Boston-based reporter Jen Royle, formerly of MASN and YES and currently writing for SB Nation, among other things, cause a bit of a stir last night on Twitter, as she went out on a limb with an exclusive “scoop” on… internal conflict between the Jays’ GM and manager?

I put the word scoop in quotes, of course, because this sure as fuck is a powerful bit of information to have slipped past the local wretches, coming to us from a source whose mere existence, I’d wager hard, is as much a revelation to Jays fans as her claim.

Which isn’t to say it’s necessarily untrue, it’s just kinda seriously odd. And naturally, the internet picked up on this, inundating Royle with questions about where the information might have come from and why the hell we should believe her, forcing her into a somewhat defensive posture on the matter.

Now, I’m not going to tell her how to do her job– apparently to think that I even could would be comical– but having some grasp of how jaded Jays fans have become in the face of the constant, easy bombardment of rumour that the front office’s insistence on secrecy engenders miiiiiight have helped prevent her getting fans so riled up– y’know, assuming she’d have been interested in that. So would some kind of acknowledgement of the fact that it truly is odd that she’d be privy to this kind of information before anybody else, or that it’s entirely plausible that a rival GM might not be entirely knowledgeable of the situation, or truthful in passing the information along to a reporter, apparently absent of any other context or detail.

That said, it’s not like there aren’t reasons to believe that something may be amiss between Anthopoulos and the hand-picked manager he spent so much of his first year on the job seeking out. My personal tendency is to not take this very seriously, but it’s undeniable that Farrell wasn’t particularly on-message during the Escobar press conference that went so badly awry, and that he hasn’t managed his ballclub, tactically, like a man taking a whole lot of input from what typically appears to be a very savvy, new age front office. Add in the fact that Anthopoulos reportedly was open to discussion with the Red Sox last year, that he, somewhat unusually, has been insisting that a manager’s contract really only sets his rate of compensation– the implication being that he doesn’t see the need for an extension at this time — plus the suggestions, entirely suspicious and agenda-driven as they may be, that the clubhouse atmosphere is too lax, and you start to see where there may genuinely be issues.

Bigger still may be the fact that, if Farrell leaves, at this point, would anyone really care? I mean, I don’t think we’ve seen the best of John Farrell at all, and I’d have absolutely no problem with bringing him back for the final year of his contract and seeing how it goes, but if Boston wants to give up something to get him, how could you possibly not take it? And isn’t that a pretty serious indictment?

We’ll see how it goes. Unfortunately, it appears as though this story isn’t going away anytime soon.


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Comments (113)

  1. Good post.

    But as for “not going away anytime soon”, I’d actually think this gets resolved this week – probably on Thursday.

    If anything’s going to happen, the Jays will want it handled before the offseason starts, in case they’re going looking for a new manager, or if they’re promoting someone, to make sure other teams stay away from that person when they’re looking for their new managers. You also don’t want the Red Sox to start interviewing candidates and finding someone they like if you want to get the most out of them for Farrell.

    Plus, the Jays aren’t going to trot Farrell out for that post-season (post-season, not postseason!) press conference with all of this hanging around them. So I think Thursday we find out if anything will come of this, or the AA and Farrell will come out and say that they’re happily staying together for the kids.

    • I wouldn’t be so sure that’s a slam dunk. If they’re open to him leaving, they’re not going to fire him, so there will be some kind of process, one assumes. And if they want him to stay, Anthopoulos has made pretty clear there won’t be an extension at this point– and if it was on the table, I have no idea why he wouldn’t have done it by now. So… I don’t see it. Last year it dragged on a lot longer into the winter, as far as I recall.

      • If there is no extension offer to Farrell doesn’t that make him a lame duck?

        Will Farrell lose contrrol of the clubhouse if he is a lame duck?

        Do you think Farrell may want to go back to the USA for. Personal reasons?

        If Farrell wants to stay but AA wants compensation more than Farrell does that affect the Jays reputation in the MLB!

        What is the minimum level of acceptable compensation for Farrell?? bard? Buckholz?

        • Yes

          I think he’s already in the process of losing the clubhouse

          I doubt USA has a lot to do with this

          Probably, but I’m sure we can get somebody better. There’s always Cito! Haha!!

          I’d take whatever they’ll give us,

        • Lame duck narrative stuff is wildly overblown, so no, and no, and also no to the USA thing, and just no in general.

          • I agree about the lame duck being over blown. The Jays operated for many years giving the manager only one year contracts.

