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The Jays have announced coaching changes for 2014. In case you have erased it from your memory, the Jays starters had a terrible year while the hitters were OK when they were not injured.

So, the Jays have changed the hitting side of the coaching staff and retained the pitching coaches.

Chad Mottola has been fired. Dwayne Murphy has retired. Pete Walker and Pat Hentgen will return in their roles. Luis Rivera and DeMarlo Hale will also return.

Surprising no? Several of the writers who follow the Jays have noted this evening that Mottola was praised by the young hitters such as Anthony Gose and some not so young hitters like Colby Rasmus.

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Mike D - Monday, October 07 2013 @ 08:18 PM EDT (#279636) #
I don't feel strongly about Mottola, but I'm pretty disappointed that Walker wasn't held accountable. Basically, every pitcher save Janssen was disappointing or injured at some point.

I also thought the drop-off from Butterfield to Rivera was significant. Then again, I still don't get the vote of confidence for Gibbons.
Ryan Day - Monday, October 07 2013 @ 08:40 PM EDT (#279637) #
I'm certainly surprised to see Walker return, given the utter disaster of the rotation. Not to say it's his fault, but that's usually how the cookie crumbles.

I'm not sure Anthony Gose is much of an endorsement for Mottola, given that he hasn't improved as a hitter at all in the past two years. But as a guess, it probably doesn't matter what the younger hitters think of Mottola if the veterans don't like him.

On the whole, this just looks like AA doubling down on last year, plowing ahead on the premise that 2013 was just a case of bad luck.
finch - Monday, October 07 2013 @ 08:44 PM EDT (#279638) #
Don't be surprised if Arencibia is back as the starting catching next year. It's a gut feeling. I think the guy, JP, is great and I root for him. AA will use Motolla as the excuse. Just wait...
Thomas - Monday, October 07 2013 @ 08:45 PM EDT (#279639) #
This isn't that surprising. I mean, we've been hearing for three years what a great job Pete Walker has been doing in the upper minors after working his way through the lower minors as a coach, while Chad Mottola has had a rather short and unheralded coaching career....

Or do I have that backwards?
Mike Green - Monday, October 07 2013 @ 08:51 PM EDT (#279640) #
Don't be surprised if Arencibia is back as the starting catching next year. It's a gut feeling. I think the guy, JP, is great and I root for him. AA will use Motolla as the excuse. Just wait...

Sure.  Why not.  He'll hit 8 home runs in April on route to a .250/.280/.500 line and will be batting cleanup by May.  Yippee!

One pill makes you larger and another pill makes you small. Go ask Alex when you're 10 feet tall. 
PeterG - Monday, October 07 2013 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#279641) #
Re JPA:  Mottola didn't coach defense......
greenfrog - Monday, October 07 2013 @ 09:07 PM EDT (#279642) #
Lind and Rasmus did well with Mottola as hitting coach. Lawrie was OK offensively, but wasn't great. He did improve in the second half.

Arencibia, Bonifacio and Izturis had very poor offensive years (in Toronto, at least).

It would be good to see the Jays land some really good coaches and keep them around for a while. Maybe one or more of Walker, Rivera and Hale will emerge as top-shelf coaches, maybe not.
hypobole - Monday, October 07 2013 @ 09:49 PM EDT (#279643) #
"I also thought the drop-off from Butterfield to Rivera was significant."

In my mind, the loss of Butterfield was significant in two areas.

First, he's acknowledged as one of the premier infield defense coaches in baseball. Maybe he could have righted Bonifacio and Izturis, or at least helped them enough that they wouldn't have been the massive defensive liabilities we saw this past season.

Secondly, the loss of his aggressive defensive shifting may have cost the team a few runs, although Gibbons may also have backed off on that aspect even if Butterfield had stayed.

However, strictly as a third base coach, I feel Rivera showed better. Butterfield snuffed out too many rallies the past few years by being overly enthusiastic in sending runners. Rivera this year seemed to make better decisions on whether to send or stop runners.
John Northey - Monday, October 07 2013 @ 10:31 PM EDT (#279644) #
Very bizarre. Pitching collapses - I mean, not just a little but a LOT.  Especially the starters who I'd think are mainly under Walker.  Lets go over them...
Planned starters...
RA Dickey: Cy last year, pre-2013 lifetime ERA+ of 105. Then a 97 this year (worst ERA since pre-NYM days) and a horrid start (ERA over 5 as late as June 21st)
Mark Buehrle: Worst ERA+ since 2006, worst BB/9 since 2003 although his K rate was his best since he was a rookie
Brandon Morrow: ERA+ was almost 1/2 of last years (73 vs 143) while his HR/9 rate skyrocketed
Josh Johnson: Easily his worst season, his 66 ERA+ was less than 1/2 his career rate pre-2013 (133)
Ricky Romero: Total disaster no matter how you cut it, and cut he has been (off 40 man roster again)
J.A. Happ: 90 ERA+ is in line with the past few years, although career is still a 96.

