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Iím creating a separate thread for discussions about the Jays managerial search. The Jays are reportedly down to four finalists: Joe Espada, Brandon Hyde, Rocco Baldelli and a fourth unnamed individual. Ed Sprague and Stubby Clapp are among the names that have reported to have done at least an initial interview, although itís not clear if either is a finalist.

The Twins are reportedly down to three names for their job: Baldelli, Hyde and bench coach Derek Shelton. Baldelli and Hyde have had two interviews with Minnesota. One rumour is that it could be Baldelli with Shelton serving as his bench coach, as they know each other from Tampa, but itís unclear if thatís based on anything more than speculation. Espada had an initial interview with Minnesota, but was not invited back for a second interview.

There was also an interesting article on Cincinnatiís process. The Reds interviewed 12 candidates for about a full day each. They had three finalists, who were invited back for a written test and a second full day of interviews. The finalists were Ausmus, who has since been appointed in Anaheim, Joe Girardi and Bell. Baldelli was one of the twelve who interviewed in Cincinnati, but was not a finalist. It doesnít appear as if Hyde or Espada was a candidate, although the Reds reportedly talked over the phone to a couple of other candidates.

One interesting note is that most organizations seem to be doing two rounds of in-person interviews, whereas the Jays appear to have got to their shortlist through telephone interviews.

Discussions on the Manager Search | 56 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
bpoz - Tuesday, October 23 2018 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#367163) #
Shapiro picked Tito for Cleveland. I don't know how many managers Shapiro has hired. He helped build a good team and Tito managed it successfully.
85bluejay - Tuesday, October 23 2018 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#367164) #
It's going to be Joe Espada - book it!!
Gerry - Tuesday, October 23 2018 @ 12:02 PM EDT (#367165) #
Charlie Montoya, long time minor league manager in the Tampa system, is the final interviewee. He is being interviewed today. Montoya is the oldest of the finalists by some margin.
Gerry - Tuesday, October 23 2018 @ 12:10 PM EDT (#367166) #
I guess its Montoyo, not Montoya.
bpoz - Tuesday, October 23 2018 @ 12:15 PM EDT (#367167) #
Opinions on Joe Girardi? Do his strengths, whatever they are make sense for the Jays?
Thomas - Tuesday, October 23 2018 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#367169) #
Whatever Girardi's strengths and weaknesses are, he's not in the running for Toronto's job. I got the sense he's less likely to be in sync with the front office than the other candidates may be. Also, he's likely to be much more expensive and I don't think the Jays have interest in paying a manager near the top end of the salary scale at this stage.

If I was a betting man, I'd wager on Espada, although I think Baldelli is the second favourite and not that far behind.
Glevin - Tuesday, October 23 2018 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#367170) #
Clapp was not interviewed and in not a finalist. Strange story that should have been verified but wasnít. Espada, Baldelli, sprague, and Montoyo are left and Iíd guess in that order. Iíd be fine with any of them.
bpoz - Tuesday, October 23 2018 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#367171) #
Opinions on Joe Girardi? Do his strengths, whatever they are make sense for the Jays?
dalimon5 - Tuesday, October 23 2018 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#367172) #
Baldelli #1 choice
Sprague #2

Book it. #guessing
bpoz - Tuesday, October 23 2018 @ 01:05 PM EDT (#367173) #
Sorry about the double post. Don't know how that happened.
#2JBrumfield - Tuesday, October 23 2018 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#367174) #
Off-topic but Sportsnet now has the radio rights for Vancouver Canadians games and will broadcast six home games on TV in 2019.
Thomas - Tuesday, October 23 2018 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#367175) #
Glevin, what I am reading suggests it is Hyde, not Sprague, who is the fourth finalist. Did you read a report that suggested otherwise?
Glevin - Tuesday, October 23 2018 @ 01:56 PM EDT (#367176) #
Thomas, you are correct. Hyde and not Sprague. It means finalists are from Houston, Chicago, and two from Tampa. The quality of the organizational culture seems to matter a lot to the Jays and you can understand why.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, October 23 2018 @ 02:22 PM EDT (#367177) #
I'd be fine with any of Baldelli, Espada, and Montoyo. Two guys from the Rays organization, and another who worked in a front office with Brian Cashman and most recently in the Astros coaching staff. Solid resumes.
85bluejay - Tuesday, October 23 2018 @ 02:29 PM EDT (#367178) #
Book it. #guessing

