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Tag:John Farrell
Posted on: March 1, 2012 1:46 pm
Edited on: March 1, 2012 4:46 pm
 

Players, managers react to new playoff format

By Matt Snyder

MLB Playoff expansion
With the news spreading throughout baseball that playoff expansion is very likely for the 2012 season, some reactions from players and managers have started to trickle out of camps. As one would expect on a divisive issue, the reactions are all over the map.

For a very brief recap to those who haven't read about it yet, it's extremely likely that starting this season, MLB will have two wild card teams play one head-to-head game, with the winner advancing to face the division winner with the best record in the LDS. The second and third division winners will face each other. The new collective bargaining agreement established that this system would begin by 2013, but it's likely it will begin this season.

Anyway, here are some of the reactions we've gathered thus far:

Blue Jays manager John Farrell (CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler)

"I think it's great for baseball. Hopefully, we're in the mix to land one of those spots."

Mets third baseman David Wright (Andy McCullough via Twitter)

"That would have been nice five years ago."

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel (CSNPhilly.com)

“It’s hard to swallow sometimes if you play all year and win a lot of games and somebody who did not play as good as you consistently all year gets in and wins. But that’s the way it goes and that’s the process that we live with.

“I understand everything about that and I’m not knocking that. That’s what it is. But at the same time, I look at it as I’m not a second-place guy or third place or fourth place. Basically that’s the part – for me, personally, you shouldn’t get nothing for second or third. That’s the American system.”

Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen (MLB.com)

"Anytime you involve more people, it's good for the game. I think the Commissioner is doing a tremendous job adding people to have a chance to see playoff games, and I think that's great for the fans. This game, we play for them."

Red Sox DH David Ortiz (ESPN Boston)

“One game? That’s kind of crazy. You know how many things we’ve got to move around and pack for one game? It’d make more sense for two wild cards to play at least a two-out-of-three series while the other teams take a break for three days because they won their divisions.”

Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (TampaBay.com)

"I think it's exciting. It's exciting for all of us. ... I think the goal was to allow more teams to have a chance in the end, to hold on to those playoff hopes for longer.''

"I think it was pretty unanimous around the league that the more playoff spots the better. Once you get into the playoffs it's more revenue for the ballclub, it's more excitement for the players, so I think it would be a no-brainer for everybody.''

"I don't think anybody's 'comfortable' with [one-game playoff] -- it's an uncomfortable feeling going into any game that you know you could go home, your season could end. But at the same time, it's exciting -- you're in the playoffs now.''

Braves third baseman Chipper Jones (MLB.com)

"I'm not for it. I think the elite teams deserve to make it to the playoffs. Pretty soon, Major League Baseball is going to be like the NBA. There will be more teams that make it than don't. The season is too long as it is. Now you're going to give teams more travel. I don't agree with it, but we're just a piece of meat. We do what they tell us to."

Braves backup catcher David Ross (MLB.com)

"I like the one game for all of the marbles kind of thing because it's either put up or shut up," Braves backup catcher David Ross said. "It's going to be fun. The fans are going to be tuned in. It will get a lot of media attention. It will be a lot of fun."

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly (ESPN Los Angeles)

"I like it because it forces those two teams to use their best pitcher, so they have to use that guy to get in (to the next round). On paper, that gives the advantage to the team that wins the division because they can line up their rotation the way they want it. It seems fair to me that the team who wins the division gets that advantage.''

White Sox pitcher Chris Sale (ChicagoSports.com)

"Obviously, it’s exciting. Two more teams into the playoffs. At the same time, you want to be one of those teams for sure in there. You want to win the division. "They said it today, you are not playing for second place. It would be great if that did happen, but from here on out, we are going for that No. 1 spot."

White Sox manager Robin Ventura (ChicagoSports.com)

“In the past, when they added (the wild card), it created excitement and even last year, the last day of the season it added fun. You never know. It just depends on how the season goes. But it’s exciting for teams to get in. That’s for sure.”

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: January 30, 2012 9:46 pm
 

Blue Jays president optimistic on near future

By Matt Snyder

The Blue Jays held their "State of the Franchise" event with fans Monday night in Toronto. It was the opportunity for fans to ask questions of -- or yell at -- team president Paul Beeston, general manager Alex Anthopolous and/or manager John Farrell.

