Crank up the ol’ intrigue machine, because Alex Anthopoulos had been scheduled to appear on the Fan 590‘s Jeff Blair Show tomorrow morning at 9 AM, to address– presumably among other things– the nauseatingly rampant innuendo about Boston’s coveting of Jays manager John Farrell. And now that appearance has apparently been cancelled.
— Mike Cormack (@MikeCormack) October 18, 2012
Obviously there could be many reasons for Anthopoulos to back out: it could be personal, it could be a scheduling conflict, or some piece of crucial business (unrelated to you know what) may have come up. But… um… one guess as to how many people are going to be speculating any of that.
Is the Farrell situation finally about to be resolved? Have the Jays and Red Sox made headway on compensation and does Anthopoulos, with the expectation of more scrutiny from the Boston media, see tomorrow morning as a bad time to put himself in the spotlight? Shit, going the other way, are the Jays and Farrell maybe hammering out the details of a contract extension that they won’t be able to make public until later in the day?
We have no earthly idea at this point– though I’m sure half of fucking New England is in the process of calling around to find out– but it sure has been making a hefty portion of Twitter lose its shit. And that’s kind of the ultimate frustration in this, because we’re finding all kinds of things to argue about here– does this mean it’s really happening? what’s the compensation? how good a manager is Farrell? are the Red Sox total dicks or fucking twats?– when the whole damn story always comes back to the same essentially null equation we saw from the start.
If Farrell goes, either the Jays get a nice piece of compensation in return, or they don’t, and it means that they’d essentially soured on him anyway. If he stays, he stays.
Though there has not been a lot to like about the way he’s run the ballclub, tactically, I think there are some measure of extenuating circumstances for that, and I tend to trust Keith Law’s reading of the industry view of him, which I quoted from a Baseball Today podcast about a week ago, that he’s bright enough to eventually get beyond the many shortcomings that have been on display in his two seasons on the bench.
Yet, if he goes, it’s not like there aren’t plenty of options. The reported runners-up from the search two years ago– DeMarlo Hale and Sandy Alomar– are still available; several excellent and available candidates just interviewed with the Sox; there’s the just-fired Manny Acta, who Anthopoulos may have some connection with from his days in Montreal; and there are a healthy number of internal options, as well– Don Wakamatsu, Luis Rivera, Torey Lovullo, Brian Butterfield (though word is he’s been indicating he’s no longer really interested) or Sal Fasano.
I can’t imagine a new search taking as long as last time, or being as intrusive on whatever else Alex Anthopoulos wants to do– if we even really want to believe that his statements to that effect weren’t just convenient cover for a lack of deeper improvement that winter.
And maybe this– again– is being entirely fucking overblown. Here’s the sports anchor from Boston’s WBZ-TV:
— Dan Roche (@RochieWBZ) October 19, 2012
Or– fuck– maybe it’s not. From a piece earlier Thursday evening by Jon Heyman at CBS Sports:
Three people with ties to the Blue Jays say they remain surprised the team has publicly suggested it won’t let manager John Farrell go to Boston. Those people still believe there’s a chance Toronto will change its mind, and allow Farrell to go to the Red Sox, provided the compensation suits them.
One person, who claims the Blue Jays front office and Farrell butted heads this year, went so far as to say, “The people there would charter a jet to get him out.”
Again, though… whatever.