mottola

Chad Mottola

Well here’s an odd bit of news given everything we’ve ever heard about the Jays’ supposed wizard of a hitting coach: per a team release, neither Dwayne Murphy nor Chad Mottola will be returning to the Major League coaching staff of the Blue Jays in 2014.

Murphy, who moved to first base this year after being the club’s hitting coach since 2010 (having been promoted from the role of roving hitting instructor) is retiring as a coach.

Mottola, the hitting coach, who had worked his way up through the organization, and long been praised for his work with the club’s minor leaguers– having appeared to have been specifically groomed for the role, even joining the big league staff in September of 2012– according to the release, “will not return to the Major League staff in 2014.”

That’s all that’s specified by the release, pertaining to those two, so it’s somewhat unclear if Mottola is being reassigned– perhaps they felt he works better with up-and-comers?– or if this is a straight-up firing. My inkling is that they would have announced a reassignment, or at least made mention of it, were that the case, but that’s all the information we have at the moment.

John Gibbons’ other staffers– bench coach DeMarlo Hale, pitching coach Pete Walker, third base coach Luis Rivera, and bullpen coach Pat Hentgen– will remain in their roles next season.

No replacements for the departing coaches have been named.

The overwhelming reaction among certain Jays fans is, of course, to ask why the hell it’s the guys on the hitting side, when the club’s hitters generally performed fairly well, and not the guys on the pitching side, when the club’s pitching– outside of the bullpen– was its Achilles heel.

There is a pretty easy explanation for all this: WE CANNOT ASSESS THE JOB A COACH HAS DONE JUST BY GRABBING THE NEAREST CRAYON AND DRAWING A LINE BETWEEN HIS NAME AND THE RESULTS PRODUCED BY THE PLAYERS HE WAS IN CHARGE OF.

It’s really, really stunningly simple– hard as it may be for some to grasp. Ignoring everything but the result is a hopelessly poor way of analyzing anything, and anyone who is upset that the Jays actually understand that needs to take a deep breath and have a little think about how the world actually works, and what reasonable expectations for a coach or manager should be.

Pete Walker can be smart, respected, proactive, inventive, easy to deal with, a good motivator, and still not be able to make Josh Johnson and Brandon Morrow and R.A. Dickey not suck when they’re pitching hurt, or turn Ramon Ortiz, J.A. Happ, Chien-Ming Wang, or Sean Nolin into chicken salad.

Conversely, hitters can be seen to improve, and some players can be positive about their relationship with Chad Mottola, but that doesn’t mean we have the foggiest fucking notion of how fit he is for the job, how well he works with the ones not praising him, or with the front office, and what fraction of the improvements seen can be reasonably attributed to his work and his insight, or to the players themselves.

We just don’t know. But it sure feels good, for me, that the Jays here are not panicking and pandering to mush-brains who can’t grasp the concept of good process leading to bad results, and potentially vice versa.

That doesn’t mean they’re necessarily right in making these moves– believing that Luis Rivera is going to improve as a third base coach seems, for what marginally little it could be worth, at least iffy– but on first blush I like it as a giant “fuck you” bomb of cognitive dissonance to the mouth breathers, who surely would have been thrilled to see anyone associated with the pitching go, just as long as he wasn’t a great player on an old Jays team, which to them suggests he has some magical powers of coaching and passing along winningness like a contact high, which he just can’t quite manage to do from out in the bullpen.

It isn’t, at the very least, the sort of bullshit scapegoating sports fans have grown so accustomed to that they’ve lost the ability to see how genuinely dumb it is. Some are calling it that, but I’m not sure how they figure; the GM talks nonstop about issues with pitching and defence and then fires the hitting coach, and he’s a scapegoat??? Rather, it would seem, much like the vote of confidence to John Gibbons, to simply be an acknowledgement that things are complicated and not always as results make them seem.

Or… shit, for all we know, maybe it’s quite a lot simpler than that.

