As the season has progressed, and we've gotten ever closer to bidding a final, satisfying farewell to The Manager, we'd say it is fair to assess that there is a certain degree of excitement about the possibility of a new skipper for the Jays in 2011.
The quiet process of whittling down the list of possible candidates has chugged along, with young Mr. Anthopoulos narrowing his gaze from from 200 persons to 40 to 9 (allegedly, if an off-handed remark from Beeston on PTS is to be believed). There have been many names tossed around by those of us on the outside, generally with our own particular take on what the team needs (Fredi! Bobby V! LaRussa! A big name! A development guy! Canadian Guy! Joe Maddon!)
And while we're rather enthusiastic about a new face at the helm of the on-field management, we've been really quite happy with the state of the coaching staff, to the point where we've made comments along the lines that the entire group should be retained. Which seemed in our own head to be eminently reasonable.
Of course, we're not one of those coaches.
Full credit to CP's Shi Davidi (who is in a neck-and-neck race with NatPost's John Lott for Beat Writer of the Year, so far as we are concerned) for shaking us out of our comfy doldrums, and pointing out in an excellent piece yesterday the degree to which there is uncertainty amongst that group of esteemed gentlemen.
It might have crossed our mind that Brian Butterfield might walk if he weren't given the opportunity to do more than coach Adam Lind's happy feet and fist bump players as they conclude their home run trots. But what we really hadn't played through in our mind was what might happen with Dwayne Murphy or Bruce Walton, who've both contributed significantly to the team's relative success this year.
(And really: Given the relationship that Pappy Walton seems to have developed with his crew of pitchers, does anyone want to see a brand new face come in next year to try moulding those throwers in his own image? That seems like a disaster waiting to happen.)
What we might want to happen to this team might seem like the most reasonable scenario: Keep all the good guys, get rid of the dead wood and bring in someone to lead the rest of them. But given that pride and personality tend to intercede in these times, we're not sure that such a simple solution is likely.