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Jay's lose in the 10th.


Shaun Marcum hung in tough for a solid outing giving up three over seven Innings and keeping the Jays in the game against Zack Grienke.  They were one down at the point Marcum finished, after Jose Guillen had given the Royals a three run first Inning lead.  Grienke looked more like himself yesterday, getting eight strikeouts in his seven Innings, but Gonzalez got to him in the fourth with a two run shot.  McCoy scored in the eighth off a Lewis single to tie things up, but then Downs gave up a solo shot to Alex Gordon in the first extra frame to seal the win for the Royals.  The Jays now head south for a tough weekend series with the Rays.

Was it April 1st yesterday?  Thats seems to be the only logical explanation for the Cubs plan to move Carlos Zambrano to the bullpen, making him a $90 million setup man. Whilst Zambrano does seem to have a bit of zip on his pitches, in his last three starts he's had an ERA of 4 with 18 strikeouts and 8 walks, for a team thats giving Carlos freaking Silva regular starts those are not numbers I'd be worrying about.  The explanation from the Cubs brain trust (and I'm using the term loosely) is that they don't want another lefty in the pen, so Gorzelany stays in the rotation and Big Z heads to relief. It just beggars belief. To his credit Zambrano didn't blow a gasket to the press, instead taking the mature Crash Davis approach and pulling out the 'whatever's good for the team' cliche.

I got quite nostalgic last night watching Doc mowing down Braves' hitter's left and right.  I'm sure I'll get used to watching him doing his stuff in a different uniform, but it hasn't happened yet.  I'd tell you how he pitched, but just take a look at his line and you'll know:

IP  H R BB  K
9   5  0   1    7

Former Jay Kevin Millar is joining the MLB Network - this is the first time I've been happy it's not available in Canada.

Off topic, but I know we have a lot of fans of The Wire here - I watched the first two episodes of David Simon's new show Treme yesterday and it's fantastic, especially Clarke Peters. 
Jays miss out on sweep of Royals | 35 comments | Create New Account
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92-93 - Thursday, April 22 2010 @ 01:35 AM EDT (#213996) #
And if Cito was in charge of MLB Tonight he'd no doubt be platooning Sean Casey with Kevin Millar.
Magpie - Thursday, April 22 2010 @ 06:56 AM EDT (#214001) #
Overbay shouldn't have been platooned last season?
christaylor - Thursday, April 22 2010 @ 07:36 AM EDT (#214002) #
The first rule of the slagging Cito club, is don't talk about slagging Cito.

I think we all understand why Cito did what he did with Millar. It didn't work. It might have and platoons are great, except they're not used like the were used to (it seems to me) in 80s.

Personally, I blame the bullpen for the platoon strategy being less effective and Cito is not and never was Cox.
rpriske - Thursday, April 22 2010 @ 08:38 AM EDT (#214003) #

"Personally, I blame the bullpen for the platoon strategy being less effective"

Agreed. There should be MORE platooning, not less.

Mike Green - Thursday, April 22 2010 @ 09:18 AM EDT (#214004) #
Thanks, Gwyn, for the Treme recommendation. There's a Hall of Names team waiting to be done for The Wire:

OF- Keith "Bunk" Moreland, Franklin "Alma" Gutierrez, Kal "Cedric" Daniels, Pat "Jimmy" McNulty
IF- Buddy "Stringer" Bell, Garry "Scott" Templeton, Bryan "Omar" Little, Jud "Norman" Wilson
C- Jody "Clay" Davis
DH- Pat "Ervin" Burrell
SP- Rick "Cutty" Wise, Monte "Snoop" Pearson, Cliff "Michael" Lee and Joe "Augustus" Haynes
RP- Jeff "Beadie" Russell and Kevin "Marlo" Stanfield

A little more work has to be done on the pitching staff and the bench, but...

John Northey - Thursday, April 22 2010 @ 09:30 AM EDT (#214006) #
Yup, Cito ain't Cox - he has 2 rings vs 1 :)

Cox is great at platooning and managing the regular season but never seemed to learn that the playoffs are a different creature. In the playoffs Cito would pinch hit, play guys out of position, do whatever it took. Cox kept doing what he did in season, no change. Sadly for Cito MLB is not the NBA or NHL where knowing how to adapt to a best of 7 is not useful for the vast majority of teams. :P
christaylor - Thursday, April 22 2010 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#214009) #
Sanjay - Thursday, April 22 2010 @ 12:06 PM EDT (#214013) #

For those interested in Canadian Baseball History.  CBC Radio 1 program Rewind, will feature a selection of past radio programming done on baseball in this country.

Begins at 2pm here in Ontario.

 

Mick Doherty - Thursday, April 22 2010 @ 01:52 PM EDT (#214014) #

Mike, I've never <<gasp!>> even watched the show, so can't finish your HoN team. But if you write it, I'll post it for you!

Top of the lineup Templeton-Bell-Daniels-Burrell. Team might score a LOT of runs!

92-93 - Thursday, April 22 2010 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#214017) #

Overbay shouldn't have been platooned last season?

Of course he should have been, but the RH side of it had no business being Millar (especially in September) when the team had Bautista on the bench and Ruiz withering away in Vegas. Funny how even when I kid someone here has to jump to Cito's defense.

Magpie - Thursday, April 22 2010 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#214019) #
Didn't the September lineup already have Bautista in RF and Ruiz at DH? As bad as he was, Millar was still better against LHP than Overbay.
Mike Green - Thursday, April 22 2010 @ 04:42 PM EDT (#214020) #
All right, Mick.  Here you go, The "In the Holes" of the Wire:

C-   Jody  "Clay" Davis
1B- Norman "Jud" Wilson
2B- Bryan "Omar" Little
SS- Garry "Scott" Templeton
3B- Buddy "Stringer" Bell
LF- Kal "Cedric" Daniels
CF- Franklin "Alma" Gutierrez
RF- Keith "Bunk" Moreland
DH- Pat "Ervin" Burrell

Bench- Leo "Ed" Norris UIF, Kevin "Tosha" Mitchell (third baseman/hitter/union of fat players), Ray "Alex" Cole, Dave "Marquis" Hilton, Josh "Tim" Phelps (emergency catcher/mandatory Blue Jay)

SP- Cliff "Michael" Lee
SP- Tommy "Rupert" Bond
SP- Rick "Cutty" Wise
SP- Monte "Snoop" Pearson
SP- Joe "Augustus" Haynes

RP- Joe "Ilene" Nathan
RP- Jeff "Beadie" Russell
RP- Brendan "Marcia" Donnelly
RP- Joe "Day Day" Price
RP- Jarrod "Coleman" Parker

Honourary member- Pat "Jimmy" McNulty

92-93 - Thursday, April 22 2010 @ 04:53 PM EDT (#214022) #

Didn't the September lineup already have Bautista in RF and Ruiz at DH? As bad as he was, Millar was still better against LHP than Overbay.

Your scenario would have either Lind or Snider in LF and the other on the bench. It's simply unacceptable for an under .500 ballclub to be handing a guy like Kevin Millar starts in September (let alone that there were better options all year, as I pointed out), and it was even worse that he was plugged in the #4 spot throughout the season, posting an impressrive .186/.255/.395 line as the Jays cleanup hitter.

Methinks McNulty would have been quite the scrappy player, and that Omar would have been a prolific base-stealer.

Alex Obal - Thursday, April 22 2010 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#214024) #
A-Rod v. Unwritten Rules: the saga continues.
Magpie - Thursday, April 22 2010 @ 11:30 PM EDT (#214026) #
Here's the thing about Millar hitting cleanup:

It was 43 at bats. In the entire 2009 season.

Sure, it's 43 more at bats than I would have given him, too. But for all the fuss made out of it...
TamRa - Friday, April 23 2010 @ 01:25 AM EDT (#214027) #
when it got to 4 it was worth the fuss, let alone 43. Not for what we might have gained or lost in those 43, but for what it says about the thinking of the man making the choice.


92-93 - Friday, April 23 2010 @ 01:59 AM EDT (#214028) #

Once again, I was originally making a joke and have long ago resigned myself to the torture that will be watching Cito manage all season. But I can't sit back and read moves that are blatantly wrong be constantly defended here without responding, and it's not like I'm trying to be a one-trick pony; I was the first one to defend Cito not PHing for JMac in the 10th, because I didn't believe at that point it was necessarily the wrong decision (of course that ignores the multitude of strange ones that happened during the 8th and 9th innings).

Sure, it's 43 more at bats than I would have given him, too. But for all the fuss made out of it...

You don't get to agree with the people who dislike his managerial style and then in the very next sentence imply that they are getting worked up over nothing. Sure, in isolation starting Millar in the heart of the order 18 games really isn't all that bad, but that has little to do with the overall point. When a TON of little managerial oddities add up it infruriates fans to the point of fussing about the smallest of things, and I heard numerous people remark that they will not watch a rebuilding team that was batting Millar cleanup while other viable options existed that Cito refused to entertain. That theme has continued into this season, with very few people understanding what Cito is still doing managing a team that couldn't stand him the year before (MUTINY) if he's going to be gone next year anyway, especially if retaining him meant the departure of Brad Arnsberg, and there's every indication that it did. I've heard the "AA might have someone in mind that isn't available until next year" excuse way too many times, as if people believe it makes sense - he's the wrong person to be a placeholder for the next guy during a rebuild when the players dislike him, and I'm pretty sure any real baseball fan born after the early 70s (presumably the target market for a baseball team that Beeston/Rogers should be working on bringing back) would rather watch this team managed by Sal Fasano than Cito, even if Sal has no long-term viability, and as a personable catcher it's likely he does. Heck, I'd prefer Kevin Millar managing this team to Cito! The idea that Wilner likes to float that Beeston kept Cito around because of the mutiny and that he didn't want the players running the asylum, tarnishing Cito's reputation as he's run out of town, is as senseless to me as Cito playing Overbay everyday because -

"It's just something we want to do for him," the manager said. "He's a free agent this year. We want to make sure he has a good shot out there, if he stays here or goes somewhere else, that he has a chance to do that."