Mike Wilner tweets that, as we’ve known all along, Mottola and Murphy worked in tandem. He suggests that once Murph’s decision was made, the Jays felt their situation was less than ideal, so decided to change Mottola as well. We can only speculate about that stuff, but maybe the worry was that the faction of the team used to working with Murphy may not have been so amenable to switching over to Mottola, or that having to add so many more hitters to his profile would end up spreading Mottola too thin, or that finding a hitting coach just to work with a select group of players would be difficult, and would create a fucked up dynamic.

It’s impossible for us to say. Though yes, it’s hard to believe after the praise that had been heaped on Mottola by this organization during his time in Las Vegas, and his promotion to the coaching staff last winter– late as it was, given the late hiring of John Gibbons, which may make us think twice about its significance. And, of course, being an internal candidate, he may not have been Gibby’s guy in the first place. But… whatever the reason, it happened. It isn’t the first coaching decision at odds with public perception that’s ever been made, and it won’t be the last. Especially because said perception is built on, almost literally, nothing.

I mean, it’s hilarious– hi-lar-i-ous– to hear people bemoaning this like they have anything close to the slightest clue about what these guys actually contributed or what Mottola did to justify keeping his job. We don’t know what the did to justify losing it either, but that doesn’t mean we can simply point to some batted ball luck for Colby Rasmus or Brett Lawrie making the most obvious changes to his setup in the universe and then say that he’s some kind of genius who the dummies running the club have now thrown to the curb. Not any more, at least, than we can point to the staggering regression of J.P. Arencibia, or the lack of success of Anthony Gose in Buffalo to say that he doesn’t know what he’s doing.

Life is bloody complicated. Ignoring that and trying to reduce its complicated questions into the most dull-headed binary ones imaginable does nothing to bring you closer to The Right Way. Posturing like you’re damn sure you know what’s going on in a room when you’re only able to look in through the keyhole is ridiculous.

In other words, you don’t have to like this, but you damn sure can’t expect anyone to actually take you seriously about it.

Shi Davidi tweets that the Jays say they will not make any public comment on their coaching changes tonight.

Comments (134)

  1. What. The. Fuck.

  2. murphy isn’t surprising, Mottola is.

    Somewhat surprised Walker didn’t get canned,but hey, it’s only one year.

  3. Looks like Mottola gets to be the designated scapegoat. I suspect that won’t be enough for some.

    • I’m seeing this being suggested everywhere. AA has been so adamant about pitching being the problem. Why would he use the hitting coach as a scapegoat?

  4. Kinda surprised with Mottola. Lawrie, whom I know he worked extensively with, obviously improved over the season. Like the post says though what do we know.

    Also not totally comfortable with Rivera out there.

  5. The Mottola business seems particularly odd. He seemed quite well regarded…I mean who really regressed besides Arencibia? A lot was made of his good relationship with Rasmus & certainly he enjoyed a superb (and much needed) bounce back season.

    Weird.

  6. I don’t believe in nothin no more. I’m goin to law school!

  7. Luis Rivera didn’t use the shifts as well as Butter. He sent runners to home when he wasn’t supposed to more than expected.

    Why ins’t he the scapegoat?

    Murphy can retire. That’s fine.

    I thought Mottola was OK.Didn’t he fix Lind?

    • The Blue Jays had 11 baserunners thrown out at home plate this season, fewest in the AL. The Red Sox led the league, with 25 runners gunned out at home.

      Yeah, it was a big surprise to me, too.

      • @Kit.

        Thanks for the stats. I am shocked. I remember Luis sending Lind home a few times on a kamikaze mission.

        Farrell used to promote an aggressive running game with the Jays with disastrous results.

      • So you’re saying he was too conservative!

        • @Stoeten.

          +1.

          I remember Farrell was reckless with the running game. Rivera made a few mistakes but I tuned out more Jays games in 2013 than 2012.

