John Farrell

Sorry all, I accidentally deleted this post and, of course, the comments that went with it. Here it is back.

Years ago Bill James used something he called Managerial boxes, where he asked and answered a number of questions about a manager to give a feel for the manager's style. I thought it would be interesting to answer these questions about John Farrell:

The Manager

NAME: John Farrell

AGE: 49

MANAGERS FOR WHOM HE PLAYED FOR IN THE MAJORS: Pat Corrales, Doc Edwards, John Hart, John McNamara, Buck Rodgers, Marcel Lachemann, Mike Hargrove and Buddy Bell. I'd imagine he learned more working with Terry Francona than from the managers he was with back in his playing days.

CHARACTERISTICS AS A PLAYER: A right-handed pitcher, didn't strike out many. He was a member of the Indians starting, full time for 2 and a half seasons, doing a pretty good job, before he suffered an elbow injury that cost him two seasons. He signed as a free agent with the Angels and made 17 starts in 1993 but wasn't effective, he had a 7.35. He wasn't an effective major league pitcher again.

Managerial Record

WHAT HE BRINGS TO THE BALLCLUB

IS HE AN INTENSE MANAGER OR MORE OF AN EASY-TO-GET-ALONG-WITH TYPE? I get the feeling he is easy to get along with. He seems like a good guy.

IS HE MORE OF AN EMOTIONAL LEADER OR A DECISION-MAKER? He is more of a decision maker.

IS HE MORE OF AN OPTIMIST OR MORE OF A PROBLEM SOLVER? He is a problem solver, he didn't tend to stay with a guy who was struggling.

HOW HE USES HIS PERSONNEL

DOES HE FAVOR A SET LINEUP OR A ROTATION SYSTEM? I think he prefers a set lineup, moving guys out of the lineup when they haven't been playing well.

DOES HE LIKE TO PLATOON? No. Or at least he didn't like to platoon last year.

DOES HE TRY TO SOLVE HIS PROBLEMS WITH PROVEN PLAYERS OR WITH YOUNGSTERS WHO STILL HAVE SOMETHING TO PROVE? HOW MANY PLAYERS HAS HE MADE REGULARS OUT OF WHO WERE NOT REGULARS? He seemed to prefer to use veterans, though the term 'proven player' might not be the one I'd use. He got tired of watching Edwin Encarnacion play third so he put Nix in the spot. He didn't like Travis Snider in the outfield so he used Cory Patterson. But then when those two failed he tried rookies Eric Thames and Brett Lawrie.

The players that he made regulars who weren't before last season were J.P. Arencibia, Eric Thames and Brett Lawrie.

DOES HE PREFER TO GO WITH GOOD OFFENSIVE PLAYERS OR DOES HE LIKE THE GLOVE MEN? Good question. He didn't like Edwin at third so he put in Nix, Nix was better defensively (but still not very good), but terrible on offense. He preferred Thames and Patterson over Snider in left, Snider was better than both defensively. He was willing to try Snider in CF, something that I'm not sure many managers would have been willing to try.

DOES HE LIKE AN OFFENSE BASED ON POWER, SPEED OR HIGH AVERAGES? He inherited a power hitting lineup and insisted that they were going to run more. I'm not sure that he prefers speed over power, but he wanted at least balance. I think he likes having speed.

DOES HE USE THE ENTIRE ROSTER OR DOES HE KEEP PEOPLE AROUND SITTING ON THE BENCH? He seemed to try to use the entire roster.

DOES HE BUILD HIS BENCH AROUND YOUNG PLAYERS WHO CAN STEP INTO A BREACH IF NEED BE OR AROUND VETERAN ROLE-PLAYERS WHO HAVE THEIR OWN FUNCTIONS WITHIN A GAME? He seems to prefer veteran role players on the bench.

GAME MANAGING AND USE OF STRATEGIES

DOES HE GO FOR THE BIG-INNING OFFENSE OR DOES HE LIKE TO USE THE ONE-RUN STRATEGES? He used one strategies quite often.