A variety of topics were discussed, obviously, but the money quote came courtesy of Beeston (pictured right), when he said he expects the Jays to make the playoffs "two to three times in the next five years." (Mike Cormack via Twitter)

"Could start this year, could start next year," Beeston said (Mike Cormack via Twitter).

Now, there is nothing wrong with confidence, but this is a bit ambitious. The Jays went 81-81 last season, which was good for fourth place in baseball's toughest division. In 2010, they won 85 games and still came in fourth. In 2008, the win total was 86. And, again, the Jays finished fourth. That wins other divisions some seasons. In the AL East, it makes you an afterthought.

Further clouding matters is the front office's refusal to dole out big-time contracts. Both Beeston and Anthopolous said the club would not give out a contract of longer than five years. That is what eliminated them in the Prince Fielder sweepstakes, for example, as Beeston specifically told fans money wasn't the issue and they were interested in Fielder on a deal from one through five years.

The Blue Jays do have a good amount of young talent and I fully expect them to be better in 2012 than they were in 2011. With the playoffs expanding to allow two wild cards, that helps, too. But making the playoffs three times in the next five years is pretty tough for anyone, let alone a team competing against the Yankees, Rays and Red Sox in the AL East. 

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Posted on: November 25, 2011 1:28 pm
 

Jays asked for Buchholz in exchange for Farrell



By C. Trent Rosecrans

How much is a manager worth?

If you're the Marlins, it's worth two minor-leaguers in exchange for Ozzie Guillen, a manager with a .524 winning percentage over eight years and a World Series title.

If you're the Blue Jays, you seem to think your manager with one year of experience and a .500 record is worth a 27-year old starter with an All-Star appearance under his belt. The Boston Red Sox, apparently, don't agree.

According to several reports, including one from the New York Times, the Red Sox passed when the Blue Jays asked for Clay Buchholz in return for John Farrell. And wisely so.

While some may get up in arms about this trade possibility (or, really, non-possibility when you think about it), it makes sense from both sides. It's part of doing business -- the Red Sox needed a new manager after getting rid of Terry Francona, and in Farrell, there was a known commodity inside the organization (Farrell had been the Red Sox pitching coach) with major-league managing experience. He was a perfect fit. Except, you know, for that part about him already having a job and being under contract for the next two years.

That's where the Blue Jays had leverage -- if the Red Sox wanted Farrell, they could have him for a price. Asking for Buchholz is probably as close to saying "no" as you can without saying that word -- the Blue Jays didn't want to give up their manager that they like just fine, so the price was high. If they had to get a new manager, that manager would love to have Buchholz in the rotation, that's for sure. 

While the Blue Jays seem to think their manager is worth quite a bit, the market tells us differently. So far this offseason, there's been a run this off-season on first-year managers. The Cubs, White Sox and Cardinals -- three marquee openings -- went to first-time managers, the White Sox hiring a guy who has never managed at any level. The market, it seems is saying experienced managers are not worth the money they command. If you have a Tony La Russa, it's fine to pay him a lot. But if you don't, go out and storm the Wal-Mart for your next manager and get him at a discount.

Trades for a manager are rare -- as the Guillen trade was the first since the Rays sent Randy Winn and a minor-leaguer to Seattle for Lou Piniella in 2002. That one didn't pay immediate dividends, but there are at least two trades for managers that did seem to be worth the price. The Mets sent right-hander Bill Denehy to the Senators for manager Gil Hodges after the 1967 season and the Mets went on to win the 1969 World Series. The Pirates got their own World Series-winning manager in a trade, sending veteran catcher Manny Sanguillen to the A's for Chuck Tanner following the 1976 season. Tanner led the Pirates to the 1979 World Series title (with Sanguillen, who was traded back to the Pirates after the 1977 season).

It's hardly out of the question for Guillen -- or Farrell -- to lead their team to the World Series, but it's more likely Buchholz will contribute more value than any manager, so the Blue Jays were right to ask for Buchholz and the Red Sox were right to say no.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 2, 2011 3:36 pm
Edited on: November 14, 2011 9:11 pm
 

Who will replace Mike Quade as Cubs manager?