Unexpected starters...
Esmil Rogers: nice surprise, but 86 ERA+ is hardly a 'wow'
Todd Redmond: another nice surprise with a 95 ERA+, the only negative being that high HR rate (1.5)
Chien-Ming Wang, Ramon Ortiz, Aaron Laffey = won't be seen again, shouldn't have been seen at all.
Chad Jenkins: a kid who did well here but no one seems to believe in (2.70 ERA overall here)
Sean Nolin: one start, sucked royally, didn't get a second chance but should in 2014 at some point.

So the 6 guys who were expected to get starts all did worse than their career averages with 3 total, complete, 100% disasters (Johnson, Morrow, Romero).  The 7 others used saw 2 serviceable (Rogers & Redmond), 1 who did well in very limited opportunities (Jenkins) and 4 who really sucked (Wang started well, but was a tightrope walker who fell off and kept getting shots).

How on earth did the coach for that group get a second shot?  Honestly, it really looks bad. It is like being given the sales job at a corporation and given 5 major clients and seeing 3 of them leave while 2 reduced their orders. 

Right now my trust in AA is on thin ice and I suspect the same is true for many. The big trades last winter flopped, the biggest surprise in a good way were from a guy going elsewhere (Yan Gomes) who would've been very useful here.  Rogers probably loves him due to the big attendance increases the past 3 years and the TV ratings climbing as well (big profits for Rogers via that) but from a baseball standpoint things are not looking good right now and seeing the coaches kept as being the ones most involved in failure while letting go of a guy who seemed to do well (outside of the catcher and 2B messes) and was hyped beforehand as being a solid coach one has to wonder what is going on. 

Thomas - Monday, October 07 2013 @ 10:55 PM EDT (#279645) #
The counterargument is, I guess, Buehrle did what you'd expect given that he's aging, Happ was about what you'd expect (although that raises separate questions about his contract), Romero imploded while Walker was still out in the bullpen, Dickey is a knuckleballer and thus a unique case - and I think it may be fair to mostly give Walker a pass on that one - and while Johnson and Morrow were disasters when healthy, they both dealt with injuries during the year, as well.

I'm not convinced, although I guess I see the argument.
smcs - Monday, October 07 2013 @ 10:56 PM EDT (#279646) #
Secondly, the loss of his aggressive defensive shifting may have cost the team a few runs, although Gibbons may also have backed off on that aspect even if Butterfield had stayed.

I think that was as much Farrell as it was Butterfield. This is the biggest Gibby test for me. As disappointing as it was that he didn't continue the aggressive shifting, not incorporating it in the 2014 Blue Jays would be pretty much a fireable offense.
Wildrose - Monday, October 07 2013 @ 11:50 PM EDT (#279647) #
Surprising, but I'd like to hear the back story before getting all hot and bothered.

Regarding Mottola, I've always thought retaining the old hitting coach Murphy and having him still work with a select group of hitters, while having Mottola work with other batters was a very odd dynamic. I imagine we'll hear that caused some divisions and problems.

As for Walker the biggest problem with the starters was obviously injury. Dickey was hurt at the WBC, Morrow, Happ and Johnson under Walker's watch. I suppose some may blame Walker solely for this although random bad luck may have played a large part in this ( see J.A Happ) as well. I do think the organizations recent track record is not particularly good in regards to keeping pitchers healthy ( and there's data that actually shows this), but for me it's more on the organization as a whole then casting blame on one individual. I do think the recent shoulder/tennis based conditioning program is a step in the right direction.

Riveria is obviously a conduit to the teams Latin contingent and I imagine somewhat popular. I've complained about the team's lack of emphasis on defensive shifting before, but as others have said ,that's more on the manager and some of the veteran pitchers who may not have bought into the program.

I predict Sal Fassano will be brought on as the new first base / catching coach.

jerjapan - Tuesday, October 08 2013 @ 08:27 AM EDT (#279650) #
Really, really hard to know the stories behind the scenes.  Attributing the performance of the pitching staff could easily be playing the post hoc game

I've coached elite athletes over my career, and on an anecdotal level, I can state that anyone attributing their successes to my coaching would be sorely mistaken ...

Magpie - Tuesday, October 08 2013 @ 08:33 AM EDT (#279651) #
Mottola didn't coach defense....

I don't see anyone who was qualified to coach the catchers, which is another reason letting Wakamatsu go was regrettable. The only guy on staff who knows anything about catching is the manager, who a) doesn't have very much actual coaching experience and b) has too many other things to deal with anyway.