          • Look, Walter Alston had 23 straight one year contracts managing the Brooklyn Dodgers so it hardly means your a lame duck. Fuk, was I am a lame duck because I had to work my ass off every year so that I could kkep my job for the next??
            No, you work your ass off and if u do a good job, you keep it. end of fuckin story

        • How about a 3 way trade? Farrell to the Red Sox, the Travis Snider Shitshow to the Red Sox, oakville69 to the Pirates, for a PTNL to the Jays. Then we get Farrell back as the PTNL, the Sox are stuck with the Shitshow, and the Pirates are stuck with oakville69.


          • How about some KFC and beer? Apparently Boston has lots…

          • Lol! I can’t wait say the pirate apologists have egg on their faces.

            So no lame duck worries for Farrell.

            If Farrell stays and the team fails by mid july 2013, do the Jsys fire him and replace him with butter field??

      • Maybe it’s not a slam dunk, but that’s the way I’d see in unfolding. If you ask me today, I might say it’s a 50/50 that Farrell comes back next year. If he’s still the manager as of this weekend, I’d say it’s a 90% chance he’s back.

        When you say “last year it dragged on a lot longer into the winter” do you mean the Red Sox’ search? Or the Jays search two years ago? The Jays search ended towards the end of the playoffs, so around the end of October, and that was after they’d been researching for months and began interviews in September.

        Of course, if Farrell does go, I’d assume they replace him with someone promoted, rather than a whole search again, which may speed up the process. But still, if they’ve decided, for instance, that Brian Butterfield is their guy if Farrell goes – or, that they want Manny Acta or something – it’s in their best interests to pursue that as soon as possible, before other teams potentially come knocking.

        • The rumours about Farrell dragged on longer, I think. Should really look it up, though, because I’m still not sure.

          Regardless, interesting theory, I just don’t think your percentages are based on… y’know… anything.

          • Oh, I didn’t mean that they meant anything either. I just meant that I think if we don’t hear anything by the weekend the chances he stays in Toronto are much higher, close to 100%.

          • And you’re right that the Farrell rumours dragged on longer, but that’s also because the Sox managerial search was a giant clusterfuck. I’m sure – and they’ve stated as such – that they want it settled much quicker this time.

          • Does it matter, going forward, for the Jays to have a “proven” manager? Obviously, I’m thinking Terry Francona – but here’s why I ask. Real or not, if there is a perception around the league that Farrell has no control of the clubhouse – especially the young guys – does this scare away potential veteran free agents from coming here? Will their fear be assuaged if Farrell isn’t here and a guy like Francona (or a disciplinarian) is?

  2. This made me chuckle:

    “Ed Tarlowski ‏@EJT322
    @Jen_Royle of course it’s easy for them to sit behind there phones and computers and play expert. Your reward..You get to laugh at them all”

    But isn’t that really what she’s doing? Just because someone who’s in the game has information, it doesn’t meant the information is relevant. I’m sure we could ask some Jays players or personnel about the Boston clubhouse and they’d have a lot to say about it, but it doesn’t actually make it newsworthy. It just means it’s someone’s opinion apart from information.

    Anyone could have written that and claimed a “source” from a variety of sports articles since it’s really only common sense that the team would let the manager go for proper compensation.

    I suspect hack journalism at best.

    • Mike Wilner ‏@Wilnerness590
      @Jen_Royle Well, I don’t know that he’s so much lying, as how would he know? Alex would certainly never tell anyone. He never tips his hand.

      Jen Royle ‏@Jen_Royle
      @Wilnerness590 I wish I could answer that… Tell Buck I said hello. We covered the 09 World Series together. Good man.

      “It’s what I was told, so it must be true.” Nice reporting, Jen.

  3. Gordon Edes trots out another column, claiming that “Farrell wants the Sox”.

    I’d just like to see this resolved, one way or another, once & for all. I think in the end, the Jays will try to extract more than the Red Sox are comfortable with. And now that the Sox GM has come out & said he doesn’t want to spend nearly as much time on a manager search this off-season…the Sox will move on rather quickly when it becomes clear that it isn’t gonna happen quickly w/ Farrell & the Jays.

  4. I know I wouldn’t give a shit if they can his ass. Or trade him, whatever…

  5. I have no doubt she got a text from a GM. They make alot of cars good chance who ever texted her that information was sitting in a GM therefore it came from a GM.

  6. After the season Jays just had tension is good, it’s healthy. Respectful disagreement is good, you need people that think differently to run a successful organization. When it gets to childish petulance, this is when people get fired.
    Farrell is a decent manager, but he is still learning as one would expect from a second-year manager. It would be nice to have stability, but if he wants to go to Boston let him, he is easily replaceable.

  7. If the Red Sox are gonna offer up some decent package then AA should take it. As for the tweets,any GM commenting on AA and JF’s relationship is just guessing. No hard truth to it.

