It took less than 24 hours for the Boston Red Sox to officially put the nightmare that was the 2012 season behind them, firing manager Bobby Valentine on Thursday.
The move was highly expected, and welcomed, by both fans and the media. Valentine's hiring was almost a doomed proposition from the start, and after a tumultuous season filled with ill-advised comments to the press, ill-advised handling of players, and a general inability to manage in-game situations, Valentine's tenure in Boston was finally pulled off of life support.
Now, the team itself can move forward into trying to pick up the pieces from a team that finished 69-93. With the excuse of Valentine out of the way, the onus will now be placed on general manager Ben Cherington to the right the ship. That starts with selecting the right candidate to manage the club in 2013 and beyond, a move Cherington has admittedly said he would like to spend less time on this winter so that the Red Sox can move forward on other necessary moves.
However, John Farrell is not the right candidate for the job.
The Sox have been tied to John Farrell since last winter, but the Blue Jays have been reluctant to let Boston talk to him, reportedly asking for Clay Buccholz in return last winter. His name has resurfaced again this time around and the Red Sox are expected to again request permission to consider him.
To do so, the Blue Jays are going to ask for significant compensation, and they will not likely be bought off by a Chris Carpenter-type prospect either. Still, that speaks nothing to why Farrell is not the right fit in Boston.
It goes without saying that Farrell had a good relationship with the club when he served as pitching coach from the 2007-2009 seasons. He could undoubtedly help to recover whatever it was that seemingly got into Jon Lester and Clay Buccholz, helping them return to the front-line starters they should be.
The problem with bringing in Farrell is that the expectations laid on him, both by the fans and the media, would be unfair. He would be seen as the team savior, but without the courtesy of having the talent to build this club into a contender next season. Anything less than a successful first season would hardly justify the cost to bring him in, whatever the Blue Jays determine that to be.
As a fan, it is sometimes tough to put aside the need for immediate results and the desire to root for a winner. Sometimes the long-term success of a franchise dictates that the team takes a different approach.
As such, the Red Sox would be better served by hiring a manager with no previous managerial experience. They need someone with a new viewpoint that can provide energy for an organization that badly needs to try something different. The next manager of the Boston Red Sox is not inheriting a winner, so the next manager needs to be someone that can build mutual trust with the players and be there to develop the next wave of talent.
It remains to be seen whether than candidate comes from a list of Dave Martinez, Joey Cora, Sandy Alomar Jr, or Brad Ausmus, just to name a few, but it is almost certainly a better direction for Boston to try something new in 2013. John Farrell is a change from Bobby Valentine, but what he would bring to the Red Sox is not a big enough departure from where they have been under the previous two broken models.
In the end, more of the same will not be of any help to this organization.
Kyle Fragnoli is a lifelong Red Sox fan living in Vermont with his wife and twin sons. When not writing for the Yahoo Contributor Network, you can find him on Twitter (@bballbigbrother), The Baseball Big Brother Project, or Call to the Pen.
Cherington to WEEI: I'd like to spend less time on manger search, BostonHerald.com
John Farrell still the favorite for Red Sox, Boston.com