Thank you so much for pointing this out - without your intellect, posters may have spent hours/days trying to decipher that comment - your brilliance is unparalleled.
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 23 2018 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#367179) #
I have no idea.  I personally would attach a modest weight to the organization that the candidate came from. 

It seems to me that the candidates' personal qualities are awfully important, and outsiders usually have no idea unless the candidate has a public history.  Insiders have only a few clues from the interview and perhaps from watching the candidate previously while playing other roles, such as minor league manager. 
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, October 23 2018 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#367183) #
The Jays like to discuss everything they do almost ad nauseam before making most decisions. Is it possible they don't get their first choice for Manager or is he already gone?
dalimon5 - Tuesday, October 23 2018 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#367184) #
85bluejay,

Actually the # in my message was to make it clear that I don't have any reference or inside information that it will be Baldelli or Sprague as I'm advocating. If I wanted to point out that you were guessing then I would have directed my message to you and called you out without contradicting myself by guessing my own two candidates.

Instead, you've wrongfully assumed that you were being attacked by misreading my post and in the process of trying to make sarcasm "your brilliance is unparalleled," you've only shown your self-indulgence in reading posts only insofar as to how they may relate to your own postings even if you have to force the connection. You could have asked if it was sarcasm, you know.

It's not easy to imagine things and then call people out for such imagined things while at the same time becoming the subject of your own criticism all at once and in one sentence to boot. Bravo. I'm not clever enough to write cheeky, sarcastic responses like some posters here, and clearly, neither are you. I am smart enough to spot the complete opposite type of poster, however, so thanks for being that shining example today and in future please don't misread my posts unless otherwise directed specifically to you, like has been done in this post.
johnny was - Tuesday, October 23 2018 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#367185) #
For John Northey:

The Q&A I'm doing with Mark Riggins will be on the Murray State University Libraries Facebook page tomorrow night at 6:30 CST (7:30 Ontario time). I'll happily take any Bauxite questions for him, be they general or specific to players he's worked with in Dunedin over the past two years.

https://www.facebook.com/murraystatelibraries/

Many thanks!

BlueJayWay - Tuesday, October 23 2018 @ 05:27 PM EDT (#367186) #
If I was a betting man, I'd wager on Espada, although I think Baldelli is the second favourite and not that far behind.
That seems to be the way the wind is blowing. I only know what's reported in the news and blogs but it seems those two are the candidates at this point. I'd be surprised if it were anyone else.
PeterG - Tuesday, October 23 2018 @ 05:56 PM EDT (#367187) #
Bell was not going to choose TO if he was being offered Cinci as both he and his family have strong ties to that area. Whether or not he was the preferred choice for Jays will never be known but there was certainly serious interest.

As for Girardi, he is the antithesis of what the Jays are seeking and totally unsuitable. The main reason given for his dismissal in NY was a failure to communicate with young players. I also don't think he would accept the team approach to managing that the Jays desire.
scottt - Tuesday, October 23 2018 @ 06:58 PM EDT (#367189) #
It looks like Baldelli with go the Twins though.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, October 23 2018 @ 07:05 PM EDT (#367190) #
The whole issue with the Managerial position choices are the lack of anything coming out of anywhere.
Joe Espada: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Espada
Rocco Baldelli: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocco_Baldelli
Brandon Hyde: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brandon_Hyde
Charlie Montoyo: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Montoyo
I don't know who is more analytical than the others. I don't know who function best with Management/everyone not on the Team/Roster.
Gerry - Tuesday, October 23 2018 @ 07:46 PM EDT (#367191) #
Johnny was:

I know you wanted to keep it general,so I would ask:

How much has trackman changed your job?

