I know I said we’d hold the poll for a week, but the Red Sox actually went ahead and fired John Farrell, and I don’t want the next part of the series to happen in hindsight.
In case you are just now finding this slice of the internet, this is part two of a Choose Your Own Adventure series. You can read the entire story stream here. Included are basics of the “game” and such, so let’s get to the meat of this article.
October 11th, 2017 - 7 AM EST (I guess?)
Alexander Henry had made his decision. Surprisingly, he made it in around 24 hours. Whether Henry had pre-meditated a coup on the manager’s position, or just found a candidate he really liked that he wanted to scoop up before it was too late, his decision was abundantly clear.
John Farrell had to go.
“Hey, Susan, can you call John in? I know we were just eliminated a couple days ago, and he’s still decompressing from a long, troublesome season, but it’s important that we have the discussion now. Thanks.”
He didn’t wait for a response. Alexander Henry was ready for work. He was a man who commanded the attention of the room, in all avenues of life.
Henry took a sip of his coffee, and perused his favorite websites, such as MLB Trade Rumors. He saw some interesting names were being speculated for the Red Sox manager’s position, even though there hadn’t even been a confirmation that Farrell would be fired. Anything for a page click, he supposed. He chuckled into his coffee, and spilled some on his lap. Very awkward.
Just at that moment, a knock was heard at the door.
“Hey, boss? It’s me, John. The guy who has won a World Series, two straight division titles, and has been a consummate professional to the harshest media in all of sports for the past five years, while going through a tumultuous time in my own personal life.” John Farrell was not making it easy.
“Yes, I know who you are John. You may not know this, but I’ve been a fan of the Red Sox for a long time, longer than you’ve been manager in fact. I’ve seen many great managers in my time. Terry Francona. Grady Little. Jimy Williams. When I was but a wee child, I saw Johnny Pesky manage a few games. That was odd. I never did get why we didn’t have more outside the box hirings. Then we hired Bobby Valentine, and I remembered.”
“Yeah, and I’ve only just gotten started. I feel like we’ve got a good clubhouse, and with the young players we have we’re set up to...” Farrell started, but was interrupted by Henry.
“Your services are no longer required, John.” Henry said with the world’s greatest poker face. Little did Farrell know, Henry was beginning to sweat, this was not nearly as easy as he figured it would be.
“It’s just what I said, we’re ready to move on, and now that I’m in charge, I think changes are needed from the top down. You had a great run, and we commend you for toppling adversity. You can only play with the players you are given, and in the end, it’s not your fault this team couldn’t hit home runs. The only thing I can truly fault you for, down the stretch, off the top of my head, was your usage of Chris Sale. He was clearly tiring, had never been in the playoffs, and he was crucial to our success. I’m not sure what you were thinking with that, so ultimately, it’s my main reason for letting you go.”
“To be fair, I don’t understand that myself. Maybe I was trying to sell tickets or...”
“You don’t need to explain yourself, John. Truth be told, I don’t think it would have mattered a lot. This just comes down to me wanting to bring in my own guys, and you just aren’t one of my guys, I’m sorry.”
“I understand, and wish to thank you for telling me this before smearing me in the media. Boston is pretty rough, so you have to know anything you say will be twisted about 80 different ways before anything resembling the truth comes out. I’ve loved working for this team, and will exit with the dignity I entered with.”
“Right, we haven’t decided how we’ll handle this with the press yet, but rest assured, we’ll find a way to do what’s right for the Boston Red Sox organization, and we wish you luck with your future endeavors. Now that that unpleasant business is out of the way... would you like a donut? Susan got Dunkin.”
October 11th, 5 PM EST
Alexander had just finished his media session with the press. It was rather exhausting. He knew that the Boston media was feared for a reason, but he never quite understood the pressure of dealing with them until he finally did something controversial. Everyone is your friend until you do something worthy of front page news. Everyone wants a scoop.
Thankfully, he had found comfort in his assistant’s company. “Susan, the people here are positively rabid. Did you know that these people expect reasons for a sudden firing? It’s absolutely nuts.” Henry was consumed on day one. It hadn’t been 24 hours, and yet, he felt as if he’d lived for a hundred years.
“I did not, but it certainly sounds like you weren’t prepared for that.” Good ol’ Susan, can always count on her and her monotone voice to set the pace of a conversation.
“I wasn’t. In my last gig, if I did something like this, nobody even batted an eye. I’m not used to having to defend my decisions in the press. Usually, it’s good enough to get results out in the field.”
“Well, you are a mercenary yourself, now. These people don’t owe you any love, you owe them a good product. They are going to be tough on you if you don’t give them something to believe in. This fanbase is absolutely passionate about this team. That’s something you used to understand.”
“You’re absolutely right, Susan. I’ve been so wrapped up in business, that I forgot what was important, my love of the game.”
“Oh please, that’s corny, and you know it. Just put a good manager in the office, and people will more or less forget about it in the morning. I mean, they’ll complain either way, so don’t sweat it too much.”
“Speaking of, I haven’t actually made a decision on who my first choice is yet, I have a couple shortlist candidates, is there anyone on this list that stands out to you?”
The conversation went long into the night. Alexander Henry had come to a decision. In the morning, he would approach his new managerial target, and try to get a hole-in-one.
Who should the Red Sox pursue for the managerial opening?
This poll is closed
Ruben Amaro Jr.
Wait to see if the Yankees fire Joe Girardi
Just a couple of notes:
- I included the names “I” have personally heard the most, and put in a couple of names that I considered somewhat intriguing. These names are in no particular order.
- I’m closing this poll on Saturday, October 14th, at 12:00 AM ET. Once the clock strikes October 15th, it will be too late to submit a vote. This time, we will be going the full period, hopefully.
- I only included 9 options above, because any more would just dillute the poll too much. If the vote is extremely close, I reserve the right to do a one-day run-off between the options that are extremely close, so keep your eyes peeled.
- If the option you would have chosen is not listed, I would still appreciate you adding your comment and providing a reason for why you believe the manager I omitted would be a good choice. If the comment is rec’d multiple times, and we end up needing a run-off, I will probably end up adding one or two of the rec’d choices as a community wish.
I’m glad the first post was successful, here’s hoping the second is just as much.