By C. Trent Rosecrans

Since the end of the season, there's been the assumption that Mike Quade would be out as the Cubs manager and he'd be replaced by Ryne Sandberg. Everything seemed to be playing out that way this offseason when Theo Epstein was hired by the Cubs and never really gave the impression that Quade would return.

The Cubs made the first part official on Wednesday, but made a question of the second part in a release the team sent out saying Quade would not return in 2012. While Sandberg would be a natural fit, Epstein's quote in the release gives some pause:

"The managerial search process begins immediately.  We are looking for someone with whom and around whom we can build a foundation for sustained success.  The next manager must have leadership and communication skills; he must place an emphasis on preparation and accountability; he must establish high standards and a winning culture; he must have integrity and an open mind; and he must have managerial or coaching experience at the major league level."

That means Sandberg -- who has spent the last five years as a minor league manager -- won't be considered. According to ESPN.com's Buster Olney, Epstein has alerady informed Sandberg that he wasn't in consideration.

If Sandberg isn't a candidate, who will manage the Cubs in 2012?

Here's a look at some of the possibilities:

Terry Francona: Francona will always be tied to Epstein. The two had success in Boston and there's definitely a mutual admiration. Epstein has gobbled up former Red Sox cronies since joining the Cubs, what's one more?

Dave Martinez: The Rays' bench coach is one of the hottest names when manager positions have opened up -- and he's got a Chicago connection. Martinez had two stints with the Cubs, breaking in with the organization in 1986 before being traded to Montreal. He also played there in 2000.

Pete Mackanin: A Chicago native, Mackanin has already interviewed for the Red Sox job and in addition to serving as the Phillies' bench coach in each of the last three seasons, Mackanin has twice been an interim manager -- and both of those stints came in the NL Central, with the Pirates and Reds.

Dale Sveum: Like Mackanin, Sveum is being interviewed in Boston. And it shouldn't be a surprise that there will be overlap in candidates between the two, since Epstein was involved in rounding up the candidates for the Red Sox manager position. The two organizations will have similar lists when looking for its next manager. Sveum spent two years as the Red Sox third base coach and impressed the Boston brass (including Epstein) before returning to Milwaukee where he has served as third base coach, bench coach and hitting coach under three different managers.

DeMarlo Hale: Hale's been on Boston's staff since 2006, including the last two as Francona's bench coach. Hale is a Chicago native.

Tim Bogar: Like Hale, Bogar's also been on Francona's staff in Boston, serving as the team's third base coach the last two seasons and the first base coach in 2009. He also worked for Joe Maddon in Tampa. He's also managed in the Cleveland and Houston minor league organizations.

Mike Maddux: Not only is Maddux a respected pitching coach, he also happens to be the brother of a Greg Maddux, who is beloved by the Ricketts and has served in the Cubs front office. 

Joe Maddon: Maddon was a finalist for the Red Sox job when Epstein hired Francona. While Maddon has said he's not interested in going anywhere, there's always a chance. 

John Farrell: Sure, the Blue Jays put on a full-court press to keep him away from the Red Sox, but maybe they'll be more open to let him talk to a team outside the American League East. Farrell's son is currently a pitcher at Northwestern.

Joe Girardi: Girardi's name is always going to be connected to the Cubs job when it's open, even if there's little-to-no chance he leaves the Yankees at this point.

Bobby Valentine: His name comes up with just about every opening nowadays, so why not one more?

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: October 25, 2011 6:38 pm
Edited on: October 25, 2011 8:20 pm
 

Report: Boston unlikely to hire a current manager

Ben CheringtonBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Although there have been whispers about the Red Sox trying to hire Toronto manager John Farrrell to replace departed manager Terry Francona, the Boston Herald reports that it's a "longshot" the Red Sox would hire a current manager.

The Blue Jays changed a policy allowing its employees to interview for any opening, meaning Farrell won't be a candidate in Boston. But if the team isn't going to hire a sitting manager, that means the Rays' Joe Maddon, Padres' Bud Black and Indians' Manny Acta are out as well.

The Herald lists the Blue Jays' Don Wakamatsu, Dodgers' Tim Wallach, Indians' Sandy Alomar Jr., Phillies' Pete Mackanin, Brewers' Dale Sveum and Yankees' Tony Pena as possible candidates. Of those names, only Wakamatsu and Pena have held full-time managerial positions before. Mackanin has twice been an interim manager.

