October 26, 2010

A twist in the narrative

A day later, and I still don't know much about John Farrell.

He left Cleveland; there's certainly nothing surprising about that. He won a World Series in Boston. He turned down job interviews while waiting for the right opportunity to manage. Today, he's a Blue Jay. While the headlines read that the Toronto chose John Farrell, John Farrell, in fact, chose Toronto. In a welcome break from what we've gotten far too used to around here, Toronto, for once, was the ideal situation. And, damn, does it ever feel good to be wanted.

Farrell's a pitching coach. He's tutored the young arms of Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, and Daniel Bard. (Yeah, he's worked with Josh Beckett, John Lackey, Jonathan Papelbon, and strike zone hater Daisuke Matsuzaka, too, but let's just focus on the kids.) And I'm sure you'll agree that pitching coaches have had a way of endearing themselves to us in recent years. While I don't remember much of the Mark Connor and Gil Patterson eras, Brad Arnsberg and the fan base, we were close. Five years, it was a good run. It was tough to watch him take his talents to Houston, and we thought we'd miss him, until Bruce Walton came from Arnsberg's very bullpen and into our lives.

Now they'll work together, Farrell and Walton, and I expect nothing less than the opposite of Cito Gaston's reign of bullpen terror. They'll work with Brian Butterfold, too, who isn't heading south to Baltimore to join his pal Buck Showalter, which is telling in its own right. Butter didn't get the job he wanted; it was his goal to manage the Blue Jays. But even in his disappointment, he too picked Toronto. Double rainbow.

Farrell's hiring is sweeter in the knowledge that he joins the Blue Jays from the Boston Red Sox, and that they're -- both organization and Massholes fans -- smarting over his departure in New England. The Bostons and New Yorks, they take far too much from everybody else in baseball. It's nice to snatch one of theirs.

I don't know how Farrell will manage. Nobody does. He's never done it before. But if he takes to his new job the way Alex Anthopoulos took to his, the Blue Jays are in good hands. Experience; it's overrated. While we may not know a lot about Farrell -- we don't even know how many years he's expected to be in town -- we know without a doubt that Anthopoulos chose him having done the due-st of due diligence. And if Anthopoulos doesn't yet have your trust, I don't think he ever will. 

Farrell chose to come to Toronto. Butter chose to stay in Toronto. If it were up to Manny Ramirez, he'd pick Toronto. And let me tell you, I could get used to this. It almost makes me wonder: what does Cliff Lee think of our fine city?

*Update: It's a three-year deal. That sneaky Anthopoulos!

Image of a styling Mr. Farrell courtesy of Reuters, via daylife. 


bkblades said...

“We’re all sports fans, and you live and die with your team. You want to know that your GM and your front office, they’re up all night, they’re thinking about it, they’re coming to work, they’re doing everything they can. … I want to know, if I’m a fan, that my GM is doing everything he can.”

Money, just money, AA.

Navin Vaswani (@eyebleaf) said...

Fact: Alex Anthopoulos never sleeps.

William Tasker - Caribou, ME said...

I'm thrilled for the Blue Jays. Everybody is high on Farrell and he seems to be the perfect guy for this situation. If I were Farrell, I'd be a little hesitant keeping Butterfield on board. That's not always a good idea. But anyway, great job, AA. And good luck.

Guy said...

Please stop with the "_______, yo" stuff. Actually, please stop trying to coin things in general. Thanks.

The Ack said...

I'd also like to submit a list of demands on how you should blog. Basically, sound like everyone else. Or I'm cancelling my subscription.


Navin Vaswani (@eyebleaf) said...

@ William: From Farrell and AA's comments, they're both more than happy to keep Butterfield. He's been with the team the longest, he's got a great rapport with the players and within the organization. To pry Farrell from Boston and lose Butter to Baltimore would have been a touch bittersweet. The fact Butter chose to stay says a lot about the direction of this team right now, I think. I'm sure Farrell will bring in his own guy too, but it shows good judgement on his part that he wants Butter to stick around, too.

@ Guy: The ironic part is that there was no "_____, yo" in the post. If you don't like what you find here, don't bother reading, and press the "Unfollow" button on Twitter. Simple, yo.

@ The Ack: I'm going to do my best to change, brother. In Guy's defense, at least he was polite about it. Please, and thanks. Props to him.

Escaped Lab Rat said...

Looking forward to the new season. Can't wait to break out some 'Farelly brothers' jokes. And maybe wear a Man-Ram wig.

Archi said...

I think they'll focus all the managerial attention on the pitching staff and just assume the following about the lineup:

Hitters gonna hit.