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Mass Exodus – Red Sox Version

When Romeo Crennel, Charlie Weis, Eric Mangini, Josh McDaniels, and Scott Pioli got plucked away by other teams, that was a lot of pluck. Some say it’s had a serious impact on the Patriots who haven’t won a Super Bowl since those guys left. Maybe Bill Belichick has taken on too much responsibility, or maybe he’s given too much responsibility to assistants who aren’t quite ready. No matter. This is a piece about the Red Sox.

Last off season, the Red Sox lost bench coach Brad Mills to the Houston Astros. And by the way, “Millsy” had about as much success with his new team as all the ex-Patriots had with theirs. Now, almost a year to the day after Mills left, the Red Sox lose pitching coach John Farrell to the Blue Jays. Why isn’t that like Mangini going to the Jets?

I’m thinking a bench coach and a pitching coach are similar positions to offensive and defensive co-ordinators. Nobody thinks the pitching and bench coaches have nearly as much importance as NFL co-ordinators, but maybe they do. The questions have been raised about even the genius Belichick. So, go ahead and wonder: Will Terry Francona be as good a manager without the help of his two top assistants?

That’s question number one. Next up: How good a pitching coach was Farrell anyway? Sure, he gets all the credit for standing up and telling Theo Epstein not to trade Jon Lester and others for Johan Santana. That legend has grown to where it seems like Farrell had the tiebreaking vote and whatever he said the Red Sox would do. But that’s just not the way it went down. Farrell turned out to be right, but he wasn’t the guy who made the call.

Anyway, Lester and Clay Buchholz have blossomed under his tutelage. Daisuke Matsuzaka and Josh Beckett, you could argue, have gotten worse. Jonathan Papelbon, there is no argument, has definitely gotten worse. John Lackey didn’t get any better, nor did Manny Delcarmen. Whatever happened to Hideki Okajima? I’m just sayin’!

None of that is a knock on Farrell. He doesn’t throw the ball. I’m sure he’s extremely prepared, and he’ll probably be a good manager. He’s pitched in the big leagues, been a scout, in the front office, and a de facto assistant manager. The man’s ready, and the Red Sox are great to watch him go without any hard feelings. They did the same for Mills. But Mills joined the Red Sox in 2004 and the Red Sox won a World Series. Farrell joined the Sox in 2007, and the Sox did it again. I’m just sayin’, maybe these are bigger losses to the Red Sox than fans may recognize. An organization has lost two of its best people. That can’t be a good thing.

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