Replay of 2012: “Dog & Phony” Mgr. Search…Once again, Larry got his “Boy,” Players welcome Farrell’s return


For the second year in a row Larry Lucchino has hired the new Red Sox manager; as expected, it was a repeat of the 2012 “search,” where Lucchino made Cherington run a disingenuous dog-and-pony show–only to announce the predetermined “winner.”

[http://bosoxinjection.com/2012/10/19/is-lucchino-behind-the-must-have-farrell-scenario-to-maintain-control/]

For the second year in a row Lucchino was running the process to assure that the new manager would be someone he could control; this completes the Lucky Lucchino Trifecta: he controls the owner, the GM, and the field manager.

For the second year in a row the Red Sox will open their season with Larry Lucchino “running the team.”

Imagine this editorial cartoon:  Lucchino sitting on the Red Sox throne with a puppet on each hand and an owner in his pocket.

And, for the second straight year Larry gave away a starting shortstop and obtained a Carpenter.

This Carpenter, David, not Chris, in 27.2 innings in MLB gave up 28 hits; recorded a 2.93 ERA, 1.80 WHIP, and a .321 BA against, and a 60/29 K/W ratio.

To get this gem and a manager with a losing record [154-170], Lucchino sent the Red Sox starting SS, Mike Aviles [career BA .277] to Toronto, since Larry must be expecting Jose Iglesias to discover a “Wonderboy” bat in his backyard this winter. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Natural]

Since the Jays had already decided that they wanted to replace Farrell with Sandy Alomar, it must have taken great effort for Toronto GM Anthopoulos to keep a straight face when he said. “From that standpoint, once he told us that he wanted it, and this was something that he wanted to pursue, at that point, it made sense for us to at least look into it with no guarantees and no assurances. If we could do something that made sense, it didn’t make sense for us to hold him back if we couldn’t work something out.”

But, unable to contain his good fortune in getting something for Farrell, Anthopoulos took some credit for fleecing Lucchino:  “If you look at the free-agent market right now with respect to shortstop, second base, it’s just so thin,” said Anthopoulos. “The fact is that Mike does have control past this year. He is a hard-nosed player. He is a gamer. He’s not without his flaws, if you look at the on-base and so on, but he is a high-energy player.”

If the Blue Jays had not added David Carpenter into the deal, Anthopoulos said the team would have likely removed him from the 40-man roster.

Sure, Lucchino gave away his starting SS and will start a “Mendoza line” SS in 2013, but he obtained another Carpenter, who will never become a messiah, and a manager with a losing record, but– most importantly– Larry got a someone he knows he can control.

Even though Lucchino will still be “running the team” in 2013 and the offensive cipher/Gold Glove candidate Iglesias will be their starting SS, the Red Sox may still improve under Farrell, as he is well-liked by the players.

As MLB.com noted:

“Welcome back John!! Can’t wait to get back to work!! #RedSox,” tweeted Lester.

During his first stint in Boston, Farrell also developed strong relationships with two of the team’s most important position players — David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia.

“I love John. John is my main man, even when he was the pitching coach. We needed something different,” Ortiz told ESPNBoston.com. “I think you’re going to notice a difference. We need somebody to increase the way things are around here and John’s the guy. I’m excited.”

Buchholz and Jon Lester, two pitchers who threw no-hitters and had the best seasons of their career under his watch.

Farrell and Red Sox assistant general manager Mike Hazen used to run the Indians’ farm system together. Farrell also has a strong relationship with Cherington.

