What the fuck do you mean they haven’t even ASKED already?!!?!???

In a confusing bit of reporting, buried beyond the paywall in the latest from Buster Olney of ESPN.com (Insider Olney), we’re told that “Boston’s search for a new manager will begin in earnest in the next few days, and it will start with the Red Sox seeking permission to speak with John Farrell.” Then, not five bullet points later, we’re similarly told that “the Red Sox could reach out to the Toronto Blue Jays about Farrell as soon as today, and then we’ll find out how much Toronto wants to keep him.”

Whichever the case, it sounds like we might– just maybe!– finally, possibly, fucking mercifully be nearing an end to all the ridiculous speculation which– you may notice from the Boston Media Round-Up vibe of our latest Afternoon Snack– seems to be entirely fucking driven by those in /ˈbɔstən/

Which is kind of a shame, in spite of the fact that it would be real fucking nice to get this all over with one way or the other (even though there’s maybe less urgency due to Terry Francona being off the market), because it means we’ll start to see the slow tapering of articles exhibiting the kind of bleary-eyed hilarious madness that we saw published over the weekend in Charlottetown, PEI’s The Guardian.

“Jays should fire Farrell, hire Vizquel” reads the title, and… I mean… it’s… it’s just… wow.


And I say that fully acknowledging that I haven’t been a fan, at all, of what I’ve seen from John Farrell, tactically. Yet there are clear reasons it makes complete and total sense to not lose our fucking minds about him, the atmosphere of the clubhouse he ran, and whatever mistakes were or supposedly weren’t corrected over the course of the year.

It makes for a nice, easy narrative to ask asinine rhetorical questions like, “Where have the Toronto baseball writers been all summer when time after time the Blue Jays more resembled a poorly run amateur senior team than a major league club?”

And shit, it sure as fuck fucking feels like that was totally the case to those of us who sat watching over the last ten weeks of the season, during which the club’s margin for error was especially thin, wherein every mistake seemed monumental in the course of its particular game, and in which repeated mistakes we’d seen mount, through the prism of this heavy, oppressively negative scrutiny, punched us in the gut twice as hard as they would have had the atmosphere surrounding the club and its fans been anything close to the positive end of the ledger.

No, it doesn’t feel like the way the Jays played down the stretch ought to be excusable in any way, but here’s a novel fucking concept: let’s maybe take a look at a few of the baserunning statistics put up by this “poorly run amateur senior team” and see how close to fucking reality our gut feelings really are, shall we?

Baseball Reference has a whole host of sortable team baserunning stats that are available to any asshole with a computer– like yours truly! I wonder what they say?

Well… the picture may not exactly be entirely rosy, but seeing the way the Jays stack up relative to their peers might make someone who’d previously shit out a gut-level opinion think twice about whether they may or may not be a fucking useless lazy blowhard.

The Major League average successful stolen base rate for 2012 was 74%. The Blue Jays stole bases successfully at an above-average 75% clip, tied for thirteenth with four other teams, two of whom (Washington and San Francisco) made the playoffs, with Tampa being another, and two more playoff teams (Cincinnati and Atlanta) being just ahead at 76%.

The Jays had the eighth-most stolen bases, and the twelfth-most caught stealings.

On average, each team had runners picked of 20 times over the course of 2012, and the Jays were below that, with 19. Sixteen Major League teams had more runners picked off than the “poorly run amateur senior team” Jays.

I will grant that the Jays made the second most outs on the bases of any team in the Majors with 65– seven behind the Angels, and one ahead of three teams, and ten above the league average– but they also were second in the percentage of extra bases taken– meaning, the percentage of times a runner advanced more than one base on a single, or more than two bases on a double, when possible.

Also, thought it’s at least as much a reflection of what hitters did with runners on base as it is of how a team functioned on the basepaths alone, we see that when it comes to the percentage of baserunners eventually scoring, league average in 2012 was 30%, and the Jays were slightly above. Texas led the way in this stat at 33%, with five teams tied at 32%, followed by the Jays and four other clubs, with 31% of their baserunners coming in to score.

None of these are be-all, end-all stats, of course, but what I think the numbers show, despite what I cannot deny often looked brutal, is that the Jays’ adventures on the basepaths this year were not in any way, shape, or form outside of the realm of the totally fucking normal. There is nothing whatsoever that suggests that the club was any worse than anybody else.

