Toronto Blue Jays News

Why yes, Blue Jays fans are protective of Pete Walker

May 24, 2021; Dunedin, Florida, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays pitching coach Pete Walker (40) complains to the umpire after a bases loaded walk in the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays . Walker was ejected. at TD Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
May 24, 2021; Dunedin, Florida, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays pitching coach Pete Walker (40) complains to the umpire after a bases loaded walk in the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays . Walker was ejected. at TD Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports /
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On Wednesday Jon Morosi sent out a tweet about Pete Walker and the Mets vacancy in the manager’s seat, and Blue Jays fans didn’t care for it. Not one bit.

To be fair, Morosi didn’t do anything wrong here at all by suggesting that Walker could be a potential candidate for the Mets’ coaching position. Nor would it be wrong of the Mets to come calling if they were actually interested, or for Walker to consider such a thing. By no means am I saying that any of this is going to happen, but there’s no foul play here at all.

If the Mets were actually interested in hiring Walker, that would represent a pretty legitimate promotion for the long-time Blue Jays pitching coach. It’s a bit of an unwritten rule that teams will also let their coaches leave without a fight if it means they’re moving up a rung on the ladder, and that’s what this whole scenario would represent if it came to fruition.

Still, Blue Jays fans weren’t having it at all, and if you don’t believe me then go check out the comments section and even the quote tweets. I even had to throw one out there.

So why are Blue Jays fans so attached to Pete Walker? It’s mostly because of his reputation as a coach that can get the best out of the arms on his staff and help them to reach their highest potential. We’ve witnessed several examples of this over the years since Walker became the pitching coach back in 2012, with the most recent example being Robbie Ray’s transformation into the AL Cy Young award winner from a guy the Diamondbacks let go for next to nothing.

Ray isn’t the only example of the fine work that Walker has done over the years. Marco Estrada joined the Blue Jays as barely more than a cast off from the Milwaukee Brewers, and he became one of their most valuable players during the playoffs runs in 2015 and 2016. The same for Steven Matz who came off of a career-worst season with the Mets in 2020 only to post good enough numbers with the Jays in 2021 to land himself a new 4-year deal with the St. Louis Cardinals. They’ve also turned a long list of low-cost relievers into late-inning contributors, which has also helped on the trade market.

Beyond that, over the years we’ve heard many reports about how much the players like working with Walker. It’s also clear how much he loves his pitchers, and there were several times that he went to bat for them by challenging the umpires last season, often more aggressively than the manager in Charlie Montoyo. Fans notice that kind of thing, especially for a guy that wears his heart on his sleeve like Walker.

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So while Morosi’s tweet probably isn’t something to get too wound up about, with the lack of other baseball related news lately it was all that Blue Jays twitter was talking about on Wednesday. Blue Jays fans don’t always agree on everything, but I think the vast majority would be very upset to lose an asset like Walker’s coaching ability. With rumours potentially connecting Buck Showalter and others to the Mets job as well, here’s hoping Walker’s name coming up is nothing more than Morosi thinking out loud.

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