Archive for the ‘John Farrell’ Category


Wrong fingers, Omar.

It feels like every time I start a new post I’m doing so with a snarky remark about this wretchedly slow off-season hitting some kind of a new low. As much as I’d like to avoid doing that again right now, it’s kinda hard not to, because we’re about to rehash a bunch of 2012 bullshit involving people who are no longer even in the Jays organization. (Yay?)

But actually, this is somewhat interesting, as last night we got some excellent — albeit curiously 18 months late — insight from Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun about the breakdown of the relationship between John Farrell and Omar Vizquel back at the end of both of their tenures as Blue Jays.

The short version of Elliott’s piece is that Vizquel paid for Henderson Alvarez’s family to fly from Venezuela to Miami so they could watch the then-Jays pitcher’s scheduled start against the Marlins in June of that year. However, a flurry of injuries hit the club’s rotation (as you may recall), and at some point after both the team and the Alvarez family had landed in Florida, Farrell bumped Henderson’s start back a game, which put him into the next series, in Boston. This angered Vizquel, who went to the manager’s office to complain, though he was rebuked, Elliott explains, with something like, “I’m not running a Little League team here, I’m doing what’s best for the team.”

He continues:

Vizquel thought he had been slighted, began second guessing Farrell and 13 weeks later knocked Farrell’s failure to “jump on mistakes” by young players telling our Steve Simmons:

“It’s part of the inexperience. If you make mistakes and nobody says anything about it — just let it go — we’re going to keep making the same mistakes over and over. We have to stand up and say something right after a mistake happened. We have to talk about it at meetings. We have to address it in a big way in the clubhouse.

“Sometimes you have to punish players because they’re making the same mistakes over and over again.”

The next day Farrell screamed at Vizquel behind closed doors and wanted to release him.

With less than a week remaining in the season, the Jays did not think it was appropriate to release the future hall of famer.

There are some interesting strands to pull from this, especially looking back on what was being said at the time, the first of which is to reiterate — gauche as it may be in some circles at this point — that Farrell is absolutely fucking bang on. That doesn’t mean, however, that the disarray of his final weeks as skipper here isn’t in abundant evidence when looking back.

When the breakup eventually became inevitable, we heard about possible tensions between the manager and the front office. That became clearer near the end of the 2013 season, when Farrell contrasted his former and current employers, speaking about the difference between a “scouting-based organization, and one based on player development.

Acrimonious as it came off, those comments actually made it sound a rather cordial, academic split, like a band claiming after the fact that they broke up over “creative differences,” when the reality suggested by the Vizquel stuff makes it look closer to being about petty jealousies, or, to complete the analogy, sleeping with each other’s girlfriends.

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I guess I thought for a second this evening that, given how much it was expected both here and in Boston, it was kind of funny that John Farrell didn’t win the AL’s Manager of the Year award– which… he didn’t– but, truth be told, I actually couldn’t possibly care less about this award, who won it, and whether it was a manager who the Jays could have stopped from leaving last winter (as they’d done the winter before) and chose not to. (It was Terry Francona, FYI).

I don’t think anybody is going to have to console Farrell tonight, either, since he’s probably still drunk in the afterglow– though not in the good way, like Mike Napoli– of the World Series championship that his tactical butchery didn’t manage to get in the way of.

And that butchery sort of gets to the nut of the whole manager topic, for me. If this year’s World Series showed us anything, it’s exactly that teams can succeed despite having hopelessly clueless managers when it comes to in-game tactics– or, at the very least, ones who are prone to colossal fuckuppery despite otherwise having a reasonable-enough grip on what they’re doing.

Does this indicate that what mades John Farrell and Mike Matheny successful and valued by their bosses is some kind of ability to squeeze winningness from their club like more bullshit from the powdery remains of the stone that once resembled this beaten-to-death topic?

Well… yeah kinda, actually.

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Thanks to some comments from John Farrell that hit the internet on Wednesday, questions about the Jays’ player development structure– an impossibly easy topic for any fucking idiot to spout a hopelessly uninformed opinion on at this stage of a lost season– have abounded. And I don’t mean Farrell by “any idiot,” since he’s one of the few people with some kind of actual insight into how the Jays’ front office thinks and how the organization operates in the depths of its minor league system. What am referring to, though, is much of what dribbled out of my speakers during what seemed like hours of discussion on the subject yesterday on the Fan 590.

