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Monday Bantering: Jays Bits

Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Congratulations to the Phillies and Astros.I’m happy for Rob Thompson (the World Series needs some Canadian content) and Noah Syndergaard. And I think it is good to see the lowest-seeded NL playoff team make it to the WS. I do not believe it is always the best team that wins in the playoffs, and the Phillies are not the best team, but they are on a good run, and it is fun to watch.

The Astros? Well, it was them or the Yankees, and I’m happy to have anyone beat out the Yankees. And I’m glad for Lourdes’s brother and Aledmys Diaz.

I did think it was funny when a reporter asked the Astros owner ‘how the Astros were able to keep up this level of continued success for so many years?’. I wanted the answer to be, “We are just excellent at cheating”. But he dodged the question nicely.

Put your predictions for the winner, the number of games (out of seven) and the total runs. I’m afraid I’m picking the Astros in 5, and 40 total runs. But I am cheering for the Phillies.

I hadn’t looked back at our prediction threads.

In the Wild Card prediction thread, we, as a group, did terribly. I did get two which not many of us did. TakeoutArtist and TacoWithAStache also got 2 of 4.

But Joshua Diemert got 3 of 4, so he was the winner. Sorry, I don’t have a prize.

And we didn’t do great in the ALDS and NLDS.

LimeyJaysFan, MaTriS and four_sides each got 2 of 4.

LimeyJaysFan and MaTriS were each 3 games off in the first tie-breaker.

And MaTriS was closer in his guesses of total runs. In the two series, he got right, missing by 20, while LimeyJaysFan missed by 26 runs. So congratulations MaTriS.This time of year is pretty slim for Jays’ news.

Lourdes Gurriel had surgery on his hand. The team doesn’t think the injury was the cause of his dip in home runs. I find that tough to believe. They say he’ll be ready to go by spring training.

George Springer is home and is deciding if he should have surgery for bone spurs. Personally? Please do it. But it isn’t up to me.

And they signed John Schneider as the manager for the next three years. Not a surprise. The team did great after he took over. The players know him and like him. He climbed the minor league ladder with many of them.

The three-yeah contract did surprise me. It seems like teams are doing two-year deals with managers. They don’t want ‘lame duck’ managers, but they don’t want to have the contract be too long because they know sooner or later, they will have to fire the manager, and they don’t want to be paying him to do nothing for too long.

I don’t understand the worry about being a lame-duck manager. What do they think? The players won’t try unless the manager is sure to be there next year. That seems to be against the player’s self-interest. But then I’m all for the managers getting an extra year of pay after they are fired.

I’m OK with the signing. I think players win and lose, but a manager gives us someone to blame when things go wrong. I believe it is vital that the players like and respect the manager (things have changed since the days of Billy Martin and Earl Weaver, they were not liked by their players). John seems to be loved by the players and respected.

Twelve years ago (plus two days), the Jays hired John Farrell to manage. At the time, I said:

Nowhere in his resume does it say ‘manager’ but he has been around the game for a long time. I’m not a big fan of ‘on-the-job training’ at the manager league level for managers. I think having some experience, at least in the minors, would be a good thing. Then again we gave Cito the job, the first time around, with no experience at manager and that, turned out ok. Cito was a hitting coach, so maybe it is time to try a pitching coach.

If I had been smarter, I would have said don’t hire anyone whose dream job is to manage another team, but maybe that should go without saying.

John has been a long-time Blue Jays employee, which gives him a step up in my view. I am interested to see if he makes any coaching changes.

Best of luck, John.