As it further happens, I was pretty much on the scene and in a position to closely monitor the coming and going of a generation of Sox managers -- several of them superior -- from 1966 when Billy Herman neither surprisingly nor undeservedly got the gate, through 1991 when the delightful ''Tollgate Joe'' Morgan ran afoul of a capricious owner.
In that quarter century's span, nine managers were devoured by the job and only one of them -- Ralph Houk -- departed entirely and peacefully of his own volition. Houk, known in total respect as "The Major," was a very able man who in 1984 at age 65 was pleased to end a long and distinguished baseball career on his own terms. In 1973, Eddie Kasko accepted without protest a front-office post to make way for Darrell Johnson but I always suspected Kasko would have preferred remaining manager for he knew his young team's potential was strong. Ever the pro, Kasko put his feelings aside serving the team long and well ''upstairs.''
But all the others -- to varying degrees -- left bruised and battered. I keenly recall Williams' rage in 1969, only two years after he'd brilliantly engineered the fabled "Impossible Dream," for he rightly believed he'd been blind-sided by Yawkey. Johnson left in tears, although in truth he'd brought his ruin on himself. Don Zimmer's fundamental strength as a baseball man and decency as a person were never properly recognized in this town. Ever the good soldier, Zimmy took it without a whimper. The friends of John McNamara say the sting of his cashiering (deserved or otherwise) stayed with him the rest of his days.
It's a tough job, and it always has been.
So into this remarkable vortex steps a certain John Farrell who at least has the distinct advantage of knowing what he's getting into having already spent a few years here getting buffeted by the forces that allegedly make the Red Sox job unique.
Yes you, the hopelessly addled citizens of bloody Red Sox Nation, are ridiculously demanding in your near pathological need to realize your fondest fantasies on a baseball diamond while we, the voracious latter-day knights of the keyboard who presume to be the keepers of the flame, are impossible to appease.
All that's true. These are facts truly written on the wind. Those who don't like all this or can't accept it are well advised to seek another job managing another team in another town like say Kansas City, or Houston, or even Cleveland.
Beyond that I have no advice, Mr. Farrell, other than to suggest that you here and now read your Red Sox history, Sir, lest you be otherwise doomed to repeat it.
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