I get the feeling that being demoted to the minors after nearly seven hundred games in the Majors, including a Silver Slugger season, passed through waivers, unclaimed, then specifically not mentioned by your General Manager as one of the club’s core pieces, maaaaaybe has a rather dramatic impact on the number of fucks you can possibly give about saying the safe thing when you go on the radio to discuss the upcoming season. Because… Adam Lind, everybody!
Lind spoke on Jeff Blair’s show this morning (audio here)– Sportsnet’s Mike Cormack transcribed it– and… OK, it’s maybe not mind-blowingly salacious or anything, and maybe athletes now are just so media coached to death that a little bit of honesty seems way bigger than it is, but he made couple notable comments, at the very least.
For example, asked whether the presence of a Mark Buehrle will help the club, Lind noted that it would help Ricky Romero in particular.
“I think there’s a bunch of guys in our clubhouse that’ll benefit from that,” he explained. “You put yourself in the situation of our clubhouse last year and Ricky was considered the veteran leader even though he had four years of service time and really, in the grand scheme of things, that’s not a veteran at all. And that’s part of going the young route and we’ve changed that and it’ll probably take some pressure off Ricky, it’ll take some pressure off me.”
Oh, it gets better…
“That’ll benefit guys that were kind of thrust into the leadership role before we were ready,” he explained, oddly skimming past his weird definition of a veteran, which apparently doesn’t include Adam parts-of-seven-seasons-in-the-bigs Lind. “Ricky, great guy, great competitor but we all know Ricky — he doesn’t have that leadership-type personality, so-to-speak, in his DNA. It’ll let him relax and be himself and observe Mark Buehrle.”
Uh… not exactly standard teammate fare, right?
And I think it’d be fair enough– though, I suppose, unprovable– for an outside observer to make such a statement. But coming from a teammate, it’s certainly a little bit jarring. Not to mention also a little weird how he gives Romero a break on one hand, noting his relative youth, while on the other suggesting that he’ll never be the leader people seem to want him to be anyway.
But… I don’t know… whatever, I guess. Lind certainly doesn’t seem to give a fuck, at the very least.
That shows through again later, as he also decided to throw some former coaches under the bus in the wake of the re-hiring of John Gibbons…
I think John will be fine as a manager. I think that we will need a better staff than we had his first go-around. I think Brad Arnsberg did a great job as a pitching coach, but I think as a whole, all five, six, seven guys on a our staff… we’ll need a better staff than we had last time.
Well… keep in mind, when Gibbons was fired the first time, in 2008, the club also flushed first base coach Marty Pevey, bench coach Ernie Whitt, and hitting coach Gary Denbo– who was in his first season after replacing Mickey Brantley. So, with apologies to Bob Elliott and whoever else is crazy enough to pretend Ernie Whitt deserves a Major League managerial gig, it’s really not that terrible a burning of bridges. Interesting, though, innit?
On the less-newsworthy side of the ledger, there are a couple of digs at John Farrell, which ought to be par for the course from Jays players at this stage.
“When you have a pitcher trying to tell people when to run I think some of the times we were just running with our heads cut off and not really in the right situations. I think (Gibbons) understands the timing and the situations when you should and shouldn’t run versus just running recklessly. I think it’ll be good to have more of a purpose in that part of our game.”
And naturally, there’s also the ever-present delusional self-belief that we all should have by now expect from our pro athletes. In Lind’s case, he seems to believe that after three seasons of being fucking horrifically fucking awful, he’s turned a corner against left-handed pitching.
“The second half of last season I really changed my approach. I stopped trying to do too much in the second half of the season, especially against left-handed pitchers. I’d like to see the splits from the first half to the second half. They might not be tremendously greater but I bet they’re better than they were even the year before. That was the biggest thing; I quit trying to do too much. I started to look off-speed much more and I think I quit being so proud and stubborn. I was like, ‘look, you’re going to hit the slider, that’s just the way it’s going to be.’ I accepted that and I think my numbers improved.’ “
That’s our Adam!
I mean… the fuck? His big second half improvement dragged his line against lefties all the way up to .202/.250/.303 for the season. PUKE!