I wish somebody else had this story, because I’m not seeing it anywhere else just yet, and I’m loath to link to Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun, yet apparently I have no choice, as he’s got choice quotes from Omar Vizquel, who goes all Zaun Cherry and gives us more to ponder about the stewardship of John Farrell and his coaching staff, and whether or not their attitude with players is too lax.
“No doubt this is a good young ball club,” Vizquel said. “Obviously, they need some veteran leadership in here. I tried to do my best, a little helping here and there. But I think the coaching staff have a big responsibility to kind of get in there and tie things up a little, have a bit more communication with their players and try to make this thing happen the right way.
“Sometimes you have to punish players because they’re making the same mistakes over and over again,” he adds.
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I feel for Francisco Cordero. He’s not a very good pitcher right now, and he probably wasn’t last year either, when his peripheral numbers took a nosedive and he got by on smoke and mirrors on his way to 37 saves and a 2.45 ERA that, even a couple of years ago, would have been enough for some hopeless GM to give him a fat contract to be The Closer.
The reality is, he’s an aging pitcher trying to cope with the loss of his velocity while adapting to life in the toughest division in baseball– though it’s not like the Oakland A’s, last night’s non-division opponents, are a goddamned juggernaut– and not doing a particularly good job of it just yet.
And he knows it.
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Today in last guy on the 25-man-roster news, the artist formerly known as Omar Vizquel (above) has officially beaten back competition from Luis Valbuena, and poor, still-not-out-of-options, Mike McCoy, to land the somewhat-coveted job of utility man for the Jays. Per… um… everyone.
Also per everyone: Vizquel is old.
It will be cool the odd time we get to see Vizquel flash the leather, and if such intangibles exist in any kind of tangible way, it’s surely a bonus to have one of the best defensive and most respected players of his generation in the clubhouse, who may well end up enshrined in Cooperstown one day. And one with a reputation as being one of the smartest, too. He paints, for fuck sakes!
On the other hand, of course, we don’t exactly want to see too much of him. I mean, it will suggest something has gone very, very wrong for the 2012 Blue Jays if they give anything resembling significant playing time to a guy who was playing as a pro in rookie ball the summer Trudeau finished his second run as Prime Minister.
As… well… everyone else will have pointed out already, Vizquel is mostly here to mentor younger, Latin American shortstops like Yunel Escobar and Adeiny Hechavarria– much in the way that he helped his previous teams, the Rangers and the White Sox, bring Elvis Andrus and Alexei Ramirez along.
If it works out that well with Hechavarria, yep… that’ll play.