The Blue Jays’ Staff Of Pawns

Due to the distraction caused by media speculation regarding our employee permission policy, the Toronto Blue Jays have amended their policy and will not grant permission for lateral moves.

- The Farrell Corollary

Something to remember: In the game of chess, the pawn piece may only be moved forward.

The Toronto Blue Jays issued a statement earlier today in which they announced the amending of the organization’s previously stated policy of not standing in the way of staff members leaving for opportunities with other organizations.

Henceforth, their laissez-faire approach won’t apply to lateral moves. In other words, the organization won’t allow an assistant general manager to interview for an assistant general manager’s position with another team. Or in more timely and relevant terms, the Blue Jays won’t allow their manager out of his contract to take another manager’s position with another club. Toronto staff member will only receive permission to seek jobs in which they are being promoted.

Of course, the timing of this announcement is in direct response to recent rumours that the Boston Red Sox have held internal discussions about attempting to hire current Blue Jays manager John Farrell to take the reins in Beantown. And while personally, I would have a difficult time mustering up dismay over such a result in terms of future performance on the field or optics off it, there are some hyperbole users among us who imagine that losing Farrell to the Red Sox would mean far more than it truly does.

However, I’m in favour of the organization’s decision here for two reasons: 1) the compensation coming back to Toronto in a potential Farrell switcheroo would’ve been paltry, and 2) all the anticipated articles claiming that losing one’s manager to another team is a public relations death knell likely would’ve had something of a self-fulfilling prophecy effect on the organization that’s likely best avoided.