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John Farrell and Omar Vizquel don’t like each other very much

Feb 11, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT

Omar Vizquel AP

Stuff I never heard before but is pretty darn interesting. From the Toronto Sun: Omar Vizquel and John Farrell had a big falling out when they were both with the Blue Jays. And it may have had its roots in Vizquel buying plane tickets for a rookie’s family. Go read the story. The biggest takeaway, I think: losing makes people cranky.

Another takeaway: how the writer casually drops the “future Hall of Famer” Omar Vizquel thing, which we’ve been seeing more and more of lately. I love how it’s just assumed for him like it would be for, say, Ken Griffey or Jeter or someone. This despite the fact that Vizquel, based on historical standards, would be a pretty weak Hall of Famer, objectively speaking.

I’d say he’s going to be the next Jack Morris, but that would require him being on the ballot a long time. And I feel like people are going to vote him in pretty quickly.

  1. Marty McKee - Feb 11, 2014 at 10:36 AM

    Alvarez was making $482,900 a year, and he couldn’t afford to buy plane tickets?

    • Francisco (FC) - Feb 11, 2014 at 12:28 PM

      Not to mention the fact that I’m pretty sure Alvarez could have gotten black market rate tickets for pennies on the dime.

      http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-01-27/how-venezuelas-currency-craziness-trashes-airline-service

    • jonrox - Feb 11, 2014 at 12:42 PM

      Richie Incognito strikes again

    • daveitsgood - Feb 11, 2014 at 8:43 PM

      To be fair, Toronto has one of the highest taxation rates of any other MLB city, somewhere around 51%, then tacking on the % that goes to the Agent, which I’m sure is pre-tax, union fees, clubhouse fees, living expenses, state taxes for when players travel to a state that assess taxes for time worked in the state, sending money back home, etc. Not saying he couldn’t buy the plane tickets for his family, but it’s not a lump sum of whatever his total annual salary is and whatever the remaining total is after taxes and fees and other expenses is probably less than we think. I doubt he’s crying poverty, but is far from wealthy based on a rookie salary, especially if not a bonus baby.

  2. tfbuckfutter - Feb 11, 2014 at 10:37 AM

    Maybe Omar felt John should respect his elders.

    Didn’t they play together too?

    • wahootribe1987 - Feb 11, 2014 at 10:54 AM

      You are indeed correct. They missed each other in Farrell’s first (and much more noteworthy) tenure with the Indians. They would have overlapped in ’95, even though Farrell didn’t see much action.

  3. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 11, 2014 at 10:45 AM

    I don’t think the Jays would have shipped Farrell out of town in the middle of his contract if he was doing well with the players. I’m not blaming him necessarily, and the players in Boston certainly hold him in high regard. For some reason it seems things just didn’t click over the border. I suppose losing a ton of games can do that to a team.

    Or maybe the Rogers Center is built on an old Indian burial ground. It seems as though that place has seen a disproportionate level of conflict in recent years.

    • canadiansportsfan77 - Feb 11, 2014 at 11:03 AM

      I think there is an attitude problem with the Jays and some of the leaders holding a “me” first stance. Farrell seemed to be laid back and let his players do their thing, and I think Omar was trying to get involved and fix it, and Omar was frustrated that Farrell was letting it spiral out of control.

      Boston and Farrell worked because those guys could manage themselves so Farrell’s hands off approach showed it worked.

      Gibbons has a similar style, and hopefully he learned from last yr and realized that he has to get more involved and hold players accountable for stupid behaviour this year. Here’s hoping because it looks like the Jays are trying to change the team identity and approach this year so we will have to see.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 11, 2014 at 11:56 AM

        Didn’t he try to hold Shea Hillenbrand accountable during his last tenure? Not sure that worked out too well for anyone.

      • canadiansportsfan77 - Feb 11, 2014 at 12:11 PM

        He did, and even though it did get heated afterwards, he earned Hillabrand’s respect as a manager after it was all said and done.

        He, as well in a huge part to Derosa didn’t tolerate Lawrie’s actions, and we saw massive improvements in him as a ballplayer as the year progressed. If he does such to say Bautista, maybe we’ll see less ejections and more quality AB’s after he received a bad strike call.

        Just my opinion on the matter

  4. clevelandschronic2 - Feb 11, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    Omar has comparable numbers to another HoF who happens to be Ozzie guilen. So id say he belingsin theHoF maybe not 1st ballot but he is deff a HOFer

    • ltzep75 - Feb 11, 2014 at 11:03 AM

      are you the one who sold to Chris Perez?

