Did he ever looked remotely this happy in Toronto?
John Farrell was introduced to the media in Boston today (video here), and while I made it clear on Twitter that I wanted no part of the agonizing over it, there were certainly a few things that require our attention– which I’ll mostly do below, via the angry tweets that populated my feed when I returned from recording the Getting Blanked Podcast. In particular, there were two moments– which I’ve, of course, heard about after the fact– that I think require a bit of additional scrutiny.
First was the whole business involving Farrell’s claim that Alex Anthopoulos told him that he’d have left the Jays, too, had a hypothetical job from the Expos come calling.
A lot of people seem to figure that this was an off-side thing for Farrell to say, or want to cast some of their anger at Farrell– or, perhaps, simply at the universe itself– in the direction of the club’s GM. Indeed, there is plenty of anger to go around out there, but it’s a little bit rich how some of it is manifesting itself. I mean, some people are skewering Anthopoulos for holding firm last year and keeping Farrell around after the manager made it known he wanted to jump ship for Boston, while others– and perhaps a number of poor, deficient souls from the first group– are aghast at the weakness of the Jays’ GM for letting him go at all. Or they’re on board with the hysteria of the Zaun Cherry’s of the world, who last night shepherded the drooling masses who’ve yet to learn to tune his nonsense the fuck out further into insanity with the insistence (reportedly– I didn’t see the clip, but have seen on Twitter and in the comments) that anything short of Pedroia, Lester, Buchholz, Bard or Lackey(!) should have been a deal-breaker for the Jays.
The thing about Farrell’s comment that I think is being overlooked in some corners is the fact that is can be read as a pretty fucking benign thing. “It’s OK, John. I understand. I could have done the same thing in some hypothetical cirumstance.”
But, y’know, why let common sense get in the way of a good bout of seething? (Speaking, did you hear the ESPN Boston report David Ortiz is close to signing a two-year deal to stay there? Commence further seething!)
Besides, Mike Wilner was very quick to tweet that Alex Anthopoulos corrected the record to him:
— Mike Wilner (@Wilnerness590) October 23, 2012
OK, sure. I think it was fine either way, and I’m not sure that correction makes it better, but… whatever. ON ALL OF IT, A GIANT WHATEVER!
The other big supposed stinkbomb from the press conference was a line from Farrell that some felt indicated that the club was pushing for more of a small ball approach, which the manager said he wished he had pushed back on.
If that were an accurate reading, of course, it would instantly make us question everything we’ve ever believed about Alex Anthopoulos not being a fucking idiot. I mean… small ball? Seriously? Go read the damn Sun for all that’s worth.
Fortunately, I don’t think that’s how I’d read the following comment:
“I think there were times where I could have– and this comes from those experiences in Toronto– in my relationship with Alex, and the conversations we would have with regarding the roster, I think there might have been opportunities for me to speak a little bit more passionately towards some suggestions or recommendations to the roster. We also introduced and brought in a number of young players, and we’d created a diverse offence that was aggressive– we looked to incorporate a much more aggressive running game. Some of that was overboard, and some of that we ran into some outs. So, creating that environment and that approach, and putting young players into it, there probably were opportunities where I should have shut them down, as far as the X’s and O’s of the game. And maybe I would have changed closers a little quicker.”
Italics mine, because that’s a phrase that Farrell used frequently in his time here. I read the quote as though the diverse offence was Farrell’s philosophy, as we’ve been led to believe for the last two year, and that the places where he would have pushed back would have been in terms of marshalling his young charges full-bore into that system– the them wasn’t the Jays and their creation of this aggressive system, but the young players who very obviously weren’t ready to handle it.
I could be wrong, but unless Jim fucking Tracy gets hired– and Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun suggests he’s potentially a candidate (PUKE!)– I’m not going to be concerned.
Here’s a selection of how my feed looked as it happened:
So John Farrell told Jays *a year ago* that his heart was in Boston, that he wanted the Red Sox job. — John Lott (@LottOnBaseball) October 23, 2012
This is on the Blue Jays’ front office. As soon as Farrell said he was interested in the Red Sox job *last year*, he should have been dealt. — Navin Vaswani (@vaswani_) October 23, 2012
Conspiracy theory: Farrell tipped off the Red Sox long ago that he wanted to come back, and that’s when the media whirlwind ensued.
— Ian (@BlueJayHunter) October 23, 2012
— Tao of Stieb (@TaoofStieb) October 23, 2012
— Masshole Sports (@MassholeSports) October 23, 2012
Okay, I gotta go hold my baby girl. And I’ll whisper sweetly in her ear: “John Farrell is a crapbag.”
— Tao of Stieb (@TaoofStieb) October 23, 2012