Monday, October 25, 2010

Fifty-two words on John Farrell

John Farrell pitched 116 Major League games, led Cleveland’s player development department (including its Latin American operations) to become the best organization in baseball, and oversaw the most eclectic pitching staff in MLB history in Boston. Now, he’s about to be named the Blue Jays’ new manager. This is a good thing.


Peter D said...

Even though he doesn't have the one criteria that I demanded (managing experience), I'll proceed with the belief that the man pulling the strings behind the curtain knows what he is doing.

Greg said...

The 52 words fit neatly into a haiku:

John Farrell, G.M.?
Good enough chops for the job?
I guess we'll see, eh.

sarah said...

If he had Sal Fasano's moustache, he would be perfect.

Tao of Stieb said...

In terms of Farrell's lack of managerial chops, I actually get the impression that he might have been TOO SMART to be a manager.

If he's a good enough talent assessor to play a big part in building a team that was twice named organization of the year by Baseball America, I'm sure that's he'll be able to figure his way around a lineup card.

And moreover, I bet you that he does it in a way that isn't according to a long-held collection of myths and legends that are handed down from one manager to another.

This is going to be fun.

Down with the orthodoxy!

Peter D said...

In all honesty I don't think any of us (fans) have a clue as to how effective Will Farrell :) will be as a manager and that regardless of who AA picked we would have focused on the positive aspects of that choice. Regardless it will bring some entertainment value for all of us this year (good or bad).

Peter D said...

This is a classic picture of the Jays new manager!

William Tasker - Caribou, ME said...

Clever, Peter. I think this is a great hire by the Blue Jays. Plus it won't hurt that he knows the Red Sox personnel when it comes to those 18 games in 2011.

I think the choice is perfect, but reserve the right to say I never said that if the Blue Jays don't succeed (but I think they will).

Anonymous said...

So it's agreed. He's awesome unless he sucks.

Anonymous said...

Wow, talk about a bunch of good little soldiers. If AA told you guys the sky was falling, would you run for shelter?

Darren Priest said...

I am going to assume AA makes the right decision until he makes a few bad decisions.

Although, I hear he had a Double-Down for lunch last week. Consider my faith shaken.

mike from ottawa said...

Hey, Anonymous 11:03 -- if AA went out and made a bad choice, I'm pretty sure this and many other blogs would immediately call him out on it. Like, say, if he hired Don Baylor or something stupid like that.

As for this hiring, it is legitimately difficult to find something bad to say about it. Although I presume you have something up your sleeve, so let's hear it. I'm gonna go ahead and guess it's something inane like "HE'S GOT NO MAJOR LEAGUE MANAGERIAL EXPERIENCE!"

Tao of Stieb said...

If AA had hired some retread or some dude because he was Canadian, I would have had worry.

As it stands, I still do a bit. But I like the process, and I like some of the highlights of Farrell's resume.

As for "being good soldiers", you can look around and find lots of asshole cynics who are going to shit all over everything because they want to assume a pose of the contrarian. Those are fucking BOOOOORRRINNG people to listen to, and I'm glad I'm not one of them.

Good soldiers, my eye.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mike from Ottawa. With all due respect, fuck you. I have nothing up my sleeve and I have no idea about how this guy is going to do as a mangager. But thanks for being so presumptious in assuming that what I have to say will be so inane.

Big surprise your from Ottawa.

Drew said...



Anonymous said...

Wow guys, I didn't mean to shit on your little love parade so let's be clear.

I'm simply referring to the context of this article that proposes that "this is a good thing" because........

We have no evidence if this is a good hiring or not, but because the God AA made the decision, then it must be.

Thanks for the little caps lock crying spree Drew, you sure got your point across.

The Ack said...

Anon, lemme ask a question and be clear I'm not baiting - who would have been your choice? Is your beef with the selection of Farrell or just with the general acceptance of the choice?

b/c if it's just the "acceptance" that's sticking in your craw, I kinda' wonder the point of a blog post that would just be all "well, y'know, maybe it's good, maybe it's bad, I dunno."

....then again, that's pretty much what I seem to do, so there you go.

