In his latest at Fox Sports– y’know, unless he wrote something between 11:20 and now– Ken Rosenthal takes the path of least resistance in a large piece on the Jays, arguing that the Escobar incident underscores the club’s desperate need for some veteran leadership.
He even goes to the trouble of defusing my first line of indignant questioning, noting that “some might ask, ‘Wait, isn’t it the manager’s job to lead?’ Yes, but there is only so much a manager can do. The Jays’ John Farrell isn’t a baby-sitter; he shouldn’t need to walk from player to player, inspecting their eye black. The best teams police themselves — and if the Jays want Farrell to sign an extension beyond next season, Anthopoulos should be doubly motivated to clean up the Jays’ act.”
None of that is untrue, of course, though it’s not like Farrell is entirely on his own– Torey Lovullo, Dwayne Murphy, Don Wakamatsu, Luis Rivera, Bruce Walton, Pete Walker, and occasionally Pat Hentgen and Chad Mottola happen to be around too, you know. But I get that there’s a different dynamic between the players themselves and the members of the coaching staff, so maybe you can’t quite say that their presence ought to be enough.
Nor can you say that, apparently, of clubhouse veterans Darren Oliver (bullpen guy!), Omar Vizquel (beyond reproach!), and Jose Bautista, who Rosenthal explains, “should be the model, but he spent the first two months bickering with umpires, setting the wrong example.”
He also wasn’t with the club when the incident took place, but apparently that’s neither here nor there.