John Farrell's baseball bona fides are apparent - his managerial bona fides less so. But in tapping into the Boston Red Sox for his new manager, Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos has made a much-needed clean break from the 1992-93 World Series mafia that has so dominated modern Blue Jays discourse.
Making it better is the fact that the status of current Blue Jays pitching coach Bruce Walton was never an issue; Walton is the one member of the coaching staff that absolutely had to be retained, and sources say Farrell - the Red Sox pitching coach - had no issue with it.
It's nice to celebrate those back-to-back champions, especially with Roberto Alomar's almost sure-fire election to the Hall of Fame this winter to become the first player entering Cooperstown wearing a Blue Jays hat. But enough of this parade of former players into the manager's office. An entire generation of baseball fans has moved on and bringing in somebody from this far outside the organization is refreshing. Farrell's roots also extend to the Cleveland Indians organization - and perhaps that should have been a tip off since Anthopoulos has used Indians president Mark Shapiro as one of his sounding boards this season.
In the meantime, am I the only one who thinks it's funny that this story was broken and developed by Boston-based reporters, using their ties to Farrell and Red Sox owner John Henry - whose e-mail to the Boston Globe on Sunday thanking Farrell for his service and congratulating the Blue Jays on their choice confirmed the hiring? And here the Toronto media thought all the leaks emanating from Boston would end with J.P. Ricciardi's firing.
CLEARING THE BASES: Popular Texas Rangers catcher Bengie Molina can't lose in the World Series: he played 61 games for the San Francisco Giants this season before being traded to Texas and is in line for a playoff share and likely a ring if the Giants win. … Tony Siegle is the Giants senior adviser of baseball operations and his friends in Montreal, who remember him as Omar Minaya's right-hand man when Major League Baseball ran the Montreal Expos in the franchise's dying days, will be pleased he has a shot at his first World Series ring in 46 years. Siegle was with the Houston Astros in 1980 when the Astros signed Nolan Ryan to baseball's first-ever $1-million (U.S.) contract - and Ryan is now president of the Rangers. … The Blue Jays have asked the Yankees about Joba Chamberlain's availability in each of the past two seasons and they'll revisit the matter again this winter with Chamberlain having fallen completely out of favour with the team.
CLEARING THE CREASE: Hard to take the NHL's boss of discipline, Colin Campbell, seriously when the league's own website highlights fights as it did all day Sunday, providing video links on its home page to Milan Lucic v. Brandon Prust and Paul Bissonette v. Jay Harrison. … Heading into Tuesday's game at the Bell Centre against the Montreal Canadiens, the New York Islanders' John Tavares has five goals and seven assists in four games since coming back from a concussion. … Going into Wednesday's game against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Washington Capitals are 4-for-33 on the power-play through eight games this season after leading the NHL by more than four percentage points in 2009-10, but don't fret: last year they were 8-for-48 (16.7) after 10 games. "I want goals, I want shots, I want less risk, winning battles and just more determination," Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau told the Washington Post.
NY FANS POLL
23.87 - Through 2 p.m. Sunday, percentage of 9,655 respondents to New York Post on-line poll who say the New York Yankees should let captain Derek Jeter leave the team as a free agent.
QUOTABLE: "Jeter is now Ripken (Cal, Jr.), the face and the burden of a franchise." - Joel Sherman, columnist, New York Post
"It's always pitching." - Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told reporters after his team's American League Championship Series loss that dealing with free agents Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera and getting manager Joe Girardi's name on a new contract aren't the only issues facing him this winter. Cliff Lee? C'mon down!
"Every time I've been in up to now I haven't been too happy with the way I've performed. The big thing is how well our offensive line played. You can't say enough about the way they've performed the last five games and if they continue to build on that, we're leaving the predictability stage." - Edmonton Eskimos quarterback Jared Zabransky talks to reporters after the team kept alive its playoff hopes heading into a weekend game with the already-eliminated Winnipeg Blue Bombers after a win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Saturday. Zabransky started for Ricky Ray, who will undergo an MRI this week for a rib cartilage injury. The Eskimos hadn't won a game in which Ray hadn't taken a snap since Oct.. 24, 2004.