Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Red Sox Want John Farrell, But Does Farrell Want the Red Sox?

The Red Sox aren't being very subtle about wanting John Farrell to be the new manager. There's a rumor that the Blue Jays are unwilling to part with Farrell. And even if they were, they'd expect a "decent player" as compensation. Which could make the cost of hiring Farrell more than the Sox would be willing to pay.

But it's John Farrell who has the power in this situation. If he wants to manage the Red Sox, what can the Blue Jays do? The Jays wouldn't want a disgruntled employee running their team. It's like when the Cubs wanted to talk to Theo Epstein. The Sox had no choice but to let him go. Epstein had the leverage. So does Farrell.

Why would Farrell want to manage here though? While the Sox can offer a larger payroll and (theoretically) better players, the expectations are much higher here than in Toronto. And he wouldn't be given much time to turn things around. The Sox might have more money, but patience is one thing fans and owners in Boston have less of than their Canadian counterparts.

Maybe Farrell would welcome the challenge of rebuilding the Red Sox and bringing them back to the playoffs.

Then again, who would want to have an office in Fenway Park? Farrell knows what Larry Lucchino and this ownership did to Terry Francona. He saw how Bobby Valentine was undermined and how the players and front office communicated behind Bobby V's back. How could Farrell feel comfortable managing here? It's like working with cannibals.

Regardless of challenges and opportunities, why would anyone want to work for Larry Luchinno?

Farrell might not ever be a World Series contender in Toronto, but at least up there he has the freedom to do his job his way. He seems like the type of person who enjoys that kind of freedom to move. He wouldn't have that down here. He'd have Jason Varitek wandering around the building, John Henry texting players, and Larry Lucchino using Ben Cherington as a ventriloquist dummy.

I can't blame Farrell is he wants to stay in Toronto.

Roger Goodell Re-Suspends Saints

Roger Goodell is sticking to his guns. He upheld the season long suspension of Jonathan Vilma and Will Smith's 4 game suspension. He reduced Anthony Hargrove's suspension from 8 to 7 games, and Scott Fujita's from 3 to 1.

Here's why he can do this: The suspensions were vacated by an appeals panel, but not based on their merit. It was a technical thing. The panel required Goodell to clarify how the players acted in a way "detrimental to the League."

Goodell has the power to suspend any player for such "detrimental" conduct. And he clarified the conduct using a Saints/Panthers game from 2010 as an example (story on

Essentially, the appeal panel asked Goodell for details of the bounty program, and Goodell has disclosed some of them.

Vilma can still pursue his defamation lawsuit. Though it will be tough for him to prove that Goodell has been deceptive or has said anything false about Vilma.

Roger Goodell is a bit of a tyrant. He's not a mass murderer. So stop with the Hitler/Stalin types of comparisons, please. You sound like a fool when comparing an NFL Commissioner to someone who killed millions. Goodell's job requires some light tyranny. Sometimes it works (getting a deal done with the NFLPA last year), sometimes it doesn't (replacement refs).

Whatever you think about Goodell, the Saints broke the rules. While being investigated, they continued to break the rules. The coaches who broke them implicated Vilma as being one of the leading players in the bounty program.

Why shouldn't he get punished? Players putting up $10k bounties to injure other players is conduct detrimental to the League. At least it is in my opinion. It can't be tolerated.