You're on your own, guys.
John Northey - Tuesday, October 08 2013 @ 08:55 AM EDT (#279652) #
True enough jerjapan. Judging coaches is a crap shoot except in extreme situations.  Charlie Lau, iirc, had every hitter under him retrain to hit in a certain manner which worked well for some (such as George Brett).  Others gained great reps as they seemed to work through many staffs and keep them going (Dave Duncan).  Some did great with single guys (Mel Queen with Roy Halladay).  Not sure how you would measure one, but when I see all 5 guys who were to be in the opening day rotation do worse than their career averages and actually did worse than any point in the past 3 years in all 5 cases it says to me there is something wrong.  Now, given Buehrle and Dickey both righted their ships in the 2nd half (Buehrle a 3.18 ERA, Dickey a 3.56) maybe some adjustments were made that the vets were reluctant to do until part of the season was done. Redmond and Happ were both decent #5 guys and liveable #4's in the 2nd half (4.33 and 4.37 ERA's) but Rogers collapsed (6.00 ERA) while Johnson got worse (10.80 in 4 starts).

Funny, hadn't noticed until now.  In the 2nd half the Jays used 7 starters with the 2 extras getting a total of 5 starts.  The pen, on the other hand, had major issues as Wagner & Oliver were over 4.50 for ERA, Cecil at 5.65 and Delabar at 7.02 (!).  Now, for relievers ERA is very variable and half a season gets even more nutty so take those with lots of salt.  Delabar was hurt by his 3 HR given up but still had 24 K in 16 2/3 IP with just 6 BB given up.  Cecil gave up 2 HR in his 14 1/3 IP with 6 BB vs 15 K - more wild than one would expect suggesting he was hurting more than known.

So, digging in more I see some really promising signs for the rotation thus probably why Walker was retained. The pen had its issues but Santos returned beautifully (21 1/3 IP 3 BB 22 SO 0 HR) while Janssen was solid. Makes for a more interesting 2014.
John Northey - Tuesday, October 08 2013 @ 09:02 AM EDT (#279653) #
FYI: 1st half saw a big 5 of Dickey/Buehrle/Johnson/Morrow/Rogers and the rest got 25 starts, or 5 more than Dickey had in the first half.  Ick.

The Jays offense in the 1st half - 103 sOPS+, 2nd half - 104 sOPS+. Talk about consistent.  Higher OBP in the 2nd half, higher Slg in the 1st.
2nd half...
900+ OPS: Encarnacion & Rasmus
800's: Baustisa & Lind & Sierra
750+: DeRosa, Lawrie, Reyes, Bonifacio
650-700: Kawasaki, Gose, Cabrera, Davis, Langerhans
575-610: Goins, Pillar, Thole,
450 and down: Izturis, JPA, pitchers (0 for 7).
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, October 08 2013 @ 10:06 AM EDT (#279654) #
People get hurt, all by themselves, every day. No one gets fired for that - ever. People don't always make the best choice, especially when not influenced by anyone. No one gets fired for that. People don't like to think, at anytime. No one gets fired for that. People do stupid very well. No one gets fired for that.

Who started the season, not totally healthy, but not D.L. hurt? Most players do, most people live with pain and function well. That's what separates us from the animals.

Pitching coaches can not make injured Pitchers better. Defensive measures are decided in Spring Training, which set the policy for the Season. And it showed. Coaches don't change the message unless message comes down from higher up. I can understand Mottola and Murphy being "let go". I can understand why everyone else stays.

The changes needed must start in Rookie Ball and everywhere else, as soon as possible, to have best effect. Little being done at this level effects lower levels.
eudaimon - Tuesday, October 08 2013 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#279655) #
I was surprised to see this, but in the end I wonder if it's just one of those things where you have to be on the inside to understand. I imagine the front office talked to the players and asked them what they thought about the season. I doubt Mottola was fired because of some rift with Murphy (who has retired), I would bet that it's more on what the players thought of his performance. While the offensive side of the ball was reasonably successful this year there were also some notable failures (JPA, Bonifacio, Izturis, Thole, Cabrera, Lawrie etc, some of whom had to do with injuries but some of whom didn't really appear to be at all).

As for the upsides there is really only Lind and Rasmus. Mottola seems to be a guy who worked especially well with Lind and perhaps this is a sign that AA will look to trade him in the winter. It would be a good move - selling high - and something that AA has done well with in the past. Rasmus, as others have pointed out, has made some strides this season but some of it is also due to luck on balls in play. He's still striking out more than he ever has otherwise.

There's no way to say what happened for sure. However, I doubt AA and the front office made this decision purely based on the numbers. They have the privilege of being able to actually talk with their players (and, I might add, not be given the media-friendly version that the newspapers will get).

The same applies for Walker I suppose. Others have made strong points as to why the poor year of the pitchers may not be "his fault." Perhaps he was popular with the players.

