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Farrell answers Vizquel's remarks with meeting

Farrell answers Vizquel's remarks with meeting

Farrell answers Vizquel's remarks with meeting
TORONTO -- On Friday, the Blue Jays held a 30-minute closed-door clubhouse meeting to address, among other things, comments made by 24-year veteran Omar Vizquel before Thursday's series opener against the Yankees.

Vizquel questioned whether the coaching staff is holding players accountable enough for their mistakes, adding that the club needs more veteran leadership moving forward.

Manager John Farrell, who called the meeting and typically prefers to address issues or concerns with players individually, questioned whether Vizquel is informed enough to even make those statements.

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"We had an opportunity to address a number of things," Farrell said. "The comments were a little bit of a tipping point, and I felt like we needed to discuss some things in house, internally."

As the season winds down, Farrell has been holding frequent one-on-one meetings with players that last roughly 10-15 minutes to address each player's individual season, things that can be improved upon and each player's future outlook with the club.

"He's not privy to those," Farrell said of Vizquel, "and the teaching environment and the teaching setting that we have set up for issues that arise -- whether those are mistakes made inside of a game -- are done in early work and individual meetings."

Farrell said that Vizquel's stature in the game allows for him to miss out on the early work.

"Having not been there, he might of not been aware of all the messages and the examples we continue to address," Farrell said.

"The tone is set with myself and the staff."

Vizquel said he did not regret the comments he made and was in no way attacking the coaching staff, but he does feel that more communication between the players and coaches is needed. Vizquel said that at times during the season, he has spoken to players and tried to offer guidance when applicable.

The 45-year-old infielder said that after Farrell had a chance to address the team, he apologized to the manager and the rest of the clubhouse for what was perceived to be an act of pointing fingers at others.

"It was just a constructive comment, something that we needed to do to become a better team," Vizquel said.

Vizquel believes that the entire team needs to do a better job at reinforcing what is acceptable, while pointing out mistakes when they do occur in a given game.

Vizquel was surprised by the meeting but added, "It's obviously my fault."

In terms of veteran leadership, Farrell said that's not something the club specifically needs. He doesn't believe older players are necessarily better leaders than the younger players in the game.

"Leadership comes in many forms, and, to me, leadership does not have an age," Farrell said. "To say, 'Things would have been different if we had X number of veteran players,' that's not to say some of the monitoring day in and day out that teams normally go through. That's not to say our presence -- my presence -- is absent by any means. But there is a blend that goes a long way to achieving a common goal.

"I think most importantly, as I'll say again, leadership has no age."

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