Yes, it’s more insufferable fucking John Farrell talk. But thankfully the saga may finally be nearing its conclusion, seeing as Bud Selig does not care for major announcements being made during the World Series– which begins Wendesday– so a lot of folks seem to believe that it’s in the interest of both the Jays and the Red Sox to resolve this whole John Farrell mess– or, potentially, and far, far worse, the John Farrell plus two thirds of the damn coaching staff mess.
Joe McDonald and Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston have spoken to a source who say that the Red Sox have asked the Jays for permission to speak to Farrell himself, ostensibly about a contract.
“The source guessed it would take a player or players of ‘substantial value’ for the Jays to allow Farrell to go to a division rival,” they add, “though the source did not have direct knowledge of the negotiations, which are taking place on multiple levels of each organization.”
Dr. Rosen Rosen writes at Fox Sports that “discussions between the Blue Jays and Red Sox about that compensation are reaching an advanced stage.”
He also has a source that echoes what we heard from Jon Heyman yesterday at CBS, who was told by a source that the Jays’ people “would charter a jet to get him out.”
“There’s no question it gets done in my mind,” a rival executive told Rosenthal. “Toronto doesn’t want him there anymore.”
In the Toronto Sun, Bob Elliott gives us the juiciest, most frustrating insight into why that might be, as he suggests disagreements between Farrell and Alex Anthopoulos over the course of the season.
“Farrell wanted to release backup infielder Omar Vizquel in July, but the GM did not want to cut loose a future Hall of Famer, according to someone familiar with Jays management,” he writes. “And the manager was not pleased at the July 31 trade deadline that the Jays added relief help rather than dealing prospects for starting pitching.”
Elliott’s source notes that it isn’t exactly unusual for a GM and manager to not quite see eye-to-eye, seeming suggesting that those problems would to be far too trivial to have caused such a major rift over the last 12 months. However, the Vizquel thing may be bigger than that reading gives it credit for.
Vizquel went to the media to bristle at his– fucking righfully– diminishing role, then not long after found Farrell shoehorning him into a game he had absolutely no business being a part of. Farrell had Vizquel pinch hit for JP Arencibia with runners on first and third and one out in the top of the ninth in a tie game with Oakland, asking him to fucking bunt because of his superior bat control, or some such nonsense. Vizquel couldn’t even fucking do that, and though Kelly Johnson (back during the few weeks when he was good) cleaned up the mess with a two-out single, Francisco Cordero gave up the tying run in the bottom of the ninth, before loading them up meatballing a pitch to Brandon Inge, who won it with a walk-off, gut-punch grand slam.
Farrell, rightly, was skewered for his disasterfuck of decision-making, but one wonders if there was some resentment for being pressured by Omar’s comments into using him, which could have snowballed as Vizquel’s victory lap continued throughout the summer, and as the club’s “veteran leader” failed to prevent the embarrassing Escobar episode, then had the fucking audacity to throw Farrell and the coaching staff under the bus on matters of discipline.
It’s 100% speculation on my part, and surely there’d have to be more to a genuine rift than that, but I know I’d be pretty pissed off, too, to have to endure what Vizquel did in terms of submarining my livelihood, both outwardly in the damn media and through dereliction of duty as the mentor of the young Latino infielders, knowing that I’d been arguing to rid myself of this waste of a roster spot, and that I’d been rebuffed because of some bullshit about not cutting a Hall of Famer from a club that dicked around Vlad Guerrero for half the summer.
And though I understand the calculation on the part of the front office, to set him up to fail by not acquiring starting pitching at the deadline, while reportedly not being interested in extending his contract
In other words… perhaps it’s not all that trivial. And maybe Farrell’s totally not wrong there.
Of course, we have nothing resembling any idea, at this point. On anything here, frankly.
Neither, it turns out, do any of the Jays coaches, who all remain in limbo. Elliott writes:
Hitting coach Dwayne Murphy, pitching coach, Bruce Walton, first base coach Torey Lovullo, third base coach Brian Butterfield, bench coach Don Wakamatsu, bullpen coach Pete Walker and coach Luis Rivera are all on one-year contracts.
If Farrell is dealt do they keep their jobs?
“I haven’t heard anything,” said another coach.
This whole thing just really isn’t good for anybody until it gets resolved, so hopefully it’s coming, one way or the other– and, let’s be serious, it sure looks like there’s a singular direction it’s heading, and that Alex Anthopoulos is very slowly being backed into a corner here. Given the tasks that lie ahead this winter, it’s a position he’d best get used to being in.