If there were ever a couple of media members I’d term “friendlies” when if comes to Cito Gaston, they’d probably be Richard Griffin and Jerry Howarth—I suppose Bob Elliott would want on that team, too, but let’s just ignore him for a second—which is why it was somewhat surprising today to have both of them questioning Cito’s ability to continue as manager of this team.
Granted, Jerry didn’t actually say that he was of the opinion that Cito shouldn’t be back. In fact, I was half asleep when he was on the radio with Mike Hogan this morning, so I may actually be completely making this exchange up—especially since the Fan 590 appears to be going out of its way to deny the existence of Mike Toth, or something, so there are no clips from this morning’s Bullpen on their website at the moment—but I’m pretty sure that, when Hogan suggested Paul Beeston’s interim tag being removed made it more likely that Cito would return, Jerry responded with something like, “Oh, no. I don’t think that’s the case at all.” Or, at least, that’s what I think I thought I heard.
Griffin’s comments, from his article in this morning’s Toronto Star, are even more emphatic.
“What does this mean for Cito Gaston?” he mused about the Beeston news, before suggesting—I think rightly—that “the appointment of Beeston is the only way that replacing Gaston as manager of the Jays – which is now likely – can go smoothly, without rancour and repercussion.”
He added that “the Jays need a new manager moving forward.” So… score one for Griffin.
Jeff Blair had a little baseball-related chat over at the Globe and Mail this morning, and while it was ostensibly World Series-related, most of the questions seemed to be about the Jays.
Blair, sadly, doesn’t see it the same way Griffin does, saying that “Cito, unfortunately, will be back next year.” Where it gets interesting, he said, is what they do with the coaching staff. “Do they stick a coach on his staff staff who will be the manager in waiting? Knowing how the Blue Jays like blasts from the past, we should all light candles right now that Ernie Whitt isn’t anywhere near the staff,” he quipped.
Perhaps more importantly—at least, when it comes to soothing the fears of those who worry that little will change with Ricciardi’s assistant now in charge of the team—Blair says that “Alex has told me he thinks the Jays could have pulled off the Alex Rios for Tim Lincecum deal if it had been kept under wraps, and allowed things to develop to the point where other players would have been involved. I think he went to school on that trade, and will move quietly.”
That’s… uh… a little bit nails. (Alex’s attitude, I mean, not that the public nature of those rumours may have blown the deal of a lifetime– though, I’d wager heavily that those leaks were coming from the Giants side). I mean, remember when the Peavy-to-Chicago deal showed up out of absolutely fucking nowhere right at the trade deadline? Ricciardi’s idea that trade talk is going to be made public anyway—so why not be the ringmaster of the shit circus of your franchise’s doom?—is pretty much complete bullshit, and it’s nice to hear that Anthopoulos recognized this. In fact, I’d imagine there were quite a number of solid lessons in what not to fucking do to be learned from studying Ricciardi these past few years.
Also of note, Blair says that his “sense is the chances of getting an extension done with Roy are better now than they were two weeks ago,” and “Beeston’s return pretty much guarantees that everything Rogers has been saying publicly is true.” If for those two reasons alone, this is a little fantastic—of course, you’ll still find the odd Negative Nancy who will bitch at nothing short of his own genius, as demonstrated by his performance in our comments sections, being recognized and his being appointed President, CEO, GM, and field manager for life, but for those of us living in a little town called reality, the Jays obviously could have done a monumental fucking shit-tonne worse. (cough! Paul Godfrey! cough!)