We knew the Blue Jays’ front office was a mess, but Ken Rosenthal explains that the clubhouse is no better:
The Blue Jays’ rehiring of manager Cito Gaston last season started out as a feel-good story, a link to the franchise’s back-to-back World Series titles in 1992 and ’93.
A mere 15 months later, the mood inside the Jays’ clubhouse has turned decidedly sour.
The players are fed up with Gaston and do not want him to return next season, according to multiple major-league sources.
“It’s nearly a mutiny right now,” one source says. “He has lost the entire team.”
According to Rosenthal, players are complaining about Gaston’s “old-school approach” and lack of communication, and that “certain Jays veterans bristle over reduced playing time.”
Those seem like an odd combination of complaints to me. Usually veterans are the beneficiaries of a manager with an old-school approach. As in they get a lot of undeserved playing time simply because they’re veterans. Scanning the Jays’ roster, however, doesn’t reveal anyone who should be getting PT but isn’t. At least no glaring examples, and certainly no veterans. Cito has a mediocre team and he’s deploying it in a more or less reasonable manner in my eyes.
But you still have to communicate to your players. And if the players hate him, even unreasonably so, it doesn’t matter how well he handles playing time. A manager who doesn’t have his team’s confidence is 100% assured to be an ex-manager, because you can’t just go out and get new players.
Silver lining: it seems inevitable that J.P. Ricciardi is going to be fired. If he is, it will be easier to hire a good replacement G.M. if he’s also going to be allowed to bring in his own field manager rather than be stuck with old Cito. If I’m running the Jays I fire them both and start fresh.