The Blue Jays need a manager but if they are conducting a search you would never know it. There have been many names mentioned as potential managers. There have been suggestions that the Jays have asked permission to talk to coaches from other teams. But there has been no confirmation that the Jays have actually interviewed anyone.
John Farrell left the Jays employ a few weeks ago, and it would have been obvious that he was going at least a few weeks prior to that. The Jays therefore have had a lot of time to consider how and where to find a new manager. So what explains the inactivity?
On one hand Alex Anthopoulos doesn't believe that it is important to hire a manager immediately. There is now only one other opening in MLB so prospective managers have just that one place to disappear from the Jays list. AA also doesn't believe that a manager is critical to immediate free agent activity.
Shi Davidi waded into the manager search yesterday. From the story:
"Weíll pick it back up after the GM meetings," Anthopoulos says of his manager search. "You canít force the process or rush the process."
Maybe you can't rush the process but hiring a manager when you have at least four weeks notice doesn't come under the rushing category for me.
The GM meetings run Wednesday-Friday in Indian Wells, Calif., and the priority for Anthopoulos in the weeks ahead is on finding ways to bolster his starting rotation. One of the reasons he was ready to bring Farrell and the entire coaching staff back at seasonís end was because he didnít want a manager search to hamper his pursuit of roster help. Yet now that heís saddled with it, Anthopoulos insists one isnít coming at the expense of the other.
So what is happening? AA gives some hints:
"Iím doing (the manager search) differently this time," he explains. "Last time we really cast a wide net, it was very open Ė itís much more specific this year. My biggest concern is that it would take away from what weíre trying to do with the big-league team, but the fact that we could be more specific and donít have to cast nearly as wide a net, it hasnít so far, knock on wood."
To me, this means that AA has just one, two or three potential managers in mind. AA did say last week that he should have gone with his gut last time and that suggested his gut told him to pick someone other than John Farrell. As Dividi notes:
Itís become apparent since the split that while they didnít quarrel constantly, their relationship wasnít as open and communicative as it should have been.
So AA is looking for someone he is comfortable with, someone who his gut tells him is the right person. Last time his gut told him to hire a specific person. Is that person still available? If they are available why hasn't AA offered to hire them?
There could be a logistical explanation. Maybe that person is out of country or getting married and isn't available to finalize the deal and be introduced. It could also be that that person is no longer available or interested. Or that while AA's gut told him that that person was the right one last time, his gut has changed its mind.
So how does AA find his comfort zone with this person? (maybe the interviews will take place in the TD comfort zone at the RC, in those big green seats.)
AA would not give any hints about who is looking for but he did say this, in a couple of different ways, in the story:
"To simplify things, itís more who is the right fit for this organization, this city, this country, this front office, this ownership group, these players. "Thatís really what it comes down to, rather than some of the other things that we like to check off all the boxes that you look for."
What kind of manager is right for the Blue Jays now? It doesn't appear to be related to check off boxes, it appears to be someone who AA is comfortable with and who is comfortable being here. That would suggest that it could be someone with ties to Toronto, perhaps a former player or coach here.
I have one theory that could explain the delay. I have no knowledge that this is true but let's say that Paul Beeston and AA disagree over which direction to go in the manager search. This disagrement would halt the process until it could be resolved.
It is a guessing game and I have no answers.
Bob Elliott had an interview in the Sun with Art Howe today wherein Howe declared his interest in the job. There was no suggestion that the Jays had an interest in Howe.