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Red Sox can do better than John Farrell for next manager

Oct 4, 2012, 1:22 PM EDT

John Farrell; Marvin Hudson AP

With Bobby Valentine officially gone after months of being left dangling on the hook, the focus in Boston has immediately shifted to Blue Jays manager John Farrell. And I’m left to wonder why.

Now, Farrell had a sterling reputation in five years as Boston’s pitching coach. But managing a team is a different animal. And little Farrell has done in his two years in Toronto suggests that he’s very good at it. The Blue Jays’ lack of leadership was lamented by Omar Vizquel, Jason Frasor and Adam Lind of late, and while they were citing the players, too, it certainly doesn’t reflect well on the manager that they felt the need to speak out.

“If you make mistakes and nobody says anything about it — they just let it go — we’re going to keep making the same mistakes over and over again,” Vizquel said last week. “We have to stand up and say something right after that 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.”

And the Jays make plenty of mistakes. They were as sloppy as any team in the league on the basepaths this year.

Under Farrell’s guidance, the Jays played .500 ball in 2011 and finished 73-89 this year. It was their worst record since 2004. They allowed their most runs since 2004, even though offense is on the decline.

Now, much of Toronto’s pitching struggles have been the result of injuries, and I’m not going to blame Farrell for the fact that the Jays can’t seem to keep their pitchers healthy. But if pitching is Farrell’s specialty, it’s hard to see what good he’s doing. Ricky Romero and Brett Cecil have regressed under his watch. Only Brandon Morrow has taken a big step forward, and he was limited to 21 starts this year.

So, no, I don’t see Farrell as the answer in Boston or really anywhere else. The idea that the Red Sox should trade a couple of quality prospects or even Clay Buchholz to get him is ludicrous.

  1. shaggylocks - Oct 4, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    The Red Sox have quality prospects left? I thought they were all playing for the big club.

    • shaggylocks - Oct 4, 2012 at 1:31 PM

      Or, ya know, traded to San Diego for Adrian Gonzalez.

    • EK Ohio - Oct 4, 2012 at 1:38 PM

      Good to see people with no knowledge of the Sox farm system making such intelligent statements.

      • shaggylocks - Oct 4, 2012 at 2:07 PM

        Sorry, I didn’t realize your kid was playing rookie ball in the Sox organization.

        But seriously, you can only sell the farm so many times before you start running low on quality, Major League-ready players. I look around baseball and see guys like Anthony Rizzo, Casey Kelly, Josh Reddick, Brandon Moss, Justin Masterson, Jed Lowrie, and others making an impact on other teams, all while the Sox are fielding a team of Pawtucket’s finest in the closing months of the season. But no, I don’t have a vast, expansive knowledge of the Red Sox farm system, so maybe they do have a couple of up-and-coming gems that we can see making an impact in Toronto in a year or two. Trade away!

    • Ari Collins - Oct 4, 2012 at 4:20 PM

      Yeah… you know nothing about prospects, do you?

      Sox have a top ten farm system at the moment, potentially a top 5, though TOR, TEX, SD, STL, and PIT are probably all better.

      Other excellent farm systems include ARI, KC, NYM, and CHC.

      Your point about lots of great prospects playing on other clubs simply means that Boston has had excellent prospects lately and has traded them away for major league talent. It has nothing to do with the current Boston farm system (which would have graduated those guys away from the farm system even if they hadn’t traded them), and nothing to do with the future Boston farm system unless you think that Boston ownership will trade prospects to try to improve a 90-loss team.

      Boston knows where it is on the success cycle at the moment, and I highly doubt they’ll trade their elite prospects to get to .500 next year. In fact, they’ve traded FOR prospects this year, as well as, through having a shit season, acquired the #7 pick for next year.

      In short, yeah, Boston has plenty of quality prospects, even after trading away some the last couple of years and graduating others like Middlebrooks and Lavarnway,

      • proudlycanadian - Oct 4, 2012 at 5:15 PM

        Well said. You made several good points there Ari.

