It was hard not to be impressed by John Farrell in yesterday’s news conference that introduced him as the Blue Jays new manager. The Jays new field boss came across as ambitious, articulate, intelligent and confident, and the former Red Sox pitching coach appears to be universally respected in baseball circles.
The New Jersey native pitched for parts of eight seasons in the big leagues with the Indians, Angels and Tigers, before retiring in 1996. Following his playing career, he worked as an assistant pitching coach and recruiter for Oklahoma State University, before heading up the Cleveland Indians’ farm system. Most recently, he has served as the pitching coach for the Boston Red Sox. But this is information that you can find in almost any news report about Farrell. Here are five things you might not know about the Jays new skipper:
Farrell is the second person to don a Jays uniform that was born on August 4, 1962. The first was Roger Clemens. Don’t worry though, Farrell is unlikely to name Brian McNamee to his staff.
The new skipper also shares his birthday with another “Rocket” – Montreal Canadiens great, Rocket Richard (born on August 4, 1921). No word on whether Farrell’s new nickname will be “Rocket.”
Excluding Clemens, two excellent leaders share a birthday with Farrell: Barack Obama (August 4, 1961) and World Series-winning manager Dallas Green (August 4 1934).
Farrell is no stranger to Canada. He pitched for parts of two seasons with the Angels Triple-A affiliate in Vancouver in 1993 and 1994. In eight starts with Vancouver in 1994, he pitched four complete games and recorded a 3.25 ERA.
The former hurler’s career record against the Blue Jays was 2-2 with 5.09 ERA in 10 games. His best start in Toronto occurred on September 21, 1990, when he shutout the Jays over five innings, allowing just two hits. The Indians eventually won the contest when Sandy Alomar Jr., also a finalist for the Jays managerial post, homered in the 13th inning to give the Tribe a 2-1 victory.