The team should be looking out for its own best interests, not that of a manager or 1B who will be gone next year.

Mike, I'm not sure what the qualifications are, but I'd really like to see Mark "Bird" Fidrych be a part of that pitching staff.

Spifficus - Friday, April 23 2010 @ 02:56 AM EDT (#214029) #

I'm pretty sure any real baseball fan born after the early 70s (presumably the target market for a baseball team that Beeston/Rogers should be working on bringing back) would rather watch this team managed by Sal Fasano than Cito

What if Cito had The 'Stache? The most important tactical maneuver is the one he hasn't made yet - If Cito grows a horseshoe moustache, he stays.

You don't get to agree with the people who dislike his managerial style and then in the very next sentence imply that they are getting worked up over nothing.

I don't see any mutual exclusivity in Magpie's statement. He stated that he wouldn't have made the same move, but that it doesn't have the significance often ascribed to it. Talent is a far more pressing issue than managerial style for this team (or any team, really). The only time I was frothing at the mouth at anything Gaston's done this year was when he sat Snider against Saunders (after already sitting against Danks, which I was ok with). Everything else either made sense or was of no long term consequence (I do not consider Randy Ruiz' playing time a long term issue). Since this isn't an idealogical war, I'm not going to call for his head because I strongly disagree with a move here or there (unless it puts his players at undue risk, like say 130+ pitch game for Romero, or playing Ruiz at second because he pinch hits for McDonald).

Of course, if Gaston refuses to grow a wicked stache, he has to go.

Smithers - Friday, April 23 2010 @ 03:14 AM EDT (#214030) #
Mike, I'm not sure what the qualifications are, but I'd really like to see Mark "Bird" Fidrych be a part of that pitching staff.

I'm not sure how bad of a job you think the Jays coaching staff is doing that you think adding a dead guy would be able to help!  Reminds me of the old joke with the two guys wondering if there's baseball in heaven...

I for one consider myself a real baseball fan born after the early 70's (but not by much) and I'm not exactly overjoyed, but more than content, to let Cito use this season as his ride off into the sunset.  Don't forget that he's staying with the organization and there's no point in burning any bridges now.  We're not going to win another world series or grab a playoff berth this year as much as we'd all like to - I accept this.  So my advice - sit back, enjoy watching the young guys develop.  Be happy that the Jays have hope for the future.  Read the morning minor league updates and picture those guys who are just names on the Internet right now as the Jays on your TV one day, and how much fun it will be watching our home-grown talent kick future Yankee butt.  Cheer on the wins, and avenge the losses with a give 'em hell attitude. 

It's not as if the Jays players haven't had issues with past managers (see: Gibbons v. Hillenbrand et al.), but my take on the "mutiny" is that J.P. knew that the skids were greased for his departure so he thought he'd feed some juicy gossip to his reporter buddies (Rosenthal especially) as a final salvo at Rogers.  Sure the locker room may have had personality conflicts, but I'd bet that sort of stuff happens in professional sports far more often than the average slob watching the game on a couch could ever imagine - this one just happened to get leaked to the press.  By all accounts it was dealt with after AA took over, brought in more open communication and punched a few tickets out of town, meaning locker room unity hasn't really been an issue this season as far as I've heard. 

92-93, you may be content with Sal Fasano or Kevin Millar over Gaston this season - but I hope you're being facetious.  I'll take the man with two World Series titles, who used to room with one Mr. Hank Aaron, over "Cowboy Up" or a wicked handlebar mustache.  Maybe not next year after Sal's Pals up in Lansing take home a Midwest League title, but this season of status quo isn't going to cause me any distress. 
China fan - Friday, April 23 2010 @ 03:47 AM EDT (#214031) #

.....of course that ignores the multitude of strange ones that happened during the 8th and 9th innings.

You're referring to the strange decisions that Cito took in the 8th and 9th innings that helped the Jays to stage a comeback and tie the game, right?

....a team that couldn't stand him the year before (MUTINY).

Are you really trying to suggest that the entire Jays team "couldn't stand" Cito in 2009? Have you got quotes to confirm this?  Even from the ex-Jays who are now free to say whatever they want?