          • Just a hunch but I think Butter was responsible for at least 50% of Boston’s success this year. The rest of it was Cherington’s signings and everyone’s joy at NOT having Bobby Valentine around.

      • You need to get on base to have guys thrown out at home.

        Somebody did a similar stat about the Jays having the fewest or nearly fewest GIDPs and it turned out that their rate was similar to the other teams, they just don’t get on base.

      • Do some research on the runners thrown out at home. They aren’t careless sends…Lots of running on contact (which comes from Farrell) a handful of safety squeezes plus a couple of missed calls. More base runners and a relentless running game will coast you some runs during the course of the year. Butter got them a ton of runs that no one ever comments on.

  8. I hear Mottola’s dream job is in Boston.

  9. Mottola must have left for greener pastures. I can’t see how they’d punt him to the corner after one season given the way an how quickly he rose through the organization and given the rave reviews a lot of the young hitters have given him..

  10. holy shit this home plate ump is biased for the Red Sox

  11. Pete walker gets his stay?

  12. Is Tim Raines still around?

  13. Not surprised by either leaving. The approach at the plate was awful most of the year. It was like watching 9 jpas in the lineup sometimes. Teams like bos and tb were way more patient and benefited from it. Hopefully the next guy they bring in will encourage players to take a few pitches

    • How about you actually try having a clue before you bother saying stuff.

      • They were one of the worst in terms of pitches per plate appeararance in the AL if not the worst. What other proof do you need?

        • Boo-yah.
          Plus, they looked like shit in key situations. I’m sure there is some Sabermetric for this.
          I don’t care about how well they hit in a 9-1 blowout. They mainly sucked in high-leverage situations. +1 to asdf!
          Keep on keepin’ on, brotha.

          My take: they clashed with Gibby.

        • Stoeten just thinks he is right 100% of the time.

          He also refuses to blame coaches for player’s poor performance (re: vernal blowjob he gave to Gibby when it was announced he would be returning)

        • Guy said it was like watching nine Arencibias. The league average walk rate was 7.9%. Five of the top seven Jays in terms of plate apperances were above average, and three– Bautista, Encarnacion, Lind– were well above average (as in, Lind in the top fifty in MLB, and the other two in the top 10).

          My point stands. Buy a clue.

      • ^LOL^

      • Blue Jays had the 15th obp by team in 2013 with .318 and tb had .329 if the jays were all swing for the fences wouldn’t there obp would be drastically worse?

        • Nice PG Wodehouse reference in your name, Psmith.

          Cordially Yours,

          Bertie Wooster

        • a response to the next guy. ph-ba tampa .213 jays .208

          tampa definitely had better clutch guys………….

    • You do know that hitting/changing your approach at the plate is harder than having someone say “See more pitches.”? That’s like saying a hitting coach makes power hitters by yelling “Hit more homers!”

      • Its definitely a personnel/talent issue as well (ie jpa) but these guys are pros and should be able to have better ABs.

  14. Truly bizzare. Murphy I get, because after the Farrell clean out he was one of the staff we thought the blame would be thrown on for 2012. Mottola, I am a bit surprised of, because personally the area where the jays underperformed the most was defense and starting pitching. BP was better than others expected (although I had a feeling that with a bunch of hard throwers and some returning vets, they would suprise a few). But SP did not meet expectations. Pete Walker was the man I was expecting to go first… Otherwise maybe Luis Rivera/ Demarlo Hale.

  15. I’ve always kind of wondered about this season’s coaching staff- often when you hire a new manager, they get to build a staff of their own guys. It seems to me that Gibby’s staff this season was kind of built by the front office- org guys that they had been grooming for big league jobs. Gibby was shocked enough by his own hiring that he was probably willing to kowtow to AA et. al.’s requests for who would be filling out the rest of the MLB coaching staff. Maybe, with the way this season went, the guys in the front office were willing to cut Mottola loose as a scapegoat move, and will give Gibby a chance to bring his own hire into that role.

