By Mike Harrington
Off my vacation perch, I caught up with now ex-Bisons manager Marty Brown early this evening as he was wrapping up some Christmas shopping at home in Missouri. Brown told the Toronto Blue Jays late last week he would not be returning to Buffalo in 2014 and it's certainly no reflection of our fair city or the Bisons.
Brown said that he felt his connection to former Toronto manager John Farrell didn't help his standing in the Jays' organization. Farrell, of course, left the Jays in 2012 on pretty bad terms to take over in Boston. (If you need to know the rest of the story, this probably isn't the blog for you)
"My own opinion is that I knew John from Cleveland and he called me for this job when we were in Las Vegas and then he didn't leave on the greatest of terms," Brown said. "People have affiliated me with John and i think it's kind of hurt me in this organization. I don't have any big affiliation with John. I didn't go to Boston. I tried to do my job and do the best job I could. Toronto never had anything really bad to say to me. I just don't know if there was a huge trust factor and it's best for them to get somebody in there they like."
What Brown essentially told me is if the Blue Jays aren't going to give him a real chance in the major leagues, it was just time to move on and try something else. Translation: Toronto hired ex-Bison Tim Leiper to be its new first base coach, giving Brown what amounted to a perfunctory interview for the job. And that was a final straw.
"They knew who they wanted to hire and that's fine," Brown said. "It makes me feel more in terms of being a manager, is this worth my time and effort to keep doing what i'm doing? A part of you feels like I'm kicking myself in my head. And not just with the Blue Jays. I wasn't getting any interviews from other guys either.
"You try to evaluate yourself and where you're at and what you're doing....I just thought maybe I would step away for a while and see if I can do something else."
Brown isn't ruling out another Triple-A managerial job for next year. Nor is he ruling out a return to manage in Japan, where he managed from 2006-2010 and met his wife. He said scouting might also be another option.
Who might the Bisons suggest to the Blue Jays? I'll have some ideas in my story in Tuesday's editions of The News.