Blue Jays keeping length of John Farrell’s contract a secret

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This afternoon the Blue Jays officially introduced former Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell as their new manager, but neither Farrell nor general manager Alex Anthopoulos were willing to disclose the length of his contract.

Anthopoulos told Jordan Bastian of MLB.com that the secrecy is needed because knowing contract details “creates unneeded speculation and takes attention away from the team.”

In other words, it’ll be harder for people to speculate about Farrell’s job status if they don’t even know how long he’s signed for.

If every detail of players’ contracts are made public it only seems fair that the same is true for managers and even general managers, but the whole secrecy thing with Farrell is particularly odd considering there’s almost zero chance of everyone involved actually keeping it a secret. Eventually someone involved with the Blue Jays will tell someone involved with the media, at which point the team’s attempts to keep the contract length under wraps will seem even weirder.

Sandy Koufax to be honored with statue at Dodger Stadium

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Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax will be honored with a statue at Dodger Stadium, expected to be unveiled in 2020. Dodger Stadium will be undergoing major renovations, expected to cost around $100 million, after the season. Koufax’s statue will go in a new entertainment plaza beyond center field. The current statue of Jackie Robinson will be moved into the same area.

Koufax, 83, had a relatively brief career, pitching parts of 12 seasons in the majors, but they were incredible. He was a seven-time All-Star who won the National League Cy Young Award three times (1963, ’65-66) and the NL Most Valuable Player Award once (’63). He contributed greatly to the ’63 and ’65 championship teams and authored four no-hitters, including a perfect game in ’65.

Koufax was also influential in other ways. As Shaikin notes, Koufax refused to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series to observe Yom Kippur. It was an act that would attract national attention and turn Koufax into an American Jewish icon.

Ahead of the 1966 season, Koufax and Don Drysdale banded together to negotiate against the Dodgers, who were trying to pit the pitchers against each other. They sat out spring training, deciding to use their newfound free time to sign  on to the movie Warning Shot. Several weeks later, the Dodgers relented, agreeing to pay Koufax $125,000 and Drysdale $110,000, which was then a lot of money for a baseball player. It would be just a few years later that Curt Flood would challenge the reserve clause. Koufax, Drysdale, and Flood helped the MLB Players Association, founded in 1966, gain traction under the leadership of Marvin Miller.