Jays' Bautista responds to Romero's comments
Jays' clubhouse leader Jose Bautista did not want to immediately respond to the comments that Ricky Romero had about the Jays' dormant offence until he read them for himself. Romero had said in the wake of a 2-0 shutout on Monday in which he was frustrated by the pitching and hitting of Tim Hudson, that others besides Bautista and Adam Lind needed to step up and contribute. He did not name names, but they obviously knew who they were. On Wednesday, prior to the series finale vs. the Braves, Bautista was ready to talk.
“With his comments, I don't see anything wrong," Bautista said. "He was speaking the truth and he's totally right. I don't think he was calling anybody out and he didn't mean any harm with his comments. He was simply pointing something out and everything that he said was true, so.
“I didn't take any offence on it. When he's out there I want to drive in runs and I want to do good for him. I want to play good defence just like I feel the rest of the guys do. Sometimes, there's trends, coincidences, stuff like that happens in baseball. It's unfortunate but when he's pitching we just haven't been able to give him the run support."
Bautista is clearly the leader of not just the hitters, but the entire clubhouse. If players had been insulted or felt that their professionalism was being questioned, Bautista, even before the manager, would have know about it.
“No, nothing at all," Bautista said of his teammates reaction to Romero's quiet frustration. "If there would have been any problems, I would have heard about it before you guys asked me and I didn't. I think just to be on the safe side, he wanted to make sure that nobody took it the wrong way and that's why he had that short little meeting. I think it's huge that he did that because some people might take it the wrong way. But it shows that he didn't mean anything by it. He was only clarifying what he said and what he meant by them.
“Some people might have taken it the wrong way. I'm not speaking of anyone in particular. Me knowing Ricky, I know he didn't mean anything by it. If it was up to me, he didn't have to. For him to do it shows a lot about who he is and that he wants to make sure his teammates don't take things the wrong way."
Bautista was asked if perhaps the Jays and manager John Farrell are too concerned about protecting players' feelings and perhaps that's why Romero was asked to clear the air so that feelings wouldn't be hurt. Does the organization's attitude produce clubhouse softness?
"I don't think this organization is too soft on players," Bautista said. "This organization really pushes its prospects. You've seen the guys that have got called up. They're young and talented and they're thrown right into the fire. Some guys like Travis (Snider) and (Brett) Cecil, they need to go back and get some work done. I mean if sending them back to the minors is not a good way to send signals. When you're up here you're expected to not only develop but to produce. That's not treating anybody with the red-carpet treatment. That's going to toughen them up because they're expected to perform at a high level when they are here."