Welp. I think I can no longer just keep on rolling my eyes at the once-again ubiquitous rumours about John Farrell being pursued by the Boston Red Sox, as it seems to be the hot topic of the day, with the Jays headed to Boston, and with current Sox manager Bobby Valentine continuing to make it seem like his staying beyond this season is an untenable proposition.
Parkes has an excellent piece on it at Getting Blanked, with the latest dish from Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, who says that Farrell is Boston’s top choice, suggests that talks to “trade” the manager to Boston last winter may have gone deeper than we assumed, and thinks that the Jays would love to add the recently-acquired Rubby De La Rosa . Bluebird Banter and the Blue Jay Hunter also have pieces about it as well.
Like many fans, I find it somewhat repugnant that there’s this assumption out there that, if Boston came a-callin’ and the opportunity was there for Farrell to choose one club or the other, well, of course he’d choose the Red Sox. That’s especially true in Farrell’s specific case, because it’s not like he’s a born-and-bred Bostonian or has terribly deep ties with the organization– he was the pitching coach for five season, which is the same number of years he spent as the Director of Player Development in Cleveland, which was also the organization who drafted him in 1984 and where he spent five seasons in the big leagues. There’s also the matter of how the Red Sox shitcanned his buddy, Terry Francona, then spit on him once he was out the door.
Even the fact that there were “informal” talks about compensation last winter doesn’t necessarily mean Farrell was packing his bags, ready to go– it can easily be chalked up to some good ol’ Anthopoulosian due diligence.
I tend to not be so believing that the Jays would allow themselves to be treated as also-rans, stepping stones to bigger and better things, the way they would have to by letting their manager go. Part of me would love– love– to see the club announce a contract extension for their manager in Boston, even if, on a practical level, it probably makes more sense to just let the Red Sox have him if they want him so damn bad.
I mean, I like Farrell OK enough, and it seems that the players and the media do as well, but he’s never struck me as irreplaceable. His in-game strategy certainly leaves a lot to be desired, and I’d be more vocal about it if it wasn’t beyond ridiculous to bother nitpicking a manager’s usage of such an injury-decimated roster, or if it didn’t mean aligning myself with the kinds of insufferable, braying dolts who… well… who sound like some of the commenters on the Getting Blanked piece.
Plus, it’s not like the Jays don’t have ready-made replacements in the organization, like Brian Butterfield or Sal Fasano. I’d actually be really intrigued to see ol’ Sally Boy come in here and give it a whirl, despite the fact that, y’know, I know nothing of his managerial style. Especially since it would mean the Jays got a nice bit of compensation in return from a division rival.
And for what? A manager? Pffft, it’s a no-brainer. Especially when you’ve already lost a bunch of potential trade chips to injury this season. And fuck, another part of me would love to see it happen, if only just for the little staged shit fits of some of the local media hacks that would certainly follow. But I still doubt it will, if only because it really does look so fucking bush league, that Boston won’t offer nearly what people want to dream of, and I think the notion that Farrell would obviously salivate over the opportunity is laughably overblown.