John Northey - Tuesday, October 08 2013 @ 12:06 PM EDT (#279656) #
It would be interesting if Lind and Rasmus were traded this winter after the hitting coach they liked was let go. Could all be mixed together - a smart GM would see that Rasmus is unlikely to repeat this year and should look for a GM who might believe it is for real, same with Lind.  Most GM's will know both are high risk of repeating one would think.  Which teams seem to be run by weaker GM's who might fall for it though?

Many feel the Phillies are poorly run at this point, their CF is Ben Revere who had his best OPS+ this year at 92 and was negative for UZR/150 in CF and lifetime in CF is barely positive but is way up there (+27.9) in RF over 761 innings lifetime and has tons of speed but his 300 average might make them feel he is solid (sigh).  He'd be a good 4th OF ala Davis.  Their RF was Delmon Young who is a free agent. A rookie Darin Ruf had a 121 OPS+ in 1/2 a season in LF/RF/1B ... wonder if they plan on using him everyday in 2014, if not then they might be interested in Rasmus for CF and making Revere and Ruf share RF.  At 2B they have Chase Utley who hits well but he is owed $25 mil over the next 2 years plus $5 mil if minimal DL time in 2014 with options at $15 per if he plays regularly his defense is decent, just over 2 for UZR last year, 12.7 lifetime at 2B.  As to them wanting Lind...they have Ryan Howard at 1B who has missed 1/2 a season each of the past 2 years and is signed for $85 mil over the next 3 years (factoring in $10 mil buyout for 2017, add $13 mil more if kept in 2017) so I doubt they'd want Lind but who knows, maybe they'd toss him in LF again (hehe).

What other clubs GM's seem a bit weak and/or panicked at this point?
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, October 08 2013 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#279667) #
Jose Bautista was hurt, more than once this season, yet produced well enough. Colby Rasmus was hurt and played through it. Once he figured it out he got better. Melky Cabrera had spinal tumour, so he's excused. Edwin Encarnacion was hurt, and still had a great season. Jose Reyes was hurt, yet performed well. Brett Lawrie was hurt, but was able to finally put together a good run. I don't think I need to mention Pitching.

Contrary to popular belief, Coaches are not responsible for injuries. They are only responsible for performance when healthy (healthier).

I really think you have to be in the room and with the Team to understand coaching changes. You can only have 6. With more, they have to be out of uniform and sitting in the stands come game time. You need: 1) Pitching Coach; 2) Bullpen Coach; 3) 1st Base Coach; 4) 3rd Base Coach; 5) Bench Coach; 6) ???????. It really helps to have a second skill.
John Northey - Tuesday, October 08 2013 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#279674) #
Very true that it is hard to measure what a coach did, but they can be partially responsible for injuries. If they don't push players to do proper exercises, don't watch for signs that a player is on edge of getting hurt, don't catch that a guy is putting himself in position to get hurt on the field then they can contribute (or not help prevent).  Pitching coaches especially, because if a guy is having issues and adjusting arm angle or something else to compensate the pitching coach is the guy you count on (along with the catcher) to pick up on it quickly rather than waiting until 100 pitches have been thrown. A team that pulls at 100 pitches (plus or minus 5) all the time is one that isn't doing its homework, but one that pulls guys in the 70's sometimes and sometimes in the 120's regardless of score has a pitching coach that can see when a guy is stable and can go longer or that he is losing it early for whatever reason and gets the manager to pull him quickly.
adrianveidt - Tuesday, October 08 2013 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#279678) #
Very much in keeping with the organization rewarding or at least tolerating failure.
China fan - Wednesday, October 09 2013 @ 06:44 AM EDT (#279680) #
"....rewarding or at least tolerating failure..."

You're implying that the Jays must fire Walker to prove to the fans that they are not "tolerating failure." I think this is a dangerous game to play. It could lead to a revolving door of coaches fired every year, whenever the players do badly, with coaches blamed for every failure. Surely there are multiple complex factors for these failures on the field, and the coaches shouldn't necessarily be blamed for everything.
jerjapan - Wednesday, October 09 2013 @ 08:36 AM EDT (#279686) #
To add to China Fan's post, not only is firing coaches every time the team underperforms a dangerous precedent, but it ignores any clubhouse realities / ideological differences that may have lead to the firing that we, the fans, have no idea about.  The players, however, are well aware of clubhouse dynamics. 

I suggest that firing a coach who may have a great deal of respect in the clubhouse, in order to please a small, vocal segment of stats-oriented fans, borders on insanity.  AA is a good GM IMO precisely because he ignores these kneejerk impulses. 

Furthermore, should the club be eating contracts like Cabrera's?  washing their hands entirely of JJ?  burying Gose, Romero and and JPA in the minors?  What does not tolerating failure look like in terms of players?  Sure sounds like firing Walker might be simple scapegoating. 

