Archive for October, 2012

All Plagiarism, All The Time

Urged by the astute eye of @FOI_leak , I have changed the original title of this article ‘All John Farrell, All The Time’ to something inspired by them, due to it’s similarity to an article by Andrew Stoeten. Which was unintentional. Although FOI_leak shouldn’t be such a weenie about it, he/she is correct. I hope my 7 readers still have faith in my journalistic integrity.

I can’t wait for John Farrell to leave. If only so the Jays (and us) can move on to the real offseason business of bolstering the rotation and team in general.

I know, I know. It’s just a rumour still. But it seems to be getting traction all over the place now. What seemed like just some speculation on the part of a few fringe reporters looking to get press has turned into a full tidal wave of mainstream media saying it’s imminent.

Let’s suppose for the sake of this post that he is leaving.

There are a lot of questions to answer. Like compensation. Reports say that the Jays price last year was Clay Buchholz and that’s the ante this time too. Hey, I’m all for it. However, if the Red Sox won’t part with part of their starting rotation, I only hope the Jays can get the best available player regardless of their position. Some people are saying that only a starting pitcher will do, but really if AA just gets the best available player, period, he can always turn that asset into something else. Getting the most value is the most important thing rather than what position they play. That will make the club stronger.

Some reporters are thinking the Jays have no leverage here because of their (seeming) unwillingness to give John Farrell an extension and he’s dealing with a one-year contract. I’ve never been good at negotiating, but I can’t see how the Jays aren’t in the driver’s seat here. The Jays have something the Sox want. And they can just say no if the offer isn’t high enough. The Red Sox are under the gun to get a new manager and soon. If the negotiations drag out, they’ll either have to ante up, or go to Plan B. If that happens, I’d like to see the Jays dismiss John Farrell soon after. He wouldn’t end up as a coach in Boston. What Plan B Boston manager would want to see the man they REALLY wanted for the job in the dugout with him? Although stranger things have happened in Boston. Anyhow, the advantage is all Jays here and I do think the best outcome is that the Jays make the club stronger rather than let Farrell go for nothing.

As for who will take over? There are even more possible answers that the above scenario. One report says, and yes I’m dealing with a lot of ‘I heard/read this the other day in (insert media)’, that the Jays don’t want another manager that has to ‘learn on the job’. They want someone who has managerial experience to keep the momentum going and not reset them back to 2 years ago when JF took over. If that’s true, that opens the door to former managers that are out there but also makes Sal Fasano an intriguing choice. He has managerial experience in the minors and was AA Manager of the year just one year ago. I also like that he knows some of the players coming up through the Jays system already.

Anyhow, I guess there will be a lot of time to get answers to the above two questions regarding compensation and the new manager, the real issue is still: Is Farrell going, or not?

The most intriguing hint that he might be is that Alex Anthopoulos cancelled a radio interview on Rogers’ own Fan 590 yesterday morning with Jeff Blair. I can understand if it was with Bob McCown, who really gives AA the gears, like when the Yunel incident happened. But this is Jeff Blair. Hard-hitting journalist, yes. But he wasn’t going to rake AA over the coals like McCown would about the situation with JF. Anyhow, it makes me wonder… AA seems like a guy that doesn’t like to mislead the media. I think he’s shown that he’d rather have no comment than to do that. Perhaps this was one of those cases where he knows he can’t go on the Jays flagship station and say, unequivocally, that they are not in discussions with the Red Sox. The guy was raised right.

But seriously John Farrell, just go already. You should never have taken the job managing the Jays if your heart was always in Boston. So we’ll just say ‘Good Day and get the fuck out.

I said ‘Good Day’ sir.

The ‘optics’ of John Farrell leaving

Alex Anthopoulos has a tough job. He may very well be okay with giving up John Farrell to Boston. And John Farrell may even want to go as well.

But after starting the season with such optimism and seeing the fans respond at first — the new logo, increased attendance, increased viewership on TV, new excitement — and then like a horror movie, things collapsing: the Yu Darvish incident, Santos, Brett Lawrie’s helmet, injury after injury, 16 games under .500, Yunel Escobar, Omar bad-mouthing the work ethic etc. etc. etc., Alex has to be very careful.

Even if he wants John Farrell gone, he needs to make sure he gets a lot for him from the Bosox. And I mean ALOT. Because to the casual fan, it will be the Halladay thing all over again. To the casual fan, it will seem like we are giving up on next season and the one after…

And although I don’t think that’s true if he leaves (we may even be better off), it will be bad for business.

Be careful AA. We’re with you, whatever happens.

Just like Bobby

John Farrell is no different than Bobby Cox. He’s been distracted since he’s already punched his ticket for the next place.

As they say, hindsight is 20/20. So it’s hard to know what really would’ve happened to the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1985 World Series if Bobby Cox hadn’t mentally checked out already during the playoffs. He had already decided to go to Atlanta to be GM of the Braves (he wouldn’t become manager until 1991), and I think that affected how he managed (mis-managed) the Jays’ 3 games to 1 ALCS lead into a 7 game series loss to Kansas City.

Yes, I know a lot of you will say it was a wind-blown triple but really they should never have been in that Game 7 in the first place.

Anyhow, I’m wondering now if John Farrell and the Blue Jays all know that the current field manager is headed to Boston as soon as the season ends. It would certainly make sense of what has been (allegedly) going on in the Jays clubhouse these last weeks and months. Reports of no accountability, Yunel-gate, Omar mouthing off … the list goes on.

And injuries or not, the team certainly hasn’t responded well under his leadership. I don’t buy the whole “these young players need to learn” excuse about their base-running, attitude, defensive lapses etc. Yes, it’s their first year in the big leagues, but THEY HAVE BEEN PLAYING THIS GAME PROFESSIONALLY FOR YEARS. Are Farrell and the Jays really trying to say that the minor leagues don’t teach this stuff and they just get to run rampant like a bunch of kids on a sandlot?

The question has to be asked: Has John Farrell lost control of the clubhouse? And is it because he’s going to Boston?

I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that’s the case this week.

And if not, I think the question has to be asked: So what is really going on then? And further: Is he really the manager the Jays need to get back to relevancy?

I almost hope he is going to Boston. It would explain a lot. And it will certainly be easier to replace him than to replace a team potentially full of  bad apples this winter.

Bobby Cox seems like a good man. And I don’t doubt he had the best intentions to lead the Jays to the 1985 Championship and then leave for Atlanta after the parade. But once you know you’re gone, perhaps the spirit just isn’t there. It’s human nature.

John Farrell is human too.

 

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