Drew GROF said...

@anon - Let the punishment fit the crime

mike from ottawa said...

Hey, nice leap to me being from Ottawa. Makes perfect sense to insult me based on geography. Maybe I should have said I was from Alberta where I grew up, but who fucking cares?

You came on here accusing people of being "good soldiers" based on nothing but a bit of optimism from the blogger and the commenters. Instead of posting something more thoughtful like your second comment, you decided to take the piss out of everyone who might have something positive to say. I don't know what you might have expected in response to that, but surely it wasn't, "Hey, that guy's right! We're a bunch of gullible morons!"

Anonymous said...

My choice would have been someone with more experience and not a "learn on the job" candidate. However, that explanation is irrelevant given that I wasn't privy to the interview process. None of us were.

I'm just not a proponent of blind endorsements of individuals that we have zero information about. I mean, if Cito comes out tomorrow in the Toronto Sun and endorses this guy, will the prevailing good feeling be the same.

I'm not trying to be a contrarian or anything, I'm just a little concerned with this free ride Anthopoulus has been getting over the past year.

Anonymous said...

Wow...Some passion!!! Nice...Almost thought this was a post about the friggin' leafs for a second.
I'm sold on this hire, but you know what... They could have hired Joe fucking blow from who gives a rats ass.... I'm still buying seasons tickets & supporting the shit out of this team!!!

Darren Priest said...

I'd say AA is getting a "free ride" because in his first year, he made some excellent moves and the team performed beyond most fans' very modest expectations.

If the Jays finish 4th in the standings for the next two seasons, the ride will get significantly more bumpy.

Anyone wanting AA to be called out at this juncture probably hasn't been paying attention.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to disappoint you Darren, but I caught about 150 games this year, and kept abreast of the media and team reports daily. No one is suggesting calling out AA, but the quality of his body of work cannot yet be determined. Nobody knows yet whether Gose for Wallace will work out. Nobody knows if Escobar will turn into the headcase he was in Atlanta (Although that's still a good deal even if he does). We have no indication at all whether the assets we got from the Halladay deal are going to pan out.

These are just a few examples, but please, go on insulting me if that makes you feel better.

Darren Priest said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mike from ottawa said...

Anon -- if your point was to say that the jury is still out on AA's body of work, then maybe you should have just said that. It's a fair point, and you could have made it without the snarky "good soldiers" bullshit.

Tao of Stieb said...

Oh, fucking "free ride", my balls.

The fucking point of this post - and yes, I'm just thrilled to have to spell it out - is that given the paucity of information that we have on Farrell, the elements of his resume which stand out are very interesting, very compelling, and don't read anything like the list of qualifications of all sorts of other retreads who've been around or lifelong minor league managers who are getting the bump from someone's first base coaches' box.

So what am I supposed to do: Put my boot up Anthopoulos' ass, just because somehow, someone figures that's what my duty is?

The whole fucking point here is that WE DON'T KNOW HOW THIS IS GOING TO TURN OUT. So I'm not about to give AA shit because I don't know, because there is no way TO KNOW.

I just like the fact that there was a different, exhaustive approach, and that they came up with a candidate that very few people saw coming. And maybe it is audacious, but yeah, I'll make a pretty preliminary judgment that I like what I have heard.

I'm not signing off on this somehow, as though I'm going to give full indemnification to Farrell and the front office if this turns into a shit show. I just don't see the need to do it preemptively.

And BTW: I'm from Ottawa. Feel free to never come back to the blog again if that offends you.

Anonymous said...

Gee, take a pill Tao.

You want an example of a free ride. What about the Wallace for Gose deal. We were sold by AA that this was a major league ready bonified first baseman and everyone was drooling the entire first half of the season about when he was going to play, when were we going to see him? Then boom, gone at the trade deadline for someone who's a minimum 3 years away from the majors.

If JP would have pulled that switch, the media and bloggers in this town would have been screaming bloody murder. But because wonder boy explained that centre fielders like this don't come along everyday, we had our eye on him from the start blah blah blah everything was rainbows and puppy dogs. In the meantime, we might as well welcome back Lyle Overbay and watch him shit his pants when hitters in front of him get past first base.

