gibbyclash

In each of their two current pieces on the subject, the Toronto Star has a poll up about what the fate of John Gibbons should be. The one in Cathal Kelly’s evenhanded piece, in which he states emphatically that “in every instance, the specific fault for each incremental failure that led to this long slog into mediocrity lies with the roster,” is buried at the bottom. The one in Damien Cox’s puddle of goo is practically front and centre– at the end of his sharted out rant, but in the middle of a bigger pile of ramblings on a number of topics.

Not that I’m suggesting placement has all that much to do with it, but at the time of this writing, Star readers are about 82% in favour of Gibby being shitcanned.

This is, of course, incredibly dumb, and rests on foundation of assumptions that crumble easily with a nanosecond of thought, but which are so ingrained that people will defend them like you’re questioning the existence of God– which, given what they seem to think about a manager’s magical powers, you essentially are.

“Nobody could fairly blame Gibbons for all that has gone wrong,” Cox fully admits.

“At the same time,” he continues, “he’s hardly come in and re-set the table or established a new winning culture.”

Well, then, I guess he’s dogshit, because he hasn’t met some magical expectation that I’ve created for him in hindsight in order to mask the fact that I can’t be bothered to challenge the hopelessly dumb idea that all the injuries and underperformances that sank this year’s club somehow lead back to the manager’s office, and whatever establishment of a winning culture he totally cocked up by not sufficiently filling Josh Johnson or Brandon Morrow or R.A. Dickey with the kind of winning mentality that only winning winners win with (and would have prevented them all from getting hurt to varying degrees, apparently).

Do this many people seriously not realize how incredibly ridiculous this all sounds? The equivalent of a middle management drone, who takes a paycheque home that’s in the same ballpark as the greenest rookie on the club, is there to be some kind of winning culture-establishing spirit animal??? And when players don’t perform and the team isn’t very good it’s not at all his fault, but he needs to be fired anyway because we need to keep trying out different pairs of socks before we find out which ones are the lucky ones???

Don’t get me wrong, managers aren’t so nonessential that any old asshole could do what they do. They need to run a bullpen, they need to strategize in-game– two things that Gibbons does particularly well. And yes, there is certainly an element to what they do that involves creating a positive work environment, too, even if the on-field impact of that sort of thing can only plausibly believed to be marginal, no matter how badly some folks feel the need to pretend otherwise. As I’ve said many times, there are just too many other forces– natural born competitiveness and the drive to maximize earnings– and factors– like the weeding out on the way to the Majors of players who can’t handle pressure or respond negatively on the field to having teammates or managers they don’t like– to hold a manager and his magical culture-creation abilities in anything close to the regard that we do when it comes to that stuff, even as we bizarrely acknowledge the unfairness of how we do so, and completely ignore the chicken-and-egg nature of any of this kind of talk.

Do winning cultures produce winners, or do winning teams produce winning cultures?

The answer actually would seem pretty bloody obvious if people could just be bothered to look in front of their noses and see it. The Rays didn’t make the playoffs in 2012 or in 2009: did Joe Maddon suddenly get dumb or lose his magic, or is the world infinitely more fucking complex than this “the manager creates a winning culture and then the players go win” bullshit? Look at the last two NL Managers Of The Year– Davey Johnson and Kirk Gibson– who each watched their teams go tits up in the year following their award wins. How could that be??? How could Jimy Williams have been a manager of the year? How were Joe Torre and Terry Francona bad enough to be fired from their first gigs? How can Ron Gardenhire and Mike Scioscia win Manager Of The Year and in short time watch their teams fall apart? Or Bud Black, or Jim Tracy?

This isn’t difficult stuff. And yet we still get statements like this, from Dirk Hayhurst of Sportsnet, in a piece titled– of courseFair or not, time for Gibbons to go:

Newly assembled free agent vets and stars can go through growing pains as they settle into their new roles. That raised a lot of questions. Who was going to be the new leader? Was Jose Bautista going to be upstaged by one of the many new stars? Would that create friction? Would the new egos gel together? Would they become the Miami Marlins of Toronto if managed by another wild-card personality like Ozzie Guillen?

Wouldn’t a better question than any of those be something like, “Wouldn’t this team have been miles better off if Brandon Morrow didn’t get hurt and Josh Johnson and R.A. Dickey were remotely close to what they’d been in prior years?”

Of course it would have been. And while I’m not saying that there can’t be reasons to fire John Gibbons that can only be understood by those behind the scenes– or that might relate to pressures on the front office to offer him up as a scapegoat– what we can see from the results tells us nothing about his lack of fitness for the job, and certainly doesn’t say that seasons like this are bound to happen again as long as he’s in charge. And unfortunately for those who are desperate to see him gone, Alex Anthopoulos obviously believed that about his first tenure, too, or he would have never re-hired him in the first place.

At Baseball Prospectus today, Sam Miller makes an astute observation on Mike Scioscia and the Angels’ awful season, which I think applies nicely to the Gibbons situation:

Measuring manager contributions is tough. But the Angels are underperforming by about 20 wins or so this year. Unless you think managers are worth something close to 20 wins, then this isn’t all, or mostly, on him. Maybe some of it is, but good luck finding which some. And once you concede that most of the 20 wins aren’t his fault, and that the Angels are perfectly capable of underperforming by, say, 17 wins by chance and awfulness alone, then a) you must allow that for all we know they’re also capable of underperforming by 22 wins, and Scioscia has actually been worth wins this year and b) it stops mattering all that much, because somebody was going to get fired if this team won 79 games, too, and they dropped that far with or without whatever Scioscia was or was not worth.

The Angels, Miller’s piece notes, are expected to replace either their GM or their manager following this season, according to a tweet from Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, hence the talk about someone being fired regardless.