If a pitcher has average to below average spin, can you improve his spin rate?

How can a pitcher with below average spin succeed?

It seems that tiny changes can make a big difference to a pitcher (hand position, starting point on the rubber, etc.). Is being a pitching coach trial and error?


The one Jay specific question relates to Jackson McClelland. He credits Riggins with reworking his delivery. what did he do with McClelland?
SK in NJ - Tuesday, October 23 2018 @ 09:51 PM EDT (#367193) #
Sure, we can't assume a candidate with no experience will end up managing exactly like the team he is currently on, but it doesn't hurt for a candidate to be involved with a highly analytical and successful organization.

With practically all front offices now becoming sabermetric and using field managers as essentially puppets, I don't think we will see much difference between managerial candidates anymore. People skills and being able to handle egos/young players seems more important for a potential manager in today's game.

I also think Espada will end up being the guy, but I'm basing that off nothing.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, October 24 2018 @ 05:45 AM EDT (#367195) #
At the end of the day I am sure most these candidates are qualified and the front office is really just looking for somebody they feel that can work with cohesively.
Gerry - Wednesday, October 24 2018 @ 09:31 AM EDT (#367196) #
I thought it was interesting in the game last night, when the Dodgers changed their pitcher, the ball boy came out with new cards for the outfielders showing where to stand in the field for the new pitcher/hitter matchups.

Increasingly now we see fielders with positioning cards in their back pocket that they check from time to time. I don't recall the Jays having any cards to check.

I would expect that one of the questions for the new manager revolves around cards like this and whether they are willing to work with that information.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, October 24 2018 @ 09:56 AM EDT (#367197) #
It was also very interesting when the broadcast pointed out the new staff position for the Dodgers (can't remember name of coach but he was beside Dave Roberts whispering in his ear the whole game) who is a "bridge" so to speak between the analytics department of the office and the dugout. As the commentators described it - his job is to explain the analytics to Dave Roberts in simple terms. I found that pretty silly...why hire a person just to translate information between two other people when you can just hire a coach (if you're the Jays) who already understands analytics and how to get the most out of the numbers?

My guess is the Jays will hire the candidate that:
- is easiest/approachable to work with
- understands analytics so they can save money by not hiring a middle man like LAD
- is young and willing to accept less money
- works for an organization in AL EAST
- speaks Spanish

Espada worked for the NYY and Baldelli works for TB so I'm betting one of those two now. Brass probably has to hire a translator for Baldelli which would be a knock against him as I'm sure Espada knows the analytics and doesn't need a middle man beside him...

The wild card for me is Baldelli's playing career and strong defensive and baserunning acumen along with his diagnosis of a muscle disease to cut his career short...seems like a lot of accomplishment/adversity he's gone through for all players to be able to relate to.
bpoz - Wednesday, October 24 2018 @ 10:46 AM EDT (#367198) #
I am not fully understanding analytics. So analytics will make the team score more runs and give up less. This is a great tool that the Jays will benefit from. Are there more benefits?
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 24 2018 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#367202) #
Kevin Cash and Alex Cora do not require a manager whisperer.  That is probably a good thing. 
soupman - Wednesday, October 24 2018 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#367205) #
are "analytics" actually an area for growth? like...how much value is another numerate grad student going to add to in-game strategy at this point? what level of investment makes sense for a team like the jays to overcome the spending deficit of their division rivals makes sense? where are assets on scouts/bribes best placed? perhaps these are "analytic" avenues that need pursued, if they aren't already.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, October 24 2018 @ 05:07 PM EDT (#367206) #
Analytics and big data has exploded in the past few years and more and more companies are using machine learning to make models exponentially better. There are systems used in the mining industry which previously I thought weren't useful at all which have suddenly become invaluable even without any changes to the hardware.