As much as anyone wants to spew nonsense like the notion that “Farrell may have talked with the players, but I doubt it was about base running because the same individuals (Brett Lawrie, Colby Rasmus, Rajai Davis, Anthony Gose) have made the same boneheaded mistakes since April,” or pretend that “maybe he’s a poor teacher and the players are slow learners,” as though we’re talking about damn little leaguers who don’t know any better, and not players who’ve played the game their whole fucking lives and maybe struggle sometimes to adapt to the pace of the Majors, it just doesn’t hold water.

So… “where have the Toronto baseball writers been all summer when time after time the Blue Jays more resembled a poorly run amateur senior team than a major league club?”

Maybe noticing, as right as it may feel to say so, they kinda haven’t been.

Of course, when these arguments are coming from someone who ridiculously suggests that Farrell has Carlos Villanueva and JA Happ “so confused they’ll likely not be back,” it’s hard to take very seriously.

Thing it, it’s not just him. It’s so very much not just him. And, as much as anything else, that’s why, as soon as these days of having nothing to talk about but John Farrell fucking end, one way or the other, the damn better.

Comments (79)

  1. You gave this more time than it deserved.
    God I hope this is over soon.

    On a related note, after reading about 1/5th of that PEI article because I couldn’t stand it anymore. – I was reminded of one of my pet peeves about sports writing.

    I think the term “arguably” should be banned from all sports articles, because it seems like writers say that someone is “arguably” something when they just don’t have any actual fucking ARGUMENTS to prove their point. It’s really fucking annoying.

    It is arguably the worst thing that a sports writer can do for his credibility. :)

  2. either sign an extension or release him. period the end.

    • Why the fuck should they let Boston– or their media– pressure them into signing him to an extension?

      • Its a show of faith to their manager…

        Imagine how he feels now, all these reports that he could have a long term job in boston but could end up out of work prolonged if the jays let him go this year.

        They have had farrell for 2 years now, I’m not sure what they could base 2013 on him specifically. If you like him as a manager and you feel like lack of depth, skill and injuries is the reason for lack of success, you sign him.

        If you are still waiting to see how things go next year, chances are he’s not the right manager for this team.

        • Do you honestly believe AA hasn’t had any conversation with Farrell about all of this? In your mind, is Farrell sitting in his house at his computer, reading all these articles thinking, “boy, it would sure be nice to know if the Blue Jays actually want me back”??

          Get Real. These guys are professionals and they get paid big bucks to do what they do for a reason. The two have talked, it just doesnt get out to the media, because thats the way the Blue Jays operate under Anthopoulos.

        • Nothing wrong with having a heart to heart talk with Farrell. But to offer him an extension just to shut up the Boston media is not how you are supposed to run a ball club.

          I think that Farrell gets a pass for 2012 due to the numerous injuries and having nothing to work with. If he stays, let’s see how he does in 2013 with a revamped rotation (here is to hoping that AA gets something done in the offseason). If things trend favourably for the Jays in 2013, nothing wrong with offering him an extension in principle before his contract runs out.

          • There is no reason to give the cs an extention yet-he has this year to prove himself. THe jays can woory about it mid-year if they are so inclined. Remember, Walt Alston has 23 straight 1 yr contracts with Brooklyn/LA Dodgers and he didn’r feel like a lame duck. Fuckin term dreamt up by media dopes that don’t know how professionals operate-end of fuckin story

      • Agreed on Stoeten’s point. AA is essentially saying Farrell didn’t do anything to be fired or extended this year, and next year will be the acid test. Don’t let Boston pressure him into making a potentially bad decision.

    • Ummm you don’t think Option 3 (“Trade him for things of value”) is better than at least one of your “period the end” choices?

      • not really. trading for a manager is stupid. and if you start talking to boston about a trade they will know we don’t value him longterm and won’t give us anything.

        we aren’t going to get anything of value.

        • If the Jays get even one middling prospect, how is that not better than nothing?

          • the jays should be focused on who is going to be their manager as opposed to trying to extract an insignificant player who probably would be lost after being dropped from the 40 man

          • If that middling prospect actually makes the majors, he’ll likely play at below replacement level, which one could argue ‘nothing’ would be better.

