Not too much going on in the far reaches of Red Sox news this week, as all eyes were focused on the shiny new manager. And as it is that season, I imagine everyone's currently setting up their Halloween parties or nursing their first Halloween hangover. So let's get right into some recapping.
Hey, did you hear Boston has a new manager? Well, they do. After a bit of searching around, Boston decided that they'd go with the guy they'd always really wanted, and acquired John Farrell from Toronto. I say acquired because Farrell was still under contract, and the Jays needed to be compensated for his departure. This compensation came in the form of incumbent shortstop Mike Aviles, whose loss was analyzed by Marc this week. Farrell's a pitching guy, and the assumption of most is that he'll be able to get Boston's rotation back where it should be. Matt Sullivan looked at his performance with pitchers in Toronto. There were quite a few other angles to the hiring of Farrell: why him and not the other candidates, how the deal got done, how Boston's fanbase and media are reacting. Thanks to our new storystream feature, you can check out all of those angles in one convenient package.
With Mike Aviles headed west, thoughts turned to shortstop. lone1c covered the long, strange march of shortstops through Boston since the departure of Nomar Garciaparra. Marc took a look at the previous incumbent, Marco Scutaro, who's been on fire for the National League champion Giants. Was the trade that sent him out of Boston a good idea?
Of course, there's more to the Sox' managerial change than just the speculation about how Farrell will do, or the happy photo op with his new jersey. There's also the lingering vapors of the last guy's tenure. Bobby Valentine bobbed up into the news again, faulting David Ortiz for shutting himself down in the last half of the season, and blaming his coaching staff for poor communication. One of those coaches, bench coach Tim Bogar, took exception to this and gave his version of the story. Bogar, however, has wound up a casualty of the managerial change, and has been released by the Red Sox. He's very likely to find another job, perhaps even a managerial job, pretty quickly. Torey Lovullo, who served as John Farrell's bench coach in Toronto, will be following Farrell to Boston.
Now that the Sox have mostly sorted out their coaching situation, they can move on to more important things, like deciding who'll be on the field for 2013. Marc took a look at how the leadoff hitters did this year, and whether changes need to be made. If the Sox see a return to form from center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, of course, leadoff shouldn't be a problem at all. But will Boston see that return? Will Boston perhaps trade the speedy outfielder? Guest writer Bill Parker stopped in to discuss Boston's options regarding Ellsbury.
Along those same lines, each of us at OTM has been asked to figure out how we'd rebuild the Sox for next year. Go big in free agency? Stay small and wait for the kids? Pull a few more Punto Trades? You can check out everyone's plan in the Armchair GM storystream. Marc, Ben, Matt Collins, and I have already laid out our plans, and the rest of the staff will be putting theirs out next week. Once they're all out there, in honor of the upcoming national elections, we'll have a vote on which plan looks best. We will then submit that plan to Ben Cherington as the fans' choice, and Cherington will giggle loudly at our noble but amateur proposals. Fun!
Boston's got a manager, San Francisco's up 2-0 in the Series, and the official offseason looms. Enjoy the weekend, and may you not wake up Sunday morning wearing someone else's costume.