John Farrell: Intimidator

Among the flood of inside information that’s come in the wake of the Red Sox September collapse and the ridiculous fried chicken and beer scandal that followed– BASEBALL PLAYERS DRINK BEER, ALERT THE GODDAMN MEDIA!– have been a few nuggets about John Farrell, who was the pitching coach in Boston from 2006 until last season. These paint quite a different picture, I think, that you get from listening to the intelligent, well-spoken Jays manager in pre- and post-game scrums, or– as we heard this week– very casually interacting with fans on the radio.

I mean, under the media savvy veneer Farrell certainly looks like an intimidating guy, but in actual fact… it turns out he kinda is!

“Did this pitching staff work as hard for Curt Young as they did for John Farrell?” asked one of either Mut or Merloni from Boston’s WEEI during an interview this week with Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz.

“Uh… you know, it’s a different personality,” Buchholz said. “Curt’s a really laid back guy, and I don’t have anything bad to say about Curt. He was a cool dude and he talked to me anytime I needed to talk to somebody about whatever. Obviously half the season that was just talking– it might have been talking about playing long toss, it wasn’t talking about pitching– but, you know, just two different personalities. Curt was, like I said, laid back. And then John it was– whenever I got called up it was like, OK, I don’t want to talk to him unless I have to, ’cause I’m scared of him. I mean, yeah, there was a difference there, but as far–”

“Was it more lax?” Mut or Merloni interjected.

“I mean… yeah,” Buchholz continued. “I mean, maybe? I guess it wasn’t– like I said, John wasn’t– he was more of an intense guy and he was a straight shooter. And Curt, he was– it was just two different personalities.”

Gold! … Y’know, if you’re into that sort of thing.

There was also this from Farrell himself, by way of Curt Schilling in a radio interview that showed up on Deadspin last week:

“I’ve talked to enough people to know that it’s not lies,” Schilling said of Josh Beckett’s down-the-stretch behaviour. “I think that the loss of John Farrell had a massive amount to do with why this all happened. I spoke to him the other day and the first thing I said to him was ‘Wow. I don’t see any of this happening if you stay.’ And he was like, ‘Well, it might have happened, but there would have been a couple of fist-fights along the way and I would have been gone at some point.’ “

Stay in line, Blue Jays. Stay in line.

Comments (20)

  1. but what’s going to happen to #jerkball?!?!?!

  2. Amazing!

  3. Next thing we know we’ll have a mutiny on our hands, and Paul Beeston will pretend it doesn’t exist.

  4. “I find your lack of command disturbing.”

  5. Kelly Johnson in an interview on fangraphs kinda said the opposite. 

    “John is definitely more calm and relaxed; definitely an internal fire”

    Too me, Kelly Johnson seems to think that John Farrell is more laid back.

  6. Also from that interview:
    “A.J. (Hinch) was a little bit like John. He was just a little more laid-back and understanding about mistakes that might happen, but there was also an internal desire to get it corrected. He’d talk to you behind closed doors, versus challenging you in front of the other guys.”

    He calls Farrell laid-back.  I guess two different players, two different opinions.  But if Johnson considers Farrell laid-back, while Buchholz doesn’t, and Buchholz considers Curt Young laid-back, that would mean Curt Young is really really laid-back.

  7. Buchholz sounds scared just to be talking about Farrell.  And keep in mind that KJ played for Kirk Gibson in AZ.

  8. Now if Farrell could learn how to manage,the Jays could get somewhere.

  9. That’s sarcasm, right?

  10. Yeah I like that. Dont forget that Bucholz’s perception of Farrell would be more of a father figure while KJ’s would be something akin to a peer.

  11. stoets has been killing the photo shop lately. 

  12. Bloody awesome.

    There’s agreement between Johnson and Buchholz: both seem to say that Farrell prefers to talk privately to players (“whenever I got called up [to his office?]“).  I bet Johnson didn’t get any hardass from Farrell because he was a pro who worked hard – which seemed to be generally the case with the team this year.

    That quote from Schilling is even more awesome.

  13. I would enjoy Farrell getting into fist fights with the players. It was pretty fun when Gibbons when doing it…kept my mind off the persistent mediocrity.

  14. Compared to Kirk Gibson quite likely there eh Argos. Being less intense than Hitler, doesnt make you not intense.

  15. the fuck is curt young?

  16. Aaaaaaaaah no.It’s not sarcasm.He has  alot to learn.
    Sure he’s a nice guy,good with the media but he’s not even a good manager at this point.

    And before you respond,take off you fan glasses and think logically.
    Be objective.

  17. “Straight shooter” would probably be near the top of any player’s ask for a manager. The fact that John appears to have a different personality to different players is actually called “managing”. That’s what a good manager does. And didn’t Clay have good success with John? Job done.

  18. A good manager analyzes what he has, utilizes the strengths and builds from there.

    I love small ball.The strategy of manufacturing runs with what you have.But there is a time and place.
    How does Farrell come to the Jays,seeing that they led the majors in homeruns, and say to himself “I want these guys to sacrafice bunt,safety squeeze and scratch out runs”.
    I get wanting to increase OBP, but having a homerun hitter bunt to advance your slowest runner to second ( a low percentage play if there ever was one) just to adhere to your policy doesn’t jive.Double stealing when your team is pounding the opposition pitcher?Bunting when the other pitcher has lost his control?Realize what’s happening and take advantage of the situation.
    Getting the Jays to play his game,cost the Jays wins.Instead of utlizing the teams strengths.

    This is point # 1.

  19. Here’s the real point. In-game management is one of the least important aspects of a MLB manager’s job.

  20. Is it too early to start dreaming about Lester and Bucholz following John Farrell to Toronto because they miss him? What better way to rub it in the face of those Mass-holes!

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