Welp. So much for the “tightly held secret” list of additional candidates for the Jays’ managerial vacancy– or at least one of them, as Jack Magruder of Fox Sports Arizona gives us another name for our list:

An interesting name, for sure. And as MLB.com’s Bernie Pleskoff tweets, the current manager of the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, meaning Jays AFL prospects like Jake Marisnick and HELLO KEVIN PILLAR! are playing for him.

Jonathan Hacohen of something called MLB Reports wrote about Williams just yesterday, anointing him as the MLB’s next great manager in a piece that’s far too staggeringly fanboyish and into the whole scrappy/gritty narrative myth to take seriously, but that at least gives you some kind of idea of what Williams might sorta be like– which comes back to his current role as the Diamondbacks third base coach. Not sure I’m keen on the whole Kirk Gibson model of managing, but… um… Williams was a pretty good player, so I guess that’s something. (I’m sure Giants superfan Parkes could better regale us with some stories of Williams’ days in San Francisco back in the late 80s.)

And it’s interesting, at least, that the Jays have bothered to request permission, seeing as the MLB Reports piece notes that Williams wound up in Arizona to be close to his kids, and that– as @GraffAttack noted on Twitter– his wife is a TV Anchor there, and he’s a part-owner of the club (Wikipedia backs it up!).

So, would he even be interested in coming here? How the hell should I know. Should we be wary of the potential that the Diamondbacks are his “dream job”? Probably. Even so, it’s not like he’s not worth interviewing. Due dilligence, and all. Because, y’know, it worked out so damn well the last time.

UPDATE: Despite not tweeting out a link anywhere that I can see, Magruder actually has a full report on Williams at Fox Sports Arizona, speaking to the long-time big leaguer about having also talked to the Rockies about their vacancy, and being ready to manage in the Majors.

That, he tells Magruder, “is what I want to do. Who knows if it will ever happen, but if you are never prepared. . . . It’s like taking B.P. or taking extra grounders. There may be an opportunity one day. There are not many of them. You want to be prepared if it does happen.”

So perhaps he’d be more interested than I initially was ready to give him credit for.

He also, to be accurate, may no longer be a part-owner in Arizona. An MLB.com piece on him from earlier in the month refers to the fact that “he had a small ownership stake in the D-backs” (Italics mine). So perhaps that, too, is a non-issue.

In the Magruder piece Williams explains his style: “I think I am aggressive by nature, in all aspects of the game. Pitching, aggressive within the strike zone, aggressive with fastball command. On defense, running bunt plays or turning the double play. You need to be aggressive on the field. I think that’s important.”

Not sure about that aggressive bunting business, but sure. And having worked with or played for Dusty Baker, Buck Showalter, Bob Brenly and Gibson can’t hurt, I suppose. So… maybe it’s a better fit than my gut tells me.

Hey, as long as the Jays get this damn thing done quickly and get fixing their roster, it could be Cito coming back for all I care. (Well… OK, not really).

Comments (70)

  1. Seeing as he’s a part owner of the D-Backs, I’d be willing to bet that managing the Diamondbacks would be his “dream job.”

  2. Jeez, that guy like verbally blew Matt Williams for like 1000 words and not one mention of him cheating. Not that is any kind of reason he can’t be a solid manager, but most of that was about his career/HOF resume.

  3. Andrew references always brighten my day. Thank you.

  4. My gut says Williams takes a pass.

  5. The 3rd base coach is a part owner of the team? I don’t think its the same guy.

    • It is. But in a piece at MLB.com earlier in the month it says “had” an ownership stake.

  6. He looks like Butter.

  7. He looks badass. Sign him up!

  8. It’s funny seeing teams like the Giants and As win on great pitching and not much hitting.

    Take a look at that 08 Jays team. How did that team not pull off something like that? The Yanks, BoSox and Rays were too good I guess.

  9. Gotta give Butters that extra kick in the nuts by hiring someone that looks exactly like him.

  10. Do all third base coaches look alike? Or is it just the Oakley baseball shades and John Olerud style helmet that makes ‘em all look the same.


  11. Stoeten,

    Why is there this pervasive notion that somehow sooner is better on the managerial search? Is it because some honestly believe that a big league team doesn’t have the bandwidth to be both aggressive in free agency/trade market AND hire a manager? The former is quite time sensitive, with players hitting the market this week. But the latter? Take your time!

