Well, I guess it had to happen at some point after the type of season the Jays had. Over at Drunk Jays Fans Andrew Stoeten did a piece earlier in the week referencing Bob Elliot’s piece in the Toronto Sun where an unnamed player took a shot at the empty lockers of Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Brett Cecil, Colby Rasmus, Melky Cabrera, Maicer Izturis and Brandon Morrow in the Jays clubhouse complaining that they should be there. Don Cherry even got in on the action on twitter complaining about the Jays lack of grinders. WAIT, WHAT!?! What does Don Cherry know about baseball? Does he actually watch any Jays games? Baseball isn’t anything like hockey so how the leadership rates between the two isn’t quite the same so having Cherry beak off about the Jays kinda seems dumb. As for the player that complained to Elliot have the balls to link your name to it like Omar Vizquel did at the end of last season.
To top that all off Jeff Blair had Jerry Howarth on his show on the Fan 590 Tuesday morning. Blair asked Howarth his opinion on whether Jose Bautista’ act has grown thin. Howarth’s response was interesting to say the least. Saying that Bautista’s leadership was a positive at the start but became a negative and that he has lost his edge he also says that once Bautista was out at the end of the year that Jose Reyes and Edwin Encarnacion emerged as real leaders on the team and that the Jays should be open to move Bautista if the right pieces are offered. Makes me wonder if the media has really thought this out? Jose Bautista was a 4.1 WAR player in 2013. Trading him doesn’t make sense if your in a win now mode like the Jays are right now.
In the end it brings up an interesting discussion on leadership and whether or not it means much in the end. George Bell when he was a Blue Jay was considered a prick by many when he played in Toronto and all he did was win an MVP award. Paul O’Niell was a miserable bastard but on the field was a key contributor to those Yankees teams of the late nineties that won World Series Championships. As long as you can contribute like Bautista can does the leadership thing really come into play at all?
The most disappointing thing about the whole thing is that they want to have a whipping boy for the teams failure this year. Jose Bautista isn’t the reason that the starting pitching stunk most of the year, In fact, September was their best month numbers wise. Jose Bautista wasn’t the reason that second base was a black hole until Ryan Goins came up late in the year. It’s not Bautista’s fault that Reyes and Brett Lawrie missed chunks of time this year. I know I’ve said that blame for this season had to laid at the players feet, not just one player. It’s time for the Toronto Baseball media to lay blame at the rest of this team not just Bautista.
And let’s just end the whole let’s trade Bautista talk. 4 WAR players don’t just grow on trees stop acting like they do.