Game 42: Toronto at Boston pregame
Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston doesn’t buy into the philosophy used by Red Sox manager Terry Francona over the weekend. Boston slugger David Ortiz is in the midst of a terrible slump, one of the worst droughts of his career. Francona opted to sit Ortiz over the past three games in Seattle, providing more of a mental break than a benching.
Asked if he had ever sat a struggling player for a series, Gaston replied quickly: “Never. Nope. No, I haven’t.”
Gaston went on to say: “Thats’ what some guys believe in. I don’t really buy into that one. I don’t know where it helps them. I havent quite figured out how it helps them. I don’t buy into it. Then again, maybe it will. I don’t know. Personally, I don’t buy into that one.”
This isn’t to say Cito was bashing Tito. Entering Tuesday, Ortiz was hitting .208 with no homers and 15 RBIs. On the recent road trip, he went 1-for-14. Big Papi had gone 144 at-bats without a homer — the second-longest slump of that kind in his career.
Cito’s philosophy is this:
“You let him play his way out. Either you bench him or you play somebody else for a while. You know? You either let him go one way or the other. I don’t think you put him on the bench for just say a day or two. But, that’s his team over there. You’re talking about what I believe and what he believes.
“I have enough trouble running my team,” he added with a laugh.
Which brings us to Blue Jays rookie Travis Snider.
Snider was out of the lineup on Tuesday with knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, but will be back in on Wednesday against Boston’s Brad Penny.
If Snider continues to struggle, there’s a realistic chance he could be sent back to Triple-A during Interleague Play, when the Jays don’t have a DH in NL parks and Adam Lind in left field. Just so happens Toronto heads to Atlanta this weekend.
“That could possibly be,” general manager J.P. Ricciardi said. “Originally we didn’t think so, but it might be a time to do it, get a little more flexibility.”
Asked if Snider might benefit from playing every day in the Minors, Cito had this to say:
“You always think that. Who knows what’s right? Whatever happens, we’ll try to do the right thing with him. This kid’s going to play up here. There’s not too many guys on this team who haven’t been sent up and down, so it could happen and it might not happen.
“I’ll put him out there tomorrow against Penny and who knows, he might hit a couple home runs. That certainly would change everybody’s mind – for a while anyway.”
1. Marco Scutaro, SS
2. Aaron Hill, 2B
3. Alex Rios, RF
4. Vernon Wells, CF
5. Adam Lind, LF
6. Scott Rolen, 3B
7. Lyle Overbay, 1B
8. Kevin Millar, DH
9. Rod Barajas, C
Starter: LHP Brian Tallet (2-1)
1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Jason Bay, LF
5. Mike Lowell, 3B
6. J.D. Drew, RF
7. Julio Lugo, SS
8. Jeff Bailey, 1B
9. George Kottaras
Starter: RHP Tim Wakefield (4-2)