Toronto manager (and former Red Sox pitching coach) John Farrell, whom the Red Sox wanted to hire after parting ways with Terry Francona last offseason -- even pursuing him after the Blue Jays changed their team policy to prevent lateral moves -- tried to downplay speculation that the Red Sox will make a run at hiring him this offseason to replace manager Bobby Valentine.
"There's a lot of speculation, obviously, but as I said last week in Toronto, I'm the manager of the Blue Jays. This is where my focus and commitment is. I'm under contract. That's obvious. If I wasn't, I wouldn't be sitting here today," Farrell said from the visitor's dugout at Fenway Park before his team's game against the Red Sox. At the same time, we've dealt with a lot of challenges ourselves. I can understand the natural connection, because I've worked here in the past, but my focus is clearly with the Blue Jays."
While the Red Sox are 63-75, Farrell's Blue Jays are enduring their own poor performance. Toronto is 61-75 this season, in last place in the American League East -- one game behind the Red Sox. Farrell suggested he could identify with Valentine as a fellow manager.
"I don't look at other situations, because my focus is here. We've got a lot of challenges ourselves with getting guys back on the field. I'll say this -- knowing what the Red Sox have gone through, with the amount of players they've lost to injury, I can empathize with Bobby and having to deal with a lot of changes to the roster," said Farrell. "And because of that change, you're always trying to filter in new guys and get an understanding of what their capabilities are and how you can best utilize them to win a ballgame."
Asked if he would like assurances from the Blue Jays that they wanted him to manage beyond next season, Farrell suggested that he was not consumed by such a consideration.
"You're putting the cart way before the horse with that. My contract is through 2013. My approach day in and day out doesn't hinge upon my status. My focus and attention is today, right here," said Farrell.
Farrell was asked -- based on his four years of experience in the Red Sox dugout while serving as pitching coach from 2007-10 -- if Boston was a tough market in which to manager. While he downplayed his own personal view of the situation, he offered praise for his former boss, Francona.
"I wouldn't know [if it's difficult to manage the Red Sox. I've never managed in Boston. I've only managed in one place, and that's right here in Toronto. Having worked in Boston, sure, there's a tremendous fan base that's very passionate, the expectations are very high, but as a competitor, that's what you aspire to do and be involved in," he said. "Having been in that dugout for four years, you do get the opportunity and the privilege to see it firsthand. [Francona] was a very successful manager, balanced a lot of different things both inside and out, he did a very good job. The history and the record speaks to that.
"Through it all, through the ups and downs along the way, the one thing Tito always talked about was be true to yourself. As long as you can look yourself in the mirror and know that you did what you felt was the right thing to do, and that being the players come first, as long as you keep the players first in your decision-making and your thoughts toward them individually, you're probably guided in the right direction to the right thing."
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Greg and Chris talk more offseason happenings with the Pats and their plans. They talk about some of the free agents toward the bottom of the list with Stevan Ridley and Dan Connolly. Price thinks that Connolly could end up back with the Pats and Ridley elsewhere (Cowboys?), but Greg thinks they both could be back. They also chat about the departure of VInce Wilfork and what he meant to the organization, the re-signing of McCourty and more.
The very first airing of the offseason edition of NFL Sunday gets underway with Greg and Chris delving into the free agency period and how the Pats made out. Of course they lost Revis to the Jets, but what else went on? Greg isn't over the loss of Revis yet and the guys discuss what went into that whole ordeal. Price is looking forward to the additions of Chandler and Cadet. They also get a call from Mike Petraglia and get his thoughts on the Pats offseason moves.
We talk to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News about his column today which basically accuses the Patriots of sour grapes for asking the league to enforce their own rules against tampering.
Brow Buff's Sam Packard and Ben Kichen break down Marcus Smart's unfortunate ball tap, debate leadership in the Celtics locker room, and rehash the great Kevin Love to Boston rumors.
Flannery joins Mut to break down the Isaiah Thomas trade to Boston and what it means for the Celtics this season and in the future. Paul also chats with Mut about the other deals that happened at the NBA's trading deadline
We talk to Chris Mannix from SI to break down the C's acquisition of Isaiah Thomas and the crazy trade deadline in the rest of the NBA.
Mut, Tomase, and Bradford kick things off talking about Shane Victorino taking offense to people reading into some comments he made about trading for Cole Hamels. They also discuss Blake Swihart and how soon he could be up if Christian Vazquez starts the season on the DL.
Joe Kelly joined the Hot Stove show where he talked about being ready for his next spring training start after a biceps ailment forced him out of his last outing, he talks about his NCAA brackets and how teammate Wade Miley has a perfect bracket still.
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Jack Edwards of NESN joins Dale, Michael and Jerry. With 9 games left the Bruins don't have much if any margin of error, and Jack knows it.
DJ, Joe and Pete talk more playoff scenarios in hour 2 and if the Bruins can get in, they'll be a very dangerous team... to the point where DJ thinks teams would much rather face the Senators and are doing their best to oust the Bruins from the equation. It's become apparent now more than ever that Chiarelli probably needed to pull the trigger on a deal for a defenseman at the trade deadline. Also. Bruce Garrioch from the Ottawa Sun joins the boys to discuss the Hamburglar and the Senators and Bruins being neck-and-neck for a playoff spot.
With the Senators hot on the tail of the Bruins for a spot in the playoffs, Bruce Garrioch from the Ottawa Sun calls into Sunday Skate. He talks about "the Hamburglar" craze sweeping through the league as goalie Andrew Hammond has really stepped up for Ottawa. They discuss playoff chances, the fans' reaction in Ottawa and more.
The latest edition of the highly rated segment.
The great Lisa Scherber joined us to discuss today's trip to Fort Myers with 46 Jimmy Fund patients.
D&C's favorite author joined the show to discuss his new book.
We hear more audio from Christian's day between the pipes. He did his best to try and intimidate the small children shooting on him.
After Christian gave away his children's dog, we find out that Lola eventually found a better home.
During the recess of the Aaron Hernandez murder trial, Ted Daniel describes the first half of Shayana Jenkins testimony.
Dale and Michael discuss the collective egg laid by the Celtics against the Heat, and how the Bruins turnaround better begin tonight if they want it to begin at all.
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Chris Price joins Mut to talk about how Revis will heat up the Jets-Pats rivalry next season
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Mike Mulloy joins Chris in the studio to talk Raw and Wrestlemania.
WEEI’s Scott McLaughlin and College Hockey News’ Adam Wodon preview this year’s NCAA regionals and take a look at the chances for each of the Boston-area teams in the field. They also discuss BU’s Jack Eichel, Harvard’s Jimmy Vesey and the Hobey Baker Award.
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