Back Off Boston, Find Your Own Manager
|Image courtesy of Daylife via Reuters Pictures|
It’s only natural for people to want what they can’t have. But when people get really desperate, that’s when something so incredibly unattainable might seem like the only glimmer of hope.
I can only imagine that’s how the Boston Red Sox front office must feel like right now. With Terry Francona and Theo Epstein effectively jumping ship, it sounds like they’re hoping somebody else will try to captain this Titanic of a wreck back to shore somehow.
I can hearken the Boston Red Sox situation back to this analogy; perhaps Terry Francona played the part of the relaxed parent; the one that tried more to be the player’s friends rather than the strong parental figure they needed.
And on the other hand, we have John Farrell; since Francona may have lacked the stern presence, Farrell had to be the disciplinary in the clubhouse. He was the one that the players may have been fearful of, but they respected Farrell.
Again, this is all just speculation on my part, but coming from a household with two polar opposite parental figures, I can safely say this scenario is all too familiar. Once John Farrell left Boston, it sounded like the Red Sox lacked that hard-ass parental figure they needed to keep them straight.
So now the Boston Red Sox want John Farrell back as manager to help restore some order to a team whose reputation has been tarnished. It’s a very tall order, but one that apparently Boston is hoping Farrell will consider.
First off, the fact that anyone is Boston is thinking they can just poach John Farrell from the Blue Jays just goes to show how desperate the Red Sox are. If they’re looking for their former pitching coach to bring semblance to their team, that’s very high and mighty of them.
Secondly, can you really imagine the Blue Jays would let him go that easily? Last year, the front office painstakingly sought out a new manager and screened dozens of candidates. Remember the Blue Jays Managerial Candidate Bracket?
And then to let John Farrell walk right back to a division rival is such a turncoat move, I can’t ever fathom it even happening. Why would Farrell even want to go back there, let alone why would the Blue Jays let him?
By returning to the Red Sox, John Farrell would be returning to familiar territory and the relatively same coaching staff. John didn’t have that luxury when he took the manager’s job in Toronto, and might be a selling feature of going back to Boston if he’s allowed to select his coaching staff.
Other than that though, it doesn’t seem like a very attractive option for John Farrell to vacate a job after one year, only to make a lateral move to a different team. Then he has the uphill battle of trying to wrangle in a seemingly wild clubhouse. Not exactly the ideal situation for a new manager.
John took his bumps in bruises in his first full year as a manager in the Major Leagues, but that’s to be expected. I can’t speak from experience, but I imagine the best way to learn in that environment is to make mistakes.
By taking the manager’s job in Toronto, I think Farrell was at least granted that grace period that he otherwise might not have gotten in Boston. By leaping into a pressure-cooker environment in Beantown, there must be very little wiggle room.
Not that the Blue Jays don’t expect to be contenders either, but their timeline for contention is a little longer than the Red Sox. As we saw, Terry Francona’s head was immediately on the chopping block immediately following game 162.
Knowing what John Farrell knows after five seasons with the Red Sox and seeing what transpired this season, I can’t ever imagine John would want to return to that environment.
The Red Sox can inquire all they want about bringing back John Farrell, but he’s ours now. Back off Boston – find your own manager.