John Schneider is far from the only problem in the Blue Jays' front office.
With the José Berríos yanking incident from the AL Wild Card game, manager John Schneider certainly took some big-time criticism for pulling such a move in such an important ballgame. However, it wasn’t the first time all season that he made daring, unthinkable decisions like that, as throughout 2023, we have seen Schneider pull pitchers and/or hitters at critical points in the game that ended up backfiring on them. As a result, it had unquestionably left many of the Jays’ faithful fuming.
However, Schneider can’t be blamed for everything that didn’t go the Jays’ way. After all, for any gutsy moves or decisions, when they work out, it would make one look like a genius, but when they fail, one would appear to be a complete fool. Schneider was unfortunate that most of his moves fell into the latter category than the former. More importantly, there were other aspects in the game that helped contribute to some of the faults that the Jays had. This included implementing the usage of analytics and statistics in making decisions, and the mediocre play by the Jays when it came to their poor baserunning and situational execution.
In the case of applying analytics to real-life baseball situations, sometimes just going with the gut feeling and making the right decision based on common sense may be the best route to take. There’s no need to make things more complicated than it should be, unless the analytics have proven to be successful over many instances.
With baserunning blunders, the Jays ranked 5th in the entire league with 57 outs on base. What this statistic incorporates is the runner is put out as a result of a baserunning play (e.g. getting doubled off, getting thrown out trying for an extra base on a hit or fly ball). This does not include pickoffs, caught stealing, and force plays. If it did, the number would probably be far worse for the Jays. In addition, their stolen base percentage of 74% ranks them second-last in the league, so they shouldn’t be so aggressive on the basepaths if they keep running into outs.
In terms of execution, one can just look at the two points from above with regards to their offence and coming through with RISP. So perhaps what the team really needs is not a new manager, but instead some type of shake-up or change in baseball culture in the clubhouse. That way, they can develop that focussed and professional mentality that could help them eliminate the warts in their game, as well as being able to finally play smart, winning baseball as a whole.