PITTSBURGH — It goes without saying that the coaches who were recently let go by the Blue Jays aren’t happy, and know that the coaches who survived the firings aren’t all pleased with everything that’s gone on around the team either.
This was a tough weekend for a lot of people around the Jays camp.
The coaches who are still with the club — pitching coach Brad Arnsberg, bench coach Brian Butterfield and bullpen coach Bruce Walton — are each only signed through this year and it’s an open question whether they may consider their options at the end of the season in light of the recent developments.
Former first-base coach and long-time Toronto coach/player Ernie Whitt is the first of the fired coaches to air his thoughts. Here’s some of what he told the Toronto Sun in a story by Bob Elliott in today’s paper:
“The word ‘disappointment’ doesn’t fit. The word ‘shock’ doesn’t accurately describe how I feel.
“I understand that, when a team is not performing, the manager’s job is on the line. When we’re not hitting, the hitting instructor’s job is on the line. Usually, if the manager is fired, the bench takes over or the bench coach is fired. This is difficult to accept or to understand.
“J.P. Ricciardi wanted me to quit last year by re-assigning me. He has wanted to get rid of me for a while. All the time I was there, he never once asked my opinion. Gibbons would, as a game would unfold.
“I thought I had people in my corner. I go back a long way with Paul Godfrey, with people close to the team like Herb Solway and Paul Beeston. … I’m beyond angry, I’m beyond shock. I am trying to take the high road, but if I did something wrong, I wish they’d have explained it to me.
“I thought giving my loyalty and passion to the game, the city of Toronto, the Jays fans and this organization meant something. The love I have for this organization, my God, and all of a sudden it has been pulled away. That’s the biggest disappointment. The best answer I can come up with is they thought it was a good time to get rid of me.
“I still feel I’m the best manager Toronto has never hired.”
TORONTO (35-41) at PITTSBURGH (36-39)
at 1:35 p.m. ET at PNC PARK
Marco Scutaro, SS
Joe Inglett, 2B
Alex Rios, RF
Vernon Wells, CF
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Scott Rolen, 3B
Gregg Zaun, C
Adam Lind, LF
Dustin McGowan, P
Luis Rivas, 2B
Jack Wilson, SS
Nate McLouth, CF
Jason Bay, LF
Adam LaRoche, 1B
Jason Michaels, RF
Jose Bautista, 3B
Raul Chavez, C
Ian Snell, P