85bluejay - Wednesday, October 09 2013 @ 09:25 AM EDT (#279688) #
For me, a Good GM is a winning GM - I've yet to see evidence of this after 4 yrs of AA - the clock is ticking.
Gerry - Wednesday, October 09 2013 @ 09:31 AM EDT (#279689) #
AA was on the Fan yesterday.  His comment on Mottola basically was that Gibby wanted his own guy.  Mottola's replacement will likely be a guy Gibby has worked with before.  Mottola has been offered a job in the minor leagues but is taking time to thing about it.
Dewey - Wednesday, October 09 2013 @ 10:07 AM EDT (#279691) #
In yesterday’s Star, Griffin was touching on the likely return of Johnson -- and his agent’s apparent view of that.

grammatical note :  the past tense of “to lead” is “led”. 

. . . but it ignores any clubhouse realities / ideological differences that may have lead to the firing that we, the fans, have no idea about.
Magpie - Wednesday, October 09 2013 @ 11:37 AM EDT (#279695) #
Mottola's replacement will likely be a guy Gibby has worked with before.

"Mrs Denbo? What's Gary up to?"
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 09 2013 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#279696) #
When Gibbons was hired by AA, the major factor appeared to be that he was familiar to Anthopoulos and got along with him.  Now the major factor in the coaching changes appears to be getting along with Gibbons.  Blech.  Obviously, it is better to avoid having the Dick Allen of coaches or managers, but short of that, competence ought to be the #1 thing. 

Wildrose - Wednesday, October 09 2013 @ 12:41 PM EDT (#279699) #
Paging , Mr. Mike Barnett, please report to your flight to Toronto.....
Shaker - Wednesday, October 09 2013 @ 02:19 PM EDT (#279701) #
...since replaced by George Brett, here's a circa 2012 bio...

Kevin Seitzer will be in his fourth season as hitting coach after joining the Royals staff on October 13, 2008 ... Under Seitzer's tutelage, the 2011 club featured a .275 team batting average, the fourth-best in the Majors, and 325 doubles, second most in baseball...the Royals featured a club-record four players with 40+ doubles (4th club in MLB history), including becoming the first team in history to have all three outfielders with 40+ doubles ... The 2010 club finished with a .274 team batting average, the second-best in the Majors to the A.L. Champion Texas Rangers (.276) addition, the team struck out just 905 times, the fewest among the 30 teams in baseball ... The hitting coach stint is Seitzer's second in the big leagues...he served as the hitting coach for the eventual N.L. West Champion Arizona Diamondbacks during the first half of the 2007 season.
Wildrose - Wednesday, October 09 2013 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#279702) #
Barnett was let go by the Jays in Gibbies first season, he is still with the team as a roving hitting coordinator.

Another possibility, besides Seitzer who was with Gibby in K.C., is Mickey Brantley who replaced Barnett. Gibby and Brantley go way back together in the Mets system. Brantley is no longer in the majors.
adrianveidt - Wednesday, October 09 2013 @ 03:59 PM EDT (#279703) #
jerjapan, I'm not sure how you're defining "a good GM", but it's obviously not the same criteria I'd use. There's no evidence AA is a good GM, and no evidence the players or coaches did a good job this season. I don't know why any of them should be retained. There's no evidence Rogers is a good sports owner, except that they're making money for themselves. How much more profit could they be raking in if their teams were successful? There isn't much evidence there's any urgency from Rogers about changing the performance of their teams.

The team didn't have much offensive trouble, so firing Mottola seems like fixing something that wasn't broken. Broken is how I'd describe most everything else.
Chuck - Wednesday, October 09 2013 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#279704) #
The team didn't have much offensive trouble, so firing Mottola seems like fixing something that wasn't broken. Broken is how I'd describe most everything else

For what it's worth, the team's OPS+ was 99 and its ERA+ was 96. Looks like room for improvement all over.

Ryan Day - Wednesday, October 09 2013 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#279705) #
the major factor in the coaching changes appears to be getting along with Gibbons. Blech. Obviously, it is better to avoid having the Dick Allen of coaches or managers, but short of that, competence ought to be the #1 thing.

I share your antipathy towards the Old Boys Network, but it's also fair to say that teams don't generally discuss competence in public. If Mottola wasn't up to the job, or didn't get along with a few key players, they'd try to keep that behind closed doors.

It would be nice to hear them talk a bit more about the specific qualifications they want, but it would be tough to do so without dissing Mottola.
Thomas - Wednesday, October 09 2013 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#279706) #

For me, a Good GM is a winning GM

There are obvious exceptions, such as I wouldn't judge Jeff Luhnow on this standard right now.

However, I don't really disagree that no matter how much weight you want to give to process, at some point the pudding needs to contain some proof.

