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Your! Call: Who should be the next manager of the Blue Jays?

Shane McNeil, TSN.ca

10/21/2012 2:54:16 PM

The John Farrell era in Toronto has come to a close after the Blue Jays' released their skipper, allowing him to sign with the Boston Red Sox.

While the move had been widely expected in the rumour mill in the weeks since the end of Major League Baseball's regular season, the Jays and Red Sox were finally able to agree on the framework to finally end the Farrell drama.

A former pitching coach with the Red Sox, Farrell's name had been whispered in connection with Boston's managerial opening even before the team hired Bobby Valentine prior to the 2012 season.

Farrell's tenure in Toronto ends without the success that was expected when he was picked to shepherd the Jays out of the second Cito Gaston era at the end of the 2010 season.

Farrell posted a .475 winning percentage over his two seasons in Toronto, the lowest mark since Bobby Mattick in 1980-81 for any Blue Jays manager that lasted more than one season on the job.

The Jays have picked up infielder Mike Aviles in compensation for Farrell's transition to Beantown (in addition to sending reliever David Carpenter to Boston), but the greater concern for the Jays now is who will take over as manager now that Farrell is gone.

The first name mentioned by many once the news broke on Sunday morning is Sandy Alomar Jr. Believed to have been a runner-up when Farrell was first hired, the Jays have considered the former catcher for the job in the past.

Alomar finished last season as the Cleveland Indians interim manager after the club parted ways with Manny Acta. However, he was passed for the full-time job over this fall by the Tribe in favour of former Red Sox manager Terry Francona.

The Alomar name is one that could bring a measure of comfort to Jays' fans and the prospect of bringing in a former catcher may intrigue fans hoping for the recent success of managers like Bruce Bochy and Mike Matheny. Alomar may also have a leg up by being a Latin American manager on a team loaded with talented Latin American players and prospects.

There are a few names within the Jays' organization that could also draw consideration.

Brian Butterfield was also a finalist for the manager's job back in 2010. Butterfield has been a part of the Jays' organization for a decade including stints as infield instructor, bench coach and third base coach.

Current Jays bench coach Don Wakamatsu could be an in-house option due to his knowledge of the current squad as well as MLB managerial experience, having served as Seattle Mariners manager from 2009-10.

Former major league catcher Brad Ausmus was believed to be a front-runner for the Red Sox job before Boston landed Farrell. Another former catcher, Ausmus does not have managerial experience but has spent the last two seasons in the San Diego Padres front office.

A three-time Gold Glove winner, Ausmus was seen as an intelligent player over his 17-year MLB career. He served as Israel's manager in the country's bid to qualify for the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

Tony Pena is another casualty of the Farrell decision as he, too, interviewed for the Boston job. After a colourful tenure as Kansas City Royals manager between 2002 and 2005, Pena has served as a first base and later bench coach with the New York Yankees since 2006. Pena won the American League Manager of the Year award with the Royals in 2003.

The Blue Jays also have Sal Fasano within their organization, as he is currently managing the Jays' Double-A affiliate in New Hampshire. However, the team may value him more as a developmental aid right now than as a big league candidate.

TSN's Scott Ferguson also proposed former Blue Jay and Baseball Hall-of-Famer Paul Molitor as a potential manager based on his high baseball IQ as a player.

So, what do you think?

Who should the Jays turn to now as they attempt to break a streak of 19 years without a postseason appearance?

As always, it's Your! Call.