April 20, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Toronto Blue Jays batting coach Dwayne Murphy (41) watches the team warm up before the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE
The second half of my interview with Jays hitting coach Dwayne Murphy. It was starting to get noisier and busier around us as we went on and the game was getting closer. Murphy was very nice to let me take him away from his real work before the game.
How about Travis Snider, what did he have to change?
Travis changed his hands, he did it all winter. We tried changing him here and it's just tough to do when you are performing out here. He made the big change, got rid of the big hitch in his swing and he gets the barrel to the ball. He couldn't hit the fastball, he was struggling hitting the fastballs, now he can get to fastballs. I think he's going to be a good hitter.
Do you think he'll be back soon?
Oh yeah. Sometime this year he should be.
With interleague play, do you work with the pitchers at all?
No. I got 13 other guys I got to worry about. Torey Lavallo does the pitchers, the bunting and the hitting for the pitchers.
Do the batters feel any pressure with the 3 starting pitchers out?
I don't know yet. Enough time hasn't past. I don't know yet, it just happened, I couldn't answer that question just quite yet.
All the Jay coaches seem to get along so well, is it as good as it looks from the outside?
Yeah. Everything is good. Everybody works together well. Everybody does the job that they are supposed to do. I think we have a good coaching staff. To me it works well.
Brett Lawrie doesn't seem to have the same power he had last year, is there a reason for that?
It seems like players sometimes they take on roles. He's the leadoff hitter now and he's playing to be a leadoff hitter. You know what I mean. He goes to right field, he'd trying to go back up the middle, shoot the ball to right field. He's got the power, that will come. It will come. To me, it is good that he is learning how to hit big league pitchers because it will be easier for him to bring the power. He is learning to hit these guys, this is really his first year, he really only got a taste of it last year. So now he is learning how to hit the tough sliders and the tough pitches, the power will come.
Do you follow advanced stats at all?
No. No. Those stats don't matter to me. I just try to get these guys to hit and knock in runs and score runs, cause no matter what kind of stat you have, in order to win this game, you gotta score runs. You can make up whatever stats you want, but if I get these guys to drive in runs and to score runs, we have opportunities to win ball games.
Do you follow any of the non-traditional media, blogs?
No. It would just open the door for people to get on my butt all the time. (laughs).
I can understand that, I do wonder why plays go on twitter, why open yourself up to that.
I wouldn't and that's exactly why I don't do it. No. I try to stay away from that stuff.
What can you say to a guy like Jose Bautista, when he's had so much success, when he is having a slow start?
He's just like any other athlete, he wants to be better. Instead of hitting whatever he hit last year, .300, he wants to hit, you know, you want to do things better. And I think he came out of his game a little bit. Trying to do things he didn't need to worry about. And I think he's back to doing what he's doing and I think he'll get the numbers back up there. He'll be the old Jose. He just got to a slow start. It happens. It happens.
Do you think there is anything to umpires having troubles with the Jays? With Brett or Jose?
No I think it's, we only see it with ourselves but think other teams are saying the same things. Umpires are umpires, they've been there and they're gonna be there. You know, there has to be a happy medium. You gotta keep them on your side. You can't piss them off or they will stick it up your butt. No I don't think they are out to get the Jays. I wouldn't look at it like that. Jose feels sometimes that, what he's done, that there are a lot of players in this league that they don't call strikes on those balls and stuff like that. I think that gets, that's where he goes with that stuff.
You think umpires were looking at Brett Lawrie a little tougher after his little moment?
No, I mean umpires, they should, whatever happens, it should roll off their shoulders. They should forget about it. There are so many more games after that, it shouldn't be an issue. If I sit there and argue with an umpire or whatever he did, the next day it is gone. That's how it should be.
Is it always that way?
Ahhh no. I would say no. But, I think, most of the umpires or most of the players, staff and stuff, it just rolls off the shoulders. After a few days it's gone and they don't think about it anymore. I mean, you see the same umpires far and few, there are so many umpires and rotations, you may not see that guy again.
You played with Billy Martin, he had his moments..
It was comical. You sit here and laugh and everyone else is laughing about it. I'd laugh when I went up to bat, it was comical.
There is no body like Billy Martin anymore I hope.
Earl Weaver. Lou Pinella was about the last one like that.
Thank you very much for this.
You are absolutely welcome