I have a very strong feeling it’s not going to happen here, though, and that the Jays are going to sell hard on their three-year vision and insist that most of what when wrong is completely unattributable to the manager. Why wouldn’t they? It’s the truth.

Just for curiosity’s sake, though, I want to know what you all think, and how DJF readers differ from those at the Star. So check out our Smokin’ Poll and weigh in!

Comments (221)

  1. Gibby should stay.

    • AA is the architect of this club and the poor mix is on AA. Yes there were injuries too, but every team has those, consider the Yankees DL for instance. Gibby always did a great job with the bullpen and this year was no exception (two relievers on the All-Star team). I’m not sure anyone should lose their job just yet. I’m not going to waste your time or mine talking about JJ or Bonifacio, we all know what went wrong there. Going forward I’m just hoping they can retool the roster. Buehrle is currently 10-7, if he wins out and goes 15-7, I’d be moving him to get out from under his contract.

      • And replace him with?

        • Gibby isn’t to blame for the injuries. What Gibby has proven so far is that when presented with a team of bitch ass pansy wusses, he does nothing. If you aren’t going to gut this team, Gibby has to go if only to find that lucky pair of magic socks that can turn these chumps into champs. You lose nothing by firing him, you risk a repeat of 2013 if you keep him.

      • pitcher wins! ya!

  2. Nope, Gibby should stay. Not his fault the pitching has been dreadful.

  3. I can’t believe we’re even having this discussion. Bah humbug.

  4. I voted that Gibby should not be fired.. but I’ve changed my mind, he should only not be fired if he agrees to stop wearing the muumuu.

    • I voted he shouldn’t be fired, but I’d want him fired if he stopped wearing the mu mu so the results of this poll are still accurate.

  5. Fire Aramark, that’s a real post.

  6. Do some re-tooling in the offseason, add some SP and go into 2014 with Gibbons as manager. The window is still wide open.

    • A short leash next year I can understand, just because the pressure to do something if they start poorly will be insane, but yeah.

      • I agree with Stoeten here, IF he is brought back he should be on a short leash, like as in, REAL short. But if they are going to give him another chance there cant be a window for excuses like injuries and so on if he’s fired so that means Rogers / AA have to go out and pull in some more talent. If it’s a healthy but still losing or under performing team come May,, buh bye.

        • You do run the risk that if you do fire him next year, the selection of managers on the open market might not be that strong. If you are going to fire him, do it at the end of year and see what other teams do with their managers. At this point, I want to work with a lot of options.

          • If they do fire him in say May (I was thinking June yesterady), appoint a temp manager (Demarlo Hale?) til the off season and do EVERYTHING they can to bring back Butterfield.

            • Huh?

            • @ Karl, If I ever see Brain Butterfield as the manager of the Jays I will lose complete faith in this organization.

            • +1

              I was against firing Gibby for the longest time but now I think he should go in favour of Butterfield. And I was against hiring Butterfield as manager a while ago. This isn’t just a mediocre team, it’s a disaster. And the roster aren’t the only ones who are under-performing. The coaches have had little or no impact this season. Lawrie has improved. EE has done well. Er…that’s it.

            • *IF* we fire Gibbons, I’d be okay with Butterfield. I mean, what do we know about him as a manager, besides the fact he was credited with some pretty awesome defensive shifts?

    • If you’re blowing the whole thing up (not suggested) then you fire Gibbons & start fresh.
      If you’re going to keep the core together and take another run in 2014, (the best course)
      then you stick with AA and Gibby and give them another shot.
      As posted above, you do what you can to fill the holes and carry on.
      If next year is as crappy as this, then all bets are off.

      • I dont follow your logic at all, I came to the opposite conclusion. If you blow it up, give Gibby a chance to show what he can do with some real players. If you are keeping this team of heartless mercenaries, get rid of Gibby as he has proven he can’t manage this team as it is currently constructed.

  7. On one hand, it’s not his fault that there’s been injuries however I am going to point the finger at both him and the rest of the coaching staff for not being able to pull the best out of the players they have available. That is what good managers do, they pull everything out of their players, every hit, steal, strike etc etc and sorry Gibby has not done that. I believe in some of the coaching staff but not all of it. We have seen managers fired for less havent we? So while everyone likes him and says he’s a stand up guy, what success has he ever had at the major league level? And why wasnt he able to bring the best out of the players he had to work with this season? Weve all seen managers win more with less talent on the ball club. So at the end of the day.. sorry, I vote go.

    • And what if Gibby is replaced and his replacement is an inferior in game manager who can’t manage a bullpen and fails to platoon despite all the evidence to the contrary? What if then the team is healthy and the pitchers are better and there’s no gaping hole at C, 2B and LF and in the last weekend of the season that manager does the dumbest things and costs the team a playoff position? WIll you be content that they were closer in spite of the manager?

      • Like I said, there are managers that have won more with less. I think you missed my point. With all the injuries this season, I certainly wouldnt have expected a top finish but what I wanted to see from Gibby is pulling the best out of the players he had to work with which he hasnt. With what he has had to work with this season, there’s no reason that this team shouldnt be at least a .500 team. If Gibby could have pulled .500 ball or slightly better out of this team then I would be a big fan but he didnt, not even close. So with that as my reasoning, I voted he goes.

        • What are you supposed to say to a veteran like R.A. Dickey that would “fire him up” and prevent him from pitching terribly?

          • There is nothing to say to Dickey, other than asking about his health and how he is feeling. Dickey is a good pitcher, just not an ace. Fourth starter and he would win you at least 13 games in that spot.

