Farrell and Jays Working on Contract

Well, in case you’ve been missing the information about the Jays seeking to replace the greatest Manager they’ve ever had in Cito Gaston, you already know that John Farrell – the Red Sox pitching coach – has been pinned as the candidate the Jays organization want as they head into the bulk of the “Alex Anthopolous Era”. Before I touch on Farrell’s credentials, I’d like to thank Cito for bringing his class, composure, demeanor, and most importantly some Oomph to the Jays bats to the Jays during his tenure. Would Jose Bautista be anywhere close to where he is without a “see pitch you like, swing HARD” kind of manager? I don’t think so. As he leaves, remember that legacy, because I don’t think Farrell will touch it with a 10 foot pole.

As I said, that John will take the job is still very in doubt, as a report states that even John himself is still considering whether or not to take the job.

John Farrell witnessed what we all did this season in the Jays organization. A renewed energy that seemingly took most by surprise and got the other teams in the A.L noticing the talent and potential the team has under its control. Not only is the organization young and full of young fireball arms, but it added to that stock during the draft with the ferocity of an arm starved staff. So, when the Jays added so many young arms to an already young staff, it made sense that they would want a manager that knows how to carefully handle and develop these pitchers. Looking at the success of a team like the SF Giants this season, one can see just how far great pitching and mediocre hitting can get you. It may not work as well in the A.L. East, but I also wouldn’t call the Jays bats mediocre, so they have a shot!

About John Farrell:

  • Born in New Jersey, August 4th 1962, which makes him 48 – still young for a Manager;
  • He was drafted by the Oakland A’s in the 1980 draft in the 9th round, 211th overall…the first time;
  • He didn’t sign then and was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 16th rd of the 1983 draft….didn’t sign then either;
  • Finally, he signed with the Indians after being drafted by them in the 2nd rd of the 1984 draft. The fact that he held out that long shows his tenacity as a person.
  • He made it to the majors in 1987, at 24 years old, and pitched for Cleveland for 4 years;
  • His best seasons were his 2nd and 3rd, at 25 and 26 years old, when he respectively had ERAs of 4.24 and 3.63, threw 210 innings and 208 innings, and 1.345 / 1.284 whips.
  • He blew out his right elbow in the 1990 season and ended up sitting out until 1993, when he returned to pitch for California.
  • John continued to have elbow problems and pitched less than 120 innings over the next 4 years, finally calling it quits in 1996 while working for the Tigers.

What his career tells us is that he is all too familiar with issues pitchers face and how serious the consequences are. That’s a huge value to have on the bench when working with a young staff.

  • John immediately went to coaching upon his retirement from playing baseball in Oklahoma State University and acted as Assistant Coach and Pitching Coach and Recruiter, in 1997.
  • He left the University and started working for management as the Director of Player Development for the Cleveland Indians in 2001 and did so until 2006.
  • This is when he took the pitching coach job with the Red Sox and joined his old Indians team mate, Terry Francona.

His career earnings as a player are said to be $1,239,500 and no figure can be obtained for his coaching jobs.

Here are the pros to hiring John Farrell, in my opinion:

1 -He knows the A.L. East, the pressure it brings, and has a ton of playoff experience on the bench, which will definitely help for when the Jays get there.

2 – Having been in the A.L. East the last few years, it also means that he’s done a ton of scouting reports on the Jays hitters for his pitchers. Therefore, he knows the Jays offense extremely well and could very well let some of our hitters know exactly what the Red Sox pitchers did to try to neutralize their bats.

3 -When the Jays do play the Red Sox, for the next few years at least, John will become a little bit of a spy since he knows their staff and depth in pitching so very well.

4 – He has seen first hand what it takes to get to the playoffs and has dealt with adversity in the locker room. From the Man Ram days to “The Idiots”, he’s surely taken a few notes along the way. Working for a professional like Terry Francona also does not hurt on little bit.

5 – The fact that he’ll be able to add a better understanding of how to use the bullpen, Cito’s biggest weakness in my opinion, tells me that it should be a strength for the Jays in 2011. With a better pen in 2010, the Jays could have had a better shot at making the playoffs, so I’d say that this is a big win.

6 -Taking care of the young arms will become a huge portion of the managerial job in Toronto as the Jays continue to depend on young arms to build a championship team. From Kyle Drabek to the new crop of rookies making their way through the system, John’s knowledge of pitching woes and buttons to push will surely go a long way to making their growth a little more effective overall, and hopefully without major injury.

7 – Everyone who’s reacted to this news has nothing but great things to say about John. Believe it or not, that says a lot about his character and knowledge because every single time I’ve heard of a coach getting a job without any previous experience as manager, he’s been torn apart by at least a few critics. It seems that everyone agrees that he gets players, knows how to address them well, and is a great person overall. What else could you ask for in a candidate?

8 – Of all the candidates out there, none had the recent credentials of Farrell’s in terms of winning and competing at a high level, which makes me expect that he’ll be more ready to roll than some of the other candidates may have been.

9 – He is much younger than Cito and therefore may add some energy to the team and provide a fresh feel to managing.

If and when this is finally announced and made official, I fully expect that Alex Anthopolous will get yet another ovation from analysts around MLB. He’ll have added some great experience to the managing position in Toronto. The only real negatives I can foresee are either that the players don’t take to his managing style or personality, or that he replaces the coaches with his own crew that completely overhaul the Jays approach on the field, on the mound, and at the plate. Such a makeover could be painful and could alienate players.

With all of that said, I can’t wait to see the press release and do believe that he will be a great manager in Toronto for quite a few years.

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