Hurley said...

Lets all calm down here. Nobody needs to be putting a boot up anyone's ass and nobody should be dissing people for where they choose to live.

In the immortal words of Rodney King. "Can we all just get along"?

Tao of Stieb said...

Really? I gave AA a free ride over the Wallace-Gose trade?

Would anyone care to pull out the tweets that I sent on that day? It certainly wasn't a free ride.

The jury is still out on this trade, and I've said that while I'm willing to accept the rationale, I want to see how it plays out.

For now, Wallace has gone on to have a somewhat underwhelming major league start. Maybe that's something the Jays had identified before. I dunno.

Frnakly, if you go through what I've written on AA, I've reserved judgment on a lot, not because I agree with it, but because there's too little to go on to form a really clear opinion. I don't think that means I'm in the tank for him, or that I've shut off my critical faculties because I've got a big stupid crush on him.

I'm a fan who wants to believe that this part of the journey is leading us to some place where we need to go. So if I'm not tearing these decisions down straight away, it's because I'd like to collect some evidence on them before I trash them.

And if I do say that some elements of Farrell's resume appeal to me, and I judge them to be good, I'm really just talking in that context.

But I take great offense to being labeled as a thoughtless ditto head for this administration. That's not what I'm here for.

DaveC said...

The "we'd hate JP if he did this" schtick is just as tiring as the "hating JP" shtick, so maybe we retire that meme, yes?

It doesn't take a Mensa member to say we don't have any clue how this Farrell thing is going to turn out with 0 games played (or the Gose/Wallace trade until either of them collect much major league time, for that matter), but much like with AA, we can look at the available information and say we're optimistic.

Farrell's had success as a player evaluator, success as a pitching coach, and seems to be a well spoken, intelligent, thoughtful man based on what's out there. I'd say there's reason to like that hiring.

If someone needs to take a pill, it's a guy who's posting without a name and refusing to be anything but cynical and bitter about things.

If the Jays go 62-100 and Farrell proves to be as clueless as Cito, then we have some reason to be grumpy. Until then, everyone's speculating.

nonanonymous said...

I for one hold no grievance with the Farrell hiring. As some of the saner minds have stated, it is too soon to speculate on whether AA should be fed to the jackals for hiring John Farrell.

Besides, there are bigger problems to tame that lie beyond the scope of Farrell's position, such as getting better productivity out of the corner infield positions and getting the bullpen staff sorted.

What I do like about the hiring is that Farrell views the position as very much a dialogue with his fellow coaches and GM, in that he doesn't hold fast to a dogmatic notion of how a team should be managed. In a word, I like that he will cater his decisions to the players he has on hand rather than trying to ram them through some kind of template he sees fit.

2011 will be a year of tinkering. I expect greater strides to be made in 2012.

Anonymous said...

I chose to post this anonymously.

Dave said...

Glad to see you're a real standup guy Dave C. I mean, if you weren't so ANONYMOUS would you be referring to someone as "clueless". You want to take issues with Gaston for some of the moves or non moves he made this year, there's a case for that. But to refer to someone that has dedicated his entire adult life to baseball as clueless shows very little class on your part.

Tim in London said...


"bonified"? Wow no wonder he was dealt.

DaveC said...

"Clueless" was probably the wrong word to describe Cito- or perhaps I should have been specific about what he was clueless about. Not sure why my shared namesake got so uppity about it ("No, honey, I can't come to dinner. Someone is WRONG on the INTERNET!"), but he's probably right ultimately. Appreciate the intent, if not the delivery.

Cito's strengths (VETERANS, HITTING) and weaknesses (YOUNGINS, TALENT, BULLPEN) are well documented at this point, and have nothing to do with what I posted before, which was more about the new guy than the old guy. In my angrier days, I wanted him fired immediately, but he was part of two World Series teams.

I had my nostalgic moments on the send off night- he's obviously had some very positive impacts on the Jays in the past. But at this point, perhaps earlier, that's where he belongs.

The Manager is gone. Long live the manager!