  When a TON of little managerial oddities add up it infruriates fans to the point of fussing about the smallest of things....

I'm pretty sure that every baseball manager in the world has his "little oddities" which "infuriate" some of the local fans.  It doesn't mean that you fire the manager.

The point about Millar and McDonald is that Cito never hired these guys.  They were signed and placed on his roster.  If he never plays them, he's publicly disagreeing with his boss, which is not a good way for anyone to keep their job.  Millar was acquired because he was supposed to have some power left in his bat (he didn't, but that's a different question).  If you bench him every game, or hide him in the 9th spot in the lineup, it's a giant "screw you" from the manager to the GM, and that's not how any employee can afford to operate.  Under those circumstances, 43 clean-up appearances by Millar over the course of an entire year was probably a diplomatic compromise by Cito, rather than any massive vote of confidence in the fading veteran.

As for the Cito quote about Overbay:  it was a throwaway comment, not some sudden revelation of the true reason for playing Overbay.  Cito is not the only guy who believes that Overbay will improve.  I'm sure AA and many others are convinced that Overbay will be a useful hitter this year. At a recent event, six of the Blue Jays wore Overbay shirts as a gesture of their faith in the guy. Given how Vernon Wells has dramatically improved after his wrist has returned to full strength, it's not unreasonable to think that Overbay might improve too as he puts his injury behind him.  In any event, what's the alternative?  Ruiz can't play 1B in any reasonable manner, Wallace needs more time in the minors, Lind has very little 1B experience, Dopirak is unproven, Bautista is needed at 3B and outfield, McCoy is a nice player but hardly a fulltime first-baseman.  With veterans like Wells and Overbay, it's not unreasonable to expect them to return to their career averages, or close to it.   Wells has done so, and it's not absurd to think that Overbay could do the same.  Benching him doesn't accelerate that process.

92-93 - Friday, April 23 2010 @ 06:31 AM EDT (#214033) #

Don't forget that he's staying with the organization and there's no point in burning any bridges now. 

Is this something I'm supposed to be happy about? It's worked wonders for the Jays having him around the last decade...

but my take on the "mutiny" is that J.P. knew that the skids were greased for his departure so he thought he'd feed some juicy gossip to his reporter buddies (Rosenthal especially) as a final salvo at Rogers.  Sure the locker room may have had personality conflicts, but I'd bet that sort of stuff happens in professional sports far more often than the average slob watching the game on a couch could ever imagine - this one just happened to get leaked to the press.

Firstly, numerous media members said once the mutiny came out that they had known about it for quite awhile but nobody was willing to go on the record to discuss it, hence the need for a foreign media outlet who doesn't need to worry about his locker room access when he posts anonymous quotes. Once the story broke the floodgates were open and the players seemingly had no problem attaching their names to it. If JP did tell Rosenthal he was merely informing him of a reality he likely had no power to change, seeing as it's very likely that Godfrey hired Cito and even if he didn't Beeston sure as heck wasn't going to allow him to go anywhere. As for the last part, this was no ordinary situation, and I beg you to re-read any of the articles from the time to remember just how bad the mutiny was. I'll pull one CP paragraph from Shi Davidi's comprehensive <p><a href="articlehttp://www.thestar.com/sports/baseball/article/704786--jays-rebellion-simmering">article</a></p> - Prior to news breaking Friday morning, those who agreed to talk to The Canadian Press would do so only if their names weren't used. Some players wanted to speak to senior team officials first and didn't want to come off appearing as malcontents. But a series of interviews over the last few weeks indicate the problems are widespread and far beyond the normal tensions that often build up between players and a manager over a long, losing season.

 

By all accounts it was dealt with after AA took over, brought in more open communication and punched a few tickets out of town, meaning locker room unity hasn't really been an issue this season as far as I've heard.

Those tickets included Arnsberg and Halladay, two men most around here consider pretty damn good at what they do, and if losing talent like Rolen had anything to do with this it only makes me more upset. I have a hard time believing Rod Barajas could have been at the forefront of anything, and that dumping him cleaned up the problem. That Doc quote, as reserved as it may be, tells me that this was no overblown situation, because he could have just said he didn't want to comment on the issue at all instead of saying he'll talk to the right people about any concerns he may have. As for this year's locker room, the fact that you haven't heard anything on April 23rd means nothing, considering fans didn't have a clue about the growing dissention until October.

You're referring to the strange decisions that Cito took in the 8th and 9th innings that helped the Jays to stage a comeback and tie the game, right?

That's correct, because I don't judge moves by their outcome; I judge the decision with all the accessible information at the time it was made. For instance, I don't care if Romero or Tulowitzki has the better pre-FA career, because I don't believe anybody owns a crystal ball; what concerns me is if JP only took Romero because he believed in his earlier picks of Adams and Hill and decided to draft based on need (and that's something we'll never know, but it's been strongly insinuated that the war room didn't agree with the Romero selection).