I think its very likely some teams are ahead of this curve and the regular fan won't find out about it for some time.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, October 24 2018 @ 05:33 PM EDT (#367207) #
Aaron Sanchez threw a mid- to upper-90s Sinker with movement that was hard to hit. Where that has disappeared to I have no idea. To my knowledge he never/rarely threw a mid- to upper-90s 4-Seamer up in the strike zone. Perhaps it's time to start using a Four-Seamer. That's a function of Analytics.
Player like to uppercut/drive balls and rarely hits a ball on the ground. Perhaps it's time for 4 Outfielders and just 3 Infielders. That's a function of Analytics.
Running a shift with more Infielders on one side of the Diamond because that's where a Player hits everything is seen as a function of Analytics.
Drafting Pitchers early in the Draft solely for the Bullpen because they throw well in the upper 90s. That's a function of Analytics. And the examples can go on and on.
The game to game/batter to batter ability to change how you Pitch to each Player and how you adjust your Fielding to each player. This is becoming more prevalent and is a function of Analytics.
Was John Gibbons let go because of what he didn't/couldn't wouldn't do?
ramone - Wednesday, October 24 2018 @ 07:38 PM EDT (#367209) #
Wrong thread, and sorry if it's been posted somewhere already, but the C's will get 6 games televised on Sportsnet next year.

https://theprovince.com/sports/baseball/vancouver-canadians-jump-to-sportsnet-650-get-tv-games-in-the-deal
scottt - Wednesday, October 24 2018 @ 07:48 PM EDT (#367210) #
Baseball is a game of adjustments.

Analytics have led to things like shifting, throwing fewer fastballs, fewer sinkers, etc.
The exploitable trends will change over time. Teams will value hitters who can go the other way, pitchers who have a mix of pitches that allow them to strike out homerun hitters. Maybe we'll see more intentional walks.
It's not really a matter of harvesting the data as much as being able to actually act on it.
Like the openers for example. It's a pretty obvious concept.

Richard S.S. - Wednesday, October 24 2018 @ 08:34 PM EDT (#367212) #
Tomorrow Thursday is the first opportunity the Jays have to make any announcements, then maybe not again until Monday. Their suggestion that they wanted a Manager signed before the World Series is over might not happen with three Teams still needing Mangers.
christaylor - Wednesday, October 24 2018 @ 11:21 PM EDT (#367215) #
Apropos of nothing - openers seem like take one of the best bits of tandem starters. It avoids having the pitcher soaking up the most innings from facing the other teams best hitters. I'd like to see the Jays manager in 2019 use an opener against a top-heavy line-up for one inning of max effort to shut down any top-heavy line-ups. Could be a useful strategy against the Red Sox and to a lesser extent the Yankees. With not much on the line for 2019, it is worth seeing experiments like this and experimenting on how to get players to buy-in (I suspect a personality such as Giles would not).
dalimon5 - Thursday, October 25 2018 @ 12:20 AM EDT (#367216) #
The way things are going the finalists for the Jays/Twins/Rangers manager positions may want to wait until after the World Series as David Roberts could be cut loose. Man does his managing seem questionable in this series.
Glevin - Thursday, October 25 2018 @ 02:11 AM EDT (#367218) #
"Analytics and big data has exploded in the past few years and more and more companies are using machine learning to make models exponentially better. There are systems used in the mining industry which previously I thought weren't useful at all which have suddenly become invaluable even without any changes to the hardware."