Dewey - Wednesday, October 09 2013 @ 08:23 PM EDT (#279709) #
Andy Pafko has died.  A few old timers might remember him.  He was one of those very good, but not HOF players that fans become attached to.  He was in two World Series (including the last one with the Cubs in 1945!), one of them a winner (1957 Milwaukee Braves).  He was an All-Star.  He was the guy in the famous 1951 photo, against the wall at the Polo Grounds as Bobby Thomson’s homerun goes over the wall a few rows up.   Yeah, it’s another era-- long ago and far away.  But the guy was really good.  You should look him up.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 10 2013 @ 09:58 AM EDT (#279717) #
Thanks, Dewey.  I did not know that Pafko had started out as a centerfielder, and then taken the McReynolds/Monday early path to the corner.  What do they say about white guys losing their speed early (and not being able to jump)?

More in the obit department.  Gates Brown also died.  Brown was most famous for his great season pinch-hitting for the Tigers in 1968.  The Tigers, of course, beat the Cardinals in 7 games that year.  I was 9 years old then, and was blissfully unaware of the context- the Black Day in July riots were the previous summer.  I imagine that baseball (with Willie Horton and Denny McLain being the heroes) and music played a part in the city's recovery. 

Wildrose - Thursday, October 10 2013 @ 12:11 PM EDT (#279719) #
I share your antipathy towards the Old Boys Network, but it's also fair to say that teams don't generally discuss competence in public. If Mottola wasn't up to the job, or didn't get along with a few key players, they'd try to keep that behind closed doors.

I'd have to agree I don't think we're hearing the full story here. In terms of competence, it's not as if Gibby is going to hire his brother in-law, I mean a guy like Barnett has been a hitting coach for 24 years, and a MLB hitting coach for 3 different teams. The type of guy they are going to bring in is going to be experienced. Also let's face it, if they play badly in 2014 Gibbons is going to axed. If he's going to go down, he's earned the right to go down or to turn it around on his own terms. At the end of the day he's going to be held accountable.

In regards to the Old Boys Network I know there's reasons for that, because it's done generally  in all the major sports.  I don't think the average fan comprehends just how hard these guys work at this level. During the season 12-16 hour days is the expectation. Travel is brutal, coaches spend far more time with each other than they do with their own families during the season. At the end of the day you'd all better be getting along with each other or the team's going to fall apart.

Mike Green - Thursday, October 10 2013 @ 12:21 PM EDT (#279720) #
Gibbons hasn't earned anything.  Anthopoulos hasn't earned anything.  They have done a job for a few years and overall have not performed horribly. That is the most you can say.  Neither has done anything that would merit the amount of deference that has been shown.

If I owned the club, both would be gone (with the coaching changes being the last straw).  The team has been built to win in the next couple of years, and I don't think that they have the managerial component necessary to do so.  It may also be that they don't have the players, but if that is the case, the sacrifices that have been made to the ability to win any time soon are so devastating that you might as well start anew anyways.

Ryan Day - Thursday, October 10 2013 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#279721) #
There's definitely something interesting about loading up the team with expensive all-stars & veterans, and then handing it over to a largely inexperienced coaching staff.

It's also interesting that while Mottola was ostensibly dismissed because Gibbons wanted someone with whom he was more familiar, he was hired after Gibbons - meaning Gibbons presumably had some input into choosing his hitting coach.

I can respect Gibbons wanting a coach he's worked with, but it's not like he's got a history of working for fantastically successful teams. If you poached, say, Dave Martinez from the Rays, I'd be a lot more comfortable saying "bring in all the guys you want."
China fan - Thursday, October 10 2013 @ 02:09 PM EDT (#279723) #
"....the sacrifices that have been made to the ability to win any time soon are so devastating...."

The apocalyptic rhetoric about devastation is a little over-the-top, no? The Jays have a core of excellent players, most of them still in their prime and under reasonably priced contracts; their farm system is still middle-of-the-pack if not elite any more; they enjoyed a dramatic surge in attendance this year; their owners have demonstrated a willingness to increase their spending; and they have a decent chance of contention next year if they add a pitcher or two and perhaps a catcher or 2B (and if they get a little more luck on the injury front). Hard to see this as "devastation." Hard to see why the GM should be dumped after only 4 years.

And the logic of the statement about "devastation" is somewhat hard to follow too. If the Jays do, indeed, manage to win "any time soon", then presumably the team was not very devastated, right?
Mike Green - Thursday, October 10 2013 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#279724) #
The club was built to win in the 2013-15.  The top high-level prospects were almost all traded.  The players who might come up and help the team win after that are almost uniformly in the very low minors. 

I wasn't being apocalyptic.  I thought that this club had a chance to win in 2013, and I still feel that (properly managed) it has a chance to win in 2014 or 2015.  I just don't think that the current management has the ability to do so now.  Anthopoulos might have the ability in 4 or 5 years, but I don't see the purpose in waiting to find out. 

China fan - Thursday, October 10 2013 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#279725) #
"....The club was built to win in the 2013-15...."

