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Farrell as Blue Jays skipper brings talk of Manny going to Toronto

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The Toronto Blue Jays hired John Farrell to be their manager Monday.

Farrell has no managerial experience, but, general manager Alex Anthopoulos says, he does have innumerable qualities that make him a sound choice.

And yet, because of Farrell's previous associations — as pitching coach for the Boston Red Sox and as director of player development for the Cleveland Indians — a nagging question follows:

When does Manny Ramirez(notes) sign with Toronto?

Really? The prospect of signing 38-year-old Manny is what gets folks juiced about the hiring of Farrell, who beat out a field of 18 candidates interviewed by Anthopoulos?

Do these people realize that Manny hit nine homers in 2010, including one with the White Sox in 88 plate appearances down the stretch?

Tell you what: Manny took pitches with the best of them, compiling 14 walks and a .420 on-base percentage. But he slugged .319 on the strength of two extra-base hits. Your DH can't be slugging .319. It's not like he cost the White Sox the AL Central — the Twins were fixing to run away with it anyway — but he didn't really help, either.

The Blue Jays, who led the universe in home runs in 2010, must have better options than Manny.

Now, there is something to be said for Farrell being able to have a relationship with Manny. He hasn't always been the easiest personality to manage. So that's a good sign, a really good sign, for the Blue Jays.

Here's what a portion of the Blue Jays universe thinks of the 48-year-old Farrell (and Manny) coming to Toronto:

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Jeff Blair in the Toronto Globe and Mail:

Just remember the pitching. Seriously. Think of Jon Lester(notes) and Clay Buch[h]olz when you think of John Farrell. Don't think of Manny.

Not yet. Even if it's true that John Farrell's news conference had barely ended and there was Manny Ramirez telling ESPN he wanted to come to Toronto to play for Farrell — do not get ahead of yourself. It was the old Manny who owned the Rogers Centre, who hit 27 homers in 95 plate appearances, several of them tape-measure shots. Not the new Manny.

That's the spirit, Jeff. Wait, there's more from Blair:

(Although the Blue Jays will talk to agent Scott Boras this winter about Ramirez once the Chicago White Sox decide what to do with him. A low-risk, high-reward deal with incentives? Make book on it.)

The Tao of Stieb has a Ramirez-free take:

John Farrell pitched 116 Major League games, led Cleveland's player development department (including its Latin American operations) to become the best organization in baseball, and oversaw the most eclectic pitching staff in MLB history in Boston. Now, he's about to be named the Blue Jays' new manager. This is a good thing.

That's on point. Then there's Blue Jay Hunter:

I think it will be good to get some new blood into the organization, and the advantage to bringing in someone from outside the organization is Farrell doesn't have to be afraid of stepping on anybody's toes from day one.

John Farrell doesn't have to worry about coddling his players or trying to be best friends with them. He isn't trying to help them get contracts with other teams, or increasing their value on the free agent market.

Farrell has been brought in to win a championship.

Hey, Manny's won those. Two with Boston, despite all of his shenanigans. It's just so tempting to consider him. Maybe Manny gets his stroke back in Toronto, eh?

It makes for an interesting "what if?" Drunk Jays Fans says:

It's hardly a revelation that Manny would like to play here — it's a rumour we've heard for years — and it's an intriguing, if complicated, possibility, and it would be a [...] tonne of fun, but I'm pretty confident any fan who is already drooling over the possibility is getting massively ahead of him-or-herself here.

The team isn't a 39-year-old Manny Ramirez away from contention, and [...] who knows if Adam Lind(notes) can handle a full year of first base on his own [?]

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And Bluebird Banter wants to know:

One question that Alex and John avoided that I really didn't understand their reasoning for, was the one about his contract terms. Saying that wasn't relevant and 'it takes attention away from the team'. I'm not sure why it isn't relevant? I'd like to know if he was signed for a year or five years.

Yeah, someone's going to have to dig and find that out; we'll all need to know how much leverage Manny has with the manager in case he tries to mess with him.

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