[http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20121020&content_id=39951780&vkey=news_bos&c_id=bos]

Pedroia told Jen Slothower of NESN.com:

“The way last year was, we didn’t play well, and after we made that trade, we didn’t play good baseball at all, and we lost a lot of ballgames and took some beatings. I think guys are ready for a fresh start and to come into camp ready to go and turn this whole thing around.” Farrell was the Red Sox’ pitching coach during his time in Boston, but his influence on the team wasn’t limited to those players.
Pedroia recalled times when Farrell helped him as a position player and said Farrell’s presence is what will make a big difference on a Boston team that needs to head in a new direction. “He has that instant respect when he walks into the room, because it’s leadership, and it’s going to be nice,” Pedroia said.
The common thought in the Red Sox’ pursuit of Farrell — that he could help the pitchers who struggled this past season — was also on Pedroia’s mind. “John has meant a lot to our pitchers and their careers because John helped them out,” he said, according to ESPNBoston.com. “He was always with the position players, talking baseball, and you have a sense of comfort with him, and you know he’s always going to have your back.”
Pedroia’s words said as much about what last season didn’t have — leadership, comfort, winning — as he hopes this season will have. Pedroia praised the front office and said he was happy to move past last season, which he said was one of the hardest he’s experienced due to the losing and turmoil throughout the year.
Now, he’s looking for a return to what he knows — both at manager and in the standings. “Even when we played the Blue Jays, you viewed [Farrell] as one of your guys because of what we went though together from ’07 to 2010,” Pedroia said. “We went through so much with our coaching staff and your teammates, and I think we’re all excited about it. … We have a lot of work to do to get back to where we want to be, and that’s to compete for a championship every year.”

From Peter Abraham, Globe Staff:

“I’m very excited to have him back and looking forward to playing for him,” Dustin Pedroia said about John Farrell. “He’s been through it before here and it should be fun trying to accomplish our goals together.”

LOVULLO FARRELL’S BENCH COACH?

Meanwhile, the Toronto Blue Jays informed their coaching staff on Sunday that they were free to speak with other teams in the wake of Farrell leaving.

First base coach Torey Lovullo is a strong candidate to join the Red Sox, perhaps as bench coach.

Lovullo managed Triple A Pawtucket in 2010 before joining Farrell in Toronto. He was one of the candidates the Red Sox interviewed last year before the hired Bobby Valentine.

“It’s uncertainty, that’s all I know at this point,” Lovullo said. “Nothing has been decided.”

Lovullo said his relationship with Farrell makes it natural to think he could return to the Red Sox.

Farrell had the opportunity to experience the Red Sox zeitgeist from 2007-10, when he served as pitching coach under Terry Francona, when the team won a World Series and played in the postseason twice.

Win or lose in 2013, this re-run of the fake search for a new manager makes one thing clear:  Larry Lucchino is still running the Boston Red Sox, just like Stalin ran the Russian Red Bolsheviks–with an Iron Hand.

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Tags: Anthopoulos Ben Cherington John Farrell John Henry Joseph Stalin Larry Lucchino Manager Mike Aviles

  • John Fahrer

    The previous Carpenter came to us in the Theo compensation. We got Clay Mortenson for Scutaro and were also able to sign Cody Ross with the freed salary space.

    Farrell looks like the choice for everybody in the organization. They interviewed the other four guys as “just in case they ask for too much again” insurance. And any of those four guys would have been fine choices as well. But Farrell had the advantage due to having great relationships with the people in the organization. This is actually less of a risk than when they hired Tito in the the 03-04 offseason. That offseason we passed on the brilliant but inexperienced Joe Maddon for a guy with managerial experience who never won more than 77 games in a season. And it wound up working pretty good. Two WS titles in four years, 2 pennants, 3 ALCS trips, and five playoff appearances in eight seasons wasn’t too shabby. With a manager in place who the players respect, look for some normalcy to return to the clubhouse and better play on the field.

    Even with Aviles gone, chances are they’ll acquire a different SS at least for this season. Elvis Andrus would be the best target. Maybe ask for him to go along with Derek Holland in an Ellsbury deal.

    • http://bosoxinjection.com/ Earl Nash

      John, as always, you are right on the money with your insights. I would prefer that Mr. Lucchino take a step back into his office and let Cherington be the General Manager and stay out of any issues that may arise between players and the manager. As I said in the article, I think that the players respect for their manager is vital and I think that we can see reason for improvement in that area. Andrus would be a great fit for the Sox and with Profar not far, they will be willing to deal him. In tomorrow’s post, I will discuss options for the hole created by the trade of Aviles. I wish you would consider joining our writing staff, as your comments are so well conceived and written.