  2. randygnyc - Oct 4, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    Who would want to manage in Boston? Except someone brand new or over the hill? IMO, no one with other options would consider this.

    • ironhawk - Oct 4, 2012 at 2:02 PM

      A lot of people. The roster isn’t bad, and they’ve had a lot of injuries. They were very successful not that long ago, it’s a historic team, they have plenty of money to give to their next manager, and you are basically an instant celebrity as you manage a team with a very large and passionate fanbase that gets talked about constantly in the national sports media.

      • bravojawja - Oct 4, 2012 at 2:51 PM

        This is the thinking that got them Bobby Valentine. Fat lot of good that did them – or Valentine for that matter.

        Somebody’s going to have to go in there knowing the ownership/administration backs him to the hilt (and everybody else knowing, too) and cut through whatever bullshit is killing that clubhouse. He’ll have to accept losing for at least one year, probably more, and not have to worry about his job or all the harpies of the Boston press calling for his head.

        Good luck with that.

      • paperlions - Oct 4, 2012 at 3:11 PM

        The roster isn’t that good either, and the FO hasn’t demonstrated any kind of coherent plan over the last year. They have some nice prospects, but they aren’t busting at the seams with them…nor are there many that will help next year. The FA class is really weak.

        This doesn’t look like it’ll be a very good team next year.

      • bozosforall - Oct 4, 2012 at 11:45 PM

        Historic team? Historically sucky.

  3. kiwicricket - Oct 4, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    And you offer no other alternatives, just for conversation/interests sake?

  4. jayscarpa - Oct 4, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    It’ll be at least a couple of years before the Red Sox will be contending for anything. Taking a chance on a new guy like Vizquel would work well for them. New culture, fresh start, younger guy for a younger team – they could do worse.

  5. proudlycanadian - Oct 4, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    Lets start a petition recommending Mathew Pouliot for Red Sox manager.

  6. cur68 - Oct 4, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    Farrell had some real tough problems this season what with injuries etc BUT the lack of leadership thing really bugged me. It was reflected in decisions and omissions that I found easily and necessarily correctable. If the Sox want Farrell, I say “See Ya!” He’s a more tactful and aware person than BV BUT he wasn’t leading those guys like he should have been. Once Bautista went down with injury, was physically no longer in the dugout & clubhouse, well it was a shit show. A good manager recognizes that might happen and goes to the guy he thinks can best fill those shoes and says “you gotta step into the breach here. Lead those guys from the player level”. Clearly Farrell didn’t and that lack was reflected in a lot of ways that I don’t care to get into (I got the flu so my energy level’s real low).

    • indaburg - Oct 4, 2012 at 2:16 PM

      Aw, feel better. The flu blows. Are you resting and getting in your fluids?

      If you’re lucky, the Sox will hire Farrell and the Jays can hire Dave Martinez. I hate to lose Martinez, but he has aspirations to manage and he has great leadership skills. I thought the Jays made a huge mistake when they interviewed Martinez but didn’t hire him a couple of years ago.

      • cur68 - Oct 4, 2012 at 2:34 PM

        Had to call in sick. Place is wall to wall babies and now they’re a man down for this evening: I’m feeling the guilt. Slept in, tomato soup and bruschetta for breakfast. JUST back from walking the dog (slowly). And now back to loafing in bed with the laptop, thesis & HBT; I’m doing all that can be done/

        Totally agree about Martinez, ‘burg. BUT I’ve always wonder how much of The Rays being consistently good was Maddon and how much was Martinez. Maybe its like Simon & Garfunkel, though? Together they were awesome. Apart…pretty good, but not as good as the duo. I know this effect as the “Van Halen Phenomenon”.

