Who's Against John Farrell?

John E. Sokolowski-US PRESSWIRE

Someone on the Red Sox is not a fan of John Farrell as a possible managerial candidate. Who is this mysterious critic, and what does his hesitance say about the managerial search?

Someone out there doesn't exactly love John Farrell. Someone who plays baseball in a Red Sox uniform.

CSNNE reported last night that at least one player within the Red Sox organization is impressed with the crop of managerial candidates the Sox have rolled out this time around...except for John Farrell. When it comes to Farrell, said player (who understandably insisted on anonymity) looks at his time in Toronto and just says no:

"He's a hell of a pitching coach, but did you see Toronto play this year? They were as lost as we were.

"Losing [Jose Bautista] was like us losing David [Ortiz], but they didn't gut their team at the deadline (and still finished only four games ahead of the Sox). And what happened to their pitching staff? Isn't that [Farrell's] strength? He can't make 'em make the pitch, but isn't that the expectation here? Whatever."

"I'm pretty sure those guys were in more of a hurry to end the season than we were. Did you see how fast they went in the [expletive]? That was a step backward."

So who is our mystery commentator? Let's use context clues to narrow the field down as best we can.

First off, based on his comments on Farrell as a pitching coach, he seems like a guy who was around for the Farrell era in Boston. That means he was with the major league team before 2011, cutting down the possible candidates to just a dozen:

  1. David Ortiz
  2. Dustin Pedroia
  3. Jarrod Saltalamacchia
  4. Daniel Nava
  5. Jacoby Ellsbury
  6. Ryan Kalish
  7. Jon Lester
  8. Clay Buchholz
  9. Rich Hill
  10. Felix Doubront
  11. Scott Atchison
  12. Daniel Bard
Now, you can cut David Ortiz off the list pretty easily since he's referred to in he third person. Given how he talked about pitchers it seems likely we're dealing with a position player here, too. So that leaves us with just:
  1. Dustin Pedroia
  2. Jarrod Saltalamacchia
  3. Daniel Nava
  4. Jacoby Ellsbury
  5. Ryan Kalish

Now, maybe it's just me, but I don't see Nava or Kalish saying anything like this. Neither one exactly has the sort of standing that one would need to consider making such a statement (even anonymously), and they don't seem likely to be quite so outspoken besides.

Then there's Ellsbury. Maybe. He's certainly got the weight after 2011, and I guarantee you he wanted 2012 to end more than anyone. But it...doesn't sound like him, exactly. He's not exactly a loud guy from what we've seen as fans. Either Pedroia or Saltalamacchia seem more reasonable.

For me, the likely answer is Dustin Pedroia. First off, if anyone is in a position where they would feel comfortable talking about this sort of thing it would be Pedroia. He was also around Farrell for a lot longer than Salty was, which would likely make him more confident in judging Farrell "a hell of a pitching coach" without qualifying it ("I've heard," "He's known as"). But really it just reads like Pedey in the exact way that it doesn't sound like Ellsbury. The "whatever" and expletive alone are signals enough to me. The report also included a quote revealing Farrell's critic was not a fan of Bobby V, and we know Pedroia had his problems with the fired one.

Every manager joining a new team is likely going to have to deal with some players who aren't exactly going to be in love with the choice. That being said, if this really is Pedroia, it means Farrell will be facing an especially difficult time. Pedroia is one of the only really loud voices in the clubhouse right now with David Ortiz.

While the decision on a manager is certainly front-office business, given how dramatically things collapsed last year, it might not be that bad of an idea to get input from guys like Pedroia and Ortiz on the managerial move. While Cherington and ownership want a guy who's easy to work with, so long as we're not talking an Art Howe - Billy Beane throwdown, last year showed us how bad things can get if the manager doesn't have the support of the players.

No matter who the Sox choose, it's hard to imagine they'll approach Bobby's level of awfulness. That's a pretty low bar to set, however, and with plenty of lessons being doled out by 2011's disaster, the team may as well make use of them to make the best possible choice.

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