Every industry is using analytics and big data right now. What it really is is just looking at numbers in a large way and using them to change how you do things. There are so many levels of it. So for me, it's something like this when trying to decide whether to say, start a certain pitcher in Coors.
Old School-"Pitcher A is a veteran, and I'm going to go with him"
Analytics-"Pitcher A is a groundball pitcher which is better for Colorado"
Advanced Analytics-"Pitcher A is a groundball pitcher but gets most of his grounders on high spin rate curveball which are more negatively effected than other pitches in Coors".

A big part of it is being open to the numbers and knowing how to read them. What is noise, what is insignificant, what needs more data, what is interesting? Being open is crucial because things constantly change. You can get more advanced data tomorrow or inventive teams try something (shifts, openers, etc...) that changes the game and you need to react or adopt. Now, you can't just be into analytics. A huge part of the manager's job is to manage the players on the team and sometimes those might not align perfectly with what the numbers say to do and that's OK but they need to be able to know all the available information in order to make a proper decision.
scottt - Thursday, October 25 2018 @ 08:39 AM EDT (#367220) #
As expected, the Twins have named Baldelli.
johnny was - Thursday, October 25 2018 @ 08:50 AM EDT (#367222) #
Here's the takeaway from my conversation with Mark Riggins last night:

Gerry's questions --

Trackman has become ubiquitous at all levels in the system and the Dunedin staff gets daily analytics reports from Toronto

one method for improving a pitcher's spin rate is lengthening his stride

we're not quite back in the Burleigh Grimes era, but there is a whole lot of illegal ball doctoring going on to improve spin rates these days and everybody's keeping quiet about it because their pitchers do it, too

the two-seamer/sinkerball guys can get away with a lower spin rate

Prospects --

Borucki gets high marks for coachability and has a good shot at MLB success

not particularly impressed with Nate Pearson so far because he hasn't had that moment where failure opens your ears to suggestions on improving your game

General --

when he did his first tour as a MLB pitching coach for the Cards in '95, there was total autonomy whereas now many organizations script games by an analytics crew

analytics are a great tool and he has embraced them--it takes a full workday to prep for a 20-minute pitchers meeting before the start of a new series--but they've left many older coaches feeling alienated

for e.g. there was talk that some of the Houston Astros coaches last year felt like bystanders when their team won the World Series

sentiment was that on the coaching side baseball has become a young man's game and we are at risk of overlooking the human side, the importance of personal bonds between coach and player

the Jays in particular have a fairly big psych team and one of the things they do is profile players before drafting them

after 40 years in professional baseball, he's looking to hang up his spikes soon; this will be a loss for the Jays because you don't often find someone with his experience willing to take on a high A assignment

Youth --

rash of TJ surgeries are a byproduct of travel ball and throwing 12 months a year

hit to your heart's content, but young pitchers should shut down for at least 3 months in the off season

velocity is mostly the result of genetics, but you can improve it through long toss (for an 11/12-year-old this would be 110 feet or so), nutrition, and weights

organizations comb through your old Twitter/FB posts when putting together psych profiles, so beware the consequences of your online behaviour


Good guy, very grateful for the chance to sit down and talk with him.

dalimon5 - Thursday, October 25 2018 @ 09:21 AM EDT (#367225) #
That's a great hire for the Twins. Twins were top 5 in baseball woth Houston, LAD, BOS, NYY when it came to AVG/Runs a game or some other offensive stat they flashed on the TV. It surprised me to see the Twins there but it's because of their pitching that they were so poor. Could be a quick turn around up north for the Twins this upcoming season. I hope Rocco didn't pick the Twins over the Jays because that would be...depressing.
scottt - Thursday, October 25 2018 @ 09:22 AM EDT (#367226) #
the Jays in particular have a fairly big psych team and one of the things they do is profile players before drafting them

That kinda sounds like it's done with the psychic network.
scottt - Thursday, October 25 2018 @ 09:27 AM EDT (#367227) #
Espada and Hyde are finalists in Texas along with Wakamatsu, Tingler and Wathan

