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."
For more Red Sox coverage, visit weei.com/redsox.
We check in with Patriots special teams captain Matthew Slater on a Patriots Monday as the Patriots prepare for their fourth pre-season game, and are 10 days away from opening the 2015 season.
We check in with the head coach of the Patriots on a Pats Monday to get his take on the win over Carolina, pre-season game number four, and the numerous cuts to the team's roster he must make in the upcoming weeks.
Danny Amendola joined the show to talk about the addition of Reggie Wayne to the receiving group, the offensive tempo in game 3 of the preseason, and who is the most stylish in the locker room.
Jay King of Masslive.com joins the show to break down the performance of the Celtics during the NBA Summer League. Then Ben and Sam discuss the exciting possibility of a Space Jam sequel.
Michael joins Ben and Sam to discuss the wild NBA Free Agency period and the upcoming Celtics season.
How long will this rebuild take? How much money will it take to keep Bae Crowder? Are Draft Picks even worth anything? With the Danny Ainge not landing any big names in the draft, and unable to lure any big names in free agency, Sam and Ben discussed if the Celtics are doomed moving forward.
Joe Castiglione & Lou Merloni talked to the Sox outfielder, who had three hits and threw out a runner at home in the win over the Yankees.
Butch and John are talking Red Sox on the Sunday Sports Roundtable. They get into the current state of the rotation and how things have improved as of late. Joe Kelly has been on fire, but is he a trade asset? The guys discuss the starting pitchers that will be free agents this year and if any are good fits in Boston. Then they move on to the decision to let Orsillo go in favor of Dave O'Brien - Tomase has an interesting perspective on this topic.
Joe & Dave talked to the Sox starter, who pitched into the eighth inning and allowed just one run in the win over the Mets.
Don Sweeney, who was hired as the Bruins general manager yesterday speaks with Dale and Holley about his new position and where the Bruins go from here.
The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.
In the final hour of the "midseason finale" as DJ likes to call it, the crew discuss more about the future of the Bruins franchise, the possible power struggle in the front office and who should be the head coach going forward. They talk to intelligent and talented Fluto Shinzawa about all of these thing and more in an excellent interview, and finally, DJ says THANK YOU!
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
Kirk and Dino gave their thoughts on the next move in Brady vs Goodell.
Tom gave his thoughts on what he saw yesterday in Judge Berman's courtroom.
Jay Feely explains why he was in court with Tom Brady on Monday, and what was said in the robing room with Judge Berman.
Tyler Seguin was partying all summer in Toronto. Former Toronto Maple Leafs CEO Richard Peddie tattled on him. Also, Marshawn Lynch continues to be awkward, as he sells Skittles on cable TV.
Shannon Sharpe was on First Take yesterday comparing Brady's alleged deflating of footballs, to Alex Rodriguez' admitted use of steroids.
We discuss the latest from Judge Berman in the deflategate case, and what it might mean.
We close out the Dale and Holley program with some of the best sound of the day that you may have missed.
We discuss the NFL's insistence and inconsistency when they continue to rely on the term 'integrity' throughout this deflategate process.
Chris Mortensen went on a sports radio station in Arizona today and talked about his deflate gate reporting, and said that the Krafts called him to apologize over the whole situation. Only thing is there's a report tonight from D&C saying their sources at the Patriots are saying that did not happen, could Mort be, dare I say, wrong?
Chris Villani and Lenny Megs talk with Bob McGovern about the proceedings in the Tom Brady and NFL's deflate gate court case.
Villani is in for Mikey, he's talking about Chris Mortensen going on an Arizona station and talking about deflate gate and getting an apology from the Krafts.
Ken Laird and Ryan Hannable are joined this week by special guests Jim Callis of MLB.com and Rob Bradford of WEEI.com to discuss what new GM Dave Dombrowski will do with his new prospect system. Also, do the Sox really have the best Farm system in baseball? Finally, Ken travels to Lowell to chat with Spinners' catcher Austin Rei and manager Joe Oliver.
It’s peek draft season so Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson are back with today’s Fantasy Football Podcast on Draft Strategy. Pete Davidson’s article at Rotobahn.com “The 2015 Draft Plan” fuels a deep conversation on how to approach the draft at all the key positions Quarterback, Runningback, Wide Receiver, Tight End and Defense. Get prepared and Happy Drafting!
Ben, Russ & Alex discuss their favorite transfer moves of the window, Alex shares his dislike for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and just how far can the Revs go this season?
Dave Portnoy gave us the latest from the Brady Goodell hearing.More from this show
Chris Mortensen, ESPN, reports on Twitter that the "NFL has found that 11 of the Patriots footballs used in Sunday’s AFC title game were under-inflated by 2 lbs each, per league sources." He went on SportsCenter to talk about his report. Mut and his callers reacted to the breaking newsMore from this show
Butch Stearns and Rob Bradford discuss the New England Patriots third preseason game from Friday night, in particular Tom Brady's performance. Also, the guys discuss the most interesting contact in Butch's phone and ESPN's different handling of Curt Schilling and Chris Mortensen.More from this show
Jim Hackett and Rotobahn.com's Pete Davidson get things going this week discussing all of the latest injuries that can effect your fantasy team or draft in the midst of Week 3 of the preseason. They talk some of the impressive performances coming out of the games Thursday-Saturday. The boys chat about the various rankings and how they are constantly updating these list on Rotobahn.com and the Rotobahn 500. They go in depth on the tight end position, which is very top heavy -- 5 or 6 very good TE's and then a bunch of mediocre guys and unknowns. Jim and Pete also get into 10-team and 12-team league approaches, value picks late in your draft and how the waiver wire is your friend.More from this show