        • I didn’t miss your point, “Pulling the best” out of an athlete and human being is a big load of shit. You think Dickey and Johnson, with the right person telling them to “DO BETTER!” would have? Managers are not fucken motivational speakers and psychologists. What a load of crap.

        • So if you believe Gibbons should be fired, and that if he were doing his job properly they’d be at least at .500, that means you think Gibbons, alone, is somehow worth at least 7-8 wins. That’s bananas.

    • How do you judge whether or not “he gets the most out of his players”, though? Through performance – but them how do you know whether to attribute that to the actual players talent, random luck, etc.? Performance isn’t a constant, it changes and fluctuates drastically sometimes. Yet people continue to think “injury, bad numbers, gotta be the manager!”

    • instead of commenting in clichés – ‘puling the best out of players’ – why not ask, has Gibbons put his talent in the best situation to win?

      Davey Johnson, possible hall of fame manager, defines ‘chemistry’ as a situation where everyone knows his job. implied by that is that the manager then has everyone working in the optimal position. i can think of many places where Gibbons has put people in the best position for them to perform – Brett Cecil is one example of many. that he hasn’t ‘fired up players’ souls’ . . . is a contention that you cannot prove.

      so i kindly invite you to reconsider your comment. i think that if you stop thinking in clichés, you’d be off to a good start.

    • Despite an abysmal start AND plenty of injuries, they got into contention at the end of June. But even if you “pull the best out of the players they have available” with half of those players from the Bisons, it doesn’t mean shit all if Wang is pitching and gives up 7 runs.

      JPA’s OBP is so utterly irrelevant compared to having a rotation with an ERA of 5. So unless you blame that ERA on Gibby not being able to turn the Wangs of the world into aces, instantly, at will, then it doesn’t matter. Neither do a few more errors than the average team.

      You can run out the AL all star lineup but if you are relying on Happ, Esmil, Redmond, Wang as regular starters, you’ll probably miss the playoffs.

  8. He should go. The city has turned it’s back onto him and he deserves better.
    Would you want to stay?

  9. A lot of the anger towards Gibby boils down to the bed shitting, injuries, and awful luck in the past two seasons. This string of shittiness is bound to end any time now. Gibby can handle on-field tactics and (apparently) can sort out douchey players. Keep him. Just look at it this way- if he got canned sales of Skoal in Canada would plummet upwards of 97%

  10. Interesting getting to the end without a mention of Farrell – who may have been an easy inclusion in this post when talking about how much a manager matters.

    • You can say what you want, but Farrell did better last year with much less, and probably more injuries, and he’s done wonders with the Red Sox who struggled last year with a star packed squad.

      Obviously it’s not all him, but the hipster haters in us must accept this.

      • I’m not sure if the big difference in Boston is that Farrell is so good, it’s just that Bobby V was just so bad last year. And don’t forget, the Sox have a healthy Pedroia and a healthy Ortiz this year, that counts for a lot.

      • Worst comment ever.

  11. “The answer actually would seem pretty bloody obvious if people could just be bothered to look in front of their noses and see it. The Rays didn’t make the playoffs in 2012 or in 2009: did Joe Maddon suddenly get dumb or lose his magic, or is the world infinitely more fucking complex than this “the manager creates a winning culture and then the players go win” bullshit? Look at the last two NL Managers Of The Year– Davey Johnson and Kirk Gibson– who each watched their teams go tits up in the year following their award wins. How could that be??? How could Jimy Williams have been a manager of the year? How can Ron Gardenhire and Mike Scioscia win Manager Of The Year and in short time watch their teams fall apart? Or Bud Black or Jim Tracy?”

    You just said if perfectly. I’d live to hear a counter argument to this.

    • The part that really did it for me was whether winning atmospheres create winning teams or vice versa. Remember how awesome it was when we won 11 in a row? Gibby didn’t do much differently, but the team was winning, and the atmosphere followed.

      I don’t think it was him out there playing, think it was the players that took care of the winning.

    • You’d love to hear the counter argument?
      Here it is.

      Different managers and their knowledge base work differently in different situations.
      Take the Farrell, as an example. He tried to utilize his experience and made decisions on what he has seen being successful. But by trying to have the players fit his model,he failed to produce wins in Toronto.The model he has used in Boston and specific knowledge of the players abilities there, has produced success.
      Another example, would be a comparison of mangement styles.Consider a domineering type vs a laid back type.Some players will respond to one type but not the other.
      One thought to consider about Gibby. When rehired this time ,the concern was about his confrontations with players in his previous stint. Could he be over compensating and playing it too blase for fear of creating controversary? And the players are responding in kind?
      Nobody knows,except the people in lockroom,But from the outside looking in,players seem to be more angry with the situation they’re in rather than being angry about correcting the problem.They’re angry about losing but not angry enough to be pissed off about the mental mistakes,fielding mistakes and fundamental baseball.
      And just for Stoeten.
      This is all IMHO.

      • That’s not a counter-argument, it’s a bunch of cliches. A counter-argument would answer how it is that Maddon failed to make the playoffs after doing so the year previous, or how managers can be manager of the year and then have a bad team the year after. Is it because their managing style changed?

      • RADAR – This was disappointing to read.

  12. How about we trade AA, the Ted Rogers statue and Ching Meng Wang for a decent pitcher?

  13. Firing Gibby is as asinine as the thought consistently shit out on radio and television waves recently that this doomsday outcome was obvious because the Jays added “losing” players from “losing” teams like Reyes, Dickey, Johnson and Buerhle.

  14. fucking people . . . Gibby’s one of the better things about this team.

  15. I said it before I’ll say it again…I wish we would have gotten Francona in the offseason. That being said, let’s stick with Gibby for another year unless there is someone out there who can do a better job (I don’t think there is right now….).

