Before we get to the fun stuff, let me explain what this series is, how long it will go, and how to take part.
This is Off-Season Choose Your Own Adventure. Every now and then, I will bring choices to your table, and you will react to those choices via a poll question (I’ll leave comments open so you can explain your decision and cajole others to join your cause). Every update (including this one) will be accompanied by a story, based on the choices you have made, and by the end of the off-season, you will have a narrative that reflects those decisions.
You will be taking on the role of Alexander Henry (no relation to John Henry), who somehow managed to buy the Red Sox from John Henry. Instantly furious at Dave Dombrowski for trading away his best friend Michael Kopech, despite the return, Henry canned Dombrowski, and decided to make himself the decision maker for all things baseball. Essentially, you have been put into a position of power where you can get anything you want done, provided it doesn’t require another team. The Red Sox are your oyster, and it’s time to begin your legend.
After each story will be a poll question with 2+ choices to choose from. The poll choice with the highest amount of votes will be the choice we go with, for better or worse. Sometimes I’ll throw a joke choice in there. It’s still a valid choice, because sometimes, decisions made by real people are jokes too.
A couple of disclaimers: first, while I will obviously do my best to recreate things that I imagine will be on the Red Sox radar, I am not all-seeing, and thus cannot be entirely accurate. Think of it like me holding a crystal ball, but being unable to see with 100% accuracy. Secondly, these stories are fictional, and are in no way meant to discredit, defame, or aggrandize any and all people, real or fictional.
Mainly, I want you all to have fun with a little pet project I’m going to run. I feel like I’ve covered the basics, but if you still have questions, ask them in the comments section below.
A cold sweat broke out on John Farrell’s neck, before Game 3 of the American League Divisional Series against the Houston Astros. In a 2-0 series hole, he would turn to Doug Fister to stem the tide, and reverse course. For added protection, he put Chris Sale in the bullpen. This was as must-win a game as games get. And it was possible Farrell’s job was on the line, although the new team president/owner for life Alexander Henry had refused to elaborate to what extent the rumors were true.
In Game 3, David Price had one of the best outings of his post-season career, saving a tired Boston pen, the starter, and potentially John Farrell’s job. While John Farrell was credited for going to the right guy in the pen (something that wasn’t always the case), it’s a very easy call to make when you have a former Cy Young winner waiting, and hyngry.
Then Game 4 happened, and Farrell got himself ejected in the 2nd inning. Some saw it as a good manager sticking up for his players, who were getting hit with questionable umpiring (to say it nicely). Others saw it as Farrell getting himself tossed extremely early in a do-or-die game, and leaving the game in the hands of his bench coach, Gary DiSarcina, a man who had never truly managed a major league baseball game let alone a playoff game. While Farrell had been ejected in the past, the stakes were too high to simply ignore the fact he got ejected at the worst possible time.
For some, Game 4 was all the evidence they needed that Farrell was the right man for the job, after all, he was a player’s manager, and had the support of the clubhouse. For others, it was all the evidence they needed that Farrell wasn’t a good choice to enter 2018 as the Red Sox manager.
Two straight years Farrell had won the division, and two straight years, Farrell had managed a team that fell out in the ALDS. Normally, this wouldn’t be seen as such a big deal, just making it to the playoffs is usually enough to save a manager’s job in most markets, but this is Boston, and the fans demand a winner every season.
Alexander Henry had quite the choice on his hands, and there was really no easy answer. It was clear that losing in the DS a second year in a row was unacceptable in Boston, but Farrell also seemed to have a decent rapport with the players, and a shake-up could end up costing the team the loyalty of certain players in free agency, this season and next. And then there came the issue of the coaching staff, if Farrell was fired, many would leave, either as a changeover by the new manager, or because they shared the same philosophy as Farrell, and would get fired by Henry.
There’s only one thing that’s clear: a decision on the manager of the future must be made, and it must be made now. No one is going to sign with Boston until the Red Sox make a stand at manager, and tell teams how they want to go forward. And no Red Sox FA will consider the idea of an extension until Farrell’s fate is determined.
While it is easy to argue the average manager has little or no impact on a team’s performance over the course of a season, the move does have lasting implications within the Sox front office and in the dugout.
So let’s make our first choice:
Should the Red Sox fire Farrell?
This poll is closed
Do not decide at this time
The poll closes at 12 PM on October 16th, 2017. Best of luck.