    • paperlions - Feb 11, 2014 at 12:16 PM

      If you meant to say that Vizquel was a similar to player to Ozzie Smith, you are out to lunch. Adjusting for league and park effects, Ozzie (wRC+ 90) was a better hitter than Vizquel (wRC+ 83), and Ozzie was a far superior fielder than Vizquel. He was a very good defensive SS, but insinuating that he was in the same class as Ozzie is like saying that Brendan Ryan is as a defensive SS as Simmons.

      • 18thstreet - Feb 11, 2014 at 12:53 PM

        Some content was stripped by our security filters, but it should be possible for one of your Editors to embed the content for you.

        Source: FanGraphsOmar Vizquel, Ozzie Smith

      • chinahand11 - Feb 11, 2014 at 1:52 PM

        Thank you! Omar has a great rep as an infielder, deservedly so, but he could not pick it like Oz. Let’s not get carried away with the HoF stuff.

    • metroplexsouthsider - Feb 11, 2014 at 4:30 PM

      Neither one is a HOFer. Where did you ever get that idea from?

    • loungefly74 - Feb 12, 2014 at 10:40 AM

      dude…HBT is full of stat junkies. half of them probably never been to a ballpark. in other words, they don’t know squat…except for their skewed stat categories which can be fudged to any which way. i agree…Omar is a HoFer…and he will be…but will these guys undertstand that? nope. “but his WAR was 74th at that time, blah, blah”…they are missing the point. paralysis by over-analysis.

  5. clevelandschronic2 - Feb 11, 2014 at 10:49 AM

    Belongs***^^ damn you iphone

    • nymets4ever - Feb 11, 2014 at 10:56 AM

      i hate it when the iphone autocorrects “smith” to “guillen.”

  6. loungefly74 - Feb 11, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    Omar is a HoFer….really not sure what the arguement is? Top 5 defensive SS ever? that right there should be enough.

    • gothapotamus90210 - Feb 11, 2014 at 11:17 AM

      Lifetime WAR is 29th out of SS, WAR7 is 60th. Jimmy Rollins will pass him in overall WAR in two seasons, already ahead in WAR7. Jimmy certainly isn’t a HoFer, and neither is Vizquel.

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/jaws_SS.shtml

      • loungefly74 - Feb 12, 2014 at 10:36 AM

        well…we will see. If he does become one…will you accept the fact that your skewed/overrated stat machines are not all they seem to be? i highly doubt it.

    • js20011041 - Feb 11, 2014 at 11:24 AM

      He has a career OPS+ of 82. That means he was 18% worse offensively than the average major leaguer. His defense was great, but that’s a staggering number for his defense to make up for, if you’re considering him for the HOF.

    • DJ MC - Feb 11, 2014 at 11:29 AM

      So Mark Belanger is a Hall of Famer?

      • loungefly74 - Feb 12, 2014 at 10:34 AM

        haha. well played…but offense is also part of the equation no matter how good they are defensively. i assumed that was a given. my bad. hey, if Omar doesn’t get in…you guys are right…but…

    • billybawl - Feb 11, 2014 at 12:10 PM

      This SS played 19 seasons, made twice as many AS teams (6) as Vizquel, had about 650 SBs (led league 6 times) and is the franchise leader in hits for a team that is a charter member of the AL. His JAWS/WAR and WAR 7 are all significantly higher than Vizquel’s. He was a key contributor to 3 WS champions. He got 3.1% of the HOF vote in his first year of eligibility and was off the ballot in future years. I think that was a fair result. Nobody makes the case that he should be in the HOF, but if Vizquel gets in I’m going to have to write an angry letter to the editor making the case that Bert Campaneris got shafted.

      • mgflolox - Feb 11, 2014 at 1:47 PM

        Ah, Campy. One of my favorites when I was a kid. I didn’t realize until much later that he wasn’t really a very effective lead-off man, but he still was a helluva player and a lot of fun to watch. Hall of Pretty Damn Good, but not Hall of Famer.

      • loungefly74 - Feb 12, 2014 at 10:25 AM

        sorry…not a WAR fan or “advanced statistics” advocate. It’s a great tool but i have taken Statistics 3 times (the latest in the Masters program) and it is proven that numbers can be skewed to represent/favor any argument. I do look at stats, don’t get me wrong. Baseball is a “stat” sport…but lets not take away what we saw on the field (jesus, that was sappy). anyway…

        Hey, i may be wrong…but IF Omar gets in…I got a big serving of crow for all of ya. And dont play the “oh…all the writers are idiots” card. nah…just get past your skewed stats.

        let the Hate begin!