    • That was got me a bit. It wasn’t the suggestion that there may some openness to a move but to put the “friction” part just a little frivolous, obviously to get a little more attention.

  8. Reading her article on the Orioles and Athletics she makes this statement about the Orioles’ Gm Duquette:

    “Digging his nose deep into international scouting (and getting evicted from China along the way) ”

    Call me a comical armchair sports reporter, but didn’t they get kicked out of South Korean, and not China? Maybe her professionalism as a sports reporter only allows her to pass on texts and to not check facts on google…

  9. what is a gm worth in trade? would Farrel be worth a two war pitcher? two prospects? more? I think this would be a great deal for us. A gm in toronto is easier to replace than pitching I would think.

  10. The problem here could be in the way that information is solicited and then relayed.

    There is a great distance between what a GM may have said “could” happen vs. what he may have said “will” happen. She’s certainly presented the info as though it was the latter.

    If a GM told Royle that he’s heard that there is friction and that the Jays may say yes to the Sox if they ask for Farrell.. That would still be a LOT different than a GM telling her that this is a done deal.

  11. i need someone to tell me Francona’s not coming here or i can’t be objective about Farrell. managing to get an asset out of the BoSox for Farrell and then going to war with them with their scapegoated top-5-in-baseball former manager is just so enticing. it would honestly make my offseason even though i know managers aren’t objectively worth much.

    • I agree. Very enticing…

    • I wonder if there are any quotes out there from Francona indicating his feelings towards Toronto as a city?

      Also wouldn’t mind Sal or Butter, but I definitely see the allure you’re referring to.

    • It’s true – if the Jays ‘trade’ Farrell to Boston, some dimwits in this town will spin out the ‘we’re just a farm system for the big market teams’ narrative.

      BUT if the Jays do that, and THEN hire Francona… Man, I feel like that’d be such a PR win.

      As for who’s actually a good manager I have no idea. But Farrell hasn’t really done anything to particularly impress me.

      • Would AA be willing to hire a big name manager??

        Wouldn’t tito want more input into the team than Farrell??

        Don’t the jays have a track record of managers that never manage again after they manage the jays??

        Is jimmy Williams or fregosi the last big manager?

    • ThatGuy: I’d say Francona is fine with the city of Toronto, and more importantly with Canada. Remember, he spent 9 seasons in Montreal as a player, so he knows all about playing in this country. I heard him really talk fondly about playing in Montreal and Canada on a recent ESPN broadcast, so I think that sums it up.

      But Francona…man, for months I’ve been thinking something is cooking there. I feel like the Jays would be a perfect spot for him to return and have success, while also making Boston even more miserable. And it would be a huge blow to the Sox if they spent all this time chasing Farrell only to see Francona go to the Jays. I guess the only thing worse for Boston would be if Girardi was canned and Tito ended up in New York (dear God no).

      Just with Francona, the only time I’ve seen him linked to the Jays are through speculative fans (including me) on these comment threads, and one Bob Elliott article from about a month ago. And that smells like an AA-type move since nobody’s really talking about it. You hear Cleveland, Houston, Detroit, even a return to Boston every once in awhile, but never anything about him and Toronto. Somehow that lack of a true link makes me think there’s a better chance those wheels have already been turning.

    • @Scott

      I agree. I would love Francona to come here. He would be my first pick as a manager for this team and not just because he hates the Sux. He strikes me as way more self-confident and I think would be able to handle a mix of veterans and rookies well.
      Given Farrell was a pitching coach, he doesn’t seem to have been able to help when the starters shitting the bed. If he is back next year it won’t break my heart but I think we can do better.

  12. There could be tension.

    But I also think the Red Sox aren’t above planting misinformation out there just to destabilize the John Farrell and Toronto situation.

    This is an organization that smeared Terry Francona on his way out. They’ll do anything.

  13. breaking news: someone Else’s opinion completely regurgitated by my based on nothing with absolutely no sources or way to prove it. You want to check my sources? ha thats a joke

    • At the very least though, this is someone with a reputation. If AA and Farrell come out Thursday all kumbahya and holding hands and hugging at the press conference, it will not look very good on her.

      This isn’t @TOJaysFan with “a good friend who works in the Jays office”, it’s someone who’s won, apparently, awards for reporting/writing before.

  14. Let him go. Who gives a fuck. This team sucks. The last 8 weeks have been total horse shit. You can say all you want about the injuries and that bullshit blah, blah, blah, but I see few encouraging aspects of this team. No depth, real questions on character. I hang the shit show of the last section of the team on Farrell.