    • I wished that Francona got the call also, but I just learned (thanks Jeff Blair) that he did not want to come here. You have to wonder why now.

      • Because he’d be competing directly against Boston, where he’s a local legend, and playing them several more times a year than he’d have to coaching in Cleveland?

    • Francona is the first one I thought of when the topic of “bring a wining mentality to a club sorely missing one” is brought up.

      When Cleveland made some of those offseason pick-ups (e.g. Swisher) I thought, “isn’t that cute, Cleveland wants to try and compete”. Never did I think they’d be where they are this late in the season.

      It’s hard for me not to believe Francona has not played an important part in that reality.

      • +1, I always think of Francona as well. He’s had a great impact at Cleveland.

      • Is it really Francona didn’t want to come to Toronto, or just that he really wanted to go to Cleveland? The big catch for him in the Cleve seemed to be his past relationships with several of their front office people…I’m sure managing in the easier AL Central played a role, but at the end of the day, Francona wanted to work with people he already knew and was already comfortable with.

    • Sal Fasano as next Blue Jays manager!

  16. Sorry guys, he will be fired at the end of the year, but it is not all on him. There are some players in that club house who need to go.

  17. I know Stoeten touched on it, but even Jeff Blair was harping on about dressing room problems etc. I can’t know anything for sure, but it would seem reasonable to me to suggest that when teams are losing and players are underperforming and mistakes are being made all over the field, it’s going to be tough to not have dressing room problems. If I was in that dressing room I would probably be openly hostile to numerous of my team-mates and would probably not care as much.

    And to that point, what is the manager’s responsibility in that situation. Is he paid to manage egos or baseball games? I would think that the coaches would have some responsibility to get their players focused or at least working on the issues, but these are big boys, playing for big boy money in the bog boy league. They should all be playing better.

    • You’ve just named an effect and said that it caused a cause. You’ve got your sportsradio trope logic backwards.

  18. With Mike Scioscia possibly out there at year end,,, the Jays should jump all over that. Years and years of success and probably just in need of a change of scenery to revitalize that success.

    • Lmao sciosca sucks as a manager

      • Based on?

        • based on use of Jeff Mathis. please pay attention to baseball.

          • He has won a championship and has playoff experience. He would be good for this team, but he will never leave the west coast.

          • You are a complete moron.

            • Ill agree however that the Angels losing this year is complete insanity with the line up they have. I dunno if thats on Scioscia though because he has been forced to deal with some pretty big egos this year.

              • He has the wrong kind of guys now. When he won it all, those guys were hard nose players who did anything to win. Josh Hamilton is a lost cause.

                • i:e pulling the best out of the players he had to work with. He got 100% effort out of hard nosed players that wanted to win. Players that wanted to break their backs for him. Gibby doesnt seem to be able to get a player to break a bad habit nevermind his back.

    • Scioscia would run JPA out of town too!

    • What about Charlie Manuel?

      • Why not Bobby Cox,,, hell why not give Sparky Anderson’s ghost a call too.

        • The ghost of George Steinbrenner is thinking about asking the ghost of Billy Martin to manage the Yankees next year

        • Oh I’m sorry, this is coming from a guy who would jump all over Mike Scioscia!

    • HAVE YOU LOOKED AT WHAT THE ANGELS ARE DOING RIGHT NOW? HAVE YOU SEEN HOW BAD THEIR BULLPEN IS AND HOW BAD THEIR STARTERS ARE? DO YOU NOT SEE MIKE SCIOSCIA DOING LESS WITH MORE THAN THAT WHICH WAS GIVEN TO GIBBY?

      • Drew – don’t argue with people who don’t watch baseball. ie, people who think Josh Hamilton isn’t ‘hard-nosed enough’, because he lost his hard-nosedness immediately after running into his 87th wall during his mvp year. …

    • The Angels are an overpriced lineup massively underperforming based on the amount of talent on this team.

      The Blue Jays are a somewhat overpriced lineup massively underperforming based on the amount of talent on this team.

      Scioscia coaches the Angels. Gibbons coaches the Jays. If we’re replacing Gibbons, it’s because we think he’s to blame for the Blue Jays underperforming. If we believe that, then we’d also have to believe that Scioscia is responsible for the Angels underperforming.

      Thus, replacing Gibbons with Scioscia makes sense in what world?

  19. I don’t think the entire season is on his shoulders, but I also don’t think he’s done too much to earn his job and I’m not blown away with the work he’s done with this team. It’s very well possible that he could turn the ship around next year and do a great job with it, but it’s also possible that things could tank just like they did this year and we could all be making a bunch of excuses as to why a team that, on paper, is ridiculously talented ended up in the basement.

    In the end he’ll probably be fired because someone has to be held accountable and the manager is usually the one on the chopping block. Maybe they’ll find someone that can do a better job (or have better luck) next year, maybe not. But if AA is able to find someone else that has the capacity to do a great job I think he should go after him.

  20. Keep him!

    My Twitter timeline from the past 5 days is pretty much all in defense of Gibby. Was working on turning it all into a piece of my own.

    I’ve got an open invitation going. Anyone that can make a baseball case as to why Gibby should be fired is welcome to present it to me at @BJaysBlackboard. I’m not even looking to fight about it, I just want to see someone do it. It’s been days and nobody’s come at me with anything but a bunch of magical manager garbage.

    Only two rules:

    1) It has to be based on stuff he actually controls, which in my mind is lineups, bullpen and occasional in-game tactics.

    2) It can’t include the words “leadership”, “culture”, and “fundamentals”.

