Did you think I was joking?
If John Farrell wants to go back to Toronto and work w/Ross Atkins, Mark Shapiro, Ben Cherington and Eric Wedge, he can probably do so
— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) October 12, 2017
Now, clearly Gammons is only saying that this is theoretically a thing that could probably happen if Farrell wanted it to, so there’s no need for anybody to go around the bend about it. But there really is a fit there. And, if we actually let ourselves think about it for a second, rather than simply going blind with rage, reason to like the idea of bringing in Farrell, too.
It’s the same reason that we liked that the Jays brought in Ben Cherington and Steve Sanders, or that we liked the idea of Farrell in the first place.
Don’t forget that he was supposed to be an “executive on the field” for the Jays. An extra set of eyes as a former pitching coach. A key voice in terms of player development — something I recall pointing out when he criticized the Jays’ approach as a “scouting based organization” in mid-2013. “Supposed to” is the important word here. As a manager, the idea of Farrell always seemed a hell of a lot better than Farrell in practice. But if he were to come back to do the kind of player development work that he was so successful at in Cleveland? Already having relationships and shared philosophies with Shapiro, who hired him in Cleveland, Cherington, who oversees player development and hired Farrell when he ran the Red Sox, and Wedge, who was the field manager for much of Farrell’s time in Cleveland?
Were it not for all that baggage, fans would be clamoring for the club to go out and get him. Or, at least, fans who are interested enough in front office minutia to know who Steve Sanders and Ben Cherington are would.
The other fans? Well, they’re a problem. At least in so much as the front office gives a shit. It’s entirely possible that the front office by now recognizes that the only thing that’s going to get the majority of Blue Jays fans to believe in and trust them is winning baseball games. There is just a segment of the fan base that, less through any fault of Mark Shapiro’s than purely from the circumstances under which his tenure started, I think might always reflexively or delusionally twist find reasons to hate on this front office. A move for Farrell would only come off as yet another self inflicted wound from a hapless regime in their eyes. But if the only way out for the front office is to win, and they think adding him on the player development side would aid them in that pursuit, why the hell not?
I mean, he could never manage the Blue Jays again. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not so naive. But a special assistant? A player development advisor? A job where guys are somewhat transient anyway — where it’s natural that someone might leave before his contract is up to take a promotion — so the silly question of loyalty is moot? Sure. If they think he can help the club’s minor leaguers be better? Sure.
Plus, the tantrums would be absolutely fucking epic. Let it all out big boys!