DUNEDIN — He’s been wandering the indoor cages and the various fields at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium for the past few days, saying hello to players he knows and introducing himself to those he doesn’t.
He needs a “Hello, My name is John Farrell” sticker on his jacket.
“As you might expect, it’s a bit of a steep learning curve with a lot of new faces and names,” said the rookie Blue Jays manager. “These first few days before we begin have been very beneficial.
“New surroundings. It’s important to get some of the groundwork laid before we begin in full.”
Farrell’s view of the Blue Jays has always been from across the diamond, as the Boston Red Sox highly respected pitching coach.
Now he’s looking at these players through a different prism. The quicker he can get a fix on the various personalities and the players can get a fix on him, the easier the transition will be.
“It’s about working toward establishing trust and a relationship with every player,” he said.
“There’s going to come a time when maybe the message I deliver isn’t one that they’re going to want to hear but it’s going to be honest and up front.”
While it goes without saying that respect is the currency of the manager’s office, he knows it’s hardly that simple.
“I view it as: ‘I have to earn that,’” he said. “They’ve got to know who I am and what’s important to me as a baseball person and as a person. I don’t take that lightly. We’re going to be spending the next seven months together and we have to come to a relationship that allows us to address needs when they arise.
“There’s a person behind every number. We’ll try to get to understand each of them as best we can. Ultimately, in managing people, you have to understand what makes them tick to put them in a position to have success.
“That’s an important part of what we will do here, is getting to know the personnel and getting to know our identity as a team.”