It’s probably going to be an interesting weekend for Toronto Blue Jays manager John Farrell.
See, the team will be in Boston to take on the rival Red Sox (race for last place!), the former employees of Farrell who – at least according to rumors that have surfaced since last off-season – would like their ex-pitching coach back to do the same job that he’s currently doing with the Blue Jays.
The rumblings of the Boston Red Sox’s pursuit of Farrell even reached a bit of a peak last week, with ESPN’s Buster Olney suggesting a theoretical trade between the two teams – John Farrell for Daniel Bard – would be a sensible option. Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi offered a different solution, which was for the Blue Jays to emerge from their stay of silence (and borderline secrecy) on the subject, and eliminate the distraction to a Toronto team that, clearly, does not need it.
Well, the team didn’t quite take that route via Alex Anthopoulos, but Farrell tried his damnedest to shut down the rumors in a post-game presser ahead of the trip out east:
John Farrell, asked about looming trip to Bos, says focus commitment with Jays “unequivocally.” Asked if he has one year left, says “Yeah.”
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) September 4, 2012
You hear that, Boston? Unequivocally is a pretty strong word, I think; we even found how much time is left on Farrell’s contract! That should be enough to at least slow the rumors, right? Probably not, but hey, at least it came straight from the guy in the middle of all the talk. Not that he would have been expected to say anything different in the middle of a season, of course.
Farrell also elaborated, saying “I can understand there can be a natural connection, because I’ve worked there in the past, but my focus and my commitment has been here”. The Blue Jays, for their part, has never really given any indication that they were not as equally committed to their manager, even enacting a new company policy that prevented employees from leaving unless the new job was a promotion. What will Alex Anthopoulos do to quell the fire this time (provided that he wants to)? Coming out and simply saying that Farrell will be the manager of the Blue Jays next season might do the trick.