    • metroplexsouthsider - Feb 11, 2014 at 4:34 PM

      Not even close. He has just 5 career WAA. Ozzie (THE Ozzie, not Guillen) has 41. Ozzie has almost 20 more career dWAR than him. Oz also has half again as many oWAR.

      Vizquel.Ain’t.A.HOFer.

  7. druhlman - Feb 11, 2014 at 11:18 AM

    I agree, why is the HoF just for offense? If a guy is a all time great defender why is that not held in as high regard?

    • happytwinsfan - Feb 11, 2014 at 11:36 AM

      because offensive contributions have way more numbers associated with them then defensive contributions, at least until recently, and we loves our numbers

    • js20011041 - Feb 11, 2014 at 12:00 PM

      Part of it, I think, is that the margin between a great offensive player and a mediocre one, is larger than the margin between a great defensive player and a mediocre one. Put another way, I think that an all hit no defense player has a greater positive impact on a team than does an field no hit player. Look at Miguel Cabrera. He was dreadful defensively the last two years at third. He still accumulated 7.3 and 7.2 bWAR the last two years. Vizquel, one of the greatest defensive shortstops in the history of baseball had a career high 6.0 bWAR in 1999. His 2nd highest for a year? 4.0 bWAR in 2004. A run saved is the same as a run earned, but a run earned is harder to come by than a run saved. Great offense is simply more valuable than great defense.

      • happytwinsfan - Feb 11, 2014 at 12:26 PM

        i don’t know if you’re right or wrong because you are obviously far more familiar with sabermetrics then i am. but i am honestly curious about how we can evaluate how good a honus wagner was defensively. do we know what percentage of the time he was able to get to balls hit to his area?

        until recent years, about the only defensive stat people heard about was fielding percentage, which is often misleading. on the other side you had batting average, rbi’s, hits, runs scored, stolen bases, and going just a little deeper slugging percentage, on base percentage etc, all easily observable and measurable. we only know anecdotally how good honus wagner was defensively, but we know exactly all his offensive stats. you probably have a point, but i think that’s at least a lot of the reason offense is considered much more then defense is because it’s so much more easily accessible.

  8. proudlycanadian - Feb 11, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    I was unsure about how good a manager Farrell was during his stint in Toronto; however, Vizquel was clearly out of line. He was expected to be a role model for the younger players; however, by the end of the season, the Jays obviously did not wasn’t him back. They did not offer him the managing or coaching job that he coveted.

    • proudlycanadian - Feb 11, 2014 at 11:55 AM

      One other note! When Vizquel retired, he said that he wanted to become a MLB manager without serving as a coach or manager in the minors. Surprise! Nobody was willing to let him start at the top.

      • clydeserra - Feb 11, 2014 at 4:40 PM

        walt weiss says what?

    • rdillon99 - Feb 11, 2014 at 11:59 AM

      Agreed. Vizquel was brought in that season to fill the leadership/veteran presence role, but when the Blue Jays season started to go sideways he was more of a detriment to the team than a help.

      • proudlycanadian - Feb 11, 2014 at 12:53 PM

        There was also an incident where a certain short stop wrote a homophobic slur on his eye black and Vizquel saw nothing wrong with it..

  9. superpriebe - Feb 11, 2014 at 11:31 AM

    Omar was and remains my favorite baseball player. So fun to watch, and a great guy to have on your team and in your community.

    No way he belongs in the Hall, though. His highlight reels are amazing, but that doesn’t mean he was in a class with Ozzie Smith. Once you accept that fact, the case for him evaporates. No shame in a ‘very good’ career, though.

    • goodknave - Feb 11, 2014 at 12:46 PM

      Omar is the greatest defensive ayer of all-time. If he doesn’t get in the HOF, they should just shut it down. Ozzie played on a carpet.

      • zzalapski - Feb 11, 2014 at 1:14 PM

        You need to watch more baseball if you think that a) Vizquel is the greatest defensive player of all time and b) it’s easier to defend on artificial turf than natural grass.

      • clydeserra - Feb 11, 2014 at 4:42 PM

        Jack murphy had carpet?