Good lord.

To refresh your memory, here are the comments, via Evan Drelich of

“We can have a seminar on this question — not just because it’s Toronto and Boston,” Farrell said. “There are very distinct differences and it starts, I think it starts, at the top. And the reason I say that: I found Toronto to be a scouting-based organization, which to me is on one plane, one-dimensional. You’re looking at tools. Here, it’s a player-development based system. It’s the paths of the individuals that are running the organization. And that’s not to be critical.

“We all know that there’s three different veins in this game that people advance (through): baseball operations, scouting, player development. Well, in the player-development vein, you’re going to look at things in three dimensions: mentally, physically, fundamentally to address and develop people, or develop an organization. I think as a scouting base, you go out and you evaluate the physical tools. And that’s kind of where it ends, or that’s the look at that time. That was my experience, that was my opinion.”

What jumps out, of course, is that he mentions fundamentals (we think), and the Jays are bad at those, right??? And just where are all of these developed players anyway!!

Well, guess what? We can actually think about these things– to an extent.

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Boston Red Sox Introduce John Farrell

Welp. This should be interesting. In a post at, Evan Drelich provides us with some quotes from John Farrell, who answered questions at a seminar this week, including some about his time in Toronto and the differences between the two organizations.

To wit:

“We can have a seminar on this question — not just because it’s Toronto and Boston,” Farrell said. “There are very distinct differences and it starts, I think it starts, at the top. And the reason I say that: I found Toronto to be a scouting-based organization, which to me is on one plane, one-dimensional. You’re looking at tools. Here, it’s a player-development based system. It’s the paths of the individuals that are running the organization. And that’s not to be critical.

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Gibbons, come on, man, you can’t leave the desk like that!

In anticipation of the hoopla over the weekend, I was saving this one as on last kick in the ass on the way out of town for the Senator from Massachusetts, John Farrell, but… since the series against the Red Sox didn’t quite work out the way anyone outside of Greater Massholia had hoped, it didn’t seem real appropriate to post it. Today, though, I think we’re all safely calmed, ready for the Detroit Tigers, and ready to hear how, on an episode of Tim and Sid last week, J.P. Arencibia compared the communication the club received from ol’ fuckface with how it’s been like so far with Gibbers.

SID SEIXEIRO: How, so far, has John Gibbons communicated with you guys in comparison to Farrell. What are the differences?

J.P. ARENCIBIA: I feel like just more letting the guys be themselves and play the game. And, you know, understand that guys are here for a reason and they’ve done what’s made them successful, and you need to let them go out there and not try to force the hand or change the way the game is played. I think last year we might have tried to reinvent the wheel a little bit, and that hurt us sometimes. So I think Gibbons really has a laid back feel. But, I think another thing that he did, and he did with me yesterday, is that I missed a sign and I came into the dugout and he was all over me, and, you know, ripping me apart– in a great way. And I think that’s necessary, and we didn’t have that last year, and I think that’s a big part of who he is.

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Dear John…


Dear John,

Stoeten here– long time no talk, buddy! Anything interesting happen since the last time I wrote?

Wait, really? Boston? Didn’t even attempt to negotiate?? Mike Aviles???

Yeah… OK, I actually knew about all that, John. It was all over the news up here. You’re kind of a big fucking deal, actually. And not in the way that you maybe remember– and definitely not the way that you are to those bleating, bleary-eyed, white haired, jowly, red-faced, ruddy-nosed, pseudo-Irish Massholes you now consider yourself one of. Nobody here banking hilariously on your magic wand being able to fix the rotation’s most crucial shitbags, John– we don’t even have any of those. At least, not anymore.

And you know what, John? As not-terribly-difficult as it might have been to paint yourself more sympathetically and avoid some of the Category 5 shitticane you’re about to walk into, you fucked up, John. You fucked up like you were down three runs in the eighth inning with two outs, Jose Bautista at the plate and Corey Patterson on first. You shouldn’t have given yourself the green light, John. You were never good at judging that anyway.

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Welp, the Winter Meetings have been a bit of a bust so far, but this should make your day.


Yeah, yeah, he’s joking, but still. Gold.


Image via @James_in_to.