  16. Im surprised it wasn’t walker given that the hitting wasn’t the problem.

    • Internal conflict????!?

    • You are right when you say hitting wasn’t the main problem.. but really, who overachieved offensively other than Rasmus and maybe Lind?

      • and who underachieved heavily besides a 24th man speedster, a backup 2nd baseman and a backup catcher.

  17. Coaches come. Coaches go. Probably an oversimplified comment. Tough whenever someone loses their job though.

  18. Mottola and Gibby probably didn’t see eye-to-eye. Mottola did a reasonable job but the approach with runners in scoring position and just being patient at the plate was not encouraging. But, pitching and defense were the sore spots this year. Looks like a firing.

  19. Very odd on the surface. Of course we don’t know what’s going on behind the curtain.

    Is Fasano maybe coming for this or is he more a manager/bench coach guy?

  20. Just fuckin hire away whoever the A’s have on their bench.

    I’ve never seen a team turn so many AAAA players into gold at the major league level.

    • Oakland A’s are my second favorite team, long before Billy Bean came along. I hope they whip Boston’s arse.

  21. That’s because Mike Scioscia, our hopefully-soon-to-be manager, didn’t want these hacks (pun fully intended!) around.

    in all seriousness, my own personal guess (and this is the ‘forum’ for doing so), I daresay Gibby will not finish 2014 with the Jays. If I am right, there will be a hearty helping of freshly-cooked crow for Mr. Stoeten’s immediate consumption. That said, I will cordially extend an offer to purchase a pint of non-shitty Skydome beer (Deschutes, perhaps?) for Mr. Stoeten if that is the case. It will be a celebratory pint for me, and a conciliatory pint for The Proprietor of this fine space.

    • ^^^ Yep. Got a bad feeling about 2014. Not betting on a RedSux like turnaround.
      Not a fan of anyone on the caching staff (save Hale)

      We’ll see what AA does, but I’m not optimistic. :(

  22. Riveria and his lost, dazed and confused waving of runners around third is back. But Mottola is out. Really?

    • don’t forget he was also the infield coach, who under Maicer, Bonifacio definitely did a great job as infield coach.

  23. i would have expected pete walker to be let go instead of mottola

  24. This. Is actually the perfect way to bookend the 2013 season. Confusion and second guessing. 2013!

  25. Why is everyone saying scape goat.

    A team with a top offense didnt need a scapegoat. He was promoted internally, and not gibbys guy. Not much more then that

  26. Apparently, Anthopolous was going to fire his manager, and Gibby said, “If you’re gonna fire someone, don’t fire me.”

    AA sighed and responded, “Okay. I’ll axe that Motorola guy.”

  27. I think it’s important to emphasize the coaches impact in baseball that another sport (hockey)

  28. One actual negative here of keeping basically the same coaching staff is that the Jays likely won’t be shifting again in 2014. Doing so under Butterfield saved them a ton of runs.

    • Honestly trade all the coaches for Butter.

      He’s the only one that added tangible value with the shifting.

      As well as the “reputation” he had working with young defenders, it’s a complete shame he left.

  29. At first i wasnt sure about Zobrist’s wife but now that she’s gone i miss her

  30. Let the hire Dusty Baker hitting coach rumor mill commence lol

  31. For some reason batting average is no longer the measure of success. Nothin like the success of WAMCO back in the early 90s. Top three batting in the batting race. Get back to hitting for average.

    • Olerud also lead the league in OBP, Alomar and Molitor in the top ten.

      All three ranked in the top 15 in slugging, top ten in OPS (

      Olerud lead the league in OPS, wRC+, and wOBA.

      Maybe just having lots of good hitters is a good idea?