    • Make a baseball case as to why Jose Bautista shouldn’t be cut from the team. Only one rule

      1) You can’t mention homeruns, plate discipline or throwing strength

      If you’re not going to mention the most important thing someone does it’s tough to make an argument for or against them. It’s no coincidence that every WS team since ever has had a Proven Winner behind the bench. Gibby couldn’t even win a hot dog eating contest.

      #winningculture #firegibby #winningiseverything

  21. As I mentioned in the last thread – we got our shit together somewhat and got back into contention up to July. But even then we were facing injuries and it actually got worse since then. So… I don’t know, seems like Gibby was on a good run even despite everything. Just couldn’t run on the water forever.

  22. I can’t believe that Hayhurst wrote that fire Gibby article. What total nonsense.

  23. What I wonder the most about all of this is what happens instead of rehiring Gibby AA chooses someone who has managed in a few cities before and has been hired and fired a few times? Chances are the starting pitching still sucks, C, 2B and LF are still holes and the team shits the bed BUT we have some ‘name’ manager who has a track record somewhere else besides Toronto to rely on. So the local writers don’t feel as comfortable or superior as they do know so I figure these articles aren’t being written at the pace they are calling for his head. My two thoughts.

  24. I don’t necessarily think he should be fired, but I do find it kind of annoying that around here PEDs and good Managers never had any impact on anything ever because I say so, and yet Mike Trout was obviously better than Miguel Cabrera because I have this magical formula that tells me exactly how valuable good defense is compared to good offense even though the underlying defensive metric is kind of specious.

    And anyone who says that you can’t really measure the objective value of defense so maybe you should just consider it as an ancillary factor is called a luddite.

    At the end of the day, I don’t believe 90% of managers impact their teams in any tangible way. But maybe they do – I honestly don’t know – and neither do any of you.

  25. I voted no but I do have a caveat – if for some reason the Angels lose their minds and Mike Scioscia gets canned I would replace Gibby with him. Otherwise no.

    And despite everyones logical argument that Gibby shouldn’t be fired for having lousy pitching – plenty of managers have been before not sure why Gibby would be immune whether its deserved or not is another story.

  26. The argument you’ve made here is very one-sided, which is fine, but also involves some magical thinking. There’s clearly an impact that a manager can have on a team, both in terms of clubhouse atmosphere and on-field performance. Watching the Jays goof their way on the bench through losing to the Astros, the worst team in baseball, is a pretty strong indictment of the clubhouse side. It was appalling to see.

    In terms of performance, the Jays have made a horrendous number of infield errors, many of which have cost them games. They’ve also failed to execute simple ‘small ball’ baseball moves that would have given them a shot in some of the closer contests. If the parallel you’re making above is to Scioscia it’s undeniable that Gibbons has lost the team many more than three games through lack of discipline or enforcing the idea that players have to come to work with a basic skill set.

    So let’s be charitable and say that Gibbons has lost the team half a dozen games. Would you keep any day-to-day player in his position that has lost the team that many games?

    The answer is no.

    • Talk about one-sided arguments – you may have done well to mention the fact that half the team playing the Astros were Bisons just a few days before.

    • To your first paragraph:

      1. They are out of the race and they’re playing the Astros. Do you really think they’re excited about that?

      2. Drew from GB was in the Dodgers clubhouse earlier this year (who are one of the best teams in baseball) and reported that he’d never seen a looser environment – everyone was laughing and joking around. I don’t understand why you think players can’t have a fun time and play well at the same time.

      Finally, I have No idea where you got the -6 hand figure from, but I’m pretty sure that is innacuarate.

      • It’s fine to be loose when you’re winning. When you’re not winning you should be focused — on winning.

        The argument made above is that Scioscia is responsible for the Angels being down three wins over the season. Gibbons is responsible for at least that many and I would say many more, simply based on the repeated failure to execute in the infield. That’s the manager’s job — to drill those guys when those skills are not at a professional level. I think that was the point behind Griffin’s recent tweat about the A’s taking infield practice after some games with poor play.

        It is, incidentally, also the knock on Gibbons from the last go-round. He’s not great at atmospherics and not great at enforcing discipline. But other than that he’s a great manager. Look at his win record. Oh wait…

        • .491
          Gibbons ‘ record as a manager.
          I’m sure it’s all coincidence and bad luck that he produced such a stellar percentage.

          This is the thing most of you don’t seem to understand about sports and, more specifically; baseball.
          You can measure a lot of different things, you can flip the relationships, spin them, invert them, square them and the divide them by pi and then; you can say I know X and Y and Z but, you don’t know baseball or…sports. Or anything really.

          Ask yourselves this question: when was the last time you were right?
          and then shut the fuck up.

          • Are you for fucking real? A manager’s winning percentage???

            Banned for stupidity.

            • Seriously? You ban people for the most ridiculous reasons. What else do you measure a manager on other than his career %
              Stoeten, you are a bearded assmonkey and your acolytes are just as simple minded and overbearing in their ridiculously myopic understanding of baseball or reality.
              Don’t bother banning me again, I’ll ban myself. Life is too short to be wasted trying to enlighten the dull and dark minds that reside in here

  27. Yeah Hayhurst has to go. Somehow as much as he and Zaun are complete opposites, I dislike both of them.

    Both way too smug about everything.

  28. I don’t think it’s Gibby’s fault but but I also think it’s annoying to act like he’s an expert tactician.

    He’s an average in-game manager who seems to get along with his players. This would seem to be good enough to keep, but also not a travesty to lose. I’m indifferent regarding his employment.