Agreed. So let's see what happens in 2014 and 2015. If they remain a last-place team, without a sniff of the playoffs, then let's certainly dump Anthopoulos. If he is unable to assemble a supporting cast to exploit the peak years of Bautista, Encarnacion, Reyes, Dickey, Rasmus and Lawrie, then he will deserve to be dumped.
Wildrose - Thursday, October 10 2013 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#279726) #
Tell us how you really feel Mike......

I certainly cannot blame anyone for getting emotionally frustrated though, it's certainly been a long 21 year old slog in the wilderness being a fan of this team.

I'm not sure what the proper time frame to assess AA should be? I think four years is probably not enough. I'd give him until 2016 or the end of this so- called competitive window that they seem to have.

My biggest fear is all this doesn't work and the new British CEO decides to retrench and makes massive across the board cuts.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 10 2013 @ 03:59 PM EDT (#279727) #
Not emotional at all about it, actually, despite the occasional lapses into sarcasm.  It's a pretty cold evaluation of management. 

We do it all the time with players- I remember Bartolo Colon throwing fastball after fastball to Darrin Fletcher and Fletcher simply couldn't pull the trigger fast enough. I thought "he's done". 
katman - Thursday, October 10 2013 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#279729) #
I'm with Mike Green.

As for the hitters, Lawrie improved a lot, Lind recovered to value, Rasmus was weirdly productive. Others roughly as expected. Rasmus, Lawrie, and Lind all attributed better ability to prepare and execute as positives - something not seen defensively on this team.

Izturis had a bad year, but I think he's just aged out and done. Pass. Cabrera had a tumor. Pass. JPA is not coachable by anyone. Pass.

I wish I had some idea what happened with Bonifacio, though he was regressing at the plate toward season's end in KC. So that performance burst may be just a fluke, it will take a full 2014 season to know.

There can always be other things going on, but keeping Walker and firing Motor seems really illogical. Especially if done as a nod to Gibbons, who I don't think has earned that level of deference from the organization.

There comes a point where, if personnel moves just keep confusing you and surprising you in bad ways, you eventually stop giving the benefit of the doubt to the people making them. That's where I'm at right now.

I think this organization needs a fix at the management level, and then all the way down into its minors, before it will improve. After 2014, I believe we may start to get that.
Chuck - Thursday, October 10 2013 @ 04:43 PM EDT (#279730) #
then trade him to SF, who are looking for 1B help

Don't know about that. Brandon Belt had a 142 OPS+.

Chuck - Thursday, October 10 2013 @ 04:46 PM EDT (#279731) #
If you're shopping Lind, Milwaukee could be a destination. The team is very right-handed, they gave a ton of 1B ABs to Yunieky "212/240/355" Betancourt and it's not clear that Corey Hart will be returning in 2014.
Chuck - Thursday, October 10 2013 @ 04:48 PM EDT (#279732) #
Oops, my posts were meant for the "Who To Trade?" thread.
jerjapan - Friday, October 11 2013 @ 10:27 AM EDT (#279742) #
jerjapan, I'm not sure how you're defining "a good GM", but it's obviously not the same criteria I'd use. There's no evidence AA is a good GM

I define a good GM as someone who does everything possible to give his team a chance at success.  Fielding a winner only is too strict of a criteria, as it ignores chance ... AA rapidly rebuilt the farm and then used those assets to field a contender.  I was not alone in believing this, (although many Bauxites raised clearly valid concerns) 

This list springs to mind:

By my criteria, there is plenty of evidence that AA is a good GM.  Unless you discout below-market value deals for elite sluggers Bautista and EE, acquiring gold glove caliber and potential all-star Brett Lawrie (still on a pre-arb contract) for a mid-rotation starter with a questionable work ethic and future, landing Brandon Morrow for a fringe prospect and 'closer', landing Delabar and his pre-arb contract for Thames, building a strong bullpen at minimal cost with shrewd trades, signings and minor league additions,  getting Rasmus for a collection of relievers, all while re-energizing the fan base, securing massive payroll increases from ownership and revitalizing the farm. 

The missteps are indeed glaringly obvious - but most (perhaps the Happ deal and fully backing JPA aside, Gibby maybe) were defensible at the time.  In order to quickly transform the team, he needed to take risks, many of which paid off, others which clearly did not. 

to me, this year will be the acid test.  I think his rebuild was an inarguable success.  he's had one season as GM of a contender, which seems a small sample size to me.
Mike Green - Friday, October 11 2013 @ 11:16 AM EDT (#279743) #
building a strong bullpen at minimal cost with shrewd trades

Many, many trades. Some shrewd, some not so much (see Francisco, F).  Anthopoulos has placed a tremendous emphasis on acquiring relievers. 
John Northey - Friday, October 11 2013 @ 11:40 AM EDT (#279745) #
Francisco is interesting if you go full out on him...
1) Jays draft Vernon Wells 5th overall in 1997
2) Jays trade Wells (plus cash) to Angels for Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera
3) Jays trade Mike Napoli for Frank Francisco and cash
4) Jays lose Frank Francisco as a free agent and get a compensation pick
5) Jays use pick to get Matt Smoral

So basically for Wells plus some cash (hard to say exactly how much with cash going all around the place on these trades) they got a decent prospect.  The only problem being that Napoli was a very, very good player once the Jays dumped him on the Rangers (173 OPS+ and a 113 over his 2 years there).  Of course, given the Jays were nowhere near contention those 2 years and Texas didn't feel Napoli was worth a qualifying offer I guess it would've just been 2 fun years then goodbye vs having a pitching prospect who might help in 4 years.