      • Isabellareyes: He can’t stop. He knows stats and stats stat. He’s a blogger who worked at it and for content purposes, The Score picked him up. He’s very much a success now and hovers between a piece of dirt and respectability on the TO sports scene. The difference is Griff, John Lott et al don’t tell their audience to fuck off on a regular basis. If you can get by that act, it’s an interesting site. I think Stoeten’s talent is wasted here. Drew is just too cuttingly sarcastic to be taken serious, as he plays the role to fault…for him. If you get frustrated just post something about chemistry…it gets both of them close to a fit in seconds…they can’t understand anything that they can’t use a scientific calculator to solve. And remember, they NEVER PLAYED THE GAME. They know as much as you do. Really.

        • I don’t think this is where you wanted to post this, but… whatever.

          It’s hilarious how little math is actually written about on this site, but hey, I guess we use it enough that the clueless can use that, and the fact that they can pretend to know anything about us they want to, as a crutch because they can’t actually use their brains and their words to make points that don’t fall apart under the slightest scrutiny. This statement is you throwing up your hands in defeat. Try opening your mind a little and you wouldn’t have to.

        • @dave.

          I am in the midst of celebrating a Rays Walk off against the evil empire.

          Drew & Stoeten have chemistry on the podcasts.
          Chemistry is important for any work environment inclusing sports teams.

        • Yeah, DJF is not the site for in-depth statistical analysis. They use it, but not to the point of drowning in numbers.

          I tend to support the current AA/Gibby administration because they seem like sharp dudes, and there’s logical lines to be drawn between the players sucking and the team sucking. It’s not like AA predicted 3/5 of the opening day starting staff being injured or crappy for the majority of the year. The one gripe I have is that defenders of said administration (like myself) seem to be spending more time finding the logic in player acquisitions/in-game decision/coaching changes than letting it speak for itself, because a lot of the time, it seems like the logic is hard to find.

          Maybe this is a roundabout way of saying I wish the results were better when the majority of the process that led to #2013 was pretty sound, because then we wouldn’t have to be arguing in the DJF comments about Mike Scoscia as manager (DEAR GOD NO). To a point, that’s baseball- the game does unpredictable things, and that’s why we watch.

          Go Jays.

    • That reason is people understand BA is a flawed and limited stat

  32. Meh

  33. Can’t believe they kept Rivera. Oh well. It’s been an interesting year that keeps on getting more interesting.

    Stoeten, small request: can you knock off all the pronouncements from on high and come back down to earth? It’s just all the mouth-breather references and the heavy-handed scorn is getting a little over the top.

    • Nope.

      Feel free to get a clue, though.

      • What’s the matter Stoeten?
        Can’t think quick enough for a rational response so you stoop to insults?
        Try not being a bully for once.
        It adds to your credibilty when you can respond with something intelligent.

        • It’s called being fed up with nonsense, and responding in a way that was completely worthy of the comment and the recent history.

          • I get that.( i’d be worse and in fact have been).
            But people enjoy the wise cracking, hip, sarcastic Stoeten.
            The condescending, belittling,bullying Stoeten not as much.
            It stifles them from posting an opinion that might disagree with yours, for fear of retribution that’s over the top.
            Yeah there’s idiotic comments and there will continue to be, as more people come to the site.
            Plus not everyone sees things as you do.
            A good point counterpoint debate will bring out the truth.
            If you need to vent,use me.
            It’ll be cathartic.
            Besides you know you can never beat me in a baseball debate.( still waiting for you to win one )

            • @radar

              +1. Stoeten is an excellent writer & blogger. He gets angry sometimes at dumb comments which we are all guilty of.

              I am still ashamed of demanding that AA hire knuckeball experts last April after Dickey gave up 7 runs to the red ox in a closed dome .

              • Don’t be ashamed! You weren’t alone. I was thrilled we’d got a knuckleballer and so were lots of other people and Stoeten had that gif of him striking out a pitcher with an unhittable pitch.
                In any case,he might be better next year. His numbers improved after the ASS break.

