Star columnist Richard Griffin tells Jays’ manager how things go down in Hogtown

Star columnist Richard Griffin tells Jays’ manager how things go down in Hogtown

Richard Griffin is just oh-so wonderfully old school. The venerable Toronto Star columnist penned a clever piece (read: thinly veiled critique) calling out Toronto Blue Jays manager John Farrell for keeping secrets. In the Monday column, Griffin took issue with the new skipper’s failure to divulge the true nature of a recent injury sustained by Jays left fielder Travis Snider. The writing came across smart and savvy, striking a diplomatic tone while still issuing a stern memo to the Jays coach on behalf of the local media. The message: we decide what we need to know, not you.

According to Griffin, the story goes something like this:

On the first weekend of Blue Jays full-squad workouts came disturbing proof positive that despite all the uplifting feedback of this rebuilt AL franchise, it’s not automatically going to be smooth sailing and a free pass for surprisingly secretive first-year manager John Farrell. He, like any rookie, seemingly has much to learn about dealing with fans, media and the concept of “need to know.”

On Sunday, Farrell was asked directly by reporters if there was a physical reason starting left fielder Travis Snider had not participated in spring training thus far. The manager suggested his young slugger had just a little “tightness” in his core area. When asked if there was a physical issue, Farrell responded to one respected beat reporter: “No, no, no. No. Just bringing him along a little slower.”

The bone of contention—cough—stems from the fact that when Snider was approached about the alleged “physical issue,” he candidly admitted that he injured a muscle in his upper left rib cage playing golf with his teammates. The strain to his intercostal muscle prevented him from hitting or throwing. No biggie, of course, with opening day still six weeks away. And, really, no need for secrecy.

But the issue is a sore spot—cough cough—for the local ink-stained wretches who had to deal with the one-two combo of former general manager J.P. Ricciardi and former manager John Gibbons. The undynamic duo admitted to misleading reports and fans about an injury to closer B.J. Ryan. Lucky for everybody involved, those two are gone and current general manager Alex Anthopoulos says transparency is now the name of the game for the Jays.

Looks like Griffin was just making sure—but you’ve got to love his style.

• Griffin: Why so much secrecy around Snider injury? [Toronto Star]
• Jays’ Snider slowed down by injury [Globe and Mail]