And good gravy, that man impresses us.
Sure, being a good talker is only one aspect of the job for a manager1, but what what warms our cockles is to hear Farrell bring the perspective of a former opponent to bear on the decisions he makes. This week alone, he's told Bob McCown and Damien Cox on Prime Time Sports that the Jays were regarded as "one-dimensional" offensively, and an easy team to prepare to face.
He also revealed to Jeff Blair on the Fan 590 that "around the industry"2, people knew that Aaron Hill's swing was being affected by his injury, and that he'd expanded his strike zone and was chasing pitches. He also underlined the fact that the Jays were very fortunate last year to get through the season with only a minimal amount of games lost to the DL by significant players, and that as they set their sights on the coming season, their expectations in terms of true advancement for the team has to be balanced off against that fact.
Now, it's entirely likely that the former Manager understood these concepts, and simply chose not to discuss them publicly. Maybe he just didn't feel as though everyone deserved to be let in on the knowledge of the game that he possessed.
But on the other hand, it seems as though Farrell relishes discussing the complexity and nuance of the task before him, and that there really aren't any simple answers to what's going to happen with this team now, and in the near future.
Hearing the man speak is such a way that doesn't sound as though he's dumbing down his task for the unwashed, presumed stupid masses might sound like small mercies. And yet, it's reassuring. It makes us feel as though we're in good hands.
1. And for all of the Cito-love that exists out there, his PR skills were every bit as bad as his in-game management. Cito seldom revealed anything that appeared to present an outlook beyond that day's game, much less a development plan for the franchise. The condescension in his voice as he spoke to those "outside the game" was palpable, as was his inability to take any sort of substantial question from a thoughtful member of the media. So there.
2. "Around the industry" might be the most awesome thing we've heard come from him. It makes him sound like a senior management-type as opposed to a good old boy with a minor league playing pedigree and an affable manner.