Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: What about Joe Siddall as the next manager?

Brent Cardy
TORONTO, ON - JUNE 06: Former Canadian player and broadcaster Joe Siddall reacts during batting practice prior to the Toronto Blue Jays MLB game against the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre on June 6, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JUNE 06: Former Canadian player and broadcaster Joe Siddall reacts during batting practice prior to the Toronto Blue Jays MLB game against the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre on June 6, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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I wrote an article last week discussing whether or not the Blue Jays should remove the interim tag of of current manager John Schneider. A lot of you felt that Ross Atkins should not, so let me pose this question to you.

What if it doesn’t work out between Schneider and the Toronto Blue Jays?

The easy answer is the Blue Jays executive team will need to start doing interviews to find a permanent replacement. I’m sure a few candidates that could find themselves in line for the job include Joe Girardi, Joe Maddon and maybe Chris Woodward. However, one individual that could be worth considering is a man that is on your television sets every night in Blue Jays Central analyst Joe Siddall.

Siddall is a Windsor Ontario native who signed with the Montreal Expos as an amateur free agent in August of 1987. He would debut with the Expos in July of 1993 and would slot into 76 big league games with three clubs, the Expos, Miami Marlins and his hometown Detroit Tigers. Siddall’s only home run was in front of family and friends at old Tiger Stadium off former teammate Jeff Fassero. Ken Griffey Jr. made sure Siddall got his home run ball back.

Siddall would spend 13 seasons as a Minor League player. His catching abilities were highly touted and very well respected. In Triple-A playing for Ottawa Lynx, Siddall threw out 42% of base stealers and in 1998, through 27 games behind the dish he threw out 46% of base stealers. In a time when stolen bases had more value compared to today’s game, you can see why Siddall’s services were in demand.

The Windsor Ontario native and current Blue Jays Central analyst is an intriguing possibility to be the next Blue Jays manager.

Siddall would hang up his cleats in 2000 after catching a perfect game from former Blue Jay Tomo Ohka. He would join the Tigers as a batting practice pitcher in later years. He would throw batting practice to the Tigers hitters and leave Comerica Park to cross the Ambassador Bridge in time to be home to coach his kids’ games in Windsor.

In early 2014, Siddall and his family would face heartbreak in the loss of his son Kevin who passed away at the age of 13 from a battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Kevin’s memory continues to live on in the Windsor community with the Kevin Siddall Invitational Bantam Baseball Tournament which raises awareness for non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and proceeds go to support Childcan, W.E. Care for Kids, and the Ronald McDonald House. To this date as per their website, they have raised over $88,000 since they began the tournament.

After Kevin’s passing, Joe would get an opportunity in the form of a condolence message. It was an e-mail from Blue Jays Radio legend Jerry Howarth. Jerry had learned of the tragic events through Hall of Fame writer Bob Elliott and e-mailed Joe to share his condolences. Joe replied in the bottom of his e-mail something to the effect of “ Maybe I’ll see you in the booth someday” From there the rest was history.

Siddall would join Jerry in the radio booth from the 2014 to 2017 seasons. Many of Siddall’s colleagues were blown away at how quickly he caught on to the broadcasting business. One of the things that I was pleasantly surprised with was how Joe didn’t make his commentary about himself. He wasn’t one of those” back in my day” analysts.

After Gregg Zaun departed, Siddall would take over as the analyst of Blue Jays Central and he quickly started to win fans over with his analysis. It’s not personal, it’s just how he sees the game. His demos have become popular with many Blue Jays viewers, the offensive ones he credits to his son Brett who played professionally in the Oakland Athletics system.

Siddall as the Blue Jays Manager?

So back to the start of the article, why should the Blue Jays consider Joe Siddall as a manager if he applies?

Siddall in my opinion has on-field credibility playing in the big leagues and paying his dues through his numerous years in the upper levels of the Minor Leagues. He was a catcher and understands the value of working with human beings and trying to get the best result out of them.

As we have witnessed over the past eight years, Siddall is a very quick study. He has excelled as a broadcaster no matter what position he has been put in: studio analyst, radio voice or television analyst.

When Siddall explains the game to viewers, he does a phenomenal job at not only being concise but he keeps it clear and simple. If you are a baseball player with all of the analytics being thrown at you on a daily basis you are craving clear and simple communication. Think of one of the first demonstrations Joe did on Bo Bichette’s two-strike approach. Siddall had no more then five minutes to talk about what made Bichette successful with two strikes. It was the removal of the leg kick and the toe tap that led to Bo’s success. Clear, concise and simple communication as demonstrated is another reason that Joe could be a solid manager.

Players are also looking to work with someone they know and they are comfortable with. Maybe Girardi and Maddon would be too much of a distraction for the players? Maybe Cesar Martin and Luis Hurtado aren’t ready yet? Siddall could leverage the relationship that he has built with the players to try and get he best out of them. He’s had a birdseye view for the last eight seasons and could utilize his knowledge of the players to put them in the best position possible.

Siddall has admitted that he doesn’t know everything. As I mentioned earlier, he acknowledges his son Brett when it comes to sharing his hitting demos. This would create a solid environment for coaches that want to come to Toronto. You would have a manager that would work with you and potentially stay out of your way to work with the players.

Lastly, Siddall understands that ball players are human beings and would be a solid support system for his players if they required it.

Next. Jays: How is Jordan Groshans doing since being traded to the Marlins?. dark

Siddall is very humble he would not make the game about him; he is also very loved by the fan base. He is Canadian after all. We’ve seen Buck Martinez and Aaron Boone transition from the booth to be a manager. Would it be that crazy to see it happen one more time?

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