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.”
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.
Pedroia told Jen Slothower of NESN.com:
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.