North of the 400

North of Toronto, South of a championship

Farrell To All That

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News broke over the weekend that the Toronto Blue Jays were going to flip John Farrell to Boston for a shortstop. At first, I wasn’t really sure what the proper response was: was I supposed to be pissed that he decided to jump to a division rival? Especially over how happy he seemed to be out of Toronto?

There’s the feeling that he used the Jays to some degree, and maybe that’s true. He showed he can manage a team a little better than Bobby Valentine, even when everyone gets hurt and your ace pitcher doesn’t win a game all month long. I’m not surprised some are feeling scorned by the way he left. But I think the most reasonable take is what Dustin Parkes took over at Getting Blanked: he’s just a manager and this doesn’t really mean as much as some media people might let you believe.

For however annoying the way he left was, and I found it plenty annoying, there’s still a few things to be said about his 2012 season, and the way this Jays season melted down. Remember when Brett Lawrie chucked his helmet at an ump? Remember when Yunel Escobar wrote on his face? When Omar Vizquel called out the coaches? Maybe something was amiss in the clubhouse. Maybe Farrell read the writing on the wall as Valentine flamed out in Boston and the Jays bottomed out. Who knows. The team certainly careened out of control. A shakeup in management isn’t the biggest shocker.

The long and short of Farrell leaving is he wanted to go and the Jays let him. They asked for something back, and while they didn’t get quite they asked for, they got something: Mike Aviles, who I more or less assume is a replacement-level shortstop meant to replace Escobar. It could’ve been worse. God knows Toronto teams have let more important people walk for a lot less than this.

This past season was a wreck for the Jays, even if it had some unexpected advantages: Encarnacion’s hitting, surprising young talent like Moises Sierra and Adeiny Hechavarria, Casey Janssen as a closer. But the chaos is over. 2013 is a new year.

I’m not worried that Farrell is gone. I wish him luck in Boston, a team that’s run two managers out of town in two years. I hope whoever replaces him – be it Sandy Alomar Jr, Don Wakamatsu or somebody else – has a better season. There’s no hard feelings here.

***

In addition to stuff at The Good Point and Flashfact, I’ve started doing occasional political stuff for The Ogopogan. I don’t really know what my specialty there is yet, but I’ve been doing stuff on Quebec and Canadian Media (my latest is about the CRTC rejecting the Astral/BCE merger). Keep an eye on my Twitter feed if you’re especially interested.

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Written by M.

October 22, 2012 at 11:19 pm

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