            The Jays are chalk full of middling prospects, they don’t need any more.

          • No below-replacement players should be playing, so that’s on the manager, you thick-skull. By ‘middling’ I don’t mean negative-WAR, Captain Dipshit, I mean someone who’s not a top prospect. Because obviously I was suggesting getting someone who’s going to hurt the team.

          • The Jays aren’t going to get a ‘middling prospect’ that provides a positive WAR.

            I would suggest getting Dustin Pedroia, but that’s not going to happen either.

  3. Toronto media have a serious crush on JF and AA, and can’t bring themselves to truly call these idiots out. A good day would be both of them shipped out of town, and real baseball pros brought in to run this team. (sigh, lemme pop another ‘shroom)

    • Yeah let’s bring in baseball pros like Gord Ash and Buck Martinez to run the team!!!!!

      • Tabler? Zaun? Maybe Rance too.

        • Why the fuck would they go out and sign a new manager when consummate pro AND future HOFer Omar visquel is out there looking for a job! I mean he’s already familiar with the players, he has the Club houses respect because of how he delt with the whole Escobar thing, and he’s great a defence!!! In fact, even better idea, hire Jim Tracey!!!! That guy knows how to manage ;)

  4. I’d get rid of him because he wears a watch while managing. Looks totally fucking goofy.

    • Wow. I worry that Martinez will have trouble crossing back and forth across the border with that beard.

  5. A month ago, the dumb fan was shitting the bed because AA hadn’t offered CV a multi-year gazillion dollar extension. His patience was a virtue. Stoeten is right. Others should try having some.

  6. Sometimes i wonder if people ever post on here and then stop, re-read what they posted, think about it, and then kill themselves.

  7. glad you grabbed the numbers. good work.

    maybe it’s a biased eye, but there were a lot of tootblan instances this year – and maybe that’s just because (lawrie’s attempt to steal home) they came at highly-visible times, whereas in seasons past they didn’t…or maybe the jays’ average-ish numbers here are a reflection of some good luck, or the “surprise!” factor in them attempting to run at unusual times?

    i’m actually more pissed that at some point adam lind started to think he didn’t need to run out grounders or dropped third strikes…other have the same impression i’ve noticed. lind’s inability to run…well, ever…shows up in his pathetic 2.5% infield hit percentage…fangraphs doesn’t have batted ball info for the minors, so i wonder if he actually moved his a$$ in vegas or what.

  8. just get this over with trade farrel for bard hire alomar, valentine or whoever the hell AA wants

  9. The Jays just need more veteran leadership.

    Rable, rable rable, Damien Cox, rable, rable.

  10. The danger here is AA spending his winter trying to replace his manager when he should be concentrating on FAs and trades. This needs to be resolved however and expeditiously.

  11. Seriously, if you guys read the PEI article again, you’d know the writer is completely full of shit and whatever he says should be immediately discarded as the ramblings of a senile fool.

    Evidence? “The Jays lost 11 of 34 one-run games heading into the last week of the season, and a great many have been the result of Farrell’s incompetence as a major league manager”

    Umm, “lost 11 of 34″ means they won 23 of 34 which is a very good record, last I checked. (Alas, they were actually 15-25 in one-run games, in other words that’s 15 out of 40).

    And further evidence? In his NFL picks, he names Russell Williams as the QB of the Seahawks. Not quite – he’s the serial killer and Russell Wilson is the one who’s the QB. He also has Christian Ponder as a rookie when he’s actually in his second year.

    If it walks like a morron and quacks like a morron, well then…

    • Wasn’t “Morron” one of the words Escobar wrote on his eyeblack this year?

      I kid, I kid. Nice fact checking on the article. I didn’t even have the stomach to finish reading it.

      • Whoops, I realized that I used “morron” from another site on here – old habits die hard, I guess. Over there, we use morron as a term of endearment, so to speak.

        “Definition of morron: An incorrect spelling of the word ‘moron,’ used exclusively by true morons in all forms of print as well as the internet. This misspelling is a clear indication that the user is not just a moron but also an illiterate ignoramus incapable of intelligent intercourse with the rest of humanity.”

    • Good catch. This confirms my theory that the Seahawks are just one serial killer away from being a factor in the NFC playoff hunt this year.

