Sports Illustrated baseball writer Tom Verducci joined The Big Show on Thursday, discussing his recent piece on Bobby Valentine and the Red Sox and giving his thoughts on how things may end between the team and the manager.
The Red Sox have said they won't fire Valentine during the season, but Verducci noted that whenever the manager is fired, he won't go quietly.
"I mean, there's probably some bridges that won't just burn, but be blown up," he said. "I don't know when that might happen, but it's certainly possible. You see hints of it now with some of his answers to questions, the way that he feels he's challenged. I'm sure there is a side to the story from Bobby that probably would surprise people, or at least he wants to tell. … If ownership does decide to make a move this month, they'll have to hold their breath to see what happens next from Bobby's side. The thought of that might also give them pause in terms of making a move."
Asked who he thought would be the next manager of the team, Verducci guessed there's "probably a better than 50-percent chance that it's John Farrell."
"I just think that he's got very close relationships and ties with the people in the front office, especially the baseball ops people," he said. "Toronto to me, it's a good job, but I'm not sure what the feeling is in Toronto. John Farrell has gotten a taste of what it's like in the American League East with ownership that burns to win. I'm not sure that's the case in Toronto. It's a good organization, they've made some very nice moves, they've got a nice system there, but I've never gotten the sense there that there's that defining element that that organization wakes up in the morning and it's about winning championships. That's what it is in New York. That's what it is in Boston."
Verducci thinks that if Farrell, the former Red Sox pitching coach who has one year left on his contract with Toronto, asked the Blue Jays to let him go to Boston, "they would make that happen."
"There'd have to be compensation involved. I get it's the same division, but I do think it's important for a manager -- and we found that out the hard way here with Bobby Valentine -- to understand the hierarchy and the landscape and the media and everything that makes Boston unique," he said. "There's no learning curve with John Farrell. You just went through a very difficult learning curve with Bobby Valentine. Do you want to go through that again with another manager from the outside next year?"
For more on the Red Sox, visit weei.com/redsox.
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