          • What recent history? I get this is your blog and it’s a privilege to be here. But you seem to be really thin-skinned right now and I’m not sure why. This is a blog about baseball and we all insult each other on a regular basis. Sometimes we’re wrong, sometimes we’re right. But this harping on ‘stupidity’ and ‘mouth breathers’ and ‘morons’ in the body of a post before anyone even gets a chance to react, this just shuts everything down before a discussion gets started. This used to be a terrific blog. And it has been a long and horrible season so we are all short-tempered. But can we not just get back to where we were so that we can at least make our points before you judge us as idiots? Because polarizing an argument before it even begins is not, in my opinion, conducive to a rational discussion.

            • @isabella
              +1
              You are a loyal poster like Radar & a few others. I don’t know why Stoeten is mad.

              This blog is like being at a bar with your friends & everyone starts yelling at eachother but at the end of the night everyone is still friends.

              there is no need for so mch animosity towards other Jays fans.

              If we were in St Pete’s tonight & were Rays fans, we would be going crazy!

              Go rays!!! ( except against the Jays)

          • It belittles our and especially your argument and intellect to bully and be condescending. You look like Stockwell Day on a jet ski doing that…sarcastic yes, we like that but belittling and bullying as Radar states, it undoubtedly keeps dialogue off your site…you can recant, look in the mirror and say, you know what, I don’t necessarily agree with all of what the posters complain about but perhaps the “sample size” is enough to warrant I lighten up, engage their opinion in a meaningful way…of course if you lack empathy and respect for others, all bets are off you can make that transition because if you did, someone could use your talent beyond The Score and this blog…

        • Radar, you should start your own blog. I am serious with that statement

          • My boss keeps prodding me, for during the slowest bits of the off-season, to see about making RADAR and Fullmer Fan guest editors of the site for a day.

            • So that’s it.
              The site’s been hacked and somebody stole Stoeten’s login.
              I demand the imposter identify himself.

              • Hey, if it gets me to put my feet up for a couple days, I’m intrigued. Hahaha.

                • Yeah, Stoeten any excuse to kick back and drink more beer, maybe some sort of exotic beer or even a shandy.
                  And while we’re on that topic, how good can a beer- watermelon drink be?And why would anybody consider it?I don’t get it.
                  I can see it now. Stoeten in his underwear ,with 50 different brands of beer, trying each one, snarling at anyone who got near his stash.A 50 gallon drum of salsa with an unlimited supply of taco chips. 8 computer screens illegally streaming 8 different soccer games,swearing at each one.Burping and farting every hour on the hour.Cackling like a madman. “kick the fucking ball you moron”
                  Not a sight for the faint-hearted,let me tell you.

                  • You guys need to hug Stoeten. He is a construct of your addled minds. If you hug him, the real person might replace the construct and you’ll be better off.

            • You have a boss? Holy fuck!

      • Wow!

    • Meh, let him have his fun. It keeps him writing

  34. Robin Yount!

  35. Could Mottolla’s canning be a case of the “fundamentals” conversation that so plagued the team this year, in terms of bunting, hit-and-run, hitting with runners in scoring position, etc? I think we saw big strides this year with guys like Lind, Colby and Lawrie and a couple of the younger guys that came up, and I have a tough time believing that he would have enough of an impact on guys like Bautista and EE to cost him his job, and I doubt anyone would give a shit about Arencibia tuning him out, so I have to think that the fundamental approach is what was lacking in the eyes of the front office. Who knows. Tough break though, considering how long he’s been groomed for this job, and then gets canned after one year (especially with his predecessor not far away coaching first base).

    • +1.

      But why would they blame Mottola for defensive errors?