  29. My only real complaints with Gibby have been allowing lefties (Lind, Rasmus) bat back-to-back in a few too many games, allowing a LOOGY to come in late game and to kill two birds with one stone, and seemingly not playing the shift as often as it is warranted (look at how well it’s going for The Pirates this year). Beyond that, hard to fault him for anything, and the good stuff he does – paying attention to platoon splits, allowing Bautista and EE to bat 2/3, and great bullpen management, make up for those 2 small negatives.

  30. The culture of the Jays needs to change. Winning needs to become expected, not just a possible outcome if you get lucky.

    Teams like the Yankees, the Sox, the Cardinals, they’ve developed this culture. Buck Showalter has made the Orioles believe they are going to win every day.

    Gibbons isn’t the key to what sunk the 2013 Jays (that would be pitching), but you can’t just not try on another pair of socks just for fear of change.

    I voted for a change, not because of any other reason as Gibbons was given a chance and failed to get the best out of the team. Time for the next guy. Jays have a very small window with the present key guys in their prime, they need to be willing to try anything.

    • If you went back to spring training (from the future) and showed the DL moves thus far, you would not expect any better than they have done.

      By your logic Gibby has done just fine.

      In fact with the bullpen being a question mark back then, you might have even expected worse.

      Dude: Lawrie, Reyes, Rasmus, Melky, Dickey, Morrow, Johnson, Santos, Happ, Bautista. That’s 80% of our starters and 5 of our projected 9 batters!

      • Most of those guys were for a short period of time, please stop blaming injuries, did you see the Yanks roster 2 months ago? Maaaybe the pitching we were a little short of luck, but teams target reliable arms for a reason, and they do not rely on Morrow, Johnson, and Happ for 3/5′s of a rotation.

        • That’s why so few analysts at ESPN and Baseball Prospectus and literally everywhere were picking the Jays to win the division, right? Because nobody would could possibly be expected to do well relying on those guys, right?

  31. I don’t think Gibby does himself any favors with the masses who say he doesn’t care by sitting down, leaning back when talking to media. Like it or not, these things look bad yo people. Fair or unfair, some pr people could do wonders for this guys overall demeanour.

  32. I’d lean against firing him, but it wouldn’t surprise me particularly he if he came out as the fall guy.

    One thing worth thinking about, though: this team came into the season with a whole bunch of seasoned superstars who have never played together before, and a whole lot of coaches who have never coached big leaguers before. I think the argument towards letting them stay, at least the majority of them, comes down to whether you think their greenness contributed to the shitfuck of a season it was, and whether you think another overhaul would just cause more growing pains.

  33. I think if you believe that Edwin and Jose’s rise to elite level hitters was influenced by the coaches around them then you have to believe it’s possible the coaching staff (including manager) COULD have had an influence on this club that would be as influential but in the wrong direction. I’M NOT SAYING THIS HAPPENED.

    We’ll never really know for sure. It’s really complex.

    In the real world you’re not really evaluated by the methods you use but rather by the results that they yield. It’s an unacceptable to take a club to the bottom. It might not be your fault, or it might. Management probably doesn’t know.

    That said, if I’m GM

    1) I don’t know effect the manager has
    2) Manager is fairly easily to replace
    3) I shit can Gibby not because I know he’s part of the problem but more just in case.
    4) If I’m wrong situation probably isn’t much worse so not much to lose really

    I make my living playing a different sport and I’ll tell you that I haven’t talked to 2 coaches that

    • The thing is, a GM can only fire so many managers before the heat turns to him, and I think AA is much better off in terms of his own job giving Gibbons another shot.

      • Maybe. In my mind If this team is a bust then AA has till AT LATEST next off season. If I’m Paul I’d say he’s gone if they are this bad come next all star break.

        Look I hope it doesn’t come down to this but you gotta remember that if they are going to rebuild and tear this thing down then Jose and Edwin’s contract expire at the end of 2015. You’d need a new GM in place to deal these players in off season of 2014.

  34. Continued…

    have the same swing theory.

    If one of those guy’s theory’s add up with my swing flaw then shit yeah he’s a great coach and yes he has a huge impact even through really all he’s doing is helping me figure out my problems quicker.

  35. It boggles my mind that anyone can believe that Gibbons is the reason for the Jays awful season! Give the guy a chance and see how things play out next year. I can’t believe that 82% of the people polled want him gone… that might be because they are fans of Damian Cox and his musings though. It’s been an awful year to be a Jays fan but I want to see how 2014 starts out and see if things get any better before thinking the manager has to go!

  36. Should have a poll on Pete Walker getting fired. Probably another scapegoat move, but it’s the more logical of scapegoat moves.

  37. Stupid poll. Put that poll up before you write an article that convinces voters to vote ‘no, keep him’. Then you might get some actual results. Bias polls are stupid ones.

  38. Gibby’s Gibberish is the only reason I listen to post game interviews.
    He’s a beauty.

    I have trouble understanding laying the blame on a guy with a packed infirmary.
    Gibby didn’t have his starting third basemen for 2 months, his number 2 and 3 staters for 2 plus months, his number 5 starter for 2 months, his arguably best hitter/RF for a month, his star SS/Leadoff hitter for 2 months And finally HAD to play a healthy Arencibia and Boni/Izturis because there were no better in house options.

    John McGraw himself could not have helmed that mess into a winning season.

    The man deserves another shot with a healthy team.

  39. Yo GM, you need at least one starter, a second baseman, a catcher, perhaps a left fielder. You need to do all that on what amounts to a shoestring budget considering what’s already on the books. Now go do all that, AND go find a new manager not because he isn’t the man to do this job, but because we need to satisfy the kind of mouthbreathing fans who read the shitstains on paper Damien Cox likes to call journalism and agrees.

    Sounds like a smart way to run a ballclub!