      • indaburg - Oct 4, 2012 at 3:36 PM

        Guilt is part of a nurse’s DNA, but don’t feel bad. They’ll survive. It would be much worse to get all those babies and your co-workers sick as well as run youself down so you’re no use to them for even longer. I know you know this, but nurses are the biggest pain in the ass when they’re sick. You need to tie them down to get them to rest.

        You bring up a good point about the whole being greater than the sum of its parts, or as you call it, the Van Halen Phenomenon, but Martinez is ready. Again, I hate to see him go, but all I hear fom the Rays are great things about him. Scioscia begat Maddon, now Maddon begets Martinez. Martinez would be great with all of the young Latin players too. No way would he have let Yunel write something so asinine on his eye black.

        Sorry, but you can’t have both Maddon and Martinez. That’s just greedy.

      • pftcensorssuck - Oct 5, 2012 at 8:33 AM

        I didn’t realize this was “I’”

        Enough, please. Stick to baseball.

      • indaburg - Oct 5, 2012 at 8:45 AM

        Scurry on back to pft, please.

  7. tfbuckfutter - Oct 4, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    “If you make mistakes and nobody says anything about it — they just let it go — we’re going to keep making the same mistakes over and over again,” Vizquel said last week. “We have to stand up and say something right after that 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.”


    Hmm….I guess it’s too bad they never thought to bring in a very long-tenured, respected veteran presence to perhaps relate to and lead the players as a peer. A clubhouse presence, as it were, even if it was someone who may as well swing a wet spaghetti noodle instead of a bat.

    Too bad they didn’t bother to try anything like that, huh Mr. Vizquel?

    • proudlycanadian - Oct 4, 2012 at 2:44 PM

      Vizquel criticized Farrell for not talking to the rookies about correcting their mistakes. Farrel responded that he did talk with them constantly before Vizquel arrived at the ball park. That comment seemed to indicate that Vizquel was a bit tardy going to work. As far as Lind’s comments, Lind was in no position to be a leader because of his poor start. He was so bad that he passed through waivers unclaimed. Any comments by Lind have to be discounted. Frasor never had the personality required to be a leader. Janssen provided leadership in the bullpen. Any pitcher who did not try to ask Oliver for advice is stupid.
      The most interesting comment came from Bautista who did not see any leadership problem at all. Bautista was the leader of the team. Once he got injured, other players should have stepped up to exhibit leadership.

    • bozosforall - Oct 4, 2012 at 11:43 PM

      Yet his team finished higher in the standings than yours did, idiot tfbutteffed.

  8. willclarkgameface - Oct 4, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    There are plenty of names on the list that are being shot around up here, names like:

    1) Dave Martinez
    2) Tim Bogar
    3) Sandy Alomar Jr.
    4) Brad Ausmus
    5) Ryne Sandberg (who just got a nice job in Philly coaching 3rd)
    6) John Farrell

    I don’t know who in their right mind would want to manage this team, with this ownership group, with this GM, and in this city. It’s a nightmare with NOTHING good or positive surrounding it.

    My bet is that they go with some Rays mojo and Dave Martinez. Everyone has a baseball hard-on for Joe Maddon so there you go. I’m not sure what kind of manager he will be. As a player I thought he was a nice compliment-type guy. Not a star, but good enough to hang around the game for 16 seasons.

    Dave Martinez. Mark my words.

    • indaburg - Oct 4, 2012 at 2:08 PM

      Dave Martinez would make a great manager which is exactly why I hope the Red Sox don’t hire him. The Jays made a huge mistake when they looked at Martinez a couple of years ago and didn’t hire him. Martinez has been under Maddon’s tuttelage for many years and knows how to make a lot out of a little.

  9. deathmonkey41 - Oct 4, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    Brad MIlls!

  10. hermitfool - Oct 4, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    John McNamara might be available.

  11. indaburg - Oct 4, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    Shush, Matthew. Let the Sox have Farrell.

  12. jayquintana - Oct 4, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    What has he done at Toronto that would make people think he’d be a great manager in Boston — or Toronto, for that matter?

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