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Backing Slightly Away From the Ledge, A Calmer Look at the Jay's Coaching Changes

Occasionally, when I go to bed, I know what I'm going to write about the next morning. Last night I felt that I, and the rest of the Blue Jay blogosphere, over-reacted to changes in the coaching staff. So they kept Cito as manager for another year. It is possible for a team with Cito at manager to win. The team's record in 2008, during his time as manager, was 51-37 and we had a really good April before the wheels fell off this year. So while I'm not a fan of Cito's, I can likely live thru another season of him. And he gives me lots to write about. But he definitely needs to learn to think before he talks to the press.

Continued after the jump.....

And, yeah we lost Brad Arnsberg, and that I hate. But there are other good pitching coaches in the game. Everyone speaks highly of his replacement, Bruce Walton. It's not like we let Cito hire the guy that was pitching coach in 1993. My real concern is that we had someone good, I hate exchanging someone good for someone that might be good.

And, yeah I'd rather have Brian Butterfield as bench coach than Nick Leyva. But I'm sure Cito's more comfortable with his buddy beside him and the bench. It's not like he's going to take someone's suggestions anyway.  And at least Butterfield is still with the team and still could be named manager in 2011. Butterfield seems very well liked by the players, seems to understand baseball well and works well with everyone.

I'm not too sad about Gene Tenace leaving. I have no clear proof that he was or wasn't a good hitting coach. I'm reasonably sure that Dwayne Murphy can do the job. He was a very underrated player in his day with the A's, batting behind Ricky Henderson, which wasn't an easy spot as he had to take pitches, even very hittable pitches, so that Henderson could steal. My understanding is that he already worked with the hitters some.

And giving Omar Malave the first base coach job seems a fine reward for someone that has been in the organization for 26 years, and he is still only 46 so he has time to move up the coaching ladder. As a player he made it as high as Triple-A and he's been coaching or managing in the Jays system since 1991. I'll admit first base coach is the one major league job I think I could do. I could shake hands with batters that make it to first, collect their batting gloves, yell 'back' on throw overs and yell at umpires from close range.

So while I don't like the coaching changes, maybe I went a little overboard in my displeasure. I thought.

Then I read Richard Griffin this morning. Read this bit:


While Anthopoulos claimed Friday he did not tell Arnsberg to look for a job, that the Astros called him asking for permission to talk, Houston's GM Ed Wade had a different view on how the Arnsberg deal came about.

"We were really excited when we found out he was available," Wade said. "There were some unresolved issues, and they gave him a chance to go out and look around, and he very quickly moved up to the top of our list."

So it wasn't that the Astros asked to talk to him first, it was that the Jays said he was available first. Really it is a subtle distinction. If the Astros asked to talk to him, the Jays could have declined permission, had they wanted to keep him, since this was a lateral move for Arnsberg. Baseball's rule of thumb is if a team asks permission to speak to one of your employees, if the move would be a promotion for the person generally you are to give permission. It isn't fair to stand in the way of a person furthering their career. But if it is not a promotion then you don't have to allow it, unless you don't want the person anymore. Still, it's clear that the Jays would have let him go even if the Astros didn't snap him up.

We were kind of lead to believe that the Astros asked and the club knew that Arnsberg would want to work closer to home and with Brad Mills, a friend, who is the new manager there. Apparently, if the Astro's GM is to be believed and why would he lie, that's not the way it went.


Griffin also says that, with the Advisor contract that Cito has with the team after this season, it will be easier to fired Cito this season, if Anthopoulos decides that is needed. I don't believe it. I can't imagine the string of events that would have to happen for Cito to get fired this year.

Anyway, I'm a little bit further from the ledge than I was on Friday, but not that far. It would still only take a gentle push to send me flying. 

I like how Griffin ended his piece:


This clubhouse crisis is not over.

The coaches changed, but the manager won't.

Gaston doesn't feel he did anything wrong. Management is aware the crisis is ongoing. 

That's what bugs me most. Cito comes out of this without thinking he's got to do things differently. So for him, nothing has changed. Which means for the players who had complaints, nothing has changed. How long until 'Son of Clubhouse Crisis' hits the internet near you?