    • Has it actually been definitively stated by the team that they are now on a “shoestring budget”? I get the sense that its an awful lot more flexible than most would believe. If they’re going to spend $120 mill to lose, you’d have to imagine they’d consider adding a bit more if it meant improving the team…though we’re all well aware that no amount of money guarantees wins.

      • It certainly hasn’t been defined for sure as a shoestring budget.

        • Even if they go to 150M that’s still not a lot of money to work with considering just how many holes that are on this roster. Unless they dump Buehrle or someone inexplicably takes Melky off your hands you’re already about 130M in.

          • I think there was an article written here not long ago which determined that replacing the current black holes on the team (2nd, left, catcher) with league average players would represent a significant improvement over the current players. If that’s true, those positions could be easily improved with only a small budget increase, assuming average players are available for the Jays to acquire. (Apologies to Stoeten if that post wasn’t here, but was elsewhere)

  40. BRING BACK CITO!!!!

  41. Smokin Poll:

    Are 100% of all online polls are stupid and completely meaningless?

    1. Yes
    2. Yes

  42. Speaking of media people who needs to be fired. Who here is listening to Wilner right now? Holy s%&* !!!!!!!!!

    • What’s wilner saying? He’s the least sensible, by far, of all the fulltime Jays media. His nonsense claims in April & May that losses then did not matter have come back to bite him, & he still carries on with his smirk & smarm, rather than admit he was wrong

      • That the Jays are far from checking out this season and that they battled hard against the Astros. What series was he watching????

      • @Slappy.

        Wilner has ackowledged that the Jays won’t make the playoffs this year.

        The team could afford to lose games in may if they went on a big winning streak in June which they did.

        At 38-36, they had a shot to play meaningful games in August. Since the streak, they are 19-37 which is a disaster.

    • That pudgy bastard.

  43. Alright Stoeten, I’ll have to ask this. I’ve read article that Hayhurst posted on Sportsnet – to which sounded fairly reasonable based on his points – and if we lived in a world where Joe Madden was the manager of the team this year, all injuries aside and with starting roster in place from day one, would the record be different?

    I’ve got another question to ask following a reply.

  44. I’m starting to look at AA. I always thought he was brilliant but I can’t believe guys from AAA don’t know how to bunt.

    Looks like some of the coaches in the minors are not doing there job. And how can almost all our starting pitchers go down the last 2 years. I don’t have the time or inclination, I wouldn’t even know where to start, to figure out if there is a correlation between when AA became GM and when all these injuries started happening but someone should study it. Did they start or stop doing something in training, rushing guys up, change the mound? i don’t know but it does not look like coincidence any longer. It has gotten ridiculous these last 2 years.

    Is AA a control freak and is telling his managers who to run out there? I don’t know but we’ve had 2 managers who both looked like idiots 2 years in a row.

    Or maybe it is just coincidence.

    A very frustrating year.

    I say keep Gibby but if someone like Scioscia becomes available. Well..

    • You mean Scioscia, who presided over Maicer Izturis’s bad fundamentals and this year’s lack of winning culture in Anaheim???

      • I never said anything about “Maicer Izturis’s bad fundamentals and this year’s lack of winning culture in Anaheim”

        I think the whole team has been embarrassing. Except for about 4-5 guys.

        I think it’s time that maybe we look a little higher than the manager. Maybe AA’s not perfect.

        • Or maybe some guys got hurt, some guys underperformed (or were mis-evaluated), and they can fix it.

      • Are you trying to hint that Sciosica is a bad manager?

  45. Gibby has been one of the best performers on the team…..keep Gibby, fire the rest….start with 3rd base coach

  46. I agree with much of this article but it also seems to suggest that nothing is ever the managers fault and that really nobody ever deserves to be canned.

    Gibbons has made some questionable calls this year but I do think this team stinks with or without him.

    As for Stoeten’s one beat drum on injuries that is getting more than tired. This roster just isn’t very good. There will be injuries next year too just like there was last year.

    Change the manager and this team still stinks. Hoping for everyone to be perfectly healthy all at once with this group is a crackpipe dream at best.

    • Isn’t every manager going to make some questionable calls, in hindsight? Or some calls that appear to be questionable by the viewer at home, but are informed by some statistic or understanding that would would likely only to be available to that professional baseball club?

      This manager has done pretty well, it seems. He’s had to make an awful lot of bullpen calls and do a lot lineup experimentation. This is going to magnify some of the mistakes.

      • How would you know if he did well?

        Isn’t that a call that you would have to be closer to the ground floor to answer?

        After all if they had a good record that wouldn’t be on him either.

        • He was dealt a shitty hand.

          Plus the fact that the bullpen was a bright spot this year, and the bullpen being one of the few things directly influenced by the manager…

          • So cherry picking the couple players on this team that have played well means Gibbons did a good job?

            That’s fucked to say the least.

            At least I acknowledge that no fan has enough info to make this call. Why is that such a hard stance for people to take.

            Managers do have an effect but it’s not really in the fans interest to think they can access this.

  47. Italian-American catchers make the best managers (except for Mike Scioscia).

  48. It’s true that the injuries would have precluded the team contending this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a rational discussion on the subject of Gibbons and possibly conclude that he should be replaced.

    I mean, If the Jays had a better catcher than JP Arencibia they still would be out of contention. That doesn’t mean the catching situation doesn’t need to be addressed.

    • is there any part of the game in particular that you felt he was below average on as compared to other managers in the AL?

    • But you can precisely identify how the catching has failed the club and how it can be upgraded. To attempt to do so for the manager, unless you have demonstrable examples of incompetence, it means hunting for ghosts and, usually, extrapolating beliefs from tiny pieces of data or horribly flawed assumptions– it is essentially impossible to have a “rational” discussion under those conditions.

