Dombrowski will put his mark on team
A little of this, a little of that …
• Back-to-back American League East Division titles sure didn’t buy the manager much in the way of job security.
Then again, what is the expected shelf life of a manager/head coach of a professional sports team? With the Red Sox and John Farrell, five seasons seems the tipping point.
Believe it or not, as far-flung as this may sound, there was a time when this corner believed Farrell would somehow be granted a stay of execution and return for his sixth season in the Red Sox dugout.
Farrell won, at least as far as the regular season counts. Granted, losing six of seven playoff games over the past two Octobers is never going to sit well in a market that continues to ask fans to pay the game’s highest ticket prices. You must get there first, however, and Farrell’s Red Sox managed to check that off the annual to-do list.
Farrell didn’t get dismissed on Wednesday morning because he couldn’t crack the postseason code. The manager who has one World Series to his credit was let go because his tenure had simply run its course. In these modern times, five straight years manning the same managerial post should be viewed as an eternity.
It was time for Farrell’s run to come to an end and time for the Red Sox to start fresh and head in a different direction. Change isn’t necessarily a bad thing and some Boston fans probably felt that Wednesday’s decision was long overdue.
Save for Bill Belichick, every pro coach has an expiration date that set the moment their introductory press conference is done. For some, the odor that tells you the food has spoiled and that change is necessary can come sooner than anticipated. If Farrell takes a deep breath, then a big-picture look, he’ll probably arrive at the understanding that he was fortunate to survive for as long as he did.
They don’t give out door prizes for longevity – a half-decade in Farrell’s case – but maybe they should. Or perhaps we should play a different kind of parlor game – wondering how many seasons that Farrell’s replacement lasts.
• Another theory why Farrell was given his walking papers is that he wasn’t Dave Dombrowski’s guy. Dombrowski inherited Farrell when he became Boston’s president of baseball operations in 2015. They co-existed long enough to finish first in back-to-back seasons, yet you had to know the inevitable was bound to happen with Dombrowski parting company with a manager who was hired by the previous Red Sox general manager (Ben Cherington).
Now Dombrowski has the chance to hire “his” guy and completely place “his” stamp on one of the most coveted managerial jobs in Major League Baseball.
The general manager-manager partnership is not all that different from what happens in the political scene. There’s bound to be turnover in personnel whenever a new politician takes office. People with definite ties to the previous administration see the handwriting on the wall, knowing their days are numbered due to the outgoing politician they’re affiliated with.
Dombrowski and Farrell worked together for 2.5 seasons. With Farrell now gone, Dombrowski is officially on the clock with the search to find the next Red Sox skipper – his guy – now in front of him.
• Staying with Dombrowski, the press conference he held at Fenway Park shortly after Farrell was shown the door offered little insight and information. Very little was revealed as to why the conclusion was drawn that Farrell did not rep- resent the best fit moving forward.
Instead of taking a page from “Seinfeld” and saying “yada-yada” at every turn, Dombrowski and the Red Sox maybe should have waited a few days before bringing reporters to Fenway Park to answer questions. Perhaps by then, Dombrowski’s jaw wouldn’t have been wired so tight.
• It’s a foregone conclusion that changes will be coming to Red Sox coaching staff. Here’s a vote for PawSox manager Kevin Boles to receive consideration for a post. Loyalty should count for something, as “Bolesy” has been a minor-league manager in the Red Sox organization since 2008.
When Farrell was hired, Arnie Beyeler was promoted from PawSox manager to Red Sox firstbase coach. With Boston, once again, in the market for a new skipper, let’s see if history can repeat itself with Boles this time being the beneficiary of a longoverdue bump.