Clearly Francisco or Wells for Smoral is a trade the Jays would do 100 times over, but that middle piece is the issue. Much like the Rasmus trade which cost the Jays Octavio Dotel, Jason Frasor, Zach Stewart., Corey Patterson, Marc Rzepczynski and cash but had a middle piece of Edwin Jackson.  Stewart spent all of 2013 in the minors, Frasor came back, Dotel was useful in relief for 2 playoff teams, Patterson had a 17 OPS+, Rzepczynski had an 82 ERA+ in St Louis but was lights out for Cleveland this year.  Outside of Jackson is there anyone there who we really would've needed here or had much use for?  And Jackson this year wasn't that good anyways (79 ERA+, led the NL in losses).

Interesting to go through those two 3 party deals.  Really, only Napoli would've had a place on the Jays right now (129 OPS+ at 1B/DH bats right) but that is worse than the two guys at 1B/DH (Lind was a 132, EE 145) so maybe not.  Jackson would've fit right in with the frustration with starters we had this year, and the rest would've been among the 1000 relievers who were good this year here.  Funny eh?
jerjapan - Friday, October 11 2013 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#279747) #
I don't think its an over-emphasis though, just a recognition of how some assets are available at minimal costs - Santos, Delabar, the waiver pick ups ...

I didn't like the Francisco move at the time and in hindsight that's a clear bust.  I really, really liked that draft pick hoarding strategy though, one of AA's best.

brent - Saturday, October 12 2013 @ 07:14 PM EDT (#279775) #
Oh, my! Everyone has turned on the brass. Only Wildrose has fell to the contagion. The players fell on their faces out of the gate. Lets see if GM AA and Gibby learned anything from this as well as some of the scouting failures.
bpoz - Tuesday, October 15 2013 @ 12:32 PM EDT (#279797) #
It takes a few years to judge a trade. It has been a few years for the first few trades.

I liked the Wells trade because IMO that was a can't trade contract.
I also like Rasmus the player because he has shown good power in 2013 & 14. I also think that we gave up too much to get him. I liked Zep. Dotel & Fraser were potential draft choices. E Jackson had value as well.

The Jays record under AA kept getting worse from year to year except for the 2014 season when it improved.
Dewey - Tuesday, October 15 2013 @ 03:52 PM EDT (#279802) #
The Jays record under AA kept getting worse from year to year except for the 2014 season when it improved.

Well, Da Box has finally done it!  We’ve been trying for ages to predict the future, and at last we’ve succeeded.   So 2014 *was*  an improvement.   Phew.
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 15 2013 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#279804) #
I also like Rasmus the player because he has shown good power in 2013 & 14

I hate to be a killjoy, Dewey, but it's simply an innocent mistake rather astounding clairvoyance.  Substitute 2012 for 2013 and 2013 for 2014, and I think you will find that bpoz's comments are innocent enough. 

It should be noted that improving from 73 wins to 74 wins is, um, not much to build on. 
Dewey - Tuesday, October 15 2013 @ 05:33 PM EDT (#279808) #
Rats.  Ah well, it's like the Higgs-Boson particle.  We're going to manage it one day.  Just watch.
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 15 2013 @ 09:43 PM EDT (#279815) # which time there will be a Nobel Prize for Sports Journalism.  I ask you which is more socially beneficial, inventing dynamite or predicting the winner of the AL East next year.
bpoz - Friday, October 18 2013 @ 12:45 PM EDT (#279874) #
Dewey & Mike Green. Thanks for the response. I am sincere.

I have this question. Can you bet on a team improving from one year to the next. If so then let us look at the Jays & Red Sox from 2013 to 2014. Jays 73 to 74. Sox 69 to 97.

So the bet is won in both cases. Very low payout in either case. The Jays bet would have been extremely stressful. A 10 game improvement seem to me to also be a good bet especially with the additions the Jays made. A riskier bet but the payout should be better.
Chuck - Friday, October 18 2013 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#279881) #
bpoz, you are a year younger than you thought. The current year is not 2014.
CeeBee - Friday, October 18 2013 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#279883) #
Does that mean that I'm year younger too? One can hope....
bpoz - Monday, October 21 2013 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#279936) #
Thanks I feel much younger.
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