      • Yeah I dont get it…It’s SO sudden and especially in light of ALL the positive reports from the minors over the past few years. Guys used to go down, get help from Mottola and come right back with a new swing and positive attitude.
        Also his very own analyses of various players like Lawrie and Rasmus were right on. It has to be some kind of personality thing (Lawrie needed to eliminate the movement but not all at once; Rasmus needed to change his stance; Lind needed to figure out what pitchers were trying do to him and lay off various pitches…..etc, etc).
        Not only all of that but the guy is intelligent and knew how to get inside a players head. I cant believe they throwing that away.
        Whoever they replace him with better be good.

  36. Paul Molitor

  37. Surprised by this. Thought it would be Pete Walker out the door.

  38. Jose Lobaton!!!

  39. I bet in the scrum Yunel said Nice one. Maricon.

  40. Personally, I was waiting/ hoping for Walker to fall on the sword and take responsibility for this disaster.
    Something has to give with the rotation then if you aren’t changing the pitching coach. Alex, please find a way to fix it.

  41. Actually, I’m not pleased with this. This team massively underperformed and changes need to be made. Essentially, Alex is putting the blame for this at the feet of the players if it is not the coaches. So be it. Get the right players in then, GM AA.

  42. I hear citos available

    • Good hitting coach. But seriously, when they brought Ceetoh back it was confirmation the Ricciardi Godfrey show had jumped the shark.

  43. Fuck Arroyo, how about Garcia! Bringing the high 80s heat!

  44. Stoeten, was JPA’s home/road split historic? Any thought how he managed such a crazy split?

  45. Who fucking cares ! Not one coach in MLB is worth a WAR rating that I’m aware of or did I just create a new metric lol I’m sure light will be shed on this decision in the coming days and some other old ball players will eventually be given the jobs and more bullshit and hype will be heaped on them as holy saviours. My only thought is a good coach may have a positive impact in some small way but does the wrong coach have more of a negative impact ?

  46. You people do remember that Larry Hisle, hitting coach for the Jays in their glory years, was given the boot following the 1993 World Series, after Olerud, Molitor and Alomar finished top three in batting and top ten in numerous other categories. Point is, shit happens. Personalities clash. These are coaches, these are jobs. People get let go for good reasons, bad reasons and no reason, like any other profession. Like Stoeten said, sometimes life is complicated.

  47. “Mottola and Murphy are gone, and you probably wanted the pitching coach to get fired, so you’re a moron”
    About sums up this post.
    Seriously though. If you’re the pitching coach, and the pitching sucks, logic dictates dump the pitching coach. I find it odd that you fight this logic with such blind loyalty. It’s like a Christian Fundamentalist or something. You have absolutely no basis for any of these arguments and like RADAR says, you resort to bullying and condescension when anybody brings up an argument against you.
    Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t read your stuff if I didn’t appreciate the content. But…come on.

  48. Quit the sniffling, I argue with Stoeten as much as anybody. If you haven’t been called something foul by him then you’ve probably posted vanilla flavored shit. In fact I’ll strike up an argument right now just for fun.

    I like to bust his balls on character/chemistry/playing the game the right way. It always descends into “fingers-fights-and-fuckYou’s” because these are things that can’t be measured with any sabertooth statistics.

    Confidence is another good example.
    Confidence is something that all the good players possess, and if a player loses it for whatever reason can have their game go straight to shit. Yet since it can’t be equated, guys in the media will say things like “hole in his swing, or a pitcher has lost the zone….etc.”.

    Any athlete worth his/her salt will tell you that one of the most important factors in playing well is confidence in ones ability. Guys lose it sometimes, it happens. They’ll occasionally state it in the media. Happens to closers sometimes when they blow a big save, hitters with great career numbers have shitty seasons, goal scorers in hockey get tons of chances but can’t put one in.

    Yet confidence, like character, like chemistry can never be “a thing” in the eyes of some because you can’t measure it’s effect with baseballs math.

    • Rickey Romero could be an example. It would be pure speculation obviously because I haven’t heard RR say anything regarding confidence but it would make sense.

