Bob Elliot had a scathing piece in the Toronto Sun on just how badly the relationship between Omar Vizquel and then Manager John Farrell and when exactly it went off the rails. Elliot writes that Omar Vizquel had paid to fly Henderson Alvarez’s family to Miami to see him make a scheduled start in June of 2012. But Farrell decided to bump Alvarez back a day and start in Boston the following night and have Jesse Chavez make the start in Florida.
According to Elliot’s article bumping Alvarez’s start back a day incensed Vizquel, who confronted Farrell in his office about the decision and as Elliot writes in the article Farrell tells Vizquel, “We’re not running a little league team here, I’m doing what’s best for the team”.
Vizquel felt slighted by Farrell and with a week to go in the season went to the Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons to say that Farrell had let the clubhouse run amok by letting mistakes go that should have brought consequences along with them. That led to a closed door screaming match between the Farrell and Vizquel and left Farrell wanting management to cut Vizquel.
The Blue Jays didn’t release Vizquel and he did apologize the next day to Farrell about the comments.
Looking back at the whole mess I think Farrell made the right move by bumping Alvarez’s start back a day to pitch against Boston who is a division foe and at the time was the teams best pitcher (this all occurred within a couple of weeks of Kyle Drabek, Brandon Morrow and Drew Hutchison going down with injuries within days of each other).
I also see why it upset Vizquel but really he should have looked at it as in what’s best for the team to win ball games you would figure for as long as he would play he would have figured that out.
I don’t however look at Vizquel calling out Farrell’s management style as anything more than
something that had to be said. The second half of the season it’s totally conceivable that Farrell knew that he would be back in Boston so he wasn’t focusing as much on the task of managing the Blue Jays at the time. And in the end it turned out that Vizquel wasn’t the only Blue Jay that would criticize Farrell as Adam Lind took his shots at Farrell as well.
As for the Vizquel apology at the time it seemed forced and I’m sure if you were to ask Vizquel today he would tell you that he still doesn’t forgive him for the way things fell apart between them.
And one more thing, why does it seem like every time someone leaves the Blue Jays organization that there is dirt that eventually comes out?