    And AA looks some one’s pudgy kid who has been given the team to run. I liked him at the beginning, but now he looks over matched and over his head. Go find a pro. He looks like a rook.

  15. Good post Stoeten.
    Gonna be hard to put this rumor to rest, for a variety of reasons.
    At least you’re going to have lots of material for posts in the offseason.

  16. I don’t know who this Brad MacLean dickhead is but he is apparently too stupid to know how the Internet works. Saying Jays fans are “gullible” is like saying that Sox fans are racially tolerant. It’s possible to click on a link without necessarily accepting what you’re going to find there. ESPN could have a headline along the lines of how this current lineup scratched out four walks in a game. I would be extremely skeptical, but I might click.

  17. My take. The more this media driven shirtstorm continues to amp upwards, the less John Farrell is inclined to go to Boston. Unless he really wants to go.

    I doubt it will cease until Cherrington announces the new manager, sometime in the offseason (or to steal some thunder, during the fucking World Series).

  18. Im fully supportive of firing Farrell, If, by some stroke of luck, we are able to get something for his lame duck ass then I’d jump at that opportunity without hesitation. I’d do it yesterday.

  19. Pedroia for Farrell…do it….

  20. Here’s a totally unsubstantiated rumour that I just made up, but people would believe because of his residency and history with the team: John Farrell will be the new manager of the Cleveland Indians!

  21. I think that it is the strategy of the Red Sox and their media to perpetuate these Farrell-to-Red-Sox rumours until such time as the Blue Jays relent out of shear frustration and trade him for a couple of C- prospects.

  22. If there is in fact some tension between the two, my guess, based on absolutely nothing is that A.A. told Farrell when he was hired that they had the assurances of Rogers that the ability to spend was there. The same thing fans have heard the same for quite some time. But since the hiring of Farrell, we’ve also heard whispers that Rogers wanted some sort of guarantee that Yu Darvish would put them over the top & that A.A. simply couldn’t make that promise. If A.A. & Rogers make a huge financial commitment to a player like Darvish & it goes bad, Alex potentially loses his job…so he’s understandably tentative.

    My guess is that Farrell thought there was much more leeway with Rogers purse strings. Alex may not have been aware of Rogers need of some sort of guarantees until the Darvish stuff came to a head. Some of this sounds eerily familiar with what J.P. Ricciardi has said about the ownership situation here.

    It’s possible that Farrell may have also been disappointed by the inability to get more reinforcements in here when players were dropping. At one point he alluded to the prices being too high for the likes of Garza, Johnson, etc, etc…but surely he was still disappointed that year 2 of his contract could only be bolstered by JA Happ, Delabar, Lyon & so on.

    Anyways…all this is my own, lengthy guess as to why there could be tension. It could (likely) all be complete nonsense too.

    • Just more guessing, which really is just a pointless excercise at this point in time. But then again, what else as fans do we have to do right now?

    • That’s possible.

      It’s hard for AA to compete with the money he’s given by Rogers.

      With that budget you have to ensure that your prospects cough Snider cough work out and are not mishandled

  23. I do hope it’s resolved quickly. We all remember how long it took AA to do the managerial search last time. With so much to do this off season, I’m sure he’d hate to take a lot of time and effort doing that all over again instead of improving the ML roster. This might put pressure on him to do a quick promotion from within, eg Butterfield.

  24. I don’t think we’ve seen the best of kelly johnson either, so why not bring him back as well?

  25. There’s totally no chance that Boston’s front office leaked this to lower the asking price on Farrell. Everyone knows that no information gets out of that tightly run organization.

    Honestly though, fuck Farrell. Or don’t fuck him. But if AA doesn’t go out and find some fucking impact players this offseason Farrell won’t be the only one facing a lot of anger from the fanbase.


  27. How could there not be tension?

    Sure injuries are out of everyones hands, but if I were in Farrells shoes dealing with an organization that likes to shops at Value Village all the time, then I’d get a little frustrated wearing used underwear and plaid pants to the big dance.

  28. Sorry guys, Im not quite yet on the Farrell hate bandwagon. Why is he getting dished shit sandwiches left, right and center?

    Kind of unfair considering what he has contended with.

  29. The trade is in….

    Farrell & Greg Zaun to Boston for two dozen Man Ram bobbleheads and a PTBNL

  30. KG Bastards son have you watched his game management since Bautista went down its terrible. Bad base running bad pen management. Not that we would be much better but I pin at least 8 games on Farrel decisions

  31. If the Jays lose Farrell it could very well be addition by subtraction. Why is he considered such a commodity? Because he seems like a manly baseball guy?

    • Good chin.

    • A commodity because a hated, direct rival appears to covet him.

