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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Davidi: Snider Saga Part I - Clashes With Cito

How a can’t miss kid missed. DISHY

Put simply, this is the real story of how Travis Snider’s time with the Toronto Blue Jays went so remarkably wrong.

Over four-and-a-half years of difficulty, drama and ultimately disappointment – revealed here in detail for the first time – the player once destined to lead the franchise back to greatness clashed with Cito Gaston and Gene Tenace, allowed the club’s roster jockeying to get into his head, struggled to contain his frustrations, turned down a long-term contract offer, had his progress stalled by injuries, and, finally, slid down the depth chart far enough to become expendable.

Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: September 25, 2012 at 10:05 AM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: prospects, toronto blue jays

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   1. John Northey Posted: September 25, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4245288)
An interesting bit there. Gaston demands players show respect to him at all times, but some kids don't respect anyone's opinion but their own. Rob Ducey was like that in '87 and put a barrier between him and Gaston (refused to take advise on hitting). It fits what the AAA batting coach was saying recently, that kids need to fail before they will listen. Snider got that hot start thus felt he knew what was right, when the coaches saw that there were flaws that would get exposed once the league saw him.
   2. spycake Posted: September 25, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4245389)
Ah, Rob Ducey. Seven consecutive seasons of between 57 and 99 plate appearance in the majors (plus an eighth season with 31 plate appearances, but if not for the strike, I'm sure he would make it to 60-70 or so to keep the streak alive). I mean, looking at his batting line for those years, you'd swear he was some kind of NL pitcher, but nope, he was just on the AAA shuttle for eight seasons, without ever really unpacking his bags in the majors. (Until his return from Japan, of course)
   3. Toolsy McClutch Posted: September 25, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4245403)
I was always a huge Snider fan, but this article really makes him seem like a jerk. Of course, I've never been the best player at anything on any team I've ever played on (save high school curling - maybe) so I was cocoon free. Coach asked me to bat standing on one leg? Hell, I'll try on no legs!
   4. Bruce Markusen Posted: September 25, 2012 at 03:34 PM (#4245418)
Gaston won two world championships as a manager and is generally regarded as the most successful skipper in Jays history, while Tenace was a fine player, a smart Sabermetric player, and a member of three world champions in Oakland. They've got some credibility. Why wouldn't you listen to these guys?
   5. Good cripple hitter Posted: September 25, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4245442)
I was always a huge Snider fan, but this article really makes him seem like a jerk.


He does come off as a bit of a jerk, but then again I'm not sure how I'd react if I hit my way through the minors, and the first time I'm practicing with the hitting coach he took one look at my swing and says "that's not going to work in the majors." (then again, I kind of doubt it happened that way). I'd also probably be pissed if I was a hotshot prospect and the team was cutting my playing time in half because Fred Lewis might have to get placed on waivers. Although that's a bit overstated, too. Snider started 20 games in August before he won the job outright.

The interview reminded me of Cito's relationships with John Olerud and Shawn Green. Platoon your young left-handed hitters, tell them to focus on pulling the ball, if they don't listen to what you're saying let them go off and do their own thing. In his book Green talks about how he was certain that Cito and the Jays were just ruining his career. Only years later did he come to terms with what they were trying to do.
   6. Greg Schuler Posted: September 25, 2012 at 04:14 PM (#4245477)
Snider hasn't done much in Pittsburgh as of yet, but he'll get a full shot because Huntington loves to give former prospects a whirl - after they have failed. And getting anything of potential worth for Brad Lincoln gets Neal a silver star.

I am anticipating the series with Colby Rasmus in the next year or two.
   7. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 25, 2012 at 04:27 PM (#4245487)
I feel like that first meeting between Snider and Tenace is missing some context. Tenace comes across a bit abrupt but Snider comes off as being excessively sensitive. There isn't enough there to really get a feeling of just how I want to perceive it.
   8. Zach Posted: September 26, 2012 at 10:45 AM (#4246092)
Snider comes across as an insecure kid who's getting more advice than is good for him. He's getting told to do things differently, but as far as he's concerned, his old way is fine. So he either does something that seems wrong to him, or he gets in a big fight and does what seems right (but may actually be wrong).

I think in that situation, you should let the kid fail for a little while. He's not going to be able to change his ways until he emotionally accepts the need for change, and it's better not to make it a battle of wills.
   9. Ron J2 Posted: September 26, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4246217)
I'm not sure how I'd react if I hit my way through the minors, and the first time I'm practicing with the hitting coach he took one look at my swing and says "that's not going to work in the majors." (then again, I kind of doubt it happened that way)


That's pretty much what happened with Tommy Harper and Brad Fullmer. He got sent out in 1999 basically for refusing to listen to Tommy Harper (while hitting .207/.263/.424). Only got called back up (after tearing it up in AAA without making any adjustment) because Seguignol got hurt. He rather pointedly disagreed with Alou's attempt to give Harper credit for his good play after being called back up (hit .302/.341/.483 in the second half) saying he hadn't changed anything, just not hitting as many line drives right at somebody.
   10. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: September 26, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4246221)
Part 2 now posted here.

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