    For those of us who don’t like idle statements, what is the basis of your not-enough-bandwidth argument?

    Two possible ideas and why I find them less than plausible:
    1) AA didn’t like how long his first managerial search took… but who’s to say he hasn’t learned his lesson and will not allow the search to be all-consuming? Making something less intensive doesn’t mean you need an artificially short deadline.

    2) Players will want a stable situation to sign in Toronto…. but AA has already expressed a desire to overspend to best other teams’ offers. And it’s not like naming a new manager on a 73 win team paints a picture of stability, anyway.

    So… let’s all chill out about the supposed immediacy of this vacancy.

    • But maybe FA’s will want to know who they are going to be dealing with on a daily basis.

    • +1000
      And to expand on your 1st point, doesn’t a artificially short deadline in fact make the search MORE intensive?

      The idea that having a manager in place makes the Jays a more attractive destination is the only one that holds and water for me, and like you mentioned there are even holes in that, Even so, having a manager that may have some past history with free agents gives the GM one more card to play during negotiations.

  12. i can’t believe it’s not butter

  13. I’m thinking no.

  14. Its funny how perceptions vary, Stoet intuitively took the quote; “On defense, running bunt plays or turning the double play,” to mean that Williams is in favor of bunting. Which, if that is indeed how he meant it, is not an encouraging sign. However, I think he may be actually be speaking to the idea of employing aggressive bunt DEFENSES as opposed to actually being in favor of bunting as a strategic offensive move. Which, to me, indicates he may be exactly the progressive manger we are in desperate need of. I view aggressive bunt defense much the same way I view infield alignments, as an interesting, intelligent way to gain an edge.

    • LOL at ‘sandcastle kid’. Nice one.

      And I am in agreement w/ your remarks vis a vis bunt defense.

      • Exactly – he’s talking about being aggressive in terms of positioning and trying to make double plays instead of just accepting the out. A lot of successful sacrifice bunts could have been double plays if the defenders had been better positioned and ran harder. Williams is talking about drilling teams on fielding fundamentals so they’re ready and able to make aggressive plays like that when opportunities present themselves. The 2012 Blue Jays squad may have had athletic talent (well, Lawrie did), but it was definitely not prepared to consistently make good decisions and execute on them. I’d say conservatively that 75% of their many errors involved fundamentally bad decision-making that should have been corrected through coaching.

    • I also read it as bunt defense.

    • Who sings that ending song on the DJF podcast? I assume that’s where you gt the name from.

  15. They are giving this job to the candidate with the lowest salary expectation – let’s not even waste time thinking about this.

  16. As much as hiring Sandy Alomar would be, Alex has to think about if things go bad, how will he fire him and not be looking bad after with Roberto’s ties to the organization. You would have to stick with Sandy through just about whatever if you hire him. I think you could have a good argument that the clubhouse will be better if the players know they’ll get shipped out before the manager will be fired.

    Loria sent that message in Florida. They shipped out Bell and THEN fired Ozzie.

    It’s amazing how in the dark the Toronto media is- the AA cone of silence is actually quite impressive in that they have the discipline to do this. Other orgs leak like sieves.

    • I hope the Jays hire someone and then stick with them if things don’t go swimmingly right away.

      This franchise needs some stability.

      • To be fair I think that’s what he expected to do with Farrett. Except that Farrett didn’t want to stick with him.

        • +1.

          The unanswered question is did Farrell get any promises from AA or Beeston that the team would provide a certain
          quality 25 man roster in 2012?

          I read somewhere that Farrell expected upgrades to the pitching staff By April 2012 & by the trade deadline in July 2012.

          If AA was unable to deliver, then I don’t blame Farrell for quitting.

          However, from what we see of AA, is it possible that he made promises in such a way that farrell didn’t understand him.

          AA talks a lot, so maybe Farrell heard more than AA let on.

          AA knew a year ago that Farrell wanted out, so he knew there was a possibilty by July that Valentiine would be gone & Farrell would want to replace him.

          I expect AA to have done some preliminary research already on a new manager for 2013.

          • It wouldn’t be a day of the week without Oakville making up a bullshit narrative and then getting freaked out about his invention.

  17. Will Clark and Matt Williams (plus Kevin Mitchell) were the bomb back in the day, (And yes I was an on again/off again Giants fan in the ’80′s.)

    Congrats to the 2012 WS champion SF Giants!