    • He got some details wrong, but he probably meant this: in a 38-game stretch near the end of the season, the Jays lost 11 games by one run. This is absolutely true: August 3-September 15. It doesn’t make him much less of a moron, but a little. The Jays lost 10 games by one run in a 34-game stretch starting August 8. He got those details mixed up.

      I’m not defending him in general, but just pointing out that this one detail wasn’t as insane as it looked on the surface.

  12. Baseball Prospectus also has a bunch of base running statistics, including Base Running Runs.


    Places the Jays 12th in the league, with a positive (ie. above average) number. So while not world breaking, it’s actually a net positive, or at least…solidly average.

    Relative to the rest of the league, we are not a BAD base running team. I’d say pretty average.

    Should we have been better considering the base running talent on the roster, and would a different manager have done more with the talent we had? I guess that’s the question, and I have no idea. Obviously there’s always room for improvement, but I think the complaints about the base running problems with this team have been largely overblown, which is to be expected in injury plagued, losing seasons.

  13. What’s scary is that journalists with similar or lesser intellect write about politics for a living

  14. I like John Farrell. May not always agree with him with bullpen moves or the lineup, but he has showed significant improvement since his first day on the job.

    With that said, if you get anything decent for him, take it and run. Then promote Tony Lovullo to manager, and make Rivera a full-time coach or promote Chad Mottola to being a coach (though not hitting coach, but he can still help if Murphy and someone aren’t working good together).

    • Why can’t Motolla be a hitting coach? What’s the point of believing we know anything close to enough about these people to believe any of this makes sense?

      • Well he can be a hitting coach, but it was just an option to keep him and Murphy, and not entirely shaking up the coaching staff. You can always move Murphy to bench coach or back to first base coach.

        Motolla can be a first base coach, but still help players with batting. Or be an assistant coach like Rivera is now, but still help players bat.

        I don’t know anything, but I was just looking at a situation with the least change. But what the fuck do I know.

    • Farrell:

      Not criticizing, but what do you recall that demonstrates: “he has showed significant improvement since his first day on the job”?

      • Two specific examples that come to mind quickly:

        Better management of the bullpen (no more screw-ups like bringing in Dotel against lefties). It appears he actually looks at the splits of pitchers and batters.

        No more running in front of Jose, and not even in front of EE this season.

        Those are things that you would have liked to see happen from day one, but they didn’t and he screwed up a lot. But he isn’t screwing up, as much, anymore.

        • If I were to have asked myself, what I asked you, the Dotel example I agree with, and used myself often last off-season. There was one occasion the last month where someone stole in front of EE, resulting in him being IBB if I recall right, but i’m not nit-picking that.

  15. If Sox want to trade Bard for Farrell would you do it? I would.

    • Sure but I’m more concerned with who’s going to be the new manager than what we get for Farrell.

    • Why would they, though? Would you trade Alvarez for any manager not named Joe Maddon? Drabek?

      And if so, what the hell is wrong with you?

  16. Also, how many times were guys running on their own or despite a stop sign. I’m not even sure Lawrie knows the signs yet.

  17. Letting Farrell go to Boston is lose-lose. Even if he’s not “the answer” to their clubhouse issues, luring him away would be yet another notch in their belt of one-upmanship over the Jays. There’s nobody the Jays could get from the Sox that would be the answer for us either, but you know it will be on players minds every time the two teams meet, especially if Boston surges back to respectability. Let them struggle to find someone who can clean up that mess, and let’s hope it takes years to fix that culture. If he’s going to be Boston’s manager, it’s got to be because he’s signed a contract as a free agent in one year, or 5 years or whenever AA decides to go in a different direction. Just not now.

    • What one-upmanship? Why does any of this matter and why do we think anything but talent could make the Red Sox better?

  18. With Red Sox planting so many stories in the media, how this isn’t even remotely tampering is beyond me. Then again, how the Red Sox ran Tito out of town, Valentine fiasco, I guess they are indeed a bunch of self-entitled, unprofessional fools. I pray that they go another 86 yrs before they win another World Series.

