News broke over the weekend that the Blue Jays are hiring Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell as their new manager and an official announcement is expected to come at a press conference this afternoon.
WEEI.com has been out in front reporting on the Blue Jays’ manager search and Rob Bradford confirmed the hiring by talking directly to Farrell himself.
Farrell, who has served as the Red Sox’s pitching coach since 2007 and before that worked as the Indians’ farm director, will take over for Cito Gaston beginning at 3:00 p.m. eastern time.
Andrew Stoeten of Drunk Jays Fans has a very nice run-down of various Farrell-related topics, including the fact that he has no managerial experience and pitching coaches in general are rarely hired as managers. Stoeten doesn’t seem very worried about either of those things and I tend to agree. Farrell is a good hire.
Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.
GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”
Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.
Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.
Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.
The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.