Steve Buffery wrote an article yesterday, which gives some kind of insight about the recent front-office layoffs as Atkins speaks up about how difficult these decisions were to make in regards to all the changes.
And I can’t honestly write about any of the firings that have been made because I am not an active member of that media scrum tribe, so I'm not the person who can offer any kind of truthful input.
The fact of the matter is that the Toronto organization is a business and changes were made. And the truth is, we’ll never really know the real dialect that went back and forth in the boardroom meeting that came to these decisions, will we? But good people have lost their jobs and that sucks. Plain and simple.
Now, this isn’t some kind of Buffery hijack piece that I'm writing because I actually found this article informative and I enjoyed reading what Atkins had to say, not so much Steve-O though. I’m sure that, of course, a lot of Atkins' language was sugar coated in the interview, but it seemed sincere on the surface and honest too. I don’t exactly think that Shapiro, Atkins and their - as the dipshits would say - ‘cronies’ were popping open bottles of Veuve Clicquot after the layoffs.
But the one thing that kind of irked me about this article was how the Buff had to unnecessarily share a story about Marcus Stroman’s behaviour in the locker room. In his 'defence', he wrote about this experience to show how great a man and professional baseball information manager Mal Romanin was in the clubhouse and at doing his job – or did he? Because it seems like he is throwing high and inside again at Stroman, as he has done before in the past.
And the truth is that this article could’ve had some integrity and a touch of some kind of class if the 'Stroman bit' had been left in the can, but it is the Toronto Sun - so there’s that. Here’s the one story he had to use to show how appreciative he was for Mal Romanin’s day-in-and-day-out efforts:
One example is baseball information manager Mal Romanin, who was highly regarded by the denizens of the Blue Jays press box, including yours truly.
From a personal perspective, there was an incident this past season, when I was interviewing Jose Bautista at his stall in the Jays clubhouse and Marcus Stroman walked by and started ‘advising’ Bautista that I was “dicey” and that he’d better watch what he says because I’ll twist his words — particularly given that Bautista is a Latin player. Stroman also warned me that I would be off the beat soon and that I was “irrelevant”.
Of course, the wise guys in the press box immediately started calling me “Mr. Irrelevant” after that. Earlier, I had column suggesting that Stroman would be advised to rein in his emotions on the mound, especially when his frustrations were aimed at the umpires as they might have long memories and might squeeze him in future starts. Stroman obviously took exception to the column and let it be known on a number of occasions.
That day he went off in the clubhouse, Romanin immediately went over to diffuse the situation. And he did so, very professionally — even suggesting that I might have taken too much of a confrontational stance with Stroman as the argument progressed. He didn’t take sides. Simply put, Romanin was very good at his job and greatly respected by the media.
The thing is, I’m sure that after all these years that he has worked alongside Mal, he could’ve shared many stories to show how great he was at doing his job and not this one – just sayin’. I think that it’s a bit classless to paint Stroman this way. And, sure, maybe Buffery isn’t taking a cheap jab at him, but while reading this, I was kind of like, ahh, umm, really? To be honest, I thought it was a bit ‘dicey’.
Let's not forget that this article is being written by a man that also had this to say about Stroman after that eventful game in the south side of Chicago:
Stroman seems to get peeved a lot nowadays, and that may turn out to be a problem. The Stro Show, frankly, is starting to turn into a circus, and that’s the last thing the Blue Jays need.
And I’m not trying to come at Mr. Buffery like George Bell’s samurai kick of Bruce Kison, but I do think that this is another blunder of many by the media mistakes often made by Toronto writers with their we are holier-than-thou voices, I dunno.
Maybe I’m just looking into this too much because it’s the offseason and things are incredibly slow in Blue Jays land right now, but I couldn’t shake the feelings that it aroused in me last night after reading it when I woke up early this morning.
Maybe I should give Buffery the benefit of the doubt:
He did happen to talk to Atkins, but he also did happen to try to make Stroman look like a shitty millennial brat too. I just think that there is a better story he could have shared about Mal than the one that he did, don't you? And it's one thing to speak from your perspective, but it's another to listen to the voice of the other too.