Kevin Gray's On Baseball: Blue Jays hardly knew Farrell
SO DAVID ORTIZ says John Farrell is “my main man” and always kept the pitching staff in line during his previous five seasons with the Red Sox. Jon Lester is ecstatic about Bobby Valentine’s replacement, telling the Twitterverse he “can’t wait to get back to work!!”
Much like Valentine was never going to be a long-term manager in Boston, Farrell’s days, too, were numbered in Toronto. Now the parent club of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats is feeling like a jilted lover after the rich and more successful Red Sox swooped in for their man. In exchange for infielder Mike Aviles.
The Blue Jays, who gave Farrell his first managing opportunity, gained a solid defender whose on-base percentage (.282) was among the American League’s worst in 2012. Infielders like Aviles are a dime a dozen.
The Blue Jays have a reason to feel as if they were dumped. What really irks their fans, though, is knowing Farrell’s “dream job” was managing in Boston. When Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos revealed that tidbit during a conference call, it was like adding pure salt to the wound.
“As John explained it to me, this was a dream job for him,” Anthopoulos said. “It was an opportunity he really wanted to pursue, so if there was a deal that could make sense for our club as well, we were going to try to go ahead and complete that.”
When several ex-Fisher Cats and current Blue Jays were asked to comment on Farrell, they either declined or ignored the request from the New Hampshire Union Leader. Seems nobody is going out of there way to say, “Thanks, Skip. Great job.” Blue Jays reliever Casey Janssen did wish Farrell good luck via Twitter.
Ricky Romero provided one of the more telling reactions in comments made to Shi Davidi of sportsnet.ca:
“For me it’s crazy to think two years ago we were talking about this and two years later we’re looking for a manager again. All I’ll say about it is hopefully the next guy we have can stick with us for quite some time, we can learn to adapt to him, and him adapt to us, and just continue to move forward ... Am I bitter about it? No, not really. It is what it is, as cliched as that sounds. You can’t sit there and dwell on it, you’ve got to continue to move forward and see who the next guy in line is. I’m hoping the next guy in line is committed and wants to win.”
Blue Jays first base coach Torey Lovullo, who managed the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox before heading north with Farrell, may also be leaving Toronto to serve on Farrell’s staff — adding to Toronto’s disdain for Boston.
When I asked Torontonians on Twitter why they dislike the Red Sox so much, I received dozens of inbox messages and responses.
“The Red Sox are bullies. Or perceived to be. Top dog, money-making machine out to trample on the little guys. Arrogant, egotistical, imposing,” Blue Jays fan Kathryn Borowitz of Toronto told me Monday night.
JOB SEARCH: Dartmouth graduate Brad Ausmus, who interviewed for the managerial job in Boston, is among the top candidates for the job in Toronto, along with Sandy Alomar, Jr., and Blue Jays third base coach and defensive guru Brian Butterfield. It behooves the Blue Jays to include ex-Fisher Cats manager Luis Rivera, currently a Jays coach, in that discussion ... No word yet if Sal Fasano will return to manage Double-A New Hampshire. The Blue Jays plan to announce their minor-league staffs by mid-November.
Staff writer Kevin Gray covers pro baseball for the New Hampshire Union Leader and New Hampshire Sunday News. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.