It doesn't mean that you fire the manager.

I don't him fired, I want him kicked upstairs like the team plans on eventually doing anyway. I would actually have much less of a problem with Cito managing if he WASN'T being removed for 2011, because then at least I'd resign myself to his poor tactical skills knowing there's nothing that can be done. However, when the team acknowledges he isn't in their future plans but they allow him to stay on another year despite the fact the best players on the team all say there's a problem I'm left scratching my head trying to figure out how this makes any sense.

The point about Millar and McDonald is that Cito never hired these guys.  They were signed and placed on his roster.  If he never plays them, he's publicly disagreeing with his boss, which is not a good way for anyone to keep their job.

I find this hilarious coming from you China Fan, considering it was just last week that you refused to believe AA might not have wanted Cito around when I used the EXACT same logic and said that AA's hands were tied when it came to Cito. Your response - By giving him another year, AA and the owners have accepted that Cito is not an idiot. That being said, I completely agree with you, and constantly ragged on JP for Mench, Wilkerson, Millar, Dellucci, and the rest of the offensive wastelands he acquired at positions that are typically easy to fill, despite loving the majority of what JP was doing. I'm still not sure how it makes any sense though that JMac has double the ABs Ruiz has - Ruiz was handed to Cito by his GM the same way JMac was, and yet he thinks it's prudent to find JMac playing time when there's a better BENCH player in front of him but not Ruiz when there shouldn't be anybody in his way when a LHP is on the mound.

Ruiz can't play 1B in any reasonable manner, Wallace needs more time in the minors, Lind has very little 1B experience, Dopirak is unproven, Bautista is needed at 3B and outfield.

I'm very curious how you know that about Randy Ruiz, because I certainly haven't seen anything to indicate he can't start at 1B about 35% of the time and then be substituted for defense once the LH starter is gone. Whatever happened to - if you can swing the bat they'll find a place for you? I guess it's just Cito being smart and jumping ahead of the curve again with his finer appreciation for defense, just like some (hopefully) jokingly surmised about his lack of PHing. And even going with this notion that it's impossible to play Ruiz in the field (and I'll point out that when Cito likes a player it's no big deal, like the absurdity of Kevin Millar starting at 3B last year in the final week of the season), you can still stick him at DH and have EE or JB play 1B while the corner OF is manned by Lind/Lewis/Snider .

 

Dave Till - Friday, April 23 2010 @ 07:15 AM EDT (#214034) #
My $.02: clubhouses tend to be more mutinous when the team is losing. And the 2009 Jays seemed like they were going to be a winning team (they started 28-12) and then suddenly weren't, big time. That transition from "OMG we might win this" to "OMG we're doomed" was difficult enough for us fans; how could the players have possibly enjoyed it?

As for Cito: he's always been a laid-back hands-off type of manager - he has never been fond of shuffling his lineup or making in-game changes or tactical moves. (Example: Gibbons used to put the hit and run on at least once a game; I think I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times Cito has used it. The Jays, by the way, are 12 for 13 in stolen bases this year, which is a direct consequence of this.) A hands-off, "stay the course" approach has both its strengths and its weaknesses.

In the long run, I don't think that Cito has made all that much difference. The 2009 Jays didn't have enough talent to win; this year's team doesn't, either.

As for Randy Ruiz: he's only two years younger than David Ortiz, he can't play any position other than first base or DH, and he bats right. The minor leagues are full of right-handed hitting 1B/DH types; Dopirak is another. There might be some situations where replacing Overbay with Ruiz would benefit the club in the short term - but, in the longer view, it doesn't really make any difference. Both of these guys are likely to be gone in 2011, or as soon as Wallace is deemed ready.

(An interesting thing to note is that Overbay has the support of his teammates. Apparently, during a recent autograph-signing session, several other Jays came out wearing Overbay uniforms, apparently in solidarity.)

China fan - Friday, April 23 2010 @ 07:25 AM EDT (#214035) #

.....despite the fact the best players on the team all say there's a problem

Again, you're insisting without evidence that the "best players" on the Jays are unhappy with Cito.  That's a wild, sweeping generalization that you keep repeating without bothering to substantiate it.   All we know is that SOME players in 2009 were unhappy with SOME aspect of the Jays management and how they were handled in 2009.  That's a long, long way from your claim that all of the "best players" on the Jays are unhappy to be playing for Cito in 2010.  Repeating a falsehood a thousand times does not make it any less false.

I used the EXACT same logic and said that AA's hands were tied when it came to Cito.

