Mallee back in the game with Toronto Blue Jays

By John Burbridge

John Mallee’s unexpected summer vacation isn’t permanent after all. The Schereville man was removed as the Florida Marlins’ hitting coach on June 8, but is now back in major league baseball.

“It was great to finally get a chance to see my sons (Austin, 7, and Johnny, 12) play baseball this year,” Mallee said, “but I’m so happy to be back in the game.”

Mallee accepted the position of senior adviser for baseball operations with the Toronto Blue Jays late last week after weighing several offers from different teams.

“It’s a very prestigious position,” Mallee said. “They normally give it to guys with 30 to 40 years of experience in the game.”

Mallee will also serve as a roving hitting instructor for the organization for the remainder of the 2011 season.

“But being a senior adviser is more than just hitting,” Mallee said. “You oversee the whole minor league operation — the prospects, the personnel. You look for ways to improve, on the field and off.”

Mallee was in Vancouver on Monday, then planned to check out the Blue Jays affiliate in Las Vegas before heading to Dunedin, Fla.

Mallee spent 11 years with the Marlins, most of those as the organization’s minor league hitting coordinator. Last season, he was promoted to hitting coach for the major league team.

“It was great working with guys like Logan (Morrison), Chris (Coghlan) and Gaby (Sanchez),” Mallee said of the Marlins’ young stars, some of whom lodged at his home during the winter for offseason training,

“but I already see here that the Blue Jays have an abundance of that type of talent. I’m excited about the opportunity.”