So I joked that I didn't know what kind of things John Farrell and Alex Anthopoulos had said to each other, likely over a candlelight dinner. Well, apparently it was, "I want to go back to my ex, even though they implied my best friend was a drug addict in the press and are generally known for making things difficult."
So after two years of working in Toronto, Farrell's dream job is to manage the Red Sox. Great, thanks for coming out. Was mentioning that too unseemly when the Red Sox came calling last season? I mean, he could've been mismanaging Boston's bullpen and asking the Sox number three hitter to bunt for no reason. It would have denied me the joy of watching Bobby Valentine clash with of a thorny Kevin Youkilis and Adrian Gonzalez's phone being used in terrible ways by "Kelly Shoppach", but I would've made that sacrifice.
The irony of the situation- a situation where Boston's supposed lack of discipline and under performing pitchers have been blamed for an incredibly bad season mirrors a situation in Toronto, except Farrell is seen as the failure in the one and the saviour in the other- is irony so delicious it can be eaten with a spoon.
I was never particularly pro-Farrell or anti-Farrell. I didn't like the Red Sox sniffing around the goods, and what that implied, but I didn't have a particular attachment to Farrell as a manager. He's still an unknown.
And part of me feels like Toronto is being seen as a second rate organization, but another part of me suspects that the sweet nothings whispered into Farrell's ears had more to do with an extended contract that Anthopoulos hadn't been offering.
After all, these are people who fired someone who was widely considered one of the best in the business in Francona and hired Valentine- despite the fact that his style of managing would likely clash with the situation the team was facing. This team just offered a manager- who after two seasons remains pretty much an unknown- a multi-year contract. The fact that his previous team wasn't offering an extension after two seasons is probably the biggest black mark against Farrell, a fact that has been disregarded by the Sox front office.
I've long maintained that this entire situation is a massive PR move on Boston's part, and it's the way I continue to see it. Boston leaking the information on Saturday night after the Sox and the Jays had mutually agreed to announce the deal on Sunday is part of their plan to appear in charge of the situation.
It worked on SOSH: "Even if you don't like Farrell you have to appreciate that they acted liked real businessmen, targeted their man, and got it done quickly rather than fool around for too long and hire a joke manager. "
Yeah, who cares who they hire, as long as they seem like real businessmen who make decisions quickly and loudly? And are you so sure you didn't hire a joke manager?
I love how the situation was perceived as quick from Boston's perspective (and the rest of baseball followed suit) when it felt like it lasted forever to me. It's likely because Boston fans have been looking for a new manager since the All Star break and the rest of baseball press pays way more attention to Boston than to Toronto.
All of this just feels like a gigantic waste of time on Anthopoulos' part. He also desperately needs to learn how to control the message coming out. Like maybe anticipating Boston leaking information because they have done a million times before. That doesn't mean playing into the drama, but being aware of it.
So, forget Farrell and Boston. #@!% Boston. I'm sure they'll enjoy his presidential face. Jeff Blair had it right when he said Farrell has a face that looks like it should be good at managing. But I'm not so sure he actually is. I'm mostly reminded of this song.
Find a new manager- be it Acta or Alomar Jr- both are Latin, which might benefit a team with a strong Latin presence. Someone who doesn't need Bautista or Luis Rivera to talk to Hechavarria or Alvarez or Escobar (if he's still here.)
Acta is very into SABR, which should please the blogging crowd and the fantasy baseball nerds. They can make lots of pie charts. Alomar Jr. is well-respected and carries a name that should please the Wilner callers (no offence, Mike.) Or hire Butterfield....or at least get him a new contract.
But make a decision. And get going on some actual players. Ortiz, Peavy, McCarthy, Haren or Scutaro. Whoever. But know that it's the players that make the actual difference. The rest of this is just noise.