So there was more to the Chad Mottola firing than just his performance, interesting, John Lott’s piece in the National Post Mottola says he was caught off guard by the firing. Alex Anthopoulos said on Prime Time Sports Tuesday night that once Dwayne Murphy retired that Mottola became expendable. Let’s face it Mottola wasn’t John Gibbons hire, he was an organization hire and most managers want their own guys. As long as they don’t go out and hire Gary Denbo they’ll be fine. The early favorites to get the job are Mickey Brantley and Kevin Seitzer. Brantley was the hitting coach during Gibby’s first go around with the Jays until J.P Riccardi fired him in 2007.
Also in AA’s visit on Prime Time Sports Tuesday night he mentioned that Brett Cecil was considered for the rotation when things went south early in the year. Can’t say I would have agreed with that if they had gone thru with it with the way Cecil had emerged out of the pen so why fix what isn’t broke with Cecil. Also the McGowan to the rotation thing came up, the plan is that in Spring Training they want to stretch him out to three innings an outing and if there is no soreness then they will stretch him out to 5 or 6 innings. If it works then the Jays may have found another answer to their rotation issues but with his past injury concerns I think many will be holding their breath every time he starts.
Elsewhere over at DJF Andrew Stoeten brings up another piece on everyone’s whipping boy J.P Arencibia and a conspiracy theory on the Jays resting him on the final weekend to avoid him from possibly qualifying him from getting the 502 plate appearnces thus him avoiding having the worst qualified On Base Percentage ever at 227. Maybe they did, Maybe they didn’t. Personally I wouldn’t blame them if they did. I mean it’s not like his bat was a very productive one during the season, and if the Jays are seriously considering going in a different direction at catcher then why not play Josh Thole, Thole most likely will be back next year as R.A Dickey’s personal catcher. As for JPA’s future with the club it’s a wait and see issue.
One more thing on Arencibia and his awful numbers at the plate. Could it be that he was overused this season because of a lack of a competent back up catcher and the Jays felt that they had no other option to roll JP out four out of every five days. It’s an interesting thought that may just have some merit to it. And Publicly Anthopoulos did say at the end of the season that J.P had worked very hard with catching instructor Sal Fasano on the defensive part of his game and AA also talked about how it had improved throughout the year. So maybe once Arencibia started to struggle at the plate the whole thing went downhill from there and snowball to the point he couldn’t get out of it. Either way the Jays have to find an upgrade at catcher this winter. No excuses this year Alex.
The Jays announced that Flex Packs for 2014 are now on sale, and unlike last year I don’t think the fans will be rushing to the Jays ticket office for these packages this season like they did last season. It’s also interesting to note that the 500 level is not available for the 10 game package, just the 15 and 20 pack. As usual the flex packs give you first crack at playoff tickets should the Jays make it there and give you discounts at Jays shop. So there you go Jays fans, go nuts.
One final thing on this Thursday afternoon. I’ve noticed that every time that a Toronto baseball writer writes an article about the post season they always have to throw in the fact that the Blue Jays are not a part of the post season this year and that they haven’t been for the last 20 years, well, 19 if you don’t count the strike year of 1994. Do these writers need to insult our intelligence by pointing this out to us in every article. I think most of us got the point during the season when the team stunk. Maybe the columnists in Toronto should just stick to hockey. Just a thought guys.