Half a Season In, Do We Like John Farrell?

TORONTO, CANADA - JULY 2: Manager John Farrel argues with Umpire Alphonso Marquez and Ed Hickox during MLB action at The Rogers Centre July 2, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)

I have been spending a little bit of time, surfing around, trying to come up with something I'm interested enough to write about, but the only thing that interests me is Jose Bautista's ankle and I have no new information.

So I'm just going to open a discussion thread on our rookie manager, see what people are thinking about the guy.

For me, I liked him at the start. I knew there would be some moments, since it is his first time as manager, but I thought he was bright enough to learn from whatever mistakes he might make.

Then, some of the learning caught me off guard. I didn't expect lineup decisions based on a handful of at bats against a pitcher. Small sample sizes seemed to be the order of the day. 

Bullpen use seemed to be something that it took a little bit for John to get a feel for, Octavio Dotel against lefties, and various other moves, seemed not well thought out. He hasn't been helped by Frank Francisco's problems and I don't think that is his fault at all. It feels like John is doing a better job with the pen. 

Johnny wrote about the Yunel Escobar concussion, talking about how much of a mistake it was to leave Yunel in, when it seemed, at least to us at home, that he wasn't right. I think Farrell learned from that.

I'll admit, I think we are overusing the shift. If a guy is hitting .230, I don't seem why you would want to do a big shift. giving a guy an easy hit, if he is willing to go the other way, when he's not exactly tearing things up, seems wrong. 

The sudden change in the plan at third base, at the end of spring training, seemed to be a move that didn't give the players the best chance of succeeding. I think John learned from that, because they gave Bautista a few days to get acclimatized to third, before making him play the position, back when they finally had enough of watching Jayson Nix fail there.

Small ball stuff. Earlier in the season, we seemed to use the bunt a lot. I'm really not a fan of the bunt in the first inning of a game. Some of the time it was bunting for a base hit, but sometimes, it seemed, like a starting pitcher wasn't looking good to start a game and then we go and give him an out,  just to help him along. We aren't bunting as much now. Maybe mostly because we have Eric Thames in the two spot and Farrell has more faith in his bat. 

All in, I think John is learning on the job, which isn't an easy thing with all of us watching his every move. I'll admit, I gained a lot of respect for him when he argued with the plate umpire after Jon Rauch got himself thrown out of the game (actually I gained respect for him for trying to hold back that very large man from trying to kill the umpire, I don't think i'd have got in his way). I'm liking him more and more as he seems to settle into the job. Course, it is easier for me to like him, now that Travis Snider and Eric Thames are playing.

Anyway, what do you think of Farrell, now that we've had half a season to watch him?

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