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Jays Off-Season Questions: Staff Jobs

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

Yesterday was a long day. Early day flight from Amsterdam direct to Calgary. That was followed by not the best night of sleep.

I was hoping the Jays’ season wouldn’t end before I returned. Such is life, I guess. Going into the off-season, a mess of Jays' questions will have to be answered before the 2024 season.

Let’s look at the questions about the various members of the front office and coaching staff. And we’ll look at more over the next week or two.

Will Ross Atkins/Mark Shapiro be back next season?

Ross’s post-playoffs press conference didn’t go well (yeah, an understatement).

Saying that pulling Berrios out of the game that early was all John Schneider’s decision seemed to be throwing John under the bus. To be fair, pulling Berrios didn’t lose them the game. Not scoring lost them the game. But it seems to be stretching the laws of plausibility to say, ‘it was all John’s doing.’ Clearly, the idea had to be discussed before the game. If John and Pete Walker had come up with the idea, I can’t imagine they wouldn’t have run it up the flag pole.

The idea of changing up a righty starter for a lefty starter does have persistence in the Jays’ playoff history. Our first time in the playoffs came against the KC Royals. The first four games of the seven-game series left the Jays with a 3-1 series lead, and we thought we’d see World Series baseball in Toronto.

In game four, Royals starter Danny Jackson went nine shutout innings. 3-2.

In game five, the Royals came up with a different strategy. The Jays platooned at three positions: Catcher, DH, and Third Base. The left-handed hitting members of the platoons were the better players. And the Royals closer, Dan Quisenberry, was a right-hander submarine-style pitcher, great against RHB but poor against lefties (especially late in his career). We scored three runs off him in game two. Not surprisingly, our lefties did the damage.

In game 6, the Royals started RHP Mark Gubicza, who pitched well but was pulled after 5.1 (and 78 pitches) for lefty Bud Black. In came the right-handed batters, and Quisenberry got the save.

In game 7, RHP Bret Saberhagen started. He went three scoreless innings and came out for lefty Charlie Leibrandt. Quisenberry got the last two outs, and the Royals won the series. As I remember, Al Oliver was very upset when he was taken out of the game because he knew he wouldn’t get to face Quisenberry.

The idea worked, but it worked, at least in part, because the Royals scored five and six runs in those last two games. No plan works if the offense doesn’t score. Anyway, Royals manager Dick Howser was considered a genius for the idea.

Had the Jays scored 3 runs in game two, I wonder if Ross would have taken credit for the plan.

Anyway....the question was, will Shapiro and Atkins be back?

Shapiro, I’m pretty sure, will be back. The team has gone from winning percentages of .469, .451 and .414 from 2017 to 2019 to .533, .562, .568 and .549 since. Despite losing all the playoff games in that time, those numbers tend to keep a Team President in work.


Will Mark Shapiro still have his job at the start of the 2024 season?

This poll is closed

  • 81%
    (475 votes)
  • 18%
    (110 votes)
585 votes total Vote Now

Atkins? Until the press conference, I was sure he would be back. I think there was a miscalculation on replacing offense with defense (I hope we have put to death the idea that defense wins in the playoffs), but the press reaction to his conference makes me wonder. He mishandled it badly, and the reporters, who spend far more time with the manager than the GM, roasted him for it. Rogers Corp. might decide they don’t want to have someone who throws the manager under the bus so ham-fistedly.

James Click gives the team an option for the job in-house.

I still think the odds are that he’ll be back.


Will Ross Atkins still have his job at the start of the 2024 season?

This poll is closed

  • 40%
    (276 votes)
  • 59%
    (413 votes)
689 votes total Vote Now

Will John Schneider be back as manager?

Ross said he would be back. I can’t imagine the front office changing that decision.

Would John quit? Not a chance. There are only 30 MLB manager jobs. He quits. He’ll never get another.

Someone deserves some credit for getting the team to 89 wins without the offense doing the job.


Will John Schneider still have his job at the start of the 2024 season?

This poll is closed

  • 75%
    (526 votes)
  • 24%
    (170 votes)
696 votes total Vote Now

The rest of the coaching staff?

Luis Rivera retired. It is a funny thing when one of our outfielders throws out a runner at the plate, he makes a great throw. If the other team throws a runner out at the plate, it is the third-base coach’s fault.

Rivera also worked with the infielders; our infield did an amazing job. I don’t know how much that is owed to Luis, but they will have to figure out who takes over that role.

Pete Walker? He won't be fired unless he does something really stupid, leaving a bar again. And I don’t think he’ll retire.


Will Pete Walker still have his job at the start of the 2024 season?

This poll is closed

  • 92%
    (643 votes)
  • 7%
    (49 votes)
692 votes total Vote Now

The hitting coaches?

The Jays employ three hitting coaches: Dave Hudgens, Guillermo Martinez and Hunter Mense.

Hudgens and Martinez joined the club in 2019. It is hard to believe they suddenly got stupid this year. I’d imagine they coached much the same as in the past. Mense was to be bench coach, but I don’t know why we need three with the same job title.

Very few of the Jays batters hit as well as we expected them to. That’s a recipe for hitting coach firings.


How many of the three hitting coaches will be back at the start of the 2024 season?

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    (322 votes)
  • 36%
    (256 votes)
  • 12%
    (89 votes)
  • 4%
    (33 votes)
700 votes total Vote Now

Don Mattingly?

I don’t know what he added beyond someone who could step into the manager job if a move was suddenly made.

Beyond that, it gave someone for Buck to talk about during slow moments of games, and there were far too many slow moments of games.

I don’t know what to credit/blame Mattingly for this season. I thought he was the fourth hitting coach/helping Vlad at first/someone for John to talk to. I don’t know if he did any of those jobs particularly well or particularly poorly.

I’d imagine his employment is tied to John Schneider’s.


Will Don Mattingly still have his job at the start of the 2024 season?

This poll is closed

  • 55%
    (378 votes)
  • 44%
    (306 votes)
684 votes total Vote Now