Alex Anthopoulos joined Bob McCown and Damien Cox yesterday evening on Prime Time Sports on the Fan 590 (audio here), to speak about the state of his club, the firing of his hitting coach, and– apparently– to spread the gospe...
Alex Anthopoulos joined Bob McCown and Damien Cox yesterday evening on Prime Time Sports on the Fan 590 (audio here), to speak about the state of his club, the firing of his hitting coach, and– apparently– to spread the gospel of OPS, pitcher wins, batting average, and All-Star appearances.
Not that there’s anything wrong with a team or players excelling at those things, it’s just… elevate the conversation, Alex. Or, at the very least, if you have a bunch of proprietary analytics that you’re using, go ahead and mention that! Please! We’re starting to worry!
Anywho… obviously the topic du jour was the topic of the day, and on Tuesday that was the changes to the coaching staff, with Dwayne Murphy retiring and Chad Mottola being shown the door– or at least the door to the big league club’s dressing room.
Anthopoulos didn’t shy away from answering questions about it, though he was typically short on specifics:
Once Gibby and I talked about it, we just said, ‘You know what? We viewed them as a tandem, and this is a chance to change it up and go in some other direction.’ And Gibby has some guys that he’s worked with in the past, that he has good and strong relationships with. So, it was as much that. But, you know, I’ve talked to Chad, and I’ve told him that the door’s open to stay in the organization, and we can talk, and for him to take a few days and decide what he wants to do. I expect him to get a lot of phone calls; a lot of job offers. He’s well regarded– there’s not going to be an issue with him finding a job– and whether one of another 29 clubs has a big league opportunity, that remains to be seen. But there’s still a scenario that he’ll be back with us, and we’ll just give him as much time as he needs to work it out.
Mottola, of course, was an internal candidate who may have moved up to the big league seat last winter, in part, because the Jays were so late in selecting a coaching staff after it took them so long to name a manager. Yes, he had a glowing reputation for his work in Las Vegas, but, as Drew wrote here at the time, that, “if we’re being frank, is akin to being named ‘Miss Fort McMurray’ three years running.”
But it does sound like, if Anthopoulos is being honest, they would return him to some minor league post, if he was amenable to it. Speaking of demotions, Murphy agreed to take what appeared to be one when elected to return to the staff last winter.
The fact of the matter may have simply been that these two guys weren’t exactly ideal fits in the first place– or simply not Gibbers’ guys who got the job because the guys Gibbons did want had already been hired elsewhere.
Then again, to hear Anthopoulos speak about it, there may have been something philosophical to the dismissals, as well.
We were eighth in runs scored in the American League, which is about the middle of the pack, and ninth in OPS, which is about the same things. And some guys had some nice years– some nice turnaround years. Obviously we had a bunch a guys who missed time, which didn’t help– whether it was Reyes or Lawrie– overall, but there’s no question we can certainly improve. We can improve our at-bats, we can try to be more selective, do some of those things. Some of it falls on me, obviously, to change some of the players and get some more production there. But I don’t think it’s fair to blame Murph, or Chad, or anybody like that. I think it’s a combination of the players, and all of us as a staff.
Asked if he felt the players maybe weren’t respecting or listening to Mottola, the GM continued:
I never got the sense that they didn’t– I… I’ll say this: I think the players had the respect of both Murph and Chad. I don’t think there was ever a problem. There are players that d