This is an absurd analogy.  There's a huge difference between a GM's powers and a manager's powers.  The GM is responsible for the hiring of personnel, including players and managers.  A manager is consulted and can advise, but he's ultimately left with the players that the GM provides.  You're trying to argue that AA had no influence over the choice of his manager in 2010, and that AA would get rid of Cito tomorrow if only his hands weren't tied.  Setting aside the slight problem that you've provided no evidence for this assertion, you're also trying to say that AA is as powerless as his employee, which makes no sense at all.

On the question of Randy Ruiz:  I'd love to see him getting more time in the lineup because I think he would hit.  But given his lack of defensive skills, and given the current structure of the lineup, I find it understandable that he doesn't play much.  And I don't see this as grounds for sacking the manager.  Disagreements will always exist, but it shouldn't constitute what you have called "torture" for the fans.  If you are tortured by the mere fact of Cito's presence on the team, you should perhaps consider finding a different hobby.

christaylor - Friday, April 23 2010 @ 07:48 AM EDT (#214036) #
I originally made a joke about Cito too and I'm going to break the rule of slagging Cito club.

When Cito's hiring first occurred, I was upset that hiring Cito meant Whitt had to be dumped. I wasn't a fan of the move. It seemed on par with flashback Fridays. NIce uniforms, but yawn.

As things went along I went along with Cito round 2, b/c from June 20/08 through the calendar year (yes, yes, I'm making the statistical error of selecting arbitrary endpoints) the Jays won quite a bit. Cito's magic seemed to be working (whatever that magic is...) and winning is good, even if neither the 08 nor 09 Jays had the horses on the racing form to keep up with the sawks, yanks, and devil rays.

When the mutiny occurred, I'm not sure why the darlings got a free pass. I'm sure everyone's read the comments that without Roy Halladay the pitching staff is more relaxed. Arnsberg has been blamed for all the young arm injuries. Perhaps there was a synergy here -- the younger pitchers wanted to emulate Halladay (which is probably impossible to do although AJ Burnett has seem to have benefitted from Doc) and Arnsberg's approach is sound but perhaps his tinkering along with the pressure made the younger pitcher shut up and pitch through pain (we all know Doc probably did this several times).

So... I'm fine with Cito. He's a baseball man, who, for whatever reason, was really screwed around with after he was fired with the Jays. He ought to have been given another shot to manage. There've been implication that he was messed with by Kenny Williams for the vacant Sox job that Guillen was gifted.

I don't know but how many managers, 5 years removed from back to back WS have never been given another shot to manage. Maybe Cito might be to blame for his "I don't want to interview" approach, but if my memory serves, he only adopted that position after there were rumors after many an interview.

Cito is Cito. I have a vivid enough memory of 1989 to believe that he can take a mediocre team to a higher level. Whether baseball players have fundamentally changed in 20 years, but well, that's life and part of my life this year is to live with the move Cito will make. I'm OK with that... this team has been more fun to watch than any from 01-09.
Dave Till - Friday, April 23 2010 @ 08:15 AM EDT (#214037) #
Joe Morgan made exactly the same point in his book, and rather forcefully: why didn't another team give Cito a chance to manage? Whatever his strengths and weaknesses, he has two World Series rings, which is proof that he can manage the right team to a championship.

To me, it's always seemed insane that Jimy Williams has been given multiple chances to manage when Cito hasn't - Cito is a much better manager than Jimy.

An interesting fact: the Jays have been to the post-season five times in their history. Cito managed four of those teams, and was the hitting coach on the fifth.

Thomas - Friday, April 23 2010 @ 09:04 AM EDT (#214038) #
If he's going to be gone next year anyway, especially if retaining him meant the departure of Brad Arnsberg, and there's every indication that it did.

Can you provide any evidence of that assertion? Arnsberg left to manage a team in his home state with a man who has been a close friend of his for over a decade. Leaving aside the issue of whether Toronto should have tried harder to keep him, what evidence can you provide that Cito drove Arnsberg away and that Arnsberg would not have left, regardless of who the manager was, once he was offered the same job in Houston?

MatO - Friday, April 23 2010 @ 09:27 AM EDT (#214039) #
There were numerous stories that Arnsberg and Gaston didn't exactly see eye to eye.  In fact Gaston more or less said so himself. (google: Cito Gaston Brad Arnsberg).  Whether that drove Arnsberg to look for another position?  Who's to say?
Thomas - Friday, April 23 2010 @ 01:01 PM EDT (#214045) #
Whether that drove Arnsberg to look for another position? Who's to say?

That's my point. Not seeing eye-to-eye does not mean Cito drove Arnsberg to leave and I don't think you can see there is "every indication" it did when there's an equally plausible reason for Arnsberg leaving. The friendship with Mills might be a nice story that allowed Arnsberg to leave without creating a fuss, but I don't think we can assume that is the case without further evidence.

