SBD/October 22, 2012/Franchises

Cherington's Process In Hiring Farrell Signals Red Sox Front Office Back On Same Page

Farrell will take over the Red Sox after leading the Blue Jays since '11
With Red Sox GM Ben Cherington leading the way, there is “no confusion about who selected” Blue Jays manager John Farrell to replace Bobby Valentine, according to Gordon Edes of ESPN BOSTON. There are “no chain of command issues, no puppet strings being pulled,” as Farrell is "Cherington's man. Period." Edes: "Accepted and endorsed by Boston Red Sox ownership? Of course.” Red Sox Owner John Henry “was the one who got compensation talks started with Toronto CEO Paul Beeston.” But the ownership also “came away highly impressed with the other candidates interviewed for the managerial job, most notably” Padres Special Assistant Brad Ausmus. In Valentine, Cherington had “no answer for a manager who alienated his players and appalled at least some of his coaches with his lack of preparation and disregard for their input.” But with Farrell, Cherington has “a man the GM told ownership he was more comfortable with than any of the other candidates, one he was confident spoke the same language, and would work hand in hand with him in fumigating the clubhouse and making it a place where confidence and trust could be cultivated again” (ESPNBOSTON.com, 10/21). SPORTING NEWS’ Stan McNeal wrote the "perception that Cherington didn’t choose Valentine created an obstacle in their relationship that they never overcame.” That “won’t be the case this time," as Cherington has “hired a guy who already is on his side” (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 10/21).

BEANTOWN BOOST: In Boston, Dan Shaughnessy writes of the trade of IF Mike Aviles for Farrell, “This is a good move by the Sox.” Cherington “finally has acted decisively” and Red Sox President & CEO Larry Lucchino’s “ego didn’t get in the way when it came time to part with" Aviles. The "only fair criticism of this move is the dog-and-pony show of bringing Tim Wallach, Brad Ausmus, Tony Pena, and DeMarlo Hale to town when the Sox knew they wanted Farrell all along” (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/22). CBSSPORTS.com’s Jon Heyman wrote, “Farrell is clearly the guy Cherington and the front office wanted all along, and he's a smart man with a Boston background the ownership triumvirate of John Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino can all agree on.” Hiring a manager for the Red Sox is "almost as hard as managing the Red Sox." The job "requires more of its holder than just about any other in baseball," as the Sox' manager "has to deal with one of the more involved ownership groups, many voices in the hierarchy, one smarter than the next, plus the most rabid fans and most persistent media" (CBSSPORTS.com, 10/21).

ON THE SAME PAGE
: SPORTS ON EARTH’s Jorge Arangure writes, “In the days after Bobby Valentine’s hiring, Boston general manager Ben Cherington was put in the role of the patsy: a front man for a team that would be led by a manager he did not want, and ultimately had not selected.” The hiring of Farrell is “an immense victory for the general manager, and it restores the decision-making in Boston to where it belongs: the front office.” Arangure: "We have no idea how good Cherington really is as a general manager. We’re about to find out." Saying Cherington has “won a power struggle may be overstating it, since there are no signs of real discord -- just a difference of opinion in which Cherington was overruled.” But “make no mistake, Cherington has won a fight" (SPORTSONEARTH.com, 10/22). 

PROBLEMS LINGER: In Boston, Ron Borges wrote, “Simply put, it’s the players, stupid.” As the Red Sox “ponder wasting a top prospect or frontline player in exchange for John Farrell arriving from Toronto, they miss the point.” The Red Sox “are not 76-113 in their last 189 games and absent the playoffs for three years because they hired a nitwit to replace a manager whose voice the players no longer heard.” Farrell "is not going to turn that attitude around nor is he going to get performance simply by his presence." Red Sox players "have to do that themselves or be replaced.” Hiring Farrell "was a mistake.” The Red Sox could have “opted for real change.” They could have “turned the page and tried the only guy on their short list who actually has done something as a major league manager.” Yankees bench coach Tony Pena, the ‘03 AL Manager of the Year “in of all places Kansas City, was there for the taking” (BOSTON HERALD, 10/21).

FEELING BLUE
: In Toronto Steve Simmons writes, “This is big business and the Blue Jays come off as small-timers here in this ugly mess of a transaction." Simmons: "This is major league sports and the small market Jays show themselves as little more than farm team for the large market Red Sox” (TORONTO SUN, 10/22).
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