John Farrell: Request To Leave Toronto Blue Jays Denied "One Year Ago"

By Thom Tsang

To be perfectly honest here: I’ve just about had enough of this John Farrell saga.

There are a couple of reasons for that: firstly, we’re talking about a manager here. Farrell’s departure isn’t exactly going to to have the same kind of impact as when Roy Halladay out of town, yes? On top of that, the way in which this played out – a mix of secrecy, hollow commitments, and what Alex Anthopoulos would call “gamesmanship” by the Boston Red Sox organization – was just plainly exhausting to follow.

It’s a break-up – we get it. It just didn’t have to be one with so much unnecessary drama and speculation involved.

That said, when past details come up – and they always come up – that seem to contradict some things that have been said by the organization, it’s hard not to pay attention. In this case, it’s the revelation that – surprise – Farrell wanted out of the Toronto Blue Jays organization before the Bobby Valentine experience ever began:

“This situation — coming to Boston — came about a year ago after having spent one year in Toronto. The request was denied.”

Obviously, this presents some points of interest; the most obvious being that, despite all the things we heard from the Blue Jays brass about full commitments and such from their manager, Anthopoulos and Paul Beeston were aware – throughout the entire 2012 season – that Farrell managed the Blue Jays while his heart was yearning for his “dream job” in Boston. Of course, there’s no way any of them would say that this knowledge affected their work with the club in 2012, but that’s really just a formality at this point, isn’t it?

I’m not suggesting that Farrell somehow gave less than the required effort to do his job in his time with the Blue Jays; they didn’t have to let him go, after all, and playing the incompetence card doesn’t particularly do wonders for management careers in sports. That said, if he’d knew where he wanted to be, and the team knew this; even if there was a chance that might affect some of his interactions with players, why did Anthopoulos keep him around for a whole year?

If the result was going to be this, anyway. That it’s come out now puts some of the team’s previous comments regarding the situation under new optics:

I think it’s probably fair to say that the way that the whole situation has been handled in an optimal manner by the Blue Jays, and that’s something that will fall on Anthopoulos. Yes, the role of a manager has probably been way over-inflated by all the drama, but perhaps there’s something to be said about the way Blue Jays organization communicates with the media…and that something might not be so flattering.

That sort of deal is par for the Red Sox, of course, with Ben Cherington still saying – with a straight face – that he didn’t know anything about any tampering, nor did he know where the leaks to compromise Farrell’s position in Toronto came from.

Stay classy, guys.

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