92-93 - Friday, April 23 2010 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#214050) #

Since apparently nobody RTFA (and you should because it was great work by Shi Davidi), I'll post some more quotes that directly deal with people's points.

My $.02: clubhouses tend to be more mutinous when the team is losing. And the 2009 Jays seemed like they were going to be a winning team (they started 28-12) and then suddenly weren't, big time. That transition from "OMG we might win this" to "OMG we're doomed" was difficult enough for us fans; how could the players have possibly enjoyed it?

Vernon and Downs respond to Dave Till - "This is not about winning and losing," said Wells. "This is about family issues. Obviously, if something comes out and we've won nine out of our last 10 games, it's not about the winning and losing." Added Scott Downs: "I don't think anything really snuck up. I just think nobody paid attention to it. It was just one of those things where it was kind of `We have a job to do. Let's go do our job and play the game, play hard and let everything else take care of itself."

 

Again, you're insisting without evidence that the "best players" on the Jays are unhappy with Cito.  That's a wild, sweeping generalization that you keep repeating without bothering to substantiate it.   All we know is that SOME players in 2009 were unhappy with SOME aspect of the Jays management and how they were handled in 2009.  That's a long, long way from your claim that all of the "best players" on the Jays are unhappy to be playing for Cito in 2010.

I'll respond to the first part despite never making that claim in the latter part. I don't have any quotes from Rolen because he demanded a midseason trade, and we're left to wonder just what those personal reasons were. If these weren't the team's best players I'm curious as to who you think they may have been. "There are issues, obviously," clubhouse leader Vernon Wells said...Wells indicated he and ace Roy Halladay are at the forefront of a group of players that also includes second baseman Aaron Hill...While they were all uncomfortable airing their dirty laundry in public Halladay offered nothing more than the terse "Any concerns I have will be expressed to the right people"...One player also noted that Gaston once said "there aren't any good players in here."...Added first baseman Lyle Overbay: "It's something that we go through and we've got to figure it out because we're not going to be a very good team if this is going to go on. We've got to get it straightened out, either way."

 

Joe Morgan made exactly the same point in his book, and rather forcefully: why didn't another team give Cito a chance to manage? Whatever his strengths and weaknesses, he has two World Series rings, which is proof that he can manage the right team to a championship.

Key words : the right team. Those teams tend to have managers securely in place, otherwise they probably haven't been very good. And after watching Cito post-strike, it's not surprising that none of MLB's GMs didn't want to have to deal with Cito managing their club, seeing as he also proved that he can mismanage poor teams 95-97. The rings only make Cito's ego harder to control, and it has to be considered damning evidence that nobody hired Cito for 10 years and it took his old buddy getting back into baseball for him to get a chance. I didn't read the book, but I have a suspicion that Morgan is hinting at a racial issue, and while I can appreciate their sensitivity towards how they are treated because they are a minorty (I myself am one), it falls on my deaf ears when guys like Morgan, Hunter, and Hudson blame anything that ever goes wrong for a black person on racism. Kenny Williams is one of the few people we know who considered Cito a finalist for the job, and while you can say that's proof of racism, you can also use it as proof that even a black willing to give another black a serious look concluded he wasn't the right man for the job.

Can you provide any evidence of that assertion?...That's my point. Not seeing eye-to-eye does not mean Cito drove Arnsberg to leave and I don't think you can see there is "every indication" it did when tfuss, but I don't think we can assume that is the case without further evidence.here's an equally plausible reason for Arnsberg leaving. The friendship with Mills might be a nice story that allowed Arnsberg to leave without a fuss, but I don't think we can assume that is the case without further evidence.

Arnsberg isn't about to come out to the media and announce he left Toronto because Cito made it an untenable situation for him. Choosing to ignore the writing on the wall is your choice, but the evidence from every writer who covers the Jays was pretty damning. Obviously a friend being hired as the manager in his hometown made it a no brainer decision, but you simply can't ignore the multitude of articles that displayed a riff within the Jays coaching staff, and it's not inevitable that Arnie would have left anyway if he was happy with his situation in Toronto. Compounding matters is that there's also a split in the coaching staff between bench coach Brian Butterfield, pitching coach Brad Arnsberg and bullpen coach Bruce Walton, who were left over from the fired John Gibbons' staff, and Gaston's crew of hitting coach Gene Tenace, third base coach Nick Leyva and first base coach Dwayne Murphy. Gaston said he wasn't sure if there were any changes in store for his coaching staff all under contract through next year but seemed to suggest someone was talking too much. "If I'm a coach, and I'm coaching for Bobby Cox, I'm not going say anything about Bobby Cox on this level, because whether you're coaching here, it gets out and this might be the last place you coach in the big-leagues," said Gaston.