DOES HE PINCH-HIT MUCH, AND IF SO WHEN? Not much.

ANYTHING UNUSUAL ABOUT HIS LINEUP SELECTION? Unusual is a bit of a judgement called. He continued to use Lind in the clean-up spot long after he showed he wasn't the best choice. He used Thames in the second spot in the order when he likely had better choices.

DOES HE USE THE SAC BUNT OFTEN? No. Corey Patterson lead the team with 6 sac bunts but many of those were attempts to bunt for a base hit, that didn't work out. Yunel had 5 sac bunts, some might have been the same, trying to get a bunt single.

DOES HE LIKE TO USE THE RUNNING GAME? Oh yeah.

IN WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES WILL HE ISSUE AN INTENTIONAL WALK? He ordered fair fewer than the average AL manager. He did it a few times to load the bases, a play I'm not fond of, when the tying or winning run is at third, late in the game.

DOES HE HIT AND RUN VERY OFTEN? Yes. Especially compared to Cito, who I've been told, didn't use a hit and run in the last two years he was with the team. Farrell did it a lot, especially early in the season. Later in the year, he didn't seem to use it as much.

ARE THERE ANY UNIQUE OR IDIOSYNCRATIC STRATEGIES THAT HE PARTICULARLY LIKES? He sent the runners a lot. Lots of stolen bases. The move I hated the most was having runners on second try to steal third with two outs. Even with Jose Bautista at bat. How many time was Corey Patterson caught stealing third? Maybe he was running on his own, but I'm sure Cito would have put a stop to it after the first time.

I'd have liked him to show a little more patience. He decided, on the last weekend of spring training, to put Edwin at third. When, pretty predictably, Edwin had some troubles, in the first week, he puts Jayson Nix in the spot. Nix had proven he wasn't a major leaguer the past few seasons. Travis Snider has a poor start to the season, we put Corey Patterson in the spot. Patterson finished with a OPS+ of 78, one off his career 79.

HANDLING THE PITCHING STAFF

DOES HE LIKE POWER PITCHERS OR PREFER TO GO WITH THE PEOPLE WHO PUT THE BALL INTO PLAY? I don't think we know the answer to this yet, but he seemed to be willing to work with both. As a pitcher, he was a 'put the ball into play' type so I'm sure he doesn't mind using those. But he seemed to be ok with power pitchers as well.

DOES HE STAY WITH THE STARTER OR GO TO THE BULLPEN QUICKLY? I think he was a fairly quick hook. He rarely left the starters in too long.

DOES HE USE THE ENTIRE STAFF OR DOES HE TRY TO GET FIVE OR SIX PEOPLE TO DO MOST OF THE WORK? He used the entire staff. Shawn Camp led the staff in appearances at 67, but he had 3 others that got into 50+ games and Rzepczynski and Frasor got into 43 and 44 games respectively, before being traded. He used everyone.

HOW LONG WILL HE STAY WITH A STRUGLLING STARTER? Not too long. Actually I think that was what he did best, he seemed to know just when to pull his starter.

ARE THERE ANY PARTICULAR TYPES OF PITCHERS OF WHOM HE IS FOND? He did seem to like guys that could get ground balls.

IS THERE ANYTHING UNIQUE ABOUT HIS HANDLING OF HIS PITCHERS? Well, he did have some problems figuring out his bullpen. Using Dotel against lefties drove us nuts. Using Rauch as closer didn't go over all that well either. As the season went on he seemed to improve.

WHAT IS HIS STRONGEST POINT AS A MANAGER? I think the use of his coaches, he seemed to have a good relationship with his coaches, they all seemed to get along well and he was good at giving credit to his coaches.

IF THERE WERE NO PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL, WHAT WOULD THIS MANAGER PROBALY BE DOING? Hmmmm he seems very thoughtful, a thinker. I could see him being a doctor.

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