During his news conference on Tuesday, new Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington told reporters he expects to begin interview soon and has a list of candidates. He did say the team would like previous managerial experience, but wouldn't require it.

"Previous managerial experience would be a benefit, but we're not going to put ourselves in a box by requiring that," Cherington said. "We'll certainly consider those that have previous managerial experience, but also those who don't. We need the right person. I don't think we can afford to put ourselves in any sort of box in our effort to find the right person."

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: October 25, 2011 1:15 pm
Edited on: October 25, 2011 3:32 pm
 

Jays amend policy to prevent Farrell to Red Sox

FarrellBy Evan Brunell

In light of recent rumors that could have had Toronto manager John Farrell moving to a similar position with the Red Sox, the Blue Jays have altered their policy dealing with organizational change, the team said in a statement courtesy MLB.com.

"Due to the distraction caused by media speculation regarding our employee permission policy, the Toronto Blue Jays have amended their policy and will not grant permission for lateral moves," GM Alex Anthopoulous and president Paul Beeston said in a joint statement.

Previously, Toronto had no restrictions on anyone interviewing for another job in an organization, including lateral moves. Now, Toronto will not allow lateral moves, which cuts off Farrell's ability to become Sox skipper. Unless, as Angels broadcaster Victor Rojas jokes, the Red Sox name him "president of clubhouse operations," a joke as to how ex-Red Sox GM Theo Epstein became president of baseball operations in Chicago, instead of simply president.

Anthopolous later told Sportsnet.ca that the change wasn't made to combat the Red Sox specifically, but was also used to address future rumors on Farrell -- if not himself.

"Because of the way the policy was set up, we'll always be open to rumors and speculation and, ultimately, it has become a distraction for the club," he said. "In terms of fear to lose someone to a lateral move, there isn't a fear because again, I point back to what the policy is going forward. There's no fear at all because we have a policy in place."

Beeston told Anthopoulous that the previous policy, which allowed anyone to interview for any job at any time, "wasn't working," so a new policy was drawn up. It will allow the club to refer to the policy moving forward and not get into specifics, as well as avoid e-mails, which he said inundated the club over the last couple days following a Boston Globe report that Farrell might be hired as the new Sox manager.

Farrell addressed reports of moving to the Red Sox on Monday, saying he was "focused right now on preparing for what is best for the Blue Jays in 2012."

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: October 24, 2011 6:35 pm
 

Farrell says he's focused on Jays, not Red Sox

John FarrellBy C. Trent Rosecrans

You may not have heard about this, but currently the Boston Red Sox don't have a manager for 2012. That fact has led to plenty of speculation, including a report in the Boston Globe on Sunday that Blue Jays manager John Farrell is the team's first choice to replace Terry Francona.

There is, of course, the small matter that Farrell is under contract with the Blue Jays. for two more years

"I have no idea and no comment on what's happening in Boston," Farrell wrote in an email to sportsnet.ca. "I am focused right now on preparing for what is best for the Blue Jays in 2012."

The Blue Jays have a standing policy of allowing its employees to talk to other teams at any time about other positions -- even lateral moves. The team also refuses to comment about such matters, so general manager Alex Anthopulos declined to comment about the Globe reports.

Farrell served as the Red Sox pitching coach from 2007 to 2010, so the Red Sox are familiar with him and the Globe report said he was always seen as the eventual successor to Francona in Boston, but he left after last season to take the Blue Jays job. He finished his first season as a manager 81-81, fourth in the American League East.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: October 4, 2011 10:48 am
 

Francona wants to manage in 2012

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Terry Francona hopes to manage next season, according to a report from ESPN's Buster Olney.

Francona's contract was picked up by the Red Sox late last week. We looked at possible landing spots for Francona on Friday, noting that if he wants to manage in 2012, he'll certainly have a chance.

Olney also reported Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin will be one of the people interviewed to replace Francona in Boston. Mackanin was also on our list of possible replacements. One name that wasn't on our list was Torey Lovullo, the Pawtucket Red Sox manager in 2010 who went with John Farrell to Toronto. Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman tweeted that Lovullo would be considered, while he writes that Bobby Valentine and Joe Torre are not candidates.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com