Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Farrell's Future

With the end of the 2017 Red Sox season comes a time for reflection. There comes a time for looking ahead. There comes a time to spend an entire offseason overanalyzing every little stupid detail. Trust me, we'll be doing plenty of that here at Section 36. Starting with one topic that seems to be on everyone's minds at the moment.

The future of the manager, John Farrell.

Now, I've been saying for quite some time that I don't really understand all the anti-Farrell sentiment. It seems that every time the Red Sox lose more than two games in a row, people want his head on the chopping block. Maybe that's just lazy reporters. Team losing? Fire the manager! Maybe people actually think they have reasons for it. I just don't see them.

I've heard some people say he overthinks things. Maybe. But I re-watched "Do Your Job 2" last night. Apparently the Patriots just won the Super Bowl because they called a play based on the tendencies of an opposing team, their offensive line, the officiating crew, and a specific official. After that, I'm not sure "Hits well against lefties" is overthinking it. That's not to say that you can't misuse statistics. Jimy Williams was always taking out Nomar and replacing him with some guy who was 2 for 4 against a pitcher, so had better numbers than Nomar who was 36 for 100. The sample size didn't seem to jive. But, I don't think that's the case with Farrell. He'll sometimes make a move where the most immediate stat seems backwards but I tend to think he has other stats he's using.

Which is another complaint. That he doesn't seem to manage by the book. Or, he's inconsistent. Again, it may seem that way when he uses Kimbrel for four outs one day, but then says he can't go four another day. The WEEIdiots certainly harped on that one. But, the truth is, he did manage by the book. It was just a much larger book. When Kimbrel was used for four outs, it was an important game when he hadn't pitched in a few days and there was an off day following and all the batters fared poorly against Craig. When he didn't use him for four outs, it was following two appearances the previous three days, and there was another game the next day, and all the batters hit Kimbrel relatively well. Hypothetically speaking, of course. So, sure, there's some gut involved. And a complete analysis of the situation. But, it's not like he's flipping a coin out there.

Does he have some faults? Sure. All managers do. He tends to play favorites a bit. He pulls his starters too soon in the postseason. But, all managers do goofy things sometimes. 

So, I don't see how you can fire Farrell. If you do that, you're making a move for the sake of making a move. You can't expect it to make any real improvement. Your'e just hoping different is better. Somehow three division titles (including a World Series title) in five years will be improved just by chance. 

That's kind of a big risk, isn't it? Is that the way you want to run a ball club? Making random moves on the off chance that they work? 

Should they trade Chris Sale just in case a new guy does even better?

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