Monday, June 23, 2008

Whitt's end

Ernie Whitt's a lovable guy, and a key figure in Toronto's baseball history. But his rant to Sun Media's Bob Elliot shows that he's more than a bit out of touch with reality. Whitt took the opportunity in the interview to throw the rest of the coaching staff under the bus, noting that maybe the manager or bench coach or hitting coach deserved to get canned, but that he certainly bore no blame for the team's poor performance.

Whitt refers to himself in the article as "the best manager Toronto has never hired". Oh really? Based on what?

Whitt has managed a handful of games for Canada's national team, but filling out the lineups for a few weeks here and there is a far cry from taking the helm of a team for a full season. Whitt used his reputation as a well-loved Blue Jays icon to jump the queue, propelling himself from a wandering coach position to the major league staff without having managed anywhere in the minor leagues. If Whitt had taken the slow and steady path to the Majors, he might not find himself at home without options today.

Whatever you want to say about Gibby, or even Carlos Tosca, both of them established themselves as minor league managers, and will have options open to them for years to come because of that experience. In fact, Tosca finds himself at the right hand of Florida's Fredi Gonzalez as the Marlins' bench coach...a role that we can see Gibbons taking within the next 12 months.

We get that it sucks to get fired, and we don't doubt that Whitt might have been a bit more careful in his choice of words given a few days to come to grips with this. But he would do well to stop complaining and pointing fingers and to start looking for a position in someone's system where he can develop and show the world his stupendously awesome managing skill.

UPDATE: Supplementary Whitt-icisms
As noted in the comments, Mike Wilner mentions Whitt's not-so-friendly demeanor in his latest blog post. Wilner states that he's not going to discuss Whitt any further given his reaction to comments made by Wilner when callers brought up the bizzarro notion of that Ernie should be the team's GM. (An idea that we ridiculed ourselves.)

14 comments:

Joanna said...

I think the shock of everyone getting shitcanned messed with Whitt. Gibbons said that that was the worst part of it, the wide firing. Wells said it was strange seeing so many new coaches, and realizing just how bad stuff got. Whitt might regret speaking later, but his demotion from bench coach to first base coach (ie the dude that takes the hitting gear from baserunners) smelled a little funky. The bullshit fumes have messed with his brain. Maybe Whitt assumed that on and off 30 year commitment to an organization meant something. But, I guess not.

Tao of Stieb said...

Yeah, although the stories are starting to come out about Whitt's work ethic...isn't it funny to hear all of the stuff that no one reports on while they are still there?

silvestre said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rob ducey's nephew said...

And maybe this is old news, but did you see Wilner's latest blog? Sounds like Whitt didn't like to hear a little criticism....

Tao of Stieb said...

Yeah, we actually saw it after we posted, but it bears noting.

Funny guy.

rob ducey's nephew said...

Whitt-icisms = gold!

eyebleaf said...

I can't believe Whitt actually called out Wilner for what was said on his show...and did it in a douche-baggy manner as well. That's low. I'm surprised with Ernie's demeanor. Thought he was a bigger guy than all this.

Andrew said...

I noticed no impact of Ernie Whitt. Perhaps that was the problem.

Tao of Stieb said...

Well, Ernie did a very good job this season of holding onto shin guards and assorted batters' protective equipment. You gotta give him that.

Incidentally, we just read Mike Toth's column about this (we didn't have anything sharp to stick in our eye at that moment), and someone says that Whitt did "an amazing job" as bench coach.

We're still wiping the coffee off of our monitor and keyboard.

the ack said...

The thing I don't get, is Big Ern basically said there is no reason to fire a first base coach, ever, with his "well, if you aren't hitting, fire the hitting coach, if you fire the manager, then also fire the bench coach....." spiel.

I do feel bad for him, in that the only organization he's ever really known basically just kicked his ass out of the house, but the demotion from bench coach should have been a Kenny Rogers Roaster sign things weren't looking good for his future with the team.

Blasting management on his way out probably wasn't great for his future, either.

silvestre said...

Funny that in mentioning he will not discuss Whitt anymore, Wilner induces a flurry of posts bashing Whitt, and links to the story. So now everyone knows what an asshole Whitt is without needing to divulge any details - mission accomplished.

Similar to the Toth incident a couple of weeks back where Wilner mentioned he would never attack a fellow broadcaster like Toth did and then let the posters pile on the slamming and ad hominem attacks. I generally like Wilner, but he is a sly one.

Tim said...

Ernie Whitt is the best manager the Jays never hired. That's the polar opposite of John Anderson finally getting an NHL job w/ the Thrashers after a Boudreauish stint there w/ greater success. Ernie was a great Jay, thanks for that. Move on and get over yourself.

Anonymous said...

Why is almost every player or coach bitter after dealing with JP. He must be too blunt when firing or something that doesn't take care of the needs of the employee.

Mono said...

Ernie saying there's no reason to fire a 1st base coach because (in essence) they don't really matter in relation to run-producing or wins via offense, the two elements of the team most important to the Blue Jays this year, short-circuits his own reason to complain. If 1st base coaches don't matter then what the ass is the matter?

That's right, nothing. 1st base coaches are just proactive individuals there on the preference of the current manager. Hello Dwayne Murphy!