      He claims to be uninjured and from what I have seen his velocity seems as good as when he was pitching well. It’s possible that successive bad starts got him doubting himself. If a guy’s on the mound thinking “fuck if I hang this curve ball I’m down 3 runs again” guess what, he’s going to hang that fucking curve ball.

      I think this is also some of what Buck is alluding to during games when he says things like “hitting is contagious.” Comments like that get AS and the saber minions positively incensed. But what I think Buck is saying is, players see a few teammates put good swings on a good pitcher and they can gain confidence thinking “fuck, I’m gonna tear the cover off the next beach ball that David Price throws my way”. Consequently – Big inning.
      Confidence is not a constant. When I play it waxes and wanes and I’m always amazed at how pro’s usually do such a great job of shaking off a bad game. Usually.

  49. On reflection I’m not that surprised they are keeping Rivera and Walker. There’s been so much upheaval this last year, starting with Fuckface’s departure, that a little stability would be nice even if there are questions around the coaches and the manager. I can only guess that Mottola and Gibbons had some kind of personal issue and AA backed Gibbons, which is what I would expect.

  50. Ummm… Who sings the sandcastle kid song and the song that was used for in-podcast breaks? I couldn’t find them through the Optical Sounds site.

    That’s all

    But nice banter here last night.

  51. “Ignoring everything but the result is a hopelessly poor way of analyzing anything”

    This is really fucking rich coming from you, a person who says intangibles (which only tend to show up in the result) don’t exist.

  52. Does this mean JPA is staying? New hitting coach to try and fix his problems?
    Was Mottola the patsy for JPA’s struggles?

    • The hitting was only half of JPA’s problems. If he’s still here next season then I can only conclude that he has something *major* on AA and is using that knowledge as leverage to stay here!

  53. Maybe Don Baylor is coming TO? heeheehee

  54. Here`s conspiracy theory time coming at you. The person who made the comment about players not being in the clubhouse at the end of the season…Mottola. Keep in mind it`s completely made up…just stirring the pot.

  55. Not ganna stick my nose too much in here but ive seen shit. I dont think the coaches have too much ova influence but I do think they shouldve kept mottola. Not a fan of gibbies moves and think we should make the run game and getting on base our main objectives instead of just homeruns. Pete walker is a questionable coach based on personal preference so thats just me. JPA is garbage, I think we can all agree, he may also be the problem with the pitching staff. If he could frame a god damn ball, get more early strikes, we wouldnt fall behind so much.

  56. I really like this post. I have often been upset at the language used and the incessant and needlessly cruel bashing of specific players. What I do respect however is the rejection of the “mouth breeders” opinions. I am not the smartest sports fan but I am smart enough to know that I don’t know a whole lot. I am also smart enough to know that just because I have played a sport and/or religiously follow a team, doesn’t make me an expert. I tend to trust the experts. The writer(s) on this blog have gained my trust. I also tend to respect the opinions and judgments of people managing and coaching teams a lot more than some of the not-too-smart people commenting on this site and others.

  57. This site has really gone down hill with the Jays season. It started out as smart, edgy commentary on the Jays from an independent fan perspective, and has since degraded into constantly playing devil’s advocate.

    I invite all of you to compare the fervor with which Stoeten clamored for Mattola to become the team’s hitting coach and berated Dwayne Murphy (at the time thinking he had insight into such things) with the approach taken in this article here. I’m not saying either is right or wrong, but at least I could respect that he used to actually try to formulate an opinion, rather than merely attacking everyone else who tries to.

    This nobody can ever know anything stuff is a cop out. But as with any media these days, it’s hard to tell if this is even real, or just a pathetic attempt to troll for page views. Either way, DJF is not what it was.

  58. They should rehire Larry Hisle, half the line up hit over .300 with that guy. Problem is, I could never figure out to pronounce Hisle.

    Was it “hiss-ul”?

    Or did it rhyme with “mile”?

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