        Remember how tony kubek and joe garagiola would have a guy with a thermometer on the carpet for saturday games of the week? it would read like 130 or something ridiculous.

  10. dctransient - Feb 11, 2014 at 11:35 AM

    1) John Farrel seems pretty sweet

    2) How does Omar make the ranks of “future HOF’ers” but Craig Biggio cannot get in?

    • oldschoolnflman - Feb 11, 2014 at 11:44 AM

      Because Omar was excellent at something while biggio was a compiler….

      • Tim OShenko - Feb 11, 2014 at 12:03 PM

        I never understood the whole “compiler” argument. To be a successful compiler, you need to be excellent at something – in this case, being a baseball player. Only the greats stick around long enough to “compile” their numbers; the rest (like Johnny Damon) find themselves forced into retirement before reaching the milestones.

      • DJ MC - Feb 11, 2014 at 1:09 PM

        All Vizquel did was compile defense.

    • largebill - Feb 11, 2014 at 12:24 PM

      A reporter saying “future Hall of Famer” is not the same as getting elected by 75% of all voters. I’m quite certain that many articles have referred to Biggio as “future Hall of Famer” as well.

  11. nolasoxfan2012 - Feb 11, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    Vizquel made $63M in his career. He probably could have afforded to send Alvarez’s family on up to Boston to see him pitch there if it was such an issue.

  12. philliesblow - Feb 11, 2014 at 12:18 PM

    Omar Vizquel was a great defensive SS. I’ll still take Alan Trammell.

    • largebill - Feb 11, 2014 at 12:26 PM

      Should not have to choose between them. Both Vizquel and Trammell would get my imaginary Hall of Fame vote.

    • edelmanfanclub - Feb 11, 2014 at 1:17 PM

      Got beat to this post. Everyone thinks Omar is sure fire HOF since he is comparable to Ozzie Smith glove wise, but Alan Trammell is better and its not really close.

      AT: .285/.352/.415 110 OPS+ 3 SS, 6 ASG, 4 GG, CBPOY 83, 84 WSMVP
      OV: .272/.336/.352 82 OPS+ 11 GG, 3 ASG

      As far as this thing between him and Farrell, I dont understand how you cant afford to fly your family here on the “league minimum.” The “minimum” is nearly 500,000. Sorry if Farrell didn’t take this into consideration but anyone who wants to have a winning team will do what is best for the team at all costs. I’n sure Omar will be face with a decision similar to this if he ever becomes a manager, since he is a coach now.

  13. gmfw7 - Feb 11, 2014 at 1:07 PM

    i played shortstop at a all city level in high school and then in college, so i’ve always been a huge fan of ss with superior defensive talents…as a phillies fan i’ve always kept close watch on the career fielding % of jimmy, and as of the last time i checked jimmy has the second highest % for the position behind omar and ahead of ozzie. now i don’t really feel jimmy has done enough to get in to the HOF, but considering his much better offensive numbers compared to these other two greats, should jimmy definitely get in when his time comes? i think not. and as much as i enjoyed watching omar play defense throughout his career, i don’t believe he belongs in neither. i’m interested to see what the voters decide

    • clydeserra - Feb 11, 2014 at 4:46 PM

      fielding percentage is a really bad way to judge a fielder.

      • gmfw7 - Feb 12, 2014 at 10:04 AM

        absolutely, if that’s the only thing you look at. i don’t think any of these guys spent the last quarter of their careers fileding balls hit right at them, and not getting to anything in the hole or up the middle, like that guy in new york. i think with players of their caliber who were known to get to everything hit their way, fielding % is a fine way to judge

  14. bigmeechy74 - Feb 11, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    he’s one of the most overrated players ever

  15. janessa31888 - Feb 11, 2014 at 4:54 PM

    Man, I miss Omar. Asdrubal’s inconsistent play (a flash of brillance followed by several boneheaded mistakes) makes me long for the old days. Omar is headed for Indians hall of fame, at least.

  16. tn16 - Feb 11, 2014 at 5:21 PM

    F%£k Farrell the guy is a meat head that left a job he didn’t want for more money north of the border well knowing he would be back when Boston was looking for a new Manager.

  17. gabrielthursday - Feb 11, 2014 at 6:03 PM

    The whole “future hall-of-famer Omar Vizquel” was definitely a thing in the Toronto media, and it definitely got tired very quickly.

    I disagree that Vizquel is going to get in: I see him getting 12% on his first go-round, and falling off in year 3

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