Tuesday, October 23, 2012

This whole, sordid affair

I've seen a lot of words written from a lot of different folks saying they don't understand the sentiment, don't understand all the anger, can't figure out why so many of us are so twisted up about an underperforming manager who talked his way out of one job and into another.

I can't say that I'm one of those folks capable of pulling off such a nonchalant attitude about John Farrell begging his way out of Toronto and into his "dream job".  I'm not saying that I'm right and they're wrong, far from it.  In fact, I wish that I could be so dispassionate about a move that won't affect the club's future fortunes anywhere near as much the transactions that need to take place over the course of the upcoming winter will.

And taking it a step further - being logical and rational - why should I feel such bitter disappointment towards the departure of a man who, in hindsight, didn't appear to be a great fit with this team, in this time.  Shouldn't I feel sympathetic to his plight? - the job he truly wanted was right there for his taking.  A chance to "come home" and shine under the bright lights of one of baseball's biggest media markets, with only a year left on an unextended contract owed to a team he didn't really feel up to managing anymore - reporting to a front office who was probably just as happy to see him go - standing in his way?

So why the hard feelings?

Because fuck John Farrell, that's why.

Maybe it's because his hiring but two short (actually, brutally long) seasons ago represented more than just bringing on another field boss, pulling the same old strings, sitting in the same old corner of the dugout.   Farrell wasn't supposed to be just another manager; he represented a new way of doing baseball business - a thinking man's manager, with a background in player development and a career of on-field experience to boot.  And he left Boston for us!  As the story goes, ol' Johnny boy turned down plenty of opportunities to pursue managerial positions, waiting for "the right one".  And the "right one", said John, was the Blue Jays. 

We were thrilled.  Proud, even. 

What a bunch of damn suckers he played us all for.

It was Boston all along for Farrell, and it feels like we should have known it.  Two seasons spent cutting his teeth and learning on the job to prepare him for what he has always felt was his destiny.  Hell, read the presser notes.  He said almost exactly as much.

Or maybe it's because it feels like just another example of the big boys of the AL East pushing those little joke Blue Jays aside and taking what they wanted.  That's the popular sentiment, isn't it?  I don't know if that's the primary factor driving my slow burn, but it doesn't help.  No tampering, huh Ben Cherington?  I suppose the prolific amount of virtual ink spilled last offseason pre-Valentine and this month pre-trade were a mere coincidence.  Yes, a coincidence, that must be all that was.

Or maybe - and this is the tough one, friends - maybe it's because this forces us to look yet again at the direction of the franchise and whether this really is or ever will come together.  John Farrell was to be a big part of where this team was going.  John Farrell is no longer a Blue Jay.  The stable of young arms - Alvarez, Drabek, Hutchison, et al were supposed to compliment a terrific one-two in Romero-Morrow... and those young arms have either regressed or shredded.  Young bats led by Lawrie, Rasmus and Arencibia were supposed to solidify the lineup... and not only has that yet to happen, but the team has to hope that the 2012 regression across the board was but a blip on the radar.

Maybe it's one of the above reasons.  Maybe it's a little of column A, a little of column B.  Perhaps it's all of it thrown into a blender.  Very likely it's at least in part an overreaction by fans (like this one) with an emotional over-investment in the Toronto Blue Jays. 

One thing is certain: the fanbase is rattled - a good chunk of it, anyway.  Paul Beeston and Alex Anthopoulos are left with the unenviable task of rebuilding that confidence over the course of the winter ahead, which will necessarily have to be a full reversal of course from the offseason past.

And it will have to be without John Farrell. 

Fuck him, anyway.


Brad Fullmer Fan said...

I don't think I ever became attached to John Farrell in a way that it seems many did. Part of it had to do with his poor, often unexplainable in-game managing, the other part might have been what you tweeted the other day...the lingering idea that this Jays managerial job for him was little more than a stepping stone for Boston (which is exactly what it turned out to be).

I definitely wanted to like him at the beginning, I wanted him to be everything that Cito wasn't. And while he was very different than Cito in many ways, he never came close to reaching my expectations. I think most Jays fans would agree that he certainly wasn't the worst manager they've ever had, but he wasn't anywhere near the best either.

Still, I honestly don't think this Farrell saga is worth getting all that upset about, though I do kind of get it. He definitely used this organization and he went out in a very classless way without any concern for his former employers.

There is just so much more to worry about right now regarding the Jays and their direction (the column B that you refer to) than whether their underwhelming manager walked out on them.

The Ack said...

You know, I can't really disagree with any of that.

In a lot of ways, it's what John Farrell was supposed to be, supposed to represent, and his begging out makes it feel like a giant fraud. As if even he wasn't buying it.

That, and his smarmy fuckface press conference performance. "I love this organization" indeed, John.

Darrell said...

I think everyone has these mixed feelings. Farrell projected an air of competence in interviews but once the games started there were too many eyebrow-raising moments to count. It took him three quarters of year to figure out Octavio Dotel should never pitch to left handers. One kept expecting him to learn from mistakes but he never did. Maybe he checked out early. Who knows.

I agree that it looks bad on the organization, and it feels crappy. But teams can rebound from this sort of thing quickly. Remember the pre-2012 OriLOLs? Or how about the Red Sox themselves? They've looked as inept as any franchise in baseball over the last few years. Does anybody really think that they'll never come out their funk?

A new manager and a couple of smart acquisitions will make this whole thing go away in a big hurry.

Indyman said...

This whole thing leaves a bad taste in my mouth for sure, but realistically the end result was win win for the Jays:

- we not only cut a bad manager loose, we gave him to a division rival that is in worse shape than us.

- we received a decent,serviceable player in a position we need. This will help us deal Escobar for pitching (hopefully)

- the fact that nobody has seemingly brought up (that helps me sleep at night) - John Farrell really fucked his career by pulling this extremely unprofessional move. Who will ever hire him after he is chased out of Boston when they realize he just isn't the great manager they think he is.

The thing that really concerns me out of all this is that the 2 years under AA have been tumultuous at best. Definitely not completely his fault, but under his watch nonetheless. He's not perfect, but I think he is a very good GM, and I'd hate to lose him. For his sake, his next manager hire better work out a lot better.

I'd love to see what he could do with owners that weren't afraid to invest in the team...

Eddy said...

Have to agree with you Ack. I was never on board with Farrell to begin with, hated him by half way through last season. The Dotel deal against lefties was already mention, Jo-Jo Reyes and his endless losing was another. Lind in the lineup this year for months, at clean up, hitting 150 or w/e it was. For a former pitcher, he can't manage a bullpen for shit. I'm happy to see him gone, but i want to punch him in the face for the way that he left. Go Fuck up Beantown Farrell! kkthxbai!