TORONTO -- Injuries aren't the only thing that set the Blue Jays back this season, according to first baseman Adam Lind.
The 29-year-old Lind, who has been a member of the Blue Jays since making his Major League debut in 2006, believes that smarter play will go a long way toward improving the club.
"We need to mature as a team, both players and staff," Lind said. "We need more discipline, and we need to be much smarter as a team."
"This year was a great learning process for us, and I think it will make us better next year."
The Blue Jays were hovering around .500 for much of the first half and holding their own in the competitive American League East before falling out of contention shortly after the All-Star break.
The volume of injuries the club endured, which is more than a convenient excuse, played a large role in the dropoff. Throughout the season, Toronto lost closer Sergio Santos, starters Drew Hutchison and Kyle Drabek and three-time All-Star Jose Bautista to season-ending surgeries.
But Lind still believes that the club could have done a better job if it cleaned up its play on the field.
"We are the ones who make the decisions, and we need to know when to pull back the reins and step on the pedal," Lind said. "We have a lot of young guys. Some guys were learning in the Minor Leagues, where mistakes are more accepted, and it's a learning process down there. When you get here, you can't make mistakes like that, and that's just not the young guys. I think our whole team has had moments where we scratch our head after the game, like, 'What was I thinking?'
"That's what good teams do -- they don't beat themselves, and a lot of the times, the difference between a playoff team and a team that is two or three out from the playoffs is unforced errors."
Lind, who was optioned and placed on waivers earlier in the season, has one more guaranteed year left on his contract, which includes club options for 2014-16.
In 88 games entering Friday, Lind was batting .243 with 10 homers, 40 RBIs and a .697 on-base plus slugging percentage.
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.
"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."
Blue Jays honor year's top coaches, players
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays presented some of their coaches and players with year-end awards prior to Friday's contest against the Yankees.
Triple-A hitting coach Chad Mottola, who joined the Blue Jays staff for September, was the recipient of the Bobby Mattick Award for excellence in player development. Mottola has been the Triple-A hitting coach for the last three seasons and has worked closely with a number of players who are currently on the Blue Jays roster, including Anthony Gose and Moises Sierra. Toronto's Triple-A affiliate was in Las Vegas for the past four seasons but will be based in Buffalo, N.Y., starting next season.
Blake Crosby won the Al Lamacchia Award, which is give to the scout who exemplifies strong work ethic and perseverance. Crosby joined the Blue Jays' scouting department in 2010 and has drafted and signed a collection of players, including Aaron Sanchez, Toronto's No. 3 prospect, according to MLB.com.
Jim Skaalen, who joined the Blue Jays in 2011, was named Pro Scout of the Year, while Class A Advanced Dunedin closer Daniel Barnes was named the winner of the club's Community Service Award. The club said Barnes participated in almost all community events and represented the organization with class and professionalism. He set a Dunedin Blue Jays record and led the Floirda State League with 34 saves.
The club also honored 2012 first-round Draft pick D.J. Davis, who was selected with the 17th overall pick.
Chris Toman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.