Captain Charlie’s ship is ready to set sail and the official cast of characters was announced on November 27th, 2018, at 8pm on Twitter… to be specific.
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) November 28, 2018
It’s safe to say that every Jays fan, including all the Kevin Pillar-is-superman types, has heard the news already. And all of this coaching staff stuff broke when it was announced that Johnny Schneider made the cut to become the ‘Major League Coach’, which means that he will be working on developing Danny Jansen (and the club’s other catchers) and doing other things like waiting in the shadows to take over Montoyo’s job one day.
Along with Schneider, Guillermo Martinez, who began his coaching career back in 2012 slash 13 in the Jays’ system, was promoted to the Montoyo show. Martinez spent four seasons doing some coaching stuff in the Cubs system before returning to Toronto last year as a hitting co-ordinator.
The 34-year-old Martinez and 38-year-old Schneider will finally set foot on Major League turf in 2019. Martinez was drafted but not signed by Chicago’s south side team back in 2003 and then was selected by the Florida Marlins in the 2006 draft and played only a handful of games in the minors.
Schneider, known for coaching Dunedin and New Hampshire to some championships, is kind of already a house hold name for the die hard Jays fans who love all their prospect-y stuff. And most fans already know that he was drafted by the Jays back in 2002 when frosted tips were cool and Billy Beane was OBP-ing the shit out of analytics.
Schneider almost made it to the big time, but just couldn’t get over the Syracuse triple-A hump. The 38-year-old, who is my age and looks like he could be my uncle, is finally going to be able to experience what a Coors Light tastes like in a big league clubhouse.
Good for the both of them.
The external hires, as you know, are bench coach Dave Hudgens from the ‘Stros, first base coach Mike Budzinski from the Cleveland franchise, bullpen coach Matt Buschmann from the Giants and major-league field co-ordinator Shelley Duncan from the D-Backs. And I have a feeling that all of these guys are going to work together and have a severe thirst for information.
Also, I wonder if Buschmann could pitch in a game if things got real dirty for the Jays this year. In 2016, he tossed 4.1 innings for the D-Backs and had a 72.7% GB Rate and 18.2% FB Rate, but his 50% FB/HR rate is a bit concerning…Now, all jokes aside, maybe he could toss a couple innings though.
So there you have it, the big reveal…one that no one could’ve predicted. The new staff has arrived. Pete Walker and Luis Rivera survived. This Montoyo teaching staff seems to have some balance in age and experience. It sounds like they all have a thirst for knowledge. And are about working together.
As any teacher knows, it’s all about collaborating. It’s all about sharing materials. It’s all about working together. It’s all about designing rubrics that apply the proper percentages and weight to specific areas. It’s all about learning, being open-minded, and information. And lots of it. Montoyo’s staff is ready to teach and ready to coach. The ship is coming in the spring of 2019.
But lost at sea is DeMarlo Hale.
…And why is nobody talking about this? What about DeMarlo? He could almost out lean John effing Gibbons. John effing Gibbons folks…out lean John Gibbons. He has had many memorable bench moments. Damn it. Many. And he has been there for all of us during hard times when Gibby wasn’t allowed to be there no more. If Gibby hoot and hollered, he knew DeMarlo was ready to take the bull by its horns.
So when the Jays announced their coaching staff and DeMarlo Hale, who hasn’t been tossed in the can yet, was nowhere to be found, I immediately wondered what was going on. Now, we all know, as per Atkins, that Hale is exploring his options, but we also know that those options don’t involve being a part of this year’s Toronto Blue Jays coaching staff.
DeMarlo is a tumbleweed rolling along the baseball path. DeMarlo is now a tumbleweed. A tumbleweed. And, ya know what? It’s okay to be a tumbleweed, right? Tumble away, damn it. Tumble away. Set off into that sunset DeMarlo, but just don’t return with the Yankees organization because the Yankees are dumb. And you’re better than that.
Personally, to find happiness in this, I like to imagine that ol’ Gibbers, Leiper, and Hale, are sitting at a round table at Gibbons’ ranch crushing back some tall cans and reminiscing about the good ol’ Jays days while some Alan Jackson (or Ted Nugent) plays softly in the background.
As a Jays blogger, it makes me sad that all any writer is writing about these days is who the Jays will tender or non-tender or trade – or whatever…yawn.
I know these are some dire good-Jays-read days, but I thought someone would have written a damn ode to DeMarlo.
Godspeed, DeMarlo – that’s all I got.