  19. What ever.. im going back to lvling my monk…

  20. Hey let’s trade Farrell for Buchholz!
    Then we could get Tito to come manage for us – he sure seems like the kinda guy who would want to throw himself back in the limelight of what went down with the Red Sox.
    Oh, the Tribe already signed Tito – why not trade Adam Lind for Joe Maddon?
    Then AA can go out and sign Greinke to a 3 year, $30 mill contract!
    Then AA can go out and sign Josh Hamilton to a 2 year $35 mill contract!
    Then we can trade all of our prospects for Upton!
    While we’re at it, we’ll convince the Yankees to decline Cano’s option and then AA can sign him to a 5 year, $45 mill contract!


  21. The key stat on BR is OOB or what I call dumb outs where you are picked off for no good reason. The jays were 2nd worst in the league

  22. I love how everyone drones on about how no right-thinking team would ever trade Major League talent for a manager. Since when are the Red Sox a right-thinking team? They signed Carl Crawford to a seven year contract and gave John Lackey 83 million dollars! Never think for a second that they’re not capable of doing something incredibly stupid.

    • to the bosox defense pretty much everyone wanted Crawford and even though he was expensive pretty well everyone thought they would be a better team with him. Lackey I won’t defend.

  23. Hardly a rigorous analysis of base running by Stoeten. What the “gut” (or maybe better put “eye”) sees that the stats don’t is the timing or nature of the mistakes. Stealing third, stealing home, getting thrown out for a dumbass play like when Rasmus got thrown out running home on a ball that might’ve been a single but if he waited to actually see what was going to happen might’ve made him think otherwise.

    Sure I can’t quantify these observations but the sheer amount of boneheaded moves on the bath paths was awful. Part of the reason so many mistakes happen is that the Jays actually have really fast runners and they can steal well, they just weren’t held acountable for their consistent mistakes. The fact that Lawrie spewed verbal crap about how he doesn’t regret his idiotic moves is another reason for concern.

    • +1. I think there should have been a more detailed analysis of the Jays baserunning mistakes.

      It does seem to me that they killed a lot of rallies & cost the Jays games.

      On the other hand, an aggressive base running team will make mistakes & get caught stealing.

  24. I don’t lke Farrell much as a manager but even so I can see a couple of advantages to keeping him next year without re-signing him right now. If Boston want him and can’t have him, they will not be all that thrilled with a second-best alternative. Which won’t help relationships develop with the poor schmuck they do hire. Which could mean another long hard season full of hurt feelings for the Sux. This time next year, if Farrell does not improve, he may be available to the Sux, but with an extremely tainted reputation and the Sux would then have to decide whether they want to gat rid of another manager to get him which will be even more disruptive.

    And if Farrell does show improvement he could be offered an extension. If he turns it down there will still be other alternatives available. There always are.

  25. Farrell is under contract. How is this not tampering?

  26. Farrell ? who cares. Let the red sox THINK that we really want to keep him at all costs..see if they offer something of value. if so….let him go and hire anyone…it really doesnt matter. anyone. seriously. anyone.

  27. This is what’s bullshit about this organization.

    We have turned into the Montreal Expos trading ground for players and managers that go to the big market team.

    We can barely keep a manager for crissakes. What the fuck are these dumb pricks in management doing? Send the message that we want to win by bringing in big names and then people will stay and want to come and play here.

    This off season is the decider for me. If The Greek geek doesn’t get the green light, then I’ll start boycotting like I’m already gonna do when the NHL comes back. I’msick n tired of being sick n tired.

    • Boycott the NHL in Toronto. A place you couldn’t get tickets for anyways. Good plan.

    • +1 . The optics of losing Farrell is worse than actually losing Farrell.

      I find it disturbing that no one at ESPN has mentioned the tampering issue.

      What would happen if the Red Sox went after Mike Scosia or Joe Giradi or Tampa Bay’s Maddon.?

  28. That McDonald guy is the worst. I got drunk one night in Ch’Town and ended up seeing that guy walking in to the bar. I turned to my girlfriend and said “I have to go yell at that old man.” We dithered about it for a second or two about why I shouldn’t go yell at him until I explained to her exactly who he was and why he needed to be yelled at. She answered with “Ohhhhh he’s that guy from the newspaper? Nevermind, go get him.”

    I sat beside him at the bar for a beer and just argued old man nonsense with him for a while (“The closer is the most important part of a baseball team!” and “The Dodgers should trade Matt Kemp!”) until I eventually told him that I wasn’t serious about anything I had said to that point and that he should go jump off a bridge or something like that.

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