Blue Jays: Stubby Clapp ticks all the right boxes in managerial race
Canadian Stubby Clapp checks all the boxes when comparing the viable candidates for the vacant Toronto Blue Jays managerial position.
Almost daily new names are popping as possible replacements for manager John Gibbons, however, the only name that resonates as the obvious choice is Stubby Clapp. Earlier in the week, we ran a poll via Twitter and Clapp received 49% of the 237 votes cast to be the next skipper.
Clapp is a grinder, a baseball lifer, a guy who would run through a brick wall for his teammates and his country. He has ties to the Blue Jays organization as a minor league player and hitting instructor and is renowned for developing talent.
The 45-year old has guided the Memphis Redbirds to back-to-back first-place finishes in the Pacific Coast League while also winning Manager of the Year in consecutive campaigns. General Manager Ross Atkins recently addressed the media identifying three traits he is looking for in his new manager. The three traits were Tough, Smart and Passionate which all epitomize Stubby Clapp.
I recently had the opportunity to ask a few former teammates what makes Stubby Clapp such a great managerial candidate.
Tyson Gillies had this to say about Clapp:
"There are players who come up and are god gifted and others who have to really be students of the game, learn the ins and outs. The adversity Stubby went through to play this game at the highest level was tremendous. He has had so much success already in his experience coaching because he has the ears and heart of the players. These kids want to go out day in and out to do right by him. They respect the difficulty of the game and admire the grind he embraced. I know I do."
Jimmy Van Ostrand followed up with these comments about Clapp:
"I have had the privilege of playing alongside stubby as a member of Team Canada and to be a player in the Houston Astros organization while he was coaching with the organization. As a player, Stubby was the ultimate teammate and competitor. He had a knack for coming up big in the biggest moments. The reason for this was his relentless will to prepare for the game and his ability to focus on whatever task was needed in that moment. I have no doubt that this has carried over well for him in his coaching and now managerial career."
"The biggest thing that sticks out to me personally about Stubby is his willingness to do whatever he can to help you get better. There was a never a time, as a teammate or player that you didn’t know that he had your back. He showed that with his words and his actions. He’s a tremendous person that makes the people around him better. He sets a high standard and brings the members of his team up to that level. He’s a man of the highest character that brings a passion to everything he does and has fun doing it."
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Clapp is not the ideal candidate based solely because he is Canadian but what an added bonus it would be to have a skipper who hails from north of the border. The Windsor native has played a huge role in the Canadian National program as both a player and as a coach alongside Ernie Whitt.
Earlier this season, when Cardinals pitcher Dakota Hudson was promoted to the big club, Clapp went out the mound with a message on a baseball advising the young hurler of his promotion.
Clapp is a player’s manager who understands the human element of the game. Before manager John Gibbons hit the high road back to Texas, he endorsed Clapp a number of times to his successor.
There are a number of vacant managerial positions available this offseason and Clapp will undoubtedly be the recipient of one of them, let’s just hope the Blue Jays brain trust makes the correct hire before it is too late.