Now it’s time for all the stuff I don’t figure on making full posts out of, with the spiffy graphic by Matt English (aka @mattomic). It’s your Afternoon Snack… er… Afternoon Hangover… er… links!!!
Cleveland president, and former GM, Mark Shapiro has a fantastic, wide-ranging interview with Fox Sports Ohio, in which he briefly praises the manager the club fired this year, Manny Acta, and also lays out the challenges that his organization faces. A lot of interesting stuff– and a lot of overlap from what you might hear in Toronto, were our president or GM able to speak succinctly. It’s getting noticed because of his claim that the organization views one win above replacement as being worth $9-million on the free agent market, but has a wealth of other stuff, as well.
Speaking of guys from other organizations, by way Baseball Think Factory, here’s something I’d love to hear the Jays say, from the mouth of Theo Epstein, via the Daily Herald: “If there was one thing that I was surprised by in a negative way it was how pervasive the lack of plate discipline was in the whole organization, at the major-league level, upper minors, lower minors, draft decision making and protocol. It’s just something that has not been a factor for a long time, and we’re paying the price for that,” he explained. “It’s embedded. It’s institutionalized, so we have to be really, really vigilant in turning that around. I believe 90 percent of the game revolves around controlling the strike zone, when you combine what it means to do so from an offensive standpoint and also from a pitching standpoint. It’s something we weren’t really good at. We didn’t walk enough. We didn’t get on base enough. Our pitchers walked too many hitters. We didn’t manage counts as well as we need to. Because it’s embedded, we need to dig deep and build a really strong foundation in that area because we’re suffering from that.”
Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun speaks to Roberto Alomar, who is stumping to have his brother hired by the Jays as their manager. “We need someone who wants to put his heart and soul into his team,” he also says. “Someone who wants to be here.” And, presumably, someone who’ll put him on the coaching staff.
Rob Bradford of Boston’s WEEI tweets that Red Sox bench coach Tim Bogar won’t be interviewed by the Jays for their managerial vacancy– though he was the last time around.
The Jays have granted the Marlins permission to talk to Mike Redmond about their own managerial vacancy. Redmond was with Dunedin this year, and Lansing last year, and according to the Miami Herald, he’s held in especially high regard among ex-teammates and managers. Redmond was a catcher for the Marlins from 1998 to 2004.
In the Toronto Star, Richard Griffin suggests that the Jays shouldn’t go after a retread manager, and lists a number of candidates who he thinks could emulate the first-year success of Mike Mattheny, with some interesting insight, despite the preposterous subtext that a manager has some kind of otherworldly impact on a club’s record.
Elsewhere in the Star, Griff recaps the first game of the World Series, and suggests Brett Cecil should by watching closely at how Barry Zito does it.
Mike Cormack of Sportsnet gives us a rundown of the Jays’ managerial candidates– a post that includes a poll in which Manny Acta is faring horrible. Get it straight, Sportsnet readers!
Elsewhere at Sportsnet, Mike Aviles says he’s not concerned with the managerial mess consuming his new team, while Shi Davidi reports on the in-limbo members of the coaching staff, whose status remains unchanged.
Didier Morais of NESN writes about how John Farrell wants to employ an “aggressive, up-tempo” style with the Red Sox. Good luck with that, shitbirds.
From the Calgary Herald, apparently Paul Beeston told a senate committee yesterday that proposed sports gambling legislation would undermine the game of baseball in this country. Sure?
Toronto Sports Media, for whatever it’s worth, is hearing rumblings that Paul Beeston is upset with the coverage the Jays are receiving– especially from the Rogers-owned media in this city.
“The Blue Jays and Baseball Canada have extended their already strong relationship by creating the first National Coaching Clinic at Rogers Centre,” writes Gregor Chisholm of BlueJays.com. “The clinic is set to take place from Jan. 4-6 and will target coaches working at all levels of competition in Canada. Coaches also will be able to earn professional development credit during the course at four different modules.” He adds that “the Blue Jays will provide a number of former players to participate in the event. Duane Ward, Sandy Alomar Sr., Rance Mulliniks, Homer Bush and Doug Davis will all be taking part, with additional names to added at a future date.”
Japan’s Shohei Otani, who I mentioned in yesterday’s Snack, was drafted by the NPB’s Nippon Ham Fighters yesterday, and MLBTR fills us in on what it means, with info from the excellent Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker. Basically, the Fighters now have until the end of March to sign him, though since Otani has indicated he wants to go to MLB, it’s not expected he will. At that point, he’ll be a free agent– though clubs will be subject to the spending limits and penalties that are in place under the new CBA.
The Score’s Tumblr has a wicked-awesome old ad from CBC for the Jays’ first season.
Lastly, if you want to keep hating Kevin Youkilis, look away, but his imitation of Mike Aviles’ swing is pretty awesome: