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Travis Snider was not a happy camper with Cito Gaston and Gene Tenace.
Shi Davidi has the first part of a three part article written around a long interview with Travis Snider up at Sportsnet.ca. Most of the stuff we knew or at least guessed, but it is an interesting read.
Like Shawn Green and John Olerud before him, Cito wanted Travis to pull the ball more. Well, more is likely the wrong word, he wanted Travis to pull the ball exclusively. It is good to read that Travis is willing to take some of the blame upon himself.
The first thing he heard from his new batting coach:
"Have you always finished your swing with two hands?'" Snider remembers the veteran coach asking. "I said, ‘Yes I have, my whole life.'
He said, ‘You might want to change that if you want to stay at this level.'"
I don't know, I always get the feeling that coaches try to chase off rookie players. You hear the attitude all the time from our broadcast crew, I think former players keep the feeling they had as players, that rookies are just there to steal their jobs. It would be nicer if they could get over that, it would make things a lot better if they could.
"I was very proud, very hard-headed and didn't respond to criticism in that fashion, even if it wasn't meant as criticism," says Snider. "Trying to figure out where Geno was trying to go making a comment like that to me at 20 years old, my first day in the big-leagues ... for my personality type and for how hard I worked, it was going to be very hard for me to stay open-minded to any kind of suggestions or help they would try to give me."
I'm sure we've all had that, getting our backs up at suggestions that aren't delivered just right. How much better would things have worked out for him if he could have ignored how suggestions were delivered and was able to deal with the suggestions. But that's life isn't it. How many times in my life did I ignore good ideas because I didn't like how they were presented to me?
Snider went to visit Gaston in his office and told him that he preferred not to get critiques of his swing in-game and that he'd be happy to work through issues in the batting cage. Though Gaston accepted the request, "I said no problem," he relays, the impression left on Snider was that the whole exercise was a mistake.
Afterwards, he felt as if Gaston washed his hands of him.
Such is life. Both of them were likely too proud. I'd like to have my coaches be above personality issues. I understand players taking things personally. Coaches....Id like them to be above all this. But they are people too.
Gaston also found it challenging, pointing out the Blue Jays wanted to see what they had in Lewis, who was out of options at that point, as well as Snider.
Cito, man, if you are sitting someone like Snider to play Fred Lewis, you really don't get it. They weren't equals. You can't be sitting Snider to play Fred Lewis.
Anyway, read Shi's story and see what you think.