  18. Wow. Looks like Coach Matt Williams is about 40 pounds lighter than when he last played for the Diamondbacks. In some ways, these guys are almost unrecognizable once they go back to normal testotorene levels.

  19. I don’t know whether or not he’d be a good manager, but it was worth it for the dig on Parkes and his favorite team.

  20. DO NOT STOP ripping on Parkes for his Giant love.

  21. Parkes got hit by a car. I think the Internet can give him some rest until further notice.

    BTW, people who idle their cars while just running the air conditioning/heating while smoking are huge assholes of the human population. People who drive everywhere are such assholes because they forget what it’s like to have to walk when cars cut too close to you etc, etc.

    I don’t hate cars (although I think going electric should be mandatory), just when assholes drive them. And fuck that guy who hit Parkes!



  24. Ill manage next year. I will even promise not to bolt for my dream job either.

  25. Something Jeff Blair said this morning made me prick my ears up. He was commenting on the possibility of hiring Don Wakamatsu and mentioned that Wakamatsu ‘wasn’t Farrell’s guy’. Unless I misheard, he suggested that the only ally Farrell had among the coaches was Tory Lovullo which, yeah of course. Makes me wonder if Farrell will hire coaches from among the Jays staff. And makes me wonder if the staff saw in him early what the rest of us saw in him later and didn’t run interference for him or back him up.

    In any case, given how lax the clubhouse seemed to be last year, I would rather hire someone from offshore than someone from within the club. I don’t see how Butterfield or Wakamatsu could have the credibility to get in guys’ faces this year and be listened to if last year they were part of this ‘whatever’ kind of atmosphere.

    • This is a good point. I think a fresh face is a necessity – coaching staff included. All the current guys were part of a losing season so there’s no compelling reason to believe that a promotion would change anything. The air needs to be cleared. Get an outsider. Fresh ideas. No commited attachments to methods or personnel. Promoting a coach is just being lazy. I, for one, would be dissappointed to find out that after interviewing dozens of candidates the Jays pick Butter to manage. I think if that was what they wanted to do they would have done it already.

      • I’m not so sure. For one, should we get rid of every single player too because it was a losing season? Also, we hired our current GM from within and that’s working out alright. He’s not much like the old GM, almost polar opposite in fact.
        Not saying I think hiring from within is the right decision, just that I wouldn’t consider it being lazy or a necessarily bad move.

    • Good point

  26. Alomar just makes too much sense for the Jays to pass on him. A Spanish speaking catcher who has learned the coaching profession with a club that, like the Blue Jays, understands that a premier farm system will lead them on the road to a championship.

    I think that that’s an important thing to note about Farrell: he learned to coach on a club that possesses much more in the way of disposable resources than the Jays.

    Also, I think it’s important to note that Alomar wouldn’t be stepping into an unfamiliar situation if he did get the Jays’ job.

    • Alomar Jr. seems to be the front runner among the fans.
      My concern is that he has never really managed at any level and as Farrett said ” he had a lot of firsts in Toronto” and will help him .manage in the future.
      Are you ready for another manager going through a lot of firsts?
      Again he hasn’t managed at ANY level.
      Food for thought.

      • Fair point, although it didn’t really seem to be an issue for Matheny or Ventura this year.

        I really don’t even care about his last night name and the PR benefits it might carry. I just look at his background and see a lot of qualities that I think would play nicely with this club.

        However, it’s certainly fair to question his background if the Indians, with which he is an organization Hall of Famer, decided to go in a different direction with their manager vacancy, as Atlee alludes.

        What’s your choice?

    • Does anyone know how many managerial jobs SAJ has been interested in or interviewed for and hasn’t gotten?

  27. Damn Farrell took Butterfield with him! I would like to take a moment of silence for the Jays defense

  28. Yep. Butter is gone.

  29. Managing a team other than the one you have an ownership stake in kind of in represents a massive conflict of interest, no?

  30. Meh, I’m fine with Butter leaving. I think it’s time that the Jays just completely clean house in terms of the coaches, including Murphy please, and start fresh. The only one I’d keep is Mottola.

    • I would think that the new manager would have a say in which coaches he wants to bring back and which he doesn’t. We may end up seeing a total house cleaning when all is said and done. And I agree, maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

  31. I’m taking off my fielding helmet and having a moment of silence for Butters. He could have been a contender.

  32. Why no Ron Wotus?

  33. At least he’s not Jim Tracy…. Acta all the way!!!!

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