Sunday, November 1, 2009

Unrest in Toronto clubhouse brought Arnsberg to Toronto, and Jays fans ain't happy...

As was alluded to in the previous post, I'm hoping to get a personal note from the Toronto members of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance (of which Astros County is a part) to get some reaction on the Arnsberg move, but some early reaction indicates what's going down.

The Toronto Star:
The fact the Jays would allow Halladay's best friend in the clubhouse, pitching coach Brad Arnsberg, to seek the same job with another team solidifies the belief the Jays plan to trade their ace. While Anthopoulos claimed Friday he did not tell Arnsberg to look for a job, that the Astros called him asking for permission to talk, Houston's GM Ed Wade had a different view on how the Arnsberg deal came about.

"We were really excited when we found out he was available," Wade said. "There were some unresolved issues, and they gave him a chance to go out and look around, and he very quickly moved up to the top of our list."

That sounds far different than the scenario described by the Jays. The fact is, when Gaston was asked Saturday about his personal relationship with Arnsberg, he skated around it as gracefully as Tie Domi on Battle of the Blades.

"He was always sitting talking with Halladay," Gaston said. "Arnie was a hard worker, but I didn't have as much (of a relationship) with Brad as the other (Jays) pitching coaches (I've worked with)."

The Vancouver Sun:
In a conference call Saturday, Gaston used oblique language to confirm his uneasy relationship with Arnsberg. While acknowledging that Arnsberg worked hard and “did his job,” Gaston stopped well short of a ringing endorsement.

“A lot of times I didn’t have much with him as far as I did with the other pitching coaches (on his previous staffs). . . . He probably sees that if I’m going to be here one more year, he’s looking for more than that,” Gaston said. “He’s close to home (in Texas) and I’m pretty sure he’ll do a good job down there in Houston...”

...Arnsberg had a close personal and professional relationship with his pitching staff, especially Roy (Doc) Halladay. He had also earned abiding respect from previous skipper John Gibbons.

But Arnsberg and Gaston never had the same rapport...

...Gaston and Arnsberg were rarely seen in conversation, even in the dugout during games. In an ambiguous comment Saturday, Gaston said Arnsberg “would pretty much sit down with Doc most of the time.”

Bluebird Banter:

So, basically, we have traded the best pitching coach in baseball for one year of Cito. One year. A year that should be a building year. So if Cito is leaving after this building year, wouldn't you rather build with the manager that's going to be there after the year. If say Buck Showalter (or whoever) was going to be the guy, wouldn't you want him here now so he evaluate the team?

There is one excuse that Anthopoulos could give us that I would accept. It is possible that Arnsberg decided to go to Houston first. Maybe the sequence of events wasn't Cito's staying so Arnsberg is going. Maybe it was that Arnsberg decided he wanted to work closer to home. Or he wanted a new challenge. Or Houston just made too good an offer. But man, if I'm in Anthopoulos' spot I do whatever I have to to keep Brad.

I'll admit. I was drinking the koolaid as much or more than anyone else. I was very happy when Alex got the GM job. All the stories about renewed enthusiasm with in the organization sounded great. Then the announcement that Paul Beeston was staying. And the team would have more money for players. And I liked all the moves to reorganize the front office. Yep, I was sold. Things were turning, life was good.

And then this.

And well, I'm not drinking the koolaid anymore. I was sold on Alex, he didn't quite have me at hello, but he had me soon after. Now they have to sell me all over again.
It is going to be a much harder sell this time.

Drunk Jays Fans (note, asterisk-ed up as this is a family blog):

It has just been announced, according to Sportsnet, that Cito Gaston will be back coaching this team in 2010—after which he will retire. Brad Arnsberg has moved on to the Houston Astros organization, where he will be pitching coach. Bullpen coach Bruce Walton has been promoted to pitching coach, and Gene Tenace has retired from baseball.

Seriously, f*** this team.

How can anybody have the slightest f***ing faith in Anthopolous and Beeston now? They watched Gaston’s bumbling f***ing s***show of an attempt at managing a baseball team all year, and have now f***ing endorsed it? I’m sorry, but this is flat out retarded. There is no excuse for this, and no reason to have the slightest faith in this management team to not be complete f***ing idiots.

Sorry guys, but you f***ed up. Large. I don’t care if you’re throwing away a season. Throw away a season with a manager that won’t frustrate the living f*** out of anybody watching who isn’t a nostalgia-consumed twat. I’m sure Cito is a great dude and everything, I’m sure it would have taken a lot of balls to do the right thing and ask him to quietly shuffle into some bulls*** front office position, but seriously… f*** you.

I imagine that at some point I’ll calm down and actually be able to stomach the thought of watching another season of this absolute f***ing horseshit, but good f***ing chr***… what a disaster. Just so f***ing stupid, words cannot describe.

I guess it’s good to know it’s only one more year, but for a team with a consumer confidence problem, this is a hell of a f***ing kick in the balls to anybody who actually pays attention to the team. Will it really mean anything to the casual fans they’re courting? I f***ing doubt it. But s***, I guess sometimes loyalty is more important than making decisions with a semblance of making an ounce of f***ing sense.

The Tao of Stieb:

Cito Gaston, the manager who completely lost the clubhouse at the end of last season, will be returning to fulfill the final lame duck year of his contract.

Brad Arnsberg, in the biggest non-coincidence in the history of baseball, will not be.

And to think....I was set to post about "turning the page" this weekend and embracing the new Blue Jays front office regime.

Instead - unless I can bottle my rage - I think I'm taking the rest of the weekend off. It's better for all of us this way.

F*** this.


Early returns look like this is quite an upgrade for the Astros, and Roy ought to have a new best friend by mid-February. Well done by Ed Wade.

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