Alex Anthopoulos talked on Prime Time Sports yesterday.
As always, Alex is a master of speaking a lot but managing not to tell us very much. It is a handy skill to have, you keep the number of questions that you are asked down, by filling all the time with your answers.
He talked about letting Mottola being let go. Alex said they viewed Dwayne Murphy and Mottola as a team, that Murphy worked with 'his guys', like Edwin Encarnacion and Chad worked with other guys. Alex said that when Dwayne Murphy decided to retire (and he said that Dwayne came to them to say he wanted to retire, Bob Elliot, in the Sun, said that Murphy was fired. I wonder which is the truth), they decided to go a whole different way. He said he talked with John Gibbons and Gibbons had people that he had worked with before and he would like to work with again.
I really don't understand firing Mottola. A year ago, he was the guy. the one who had saved the career of several of our players. It seems like we are giving up on him too quickly. A year ago he was great, now he's fired. I've always thought that us fans can be impatient, can be allowed to make snap decisions, but the team front office has to be patient, take the long view on things.
Mottola seemed like an asset to the organization, I don't like just throwing away assets. Alex said that they told Mottola that 'the door was open' to him staying in the organization, but I really doubt he would.
I do get that Gibbons is the manager and he should work with people he is comfortable with, and he's, of course, closer to it all than we are, he knows how Mottola and the players got along, how their relationships were, but it really seems like Mottola is a guy we should have been looking to keep. He seemed to do a great job with Colby Rasmus, Adam Lind and Brett Lawrie. Yeah, J.P. Arencibia was lousy, but I don't think I'd pin that to Chad.
Things like this tend to shake my faith in Alex and the team. I'd like better from them.
I had thought the Jays might look to move Pete Walker, with Pat Hentgen there to fill his job. I thought Luis Rivera might be let go, being as third base coaches tend to be lightning rods for fans of bad team, but I figured Mottola was safe for at least a year.
Alex said a couple of other interesting things:
- They talked about moving Brett Cecil back into the rotation, when things starting going bad this season.
- They are going to try to stretch out Dustin McGowan. They'll get him up to 3 innings, early in spring, and, if there are no issues, no soreness, they will continue to stretch him out to 5-6 innings.