It was, in no uncertain terms, as direct a statement as a GM can tell one of their players:
Not in so few words, of course. As per John Lott of the National Post, Toronto Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos had more than a couple of things to say about Lind’s latest criticism of his former skipper John Farrell, and former batting coach (and still first base coach) Dwayne Murphy.
Where Lind suggest that he was getting “confused [as to] who you want to please” last season, citing Murphy’s mantra of attacking pitches and Farrell’s patient approach, Anthopoulos said that the seventh-year pro “has been in the league long enough now and it’s up to him to say ‘I’m a little confused’.”
In short, the GM essentially said what many Blue Jays fan had already thought: why now? Why not address it with his coaches at a relevant time, when Lind was in the middle of his third straight season as one of the worst-hitting first baseman in the league?
As for Lind’s claim that the confusion caused by the mix messages making it tough for him at the plate?
Anthopoulos says that Murphy’s philosophy on batting wasn’t entirely a swing-at-everything approach, and “guys like Jose Bautista obviously have a gift and do a great job with it.”
Ouch. I think that one probably stung a little.
The GM also said that besides Farrell, he too preached patience, and that if Lind didn’t get it in 2012, ” it’s on him to go and communicate that.”
I’m assuming that he meant communicate it to the coaches, and not wait until the end of the season to tell the press about a leadership issue in the clubhouse, of come into Spring Training and complaining about your ex-boss.
Frankly, that this exchange between the Blue Jays GM and Lind is coming out through separate, indirect statements is getting a little too passive-aggressive and weird.
Sure, Lind wasn’t wasn’t too pleased that he was sent down to the minors after struggling last year, but to be honest, he hasn’t had a good year since his breakout in 2009, and that’s entirely on him. Saying that his results may have been affected by leadership, when he’s already one of the longest-tenured members of the team, doesn’t help Lind’s case, and neither does saying that he didn’t know how to set his approach at the plate because he was confused by his coaches.
It appears that Anthopoulos has heard enough, and saw fit to end it as nicely as possible in the public before the issue of Lind’s “speak[ing] from the heart all of the time” becomes a negative distraction to the Blue Jays in Spring Training.
Lind is in the final year of his four-year deal that pays hin $5 million this season, with the team having the option to pick up his $7 million option, or opt for a $2 million buyout. If the 29-year old’s performance over the last three seasons isn’t already tilting the scale to the latter option, his talking might just cement the deal before the team even starts their Spring schedule.