The Blue Jays have reportedly selected John Farrell, the Red Sox pitching coach and former player personnel man for the Indians, as their next manager. The Blue Jays certainly took their time making their selection to the point that their Due Diligence started making their fan base a little wacky. But as long as all that energy ends up with the correct results, all you can do in the end is praise it. Red Sox owner, John Henry, was effusive about Farrell and congratulated the Blue Jays for their selection.
Naturally, the selection could end up being a bust. But any selection can do just the same. That's the chance you take. But you can at least hedge your bets by selecting a guy that has universal respect in the game and seems like just the kind of guy the Blue Jays need. The Blue Jays will live and die by how good their young pitching is over the next few years. The Blue Jays seemed poised to be in the same position as the Padres were going into 2010 with their young pitching. The huge difference is that the Blue Jays have a much better offense than the Padres, especially if they can address their OBP issues.
And the comparison with the Padres is no accident. The Padres are also led by an ex-pitcher in Bud Black. Black infuses his pitchers with a sense of purpose, hard preparation and responsibility. Farrell will do no less with the Blue Jays' young pitching. Plus, Farrell has been part of a Red Sox organization that stresses working the count and getting a good pitch to hit. He should bring some of that to the Blue Jays, who could use a dose of better thought processes to their offense. As good as the Blue Jays offense was, imagine how good it could be if Jose Bautista wasn't the only Blue Jay with as impressive an OBP as a slugging percentage.
The Blue Jays have been incredibly smart the past year and the hiring of John Farrell as their next manager seems to be one of the smarter moves yet.