspective on Twitter and Facebook. His full bio can be seen here.