So, Tommy John has resigned as Bluefish manager and has been replaced by bench coach Willie Upshaw. Anyone surprised? Not me. Here’s some of what I’m writing for the paper Thursday.
BRIDGEPORT – The end came suddenly but not shockingly. Tommy John is out as Bridgeport Bluefish manager and a very familiar face, Willie Upshaw, is back in his place.
The only surprise about this move is that it came in the middle of the season. With the Bluefish looking straight in the face of a third consecutive losing campaign, I expected John, who had just one year left on his contract, to ride out the storm and when September came, ride off into the sunset.
That would leave the door wide open for Upshaw – who managed the team from 1998-2000 posting a 220-139 record and taking Bridgeport to its only Atlantic League championship in 1999 – to take over in 2010.
And start the rebuilding process.
Because as much as no one on the Bluefish probably wants to admit it, John was just a “name.” Believe me, he was likeable and I enjoyed being around him. He was always straightforward and honest and that’s all you can ask of a guy. But John just wasn’t a very good manager.
Without question, John was a solid public relations man (and still is) but looking straight at the results he posted in the dugout, it’s a wonder he lasted as long as he did. Think about it. Even Atlantic League president/CEO and new Bluefish owner Frank Boulton dropped a verbal bomb on John back in February when Upshaw was announced as the team’s new bench coach saying: “This man (Upshaw) brings his ‘A’ game to the ballpark every day. And he’s a man that I believe will restore the work ethic that I think has been missing of late in the Bridgeport Bluefish.”
Read my entire column in Thursday’s Connecticut Post