Thomas - Friday, April 23 2010 @ 02:41 PM EDT (#214053) #
but you simply can't ignore the multitude of articles that displayed a riff within the Jays coaching staff, and it's not inevitable that Arnie would have left anyway if he was happy with his situation in Toronto

If the riff was that bad, then why didn't Butterfield and Walton leave? I'm not denying the fact there were disagreements. But, you can't claim those disagreements were the reason Arnsberg left without more evidence, which you don't have. I'm not ignoring the articles, but you can't argue there was a cause and effect without something stronger.

Mike Green - Friday, April 23 2010 @ 02:41 PM EDT (#214054) #
Whoa.  Cito Gaston took over from Jimy Williams in 1989 when a good club sat at 12-24, and the team made it to the playoffs.  Other clubs gave Jimy Williams additional chances when both he and Gaston were available after 1997.  You can call that racism, or you can call that stupidity.  Whatever Gaston's faults may be, and he does have some, a preference for Williams over Gaston as manager is about equivalent to preferring Duane Kuiper over Joe Morgan as your second baseman.  OK, that might be a bit of an exaggeration...
China fan - Friday, April 23 2010 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#214055) #
Clearly there were morale problems and a locker-room mutiny at the end of 2009.  But we don't know the full story -- we only know a tiny fraction of the full story.  The Jays know the full story, and they kept Cito. They presumably talked to the players and managers at some length, discussed it all, and -- when the dust had settled -- they decided to keep Cito.  I think the Jays know better than us on this one.  If Cito was universally hated, or if he was the source of all the problems on the team, they would have fired him.  But they didn't, and I think that says something.  You can cite all the end-of-season quotes that you want, but they don't prove that Cito must go.  We can't judge the internal workings of the Jays from a few quotes that emerged at the time.  If the Jays are satisfied that the situation was cleared up and Cito wasn't completely at fault, I think they are the ones who are in the best position to decide that -- not a few bantering fans on the sideline.
Magpie - Friday, April 23 2010 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#214057) #
I know some of the story about the mutiny. It involved members of the bullpen, who were extremely unhappy about how quickly Gaston kicked B.J. Ryan (their spiritual leader and king of the domain) to the curb. Overbay was unhappy about being platooned, but did not pop off about it (which Gaston respects). And Rolen has always clashed with his managers until they got rid of him.

Talking about "good" or "bad" managers, it strikes me, is a mug's game. All managers bring different strengths and weaknesses to the table. All managers place a higher priority on some things than they do on others. Gaston manages as if he believes that maintaining his player' personal comfort zones is more important than specific tactical issues. I don't know if that's a strength or a weakness because I don't know if it's true or false. And neither do you. It's probably true for some players, not true for others. But we certainly don't know. And therefore it's utterly impossible to measure the consequences. We don't, and we never will, have any way to do that properly - we can only measure the tactical import. Which would be convenient for Gaston, except for how it's always served as a lightning rod for criticism.

Gaston is extremely quick to make up his mind as to whether a pitcher can still pitch effectively in the majors - I think this is probably a strength, because his history indicates that he's usually correct in these assessments (he may be thinking, "Geez, I could hit this guy and I retired in 1979.") But on the other hand, Gaston believes that a player who has hit major league pitching in the past will hit again. It's a comon enough position among major league managers, but I think this has clearly proved to be a weakness for Gaston in the past. I think this is a big reason why Gaston is less effective on a team with veterans - he'll keep hopefully running them out there long past their Best Buy Date - and it's why he (like most managers) loses his effectiveness after several years in place - after the needs of the team have changed, and his particular strengths are not what is required. Very, very few managers in history have remained effective much past five years in the same gig.

But far too often people begin with the notion that the manager is "good" or the manager is "bad" and then every decision the manager makes is submitted as evidence in support of that position. But it always amounts to taking a portion of the entire job and having it stand in him for the whole thing. Managers have success (Gaston in 1989, in 1993, in 2008 and so on) - or they don't (Gaston in 1995, 2009 and so on.) They don't win or lose despite of him, they don't win or lose because of him.
Gerry - Friday, April 23 2010 @ 05:01 PM EDT (#214060) #

It's time for some Friday afternoon amusement....

First, Adeiny Hechavarria was introuduced to the media today.  Look for stories in your local paper tomorrow.  Here is a link to the story on the offical site.

The story notes: Hechavarria continues to work on his English -- seven days per week with a private instructor

I liked this from the third comment on the story: I'm pleased the support group the Jays are giving this kid, from English tudors, to financial advisers

The house of Tudor still lives!  Maybe Hech is learning English as it was spoken in Henry The Eighth's time.

Do you have a Tudor quote for Hechavarria?

"What wicked game is this that wounds mens hearts with the thrust and parry of competition?  Yonder Yankees are scoundrels of the highest order, let us attack them and send them back from whenst they came."

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