ST. LOUIS - Enough is enough!
The Blue Jays had read too much about their manager since Sunday’s Toronto Sun and the Boston Globe reported the Boston Red Sox had been discussing internally John Farrell as the man to replace fired manager Terry Francona.
Our secret spy cam, strategically hidden inside president Paul Beeston’s office, ran out of its double-A batteries a month ago, so we can only guess how things unfolded as he read three days of Red Sox arrogance, considering to go looking at someone under contract.
Did Beeston pound the desk?
Chew an unlit cigar half-way to its end?
Whatever, he did, the Jays say they have changed their policy and “will not grant permission for lateral moves.”
The timing came on the one-year anniversary of Farrell signing a three-year contract to manage the Jays.
We do know this, there would not have been any interview process with Farrell and the Red Sox.
Had he gone for an interview, the hunt for the next manager would have begun.
The Cleveland Indians said goodbye to assistant GM Dan O’Dowd for interviewing for the general manager’s job with the Baltimore Orioles.
St. John’s University athletic director Ed Manetta fired Fran Fraschilla for being interested in the Arizona State job.
What message would be sent to fans if the Jays manager can walk one year into a three-year deal?
The Jays did the right thing by eliminating lateral moves.
If Boston had plucked Farrell from the Rogers payroll ... the Jays would be second class citizens in their own division, which was the fear at the end of the 2002 season when the Jays re-upped GM J.P. Ricciardi when the Red Sox had an opening before hiring Theo Epstien.
The Jays would have been like the Kansas City Athletics in the 1950s and 1960s, when K.C. served as a farm team for the New York Yankees, although both were in the American League.
How can the Jays talk of “we can compete with anyone,” when a team can’t even keep its manager?
“Because of the way the policy was set up, we’ll always be open to rumours and speculation,” general manager Alex Anthopoulos told reporters on a conference call.
Except it was not a rumour.
Red Sox owners and Epstein, not officially hired by the Chicago Cubs until Tuesday, had Farrell on their list of potential candidates.
Now, Farrell will be in Dunedin next spring.
“Ultimately, it became a distraction and has taken time away from my day, Paul’s day,” Anthopoulos said. “Paul and I sat down, Paul said: ‘You know what? This policy does not work the way as it was intended to work right now.’ I certainly agreed with him. And this was the change.
“Knowing the policy is more strict, more defined, I think it’ll eliminate a lot of rumours and cut down on the amount of time we have to spend answering questions from the media.”
Anthopoulos pointed out the Jays long-time policy of not giving a pitcher more than a three-year guaranteed deal.
“We adjusted with Ricky Romero, I think Pat Gillick did with the Philadelphia Phillies too,” said Anthopoulos, who gave Romero a five-year $30.1-million deal in 2010.
The original policy of allowing an employee to leave if he had an offer from another club goes back to former CEO Peter Hardy, who brought the philosophy from Labatt breweries.
“We have a responsibility to respond to the media,” Anthopoulos said. “There isn’t a fear of losing someone to a lateral move. In the two years I have been GM I have never once denied any club denying permission to speak to our employees.”
What about compensation allowing an employee to move?
“We have to constantly adjust to the times,” Anthopoulos said. “The game continues to change, we have to continue to adjust.”
The Jays adjusted quickly to this attempt from the new Evil Empire, after the way Francona was treated.
Now, they have to do something about beating the Red Sox.
Next is a new policy on how to beat Boston on the field.