October 30, 2012
Blue Jays' Jose Bautista pitches managersToronto slugger has an ideal candidate in mind
By BOB ELLIOTT, QMI Agency
What qualities should the next Blue Jays manager have?
Someone with ...
“Cito Gaston’s patience,” said slugger Jose Bautista, “Tony Beasley’s enthusiasm, Trent Jewett’s knowledge, Lee Mazzilli’s motivational skills and Jim Tracy’s leadership skills.”
Entering his tenth year in the majors Bautista played for managers Lou Piniella, Tony Pena, Lloyd McClendon, Pete Mackanin, John Russell, John Gibbons, John Farrell, Mazzilli, Tracy and Gaston plus four minor-league managers.
Gaston managed Bautista from 2008-09, while Mazzilli, who helped the Jays win in 1989 when he and Mookie Wilson arrived from the New York Mets, was Bautista’s first manager with the 2004 Baltimore Orioles.
Tracy ran the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2006-07. Before the Pirates, Tracy guided the Los Angeles Dodgers for five seasons. At the end of this season he walked away from the Colorado Rockies and a $1.4-million US contract for 2013, his fifth year in Denver. Tracy had managed 1,736 games in 11 seasons with an 856-880 (.493) record.
Also appearing on the composite managerial make up sketch are qualities displayed by Beasley and Jewett.
Bautista played three seasons at class-A Williamsport, class-A Hickory, double-A Altoona for Beasley manager triple-A Syracuse in the Washington Nationals this year.
And he was with Jewett for parts of three seasons at triple-A Indianapolis. Jewett has not managed since Syracuse in 2010.
The other two managers Bautista had were Dave Clark at class-A Lynchburg and Woody Huyke with the rookie-class Pirates,
“I would like to see someone who wants to be in Toronto,” said Bautista, “someone who wants to win, just like the players and the fans want to win.”
In other news on a day that the Jays made known Romero’s Oct. 16 surgery, another Jays coach went over the wall to the “epicentre of the game,” as Brian Butterfield accepted the job offered by Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington two days ago.
First base coach Torey Lovullo and Farrell have already departed for the “epicentre,” — we’re guessing besides Yankee Stadium or AT&T Park where the World Series trophy from two of the last three years resides.
So the winner of this Jays managerial search by general manager Alex Anthopoulos, his second in three years, may be able to hire the majority of own staff -- unlike the previous inaugurations. Bench coach Don Wakamatsu, hitting coach Dwayne Murphy and pitching coach Bruce Walton don’t have jobs for next season, although the highly respected Walton will certainly have options.
The good news on lefty Romero’s surgery was that it was a success and he will start spring training on his regular schedule.
And the bad news: The aching body parts which required a tune-up surgery to his left elbow and injections to his knees had nothing to do with his sub-par outing this season.
Romero, Farrell and the Jays said throughout the season that reasons for the lefty’s struggles were not the result of an injury.
At his exit meeting, Romero met with Walton, Anthopoulos, Farrell and an MRI was suggested.
When the MRI was inconclusive, Dr. Lewis Yocum had two suggestions: either an injection of cortisone and a follow-up exam a month down the road, or routine arthroscopic surgery, with a six-week recovery time. Romero chose surgery.
Romero, 28, indicated in a conference call he felt soreness on the outside of his left elbow, but did not tell the Jays trainers during the season in which starters Drew Hutchison, Kyle Drabek, reliever Luis Perez and closer Sergio Santos all required season-ending surgeries.
On he plodded and Romero finished with the highest earned run average in the majors of those qualified for the ERA titles.
He was not aware of when his elbow began to throb “a little bit more, or was more sore than usual.”
“It was not the reason, I won’t make an excuse for the past season,” he said. “I stunk. That’s it.”
In his 32nd and final start, Romero left early injuring his left knee, which was diagnosed as quadriceps tendinitis. To enhance his recovery Romero received a platelet-rich plasma treatment to both knees.
Romero set a franchise record with a 13-game losing streak, leading the majors with a 5.77 ERA and issuing 105 walks. He finished 2012 with a 9-14 record and a 5.77 ERA.