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Greetings from Gate 20

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  October 22, 2010 08:13 AM

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Good morning from San Francisco, where's it's 5:13 a.m. as I write this. That's even early in airport time as the Hudson News is closed. I'm hoping to pick up the San Francisco Chronicle to read on the flight to Philadelphia before taking a nap.

The NLCS is moving back to the East Coast after the Phillies overcame the Giants 4-2 last night. The Giants lead 3-2 but will have to deal with Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels, no easy task. At this point, I like the Phillies. The Giants and their makeshift lineup may have missed their chance last night.

A few people have e-mailed or commented on the blog that the Red Sox should make Jason Varitek the pitching coach if John Farrell becomes the manager of the Blue Jays. Two things:

1. Jason is not a pitching coach.

2. He will hopes to continue his playing career, whether it is with the Red Sox or elsewhere. There's a heck of a lot more money in playing than coaching.

Varitek works very well with pitchers when it comes to calling games and nursing them through rough spots. But being a pitching coach in modern baseball is 100 times more complicated than that. And not having been a pitcher, it would be difficult for Varitek to teach pitchers how to make mechanical adjustments.

Even if he wanted to be a pitching coach and I've never heard that he does starting at the major league level would be unrealistic. Farrell, as an example, pitched in the majors then was a college coach and player development executive with Cleveland before coming to the Red Sox.

Coaching in Boston is an attractive job and the Red Sox have quite likely already been contacted by many interested parties both within the organization and from outside.

Farrell would be a significant loss, but change is inevitable.

Folks are asking about Dave Duncan. I suspect that is mainly because he is the only pitching coach most fans know of. But every indication is that he will remain with Tony La Russa in St. Louis.

To me, the more interesting aspect of Farrell's possible departure is that he was seen as he most likely replacement for Terry Francona and was being groomed as such. Francona is in no danger of being fired. But fortunes can change quickly and his health is always a concern.

If Farrell becomes he manager in Toronto, the line of succession is broken. The good news, of course, is that Grady Little is tanned, rested and ready.

OK, off to Philly.

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