I think the Jays have to wait on Texas to announce if they choose Espada or Hyde.
Toronto is nobody's prized destinations. Except maybe for Stubby who has had several phone interviews with the Rangers and is expected to take over in St-Louis at some point next year.
bpoz - Thursday, October 25 2018 @ 09:30 AM EDT (#367228) #
Thanks johnny was.
scottt - Thursday, October 25 2018 @ 09:34 AM EDT (#367229) #
Pitching is always the strength in Tampa, so that's going to be a shock for Baldelli.
If he does well, it could start a trend in the division with so many bad teams and so many old managers.

scottt - Thursday, October 25 2018 @ 09:36 AM EDT (#367230) #
What's travel ball?
Gerry - Thursday, October 25 2018 @ 09:41 AM EDT (#367231) #
Thanks Johnny, some interesting points there. Pearson hasn't failed yet and it sounds like he he isn't listening to coaches yet. Players need to fail, to learn.

Also interesting comments about analytics with the Jays looking to hire a new manager. If all the moves are dictated by analytics then the manager is just the go between, following orders.
Gerry - Thursday, October 25 2018 @ 09:42 AM EDT (#367232) #
Travel ball is known as rep ball in Ontario. Basically its where kids are on a team that travels outside of their local area to play.
bpoz - Thursday, October 25 2018 @ 10:14 AM EDT (#367233) #
I agree with you Gerry on your thoughts about pitchers needing to fail.

Halladay/Mel Queen was a classic and dramatic example of this. Stieb??? Did he ever fail? Did he ever learn?


When Osuna fell in love with his breaking ball. I think. He was advised and then learned to use his FB more. That was hard for him because his FB lost 5 mph I believe.


Other than injuries N Pearson has not yet failed. I hope he becomes a student of the game.


So M Riggins was in Dunedin in 2018. Therefore Y Diaz, P Murphy, Z Logue and J McLelland benefitted. Maybe others on that staff. With decent stuff of course.


krose - Thursday, October 25 2018 @ 10:22 AM EDT (#367234) #
Thanks Johnny. Very interesting. Love those old guys who are willing to be honest and open.
krose - Thursday, October 25 2018 @ 10:30 AM EDT (#367235) #
Wisdom comes with balance. Hope the Jays can live in that tension between analytical driven decision making and emerging wisdom. Dunno...seems like a real corporate culture.
dalimon5 - Thursday, October 25 2018 @ 11:30 AM EDT (#367236) #
Scott your point is easily overlooked. For all the accolades given to TB for their culture and philosophy and managing...the #1 thing they have always had was pitching. Always. They had the top prospects before, then they had the Troy Percival/revival bullpen strategies, then they had the open starter strategy and now they are getting some of the top pitching prospects again.

It could very well be possible that all the "culture" of TB is irreplaceable once you step out of that Tampa organization and into another one. Especially when an example like the Twins don't have SP like the Rays. How does an analytics guy such as Baldelli or an inclined GM with roots in pitching and defense first (think TB GM) help his new team when he has neither to worth with? If the answer is to build from within and draft pitching and defense ala the Rays then why do you need to hire Rays personnel away?

Maybe the secret to the Rays is that their strategy works best for them (budget, ballpark, division etc). The only real example we have of TB personnel relocating their philosophy to someplace new is Andrew Friedman and the Dodgers.

The one constant I see in two of the most successful resource management organizations (OAK and TB) are their insistence to sell high as often as possible to maximize returns even if it means making bad moves. They don't want to be stuck with Donaldson or Longoria on the downturn of their peak - though those two examples show the inherent risk in that model.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, October 25 2018 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#367238) #
Charlie Montoyo new Manager.
lexomatic - Thursday, October 25 2018 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#367239) #
I am ambivalent about the new manager.
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, October 25 2018 @ 03:02 PM EDT (#367240) #
I wonder if that means we might see some games where we see an opener next year. The Jays did try a few bullpen days in the second half.
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