Yesterday the Blue Jays and trainer Niki Huffman parted ways. And moments after that was announce Marcus Stroman announced that he was excited he gets to work with her more.
Crazy excited for the future. Got @NikkiG_13 back in my circle. Super thankful to have her with me every step of the way. She’s the best PT/Trainer/Strength Coach in the world and will change the lives of many athletes going forward. Time to climb. Loyalty over everything!— Marcus Stroman (@MStrooo6) October 25, 2019
So it seems that Nikki will be working as a private personal trainer/therapist. I don’t know how easy it will be to work for several athletes living in different parts of the world.
Gregor Chisholm has a post up saying that some in the Blue Jays organization thought that she and Marcus were too close.
That became an issue midway through 2016 when Stroman and Aaron Sanchez had a very public falling out. The two went from being best friends to barely speaking to each other, for reasons that still aren’t entirely clear. That was awkward enough for the Jays to deal with and it became a bigger issue the following year when Sanchez started going through his own health issues.
Sanchez didn’t want to work with Huffman because he viewed her as an extension of Stroman, almost as if she was his personal member of the medical staff. That wasn’t the reality but it was the way Sanchez perceived it. And after trainer George Poulis recommended a surgical procedure on his fingernail that didn’t work, Sanchez lost faith in the staff.
Office politics are less than fun.
On the good side, I’d imagine there is more money to be made in working for individual athletes than there is working for the game. And, with Marcus’ help I’m sure she’ll find enough clients to keep her busy.
I can only wish the best for Nikki. She seemed to do a good job, as best as you can tell from a distance.
The other news from yesterday was the firing of Astros assistant GM Brandon Taubman.
Their handling of this seemed more tone deaf than the usual. Maybe it is a Texas thing. When you first come out saying that the reporters were lying, that’s a digging yourself a hole. I get that that is the political playbook right now, to claim the media is lying, but when several people witness the event, it is a hard thing to pull off.
Then the apology with the line “I am sorry if anyone was offended by my actions.” You would think that, by now, people would know that phrase doesn’t belong in an apology.
Surprisingly, Astros’ manager was the one guy saying the right things. The guy that didn’t have time to go to committee to workout the best way to say things was the one who got it right.
For me, as a leader in this organization down here in the clubhouse, on the field, I take everything that happens in the clubhouse to heart. No one -- it doesn’t matter if it’s a player, a coach, a manager, any of you members of the media -- should ever feel like when you come into our clubhouse that you’re going to be uncomfortable or disrespected.
Firing Taubman became the right thing to do. Had they just apologized properly in the first place and, of course, not claimed the story was a lie, it would have gone away quickly. “A drunk executive said something stupid. We are sorry. It won’t happen again.” It could have over in a day.
Now they really ought to retract their comments that the reporter was lying. I don’t understand why that wouldn’t happen long before now.
On a side note, I think that clubs/businesses shouldn’t be saying they have a zero tolerance for domestic violence. It makes them look bad when it doesn’t turn out to be true. It reminds me of schools saying they have a zero tolerance for bullying, but when it happens they tend to blame the victim.