Part 2: Young Snider Succumbed To Stress And Off-Field Distractions

Sportsnet.ca has released part two of Shi Davidi's lengthy interview with former Blue Jays outfielder Travis Snider. You can find Tom's discussion of part one here.

Part of the problem Travis Snider had with the coaching team of manager Cito Gaston and hitting coach Gene Tenace was that Snider had trouble following or considering their advice, and the coaches had trouble convincing the young prospect to do so. Quoth the Gaston:

"With [Tenace] there was no messing around. That’s the way [he] is. But he’s a guy that has four World Series rings from playing, and two World Series rings from being a coach. So I think I might want to listen to him a little bit."

So basically, "kid, we don't need to explain or discuss, look at the rings on my finger."

Snider was understandably happy when Gaston retired and John Farrell took over. This actually got me thinking--what was in his mind when he painted on that fake Cito 'stache in Gaston's retirement ceremony?

The main thing we found out in this part of the interview was that during 2011 spring training Alex Anthopoulos had offered Snider a long-term extension that was, in Snider's words, "very club favourable." (Well of course.) However, the formal contract offer was not released until late March--Snider claimed four or five days before the regular season, while Anthopoulos claimed it was at least a week. Because of the nature and the timing of the offer, Snider's team gave no counteroffer.

Snider claimed that he was called in to chat about the deal once more just hours before the season opener. And according to him, it was this pressure that got him away from developing and practicing his swing, leading to him recording a .184/.276/.264 line in April and his eventual optioning to AAA Las Vegas. Snider said to Anthopoulos after being optioned:

"Alex, you can’t make a promise to somebody that you know you can’t keep. If you’re going to tell me that I’m going to get six months, sink or swim, give me six months or don’t tell me that."

Of course, Anthopoulos claimed that he would never promise anyone 600 at bats. But obviously communication there went horribly wrong. I sure hope that the Blue Jays front office has learned from this entire incident. The interview continues on to talk about the rest of the season, but nothing too significantly different from what was already said.

I don't understand why Snider decided to do this interview at all. He is still an active player, and other teams and general managers are going to read this too. They may stay away from Snider because, frankly, this makes him seem like a headcase, and that he is happy to talk to the press about disagreements with management. I believe that this will ultimately cause more damage to Snider than the Blue Jays. Most Jays fans already thought that Jays management mishandled Snider, so there was no need to sway public opinion. I don't know what he was trying to accomplish by doing this interview.

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