Well, if you have not already heard, Red Sox skipper John Farrell received a contract extension Saturday morning. With the extension, Farrell is with the team through 2017 and has a club option for 2018. While the dollar figures have not yet been released, Farrell was the 10th highest paid manager in the MLB last season. Farrell is right where he should be in monetary value, if not a little underpaid. If he were to receive a small pay raise, I am not sure anyone would oppose it. I don't care who you are, because if you are the manager of the Boston Red Sox then you deserve to be paid.
With all that said, the question now has to be asked: does John Farrell deserve a contract extension?
Once leaving Terry Francona and the Red Sox, Farrell became the skipper of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011. In 2 years with the Jays, Farrell went 154-170 and finished 4th in the AL East both years. For the Red Sox, after a fall out with the legendary Terry Francona, Boston brass hired Bobby Valentine. We all know how that went. The former Red Sox pitching coach returned to the team in 2013 and immediately led them to a World Series. All looked to be going in the right direction, until Boston took a major step back in 2014, finishing the year 71-91 and last in the AL East.
I have fought back and forth on my answer, but I do not believe that he deserves the extension. There is no question that John Farrell is knowledgable about the game and deserves a place in the league, whether that means as a front office guy, a pitching coach, or a manager. However, there is nothing wrong with letting a guy sweat it out to an extent. If Farrell is really concerned about his contract, pick up his option, which was previously for 2016, then tell him to go and do his job. The Bruins have ran into the same problem recently where people with the team become too comfortable after receiving a big contract and their performance slips.
While Farrell's approach with pitchers is top notch, his in game decisions have come into question when the team is struggling. I will often find myself yelling at my TV like a mad man at Farrell for not challenging a clear cut play, leaving a pitcher in too long or some substitution issue. I trust Farrell and am happy that he is the manager of the Red Sox, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with letting a guy play out his contract and waiting until the final year to sign him. I know that he won a World Series, but 2013 was an admiration. It was a bunch of guys that wanted to prove all of the doubters wrong. In 2015, I expect similar things out of the skipper and his team. With a great lineup and an average pitching staff, it is time for Farrell to use his expertise and bring this team another World Series.
By Pete Packowski @Pete_BBS