John Farrell managed the Toronto Blue Jays for two years and now is entering his fourth year as skipper of the Boston Red Sox. He did not have a winning season in two years in Toronto and only has had one in Boston. Granted, his one winning season resulted in a World Series championship, but, if as a fan you are satisfied with having four continuous last place finishes and then winning a World Series, you are out of your mind. It’s become boring to sit around and wait for this Red Sox team to contend or even be relevant.
It’s not just fans who are becoming impatient, obviously the Red Sox front office is tired of this culture of losing. Moves like spending $217 million on ace David Price, trading for elite closer Craig Kimbrel from San Diego and having the number five farm system in all of baseball show they want to change. The front office has done the best job possible to put the Red Sox in a winning position but, as I wrote back in December, I don’t think Farrell is right for this team.
In August, Farrell was diagnosed lymphoma and left the team to get his health in check. He beat his battle with lymphoma and many have questioned if his illness saved his job. In his absence, the team played their best baseball all season when bench coach Torey Lovullo took over and I think he will be the next Red Sox manager. The reason I’m questioning Farrell before the season has even started is the reports that have come out that Jessica Moran, who covered baseball for Comcast Sportsnet New England, was dating Farrell. Now, this isn’t a gossip story, it’s a baseball story. There is no problem with a manager being affiliated with a reporter, as former Sox manager Terry Francona and former NESN anchor Hazel Mae were together. But while Francona caused drama and some separation in clubhouses over the years, no one blamed him for it because he was good at his job. Francona could manage a baseball game and really lead the Sox to a lot of their best seasons. This year, the team’s problem is they don’t have Francona, they have Farrell.
I don’t think I’m crazy when I say that Farrell could lose control of this team and his job very fast this season. If Farrell is causing drama and separation in the clubhouse and continues his losing ways, then what purpose does he serve as the manager? I believe his battle with cancer is the only reason he hasn’t been fired. If things don’t go well early for Boston, Farrell could be saying his farewells.