Releasing a manager under contract is pretty rare, but Farrell's attachment to Boston made keeping him rather difficult. Making matters worse is the battle of the haves vs. have-nots that divide MLB.
Boston is one of the glory teams in the eyes of MLB and the media that cover the sport. Always on ESPN and MLB Network, the Red Sox became even bigger after winning a couple of World Series in the 20th century after breaking an 86-year string. Toronto is the only team that Fox wouldn't carry in its MLB coverage.
So with Boston wanting something (someone?) it felt like it should have had all along, Boston was going to get what it wanted.
Toronto did receive compensation for the loss of Farrell in the form of infielder Mike Aviles. Adding an extra insult, and because the rules now require this, Toronto gave up right-handed pitcher David Carpenter. By contrast, the Chicago White Sox received two minor-leaguers as compensation for the loss of manager Ozzie Guillen and Seattle got outfielder Randy Winn from Tampa Bay for manager Lou Pinella in 2002.
So the Blue Jays get a serviceable infielder — with the worst OBP of any AL starter in 2012, and gave up a relief pitcher and a manager. Advantage: Red Sox.
The scenario is even worse because Boston and Farrell had made love eyes at each other for the last year or so. When a team does that, they call it tampering. If nothing else, the Sox should have thrown in a decent/good minor league prospect.
The Toronto Blue Jays are better off without Farrell, but being one of the MLB have-nots means fighting harder for basic respect. The Blue Jays lost Farrell without much of a fight, and the U.S. media saw Farrell as being Boston property even while wearing a Toronto uniform.
The next Toronto manager better have his heart in Toronto. The grass is plenty green in Canada, too.
photo credit: ESPN