The first casualty of the quick playoff exit will be Red Sox manager John Farrell.
The book is now going to be closed on John Farrell’s Red Sox managerial history. The positive was a World Series title and another team that made it to the playoffs with 93 wins. In four seasons that is a remarkable accomplishment since managers in Boston are noted for being rather disposable.
Tom Yawkey brought in Joe McCarthy and later Lou Boudreau in an attempt to bring a pennant to Boston. Yawkey also had Joe Cronin as a player-manager and then a traditional field boss. Cronin made it to the World Series in 1946 only to see the team lose in seven games to the Cardinals. Farrell has an edge on all three who are all in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
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Farrell will go – the issue is just how he will go?
The standard procedure is to simply be dismissed. That is the polite term for being fired, canned or tossed to the winds. That happens to almost all managers. You expect it. Failure is not an option. The second method is a bit less painful since you still have employment. That is what will happen to Farrell.
The second option is to create a position – a titled position – like granting Knighthood in England. Farrell will receive a title, a questionable job description, be available for social soiree’s and supply his vast knowledge in some way, shape or form to management. My personal opinion will be his responsibility for delivering precise coffee orders to the real decision makers.
That would be the politically correct or socially acceptable way of proper handling of the “Farrell situation.” The Red Sox management can have a reasonably clear conscious and Farrell can have a title – meaningless as it may be – as he seeks employment elsewhere – employment that most certainly will be offered by a team somewhere among the twenty or so in a constant state of desperation.
The strength of Farrell would certainly be attractive to a team that is seeking someone with a proverbial iron fist. In Boston Farrell’s teams were a reasonably jolly group of blokes with virtually no internal uprisings. Farrell had positive communication skills with players, management, and the vociferous media.
With Toronto and Boston Farrell had periods of success and equal periods of failure. In Boston back-to-back, last place finishes certainly do not bode well on the resume, but one can always justify the failure as not being able to mold much with the crap that was given me. And – quite naturally – the injury issues, free agent failures and a myriad of other potential excuses can be brought forward. Do not weep for Farrell – Red Sox Nation – he will land somewhere.
Farrell had three issues in Boston that will seal his fate. The first is the performance in the latter stages of 2015 by the manager in waiting for Torey Lovullo. A plus .500 record while Farrell fought a courageous and successful campaign against cancer.
The second issue is the one that is on the radar screen for Red Sox fans and media and that is game management. I could document a list of bonehead blunders that cost games, but we do have limitations on the length of articles. Suffice to say the body of evidence is extensive and a baseball jury would return a guilty verdict.
Lastly is the ultimate in horrendous decision making that rivals the mentioned McCarthy in starting Denny Galehouse in a playoff game or Grady Little giving Pedro Martinez enough rope to hang the team in 2003. That, of course, is taking a star pitcher and allowing him the opportunity to be a pinch runner. For Steven Wright, it became a crushing injury that hobbled Wright and the team.
Farrell will have a ring and that will be it in Boston. Farrell will certainly get a measure of respect from Boston fans on the inevitable reunion tours of the 2013 team, but he will be elsewhere when it happens.
The final conclusion to the Farrell saga is it was all self-inflicted.