      Make the fuckers pay up if they really & truly think they need him (& I’m not convinced they have the stomach for any sort of lengthy negotiation).

  32. Hope tank nation is around for final 3 games so we can have a protected pick….Then all season whine if we don’t take advantage of it…

  33. How about this for compensation. On game 162 trade Farrell (and probably a C+/- prospect) for Ortiz.

    Boston gets Farrell, and a middling prospect that they might “like”.

    Boston loses exclusive window to negotiate with Papi, and likely a first round pick, but considering that they have a budget this year, they are probably gonna lose picks and punt this draft (although considering that the compensation for Papi would make sense to keep because it’s protected if they go free agent crazy, but i think that their managerial mess is too big to ignore and that they would bite the bullet).

    Toronto gets an exclusive window to negotiate with Papi and don’t lose a pick to sign him. If they pass on Papi the offer arby and get a pick.

    win win.non?

    • yes Ortiz is a 5/10 guy, but he doesn’t actually have to report, so i’m sure something can be worked out.

    • What about Victor Martinez to fill the slot everyone’s so eager to use on Big Papi? I feel like he would cost less and potentially play much better. Also, I don’t love David Ortiz and he has ridiculous home/road splits.

      Go ahead. Look them up and tell me you’re sure he can be successful outside of Fenway Miniature Model Ballpark.

  34. People need to understand, AA has no idea how to build a winning team, he’s never worked for a winning team, no idea how to hire a manager, so most of his moves are guesses and his guesses are proving to be wrong. The question is does he have the balls to admit his mistakes and fix them.

  35. 2 questions, both borne out of overworked ignorance (excuse me);

    1) How’s Sal Fasano doing? Legit candidate?
    2) Could Don Wakamatsu also be a potential candidate, given his managerial experience (I assume he’s learned a bit since leaving Seattle) and time on the Jays’ bench…?

    Thanks for the indulgence…

    • you see gm’s don’t hire short fat ugly managers because people assume they’re dumb so they hire tall good looking guys with big chins so people will think they are smart even when they fuck up.

    • I was wondering the same thing Dewdney…sorry, but I don’t know shit

      • Jeff Pearlman of said of Fasano: “When I think of Sal Fasano, however, I think of greatness. Not of Willie Mays or Ted Williams greatness, but of a uniquely excellent human being who, were class and decency the most valued standards of a career, would be the easiest Hall of Fame inductee of all time.”

        Not that class or decency win ballgames (I like whoever referenced Earl Weaver), and players might just have been a TAD too comfy this year, but just throwing it out there…

        The more I see, the more I like Fasano (assuming Farrell goes ANYWHERE – I would feel he’s a lame duck now with the rumours alone) would be my guy, y’know, if my opinion was worth more than a duck turd. :)

        Check for an interview with Fasano – if nothing else, devoted Jays fans like we who patronize DJF would enjoy this guy.

        “These guys don’t need swag. They need hard work.”

  36. I could see AA and Farrell not seeing eye-to-eye. The way AA operates doesn’t seem to gel with the way Farrell manages. It seems someone a little more progressive (Joe Maddon) would be a better fit that Farrell, who seems to be more old-school.

    I also doubt AA would be happy about trotting Vizquel & KJ out there so much in the last month, when he’s got prospects to evaluate (though I’m speculating).

    Let’s just promote Sal Fasano so we can have “Sal Fasano Fake Mustache Day” at the dome.

    • Fasano might actually fit this team pretty well. With the exception of Jose who seems like a true professional the team would probably lend itself well to a loose, ‘idiots’ atmosphere like the 2004 Sox. Of course god only knows if that would lead to any extra wins (note: it definitely wouldn’t) but it’d be nice to see Colby smile every once in a while at the least.

  37. Great post on point. All managers are replacement level. They will ‘win’ fuck all extra games They will lose you a ton with dummy moves, which Big John has been known to make from time to time. If I see another SF that leaves 1st base open with EE striding to the plate, then being an IW, Lord Lifting Fuck, I’m gonna stroke out.

  38. Just attention seeking.

  39. I just got paid $6784 working off my laptop this month. And if you think that’s cool, my divorced friend has twin toddlers and made over $9k her first month. It feels so good making so much money when other people have to work for so much less. This is what I do,

  40. Fuck if I’m AA, I’d throw Farrell under the bus too. Best way to keep the focus off you is to put the focus Stoet is right about our local scribes…when was the last time any one of them broke a story of significance. Our scribes are great if you hand them a story or they can pick up off the AP wire

  41. [...] at least one report has a rift between GM Alex Anthopoulos and skipper, evening the score with this Edes report that [...]

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