Shady dealings for John Farrell raise more questions, put more weight on Farrell’s shoulders

Published On October 22, 2012 | By Arielle Aronson

When John Farrell was named the new manager of the Red Sox on Sunday, it was not entirely surprising to anyone in Boston. Farrell had been a popular name as a managerial candidate last year before the Red Sox ultimately ended up hiring Bobby Valentine, and even before Valentine was fired this year, Farrell was the name most cited as the next potential manager.

But not all parties are happy with the way the deal worked out.

“I thought there was, to be completely candid, gamesmanship and a lot of things that went on from a negotiating standpoint, not on our end,” said Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos during a conference call with the media Sunday.

We’re not surprised by that assertion. It’s not shocking in any way that the ownership group that tries to sucker its fans out of every last dollar would do the same in the hunt for a new manager.

Anthopoulos also said he was upset that the deal was leaked to the media around midnight Saturday night. It was not approved by Major League baseball until Sunday, meaning despite copious reports from the media at midnight claiming Farrell was headed to Boston, there was no done deal. It seems Sox fans could have easily been in a situation similar to the one years ago, when Alex Rodriguez was reportedly heading to Boston only to have the deal nixed at the last minute.

“We weren’t even pleased with the way it came out [Saturday] night,” Anthopoulos said. “Who knows? When more than one person knows what’s going on, you don’t know where these things are coming from.”

While the informers remain unknown, the leaks do not matter at this point. John Farrell is the manager of the Boston Red Sox, and the move is a risky one for the home team. Why?

Unlike last year, the Sox seemed to have their man picked from the start. Although the media speculated as to who candidates for the job would be, it seemed as if the team itself was only interested in Farrell. We didn’t see long lines of potential managers interviewing with ownership and general manager Ben Cherington. The Red Sox said they interviewed four other candidates, but those interviews seemed like throwaways, done for show rather than interest. Instead of probing multiple candidates, the front office worked quickly to figure out a deal for Farrell and nobody else.

Therefore, if Farrell fails as manager, the front office will once again look bad. This man that they seem to be so confident in was successful as a pitching coach for the Red Sox, but he has not had the same success managing in Toronto. He comes into a clubhouse and organization that is a disaster and is tasked with rebuilding what had been a championship team. Those are lofty expectations, and it would be very easy for Farrell to fail.

And then where do we go? Will Farrell be a one-and-done too? Or will the Sox put their trust in him and give him time to develop the team over a few years even if the Sox don’t make the playoffs next year?

These questions will not be answered in the short term, but they’ll be hanging over Farrell’s (and fans’ heads) over the course of the next year. It remains to be seen what toll they will take.

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About The Author

Arielle Aronson is a sports writer and recent graduate from Boston University, where she earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Print Journalism Magna Cum Laude. Arielle has a passion for sports cultivated from growing up with two older brothers. She also enjoys playing the piano, reading and traveling.