      • Fair enough but isn’t it also fair to say that he could in fact be doing a bad job?

        If the organization, someone in position to make this call, ends up firing him can anyone really say rationally that they should have kept him?

        There are ways to access a manager but you need more information that a fan or a blogger has. Why call anyone stupid for having an opinion based on nothing when the opinion to keep is also based on…………………..nothing.

      • You’re the one saying the manager of a team that’s 15 games under .500 (never mind the expectations) deserves to keep his job.

        He should be fired because the team has been awful under his watch.

        The only argument to counter this is “You can’t prove it’s his fault”.

        He’s obviously not helping. Unless you think a team with this core *should* be 17-20 games under .500.

  49. Don Mattingly. That is all. Is he a magician now that the Dodgers are like 40-10 in the last 50 games? Hell no, the players finally started clicking and actually putting together great numbers. Not to mention calling Puig up and Ramirez being healthy. Shit, people wanted his head before this record streak. Now? He’s up for NL Manager of the Year. Gibby should stay.

  50. Knee-jerk reactions almost never pan out in baseball. AA needs to stick to his existing plan and just focus on the holes in the roster. Mostly starting pitching.

    If Anthopoulos fires Gibbons, then Anthopoulos fails at Anthopoulosing.

  51. Holy fuck! The starting rotation fucking stinks. For the munsons who think Gibbons should be canned: how is he going to win games under those circumstances? Simple answer: he’s not! How hard is that to understand? If the Jays got adequate pitching, the team isnt in the toilet like they are now and all the holes at C, 2B, and LF aren’t as much of a concern as they are now. I’ll go as far as saying that Gibbons should stay for the entire window for winning that AA identified. Once 2015 ends and still no playoffs, I don’t think it’s unfair to then argue for canning Gibbons and AA and bringing in a new front office and manager.

    • Should a manager ever be canned?

      Why do those who think he should stay think they are in a better position to make this call?

      Both sides of this argument have plenty of stupidity for the same reasons. I just get a kick out of the stupid calling the stupid names.

      • Yes, they should be canned when the organization needs to go in a new direction, when a team has clearly run its course, and when the manager’s behaviour becomes problematic for the organization.

  52. While, like with anything, one can quibble with decisions here and there (and the season as a whole has been incredibly frustrating) the main thing that has torpedoed this team is starting pitching (that’s not to suggest there aren’t other issues – production out of LF, 2B, C), but really, decent starting pitching and this team is probably closer to .500 and we’re talking more about the positions I noted. I mean, can anyone blame Gibbons for Morrow missing almost the entire year, Dickey being relatively mediocre, and Josh Johnson being essentially unplayable?

  53. He should stay

    Fucking morons saying winning culture get out

  54. Another Jays minor league player tests positive for drugs. What does AA have to say about that? That is twice now.

  55. Gibbons is not the reason why the Jays are having an awful year. My best guess is that he had little effect on the end of game results.

    In my opinion, he is an excellent bullpen manager, despite the fact that the team has coughed up the game in the last inning of play in 7 of the last 11 losses (mostly due to the team hitting outages).

    I thought he was either too slow or too fast with lineup changes. Batting Maicer second after the all-star break was something that raised my eyebrows (IMO he should have shifted JoeyBats into 2 and Edwin 3 like earlier in the season). Batting Lind and Rasmus together after they started to slide their BAs against LHP bothered me. Keeping JPA 5th in the batting lineup well into his slump. Then, in May, when the team was tanking, he screwed with the lineup pretty much every day which I also found to be a bit of an overreaction based on panic.

    I also thought that the team as a whole was not prepared to play baseball in April. They looked rusty on the field. Maybe it was the WBC, maybe it was the turf which was new to the middle IF and LF. They just looked unprepared, and preparedness is something you can put onto management. Maybe they needed to fly up Reyes and Izturis/Bonifacio a few days early for some infield on the turf.

    But really, it was the injuries that did themselves in. In starting pitching, it took a long time for someone to step in, and Redmond and Rogers have been just okay. No one could predict Josh Johnson’s piss poor season, and RA Dickey’s regression was not predictable either. Typically, you should have enough depth in AAA to replace a couple of starters, but with Morrow, Happ, and Johnson on the DL at the same time, no one stepped up (Weber, Romero, Wang, Redmond’s first go-around, Laffey, Ortiz) and Dickey and Buehrle were not very good either. None of that is on Pete Walker or Gibbons.

    Add to that: Bonifacio’s god awful season with his .070 infield BA (career average is.170) which pushed his batting average down by 50+ points, poor defense (which was entirely predictable with the departure of Johnson and Escobar) and the inability for Boni or Izturis to step into 2B. Poor defence because Lawrie wasn’t there for the 1st half. Poor defence because of Cabrera’s bum leg. Poor defense behind the plate, attempting to throw out runners from his knees.

    And add to that Bautista, Lawrie, Cabrera, Lawrie, Reyes, Izturis, Davis, Arencibia have been injured for some games this season. And RA, Morrow and Johnson played through some injury as well

    This team will continue to suck with the AAA Bisons in the OF, the lack of starters and the overworkedness in the bullpen.

    Gibbons isn’t to blame, but he isn’t a hero either. Mediocre.

    • So to paraphrase. “The pitching has been awful. That’s not [pitching coach] Pete Walker’s fault”.

      • No, what I think I’m saying is that Gibbons has been mediocre. There are thing that he did in the lineup and I’m not sure how the team was on season or game preparedness (it seems that when the Jays face someone for the first time, they are clueless and the opposing starter has the game of their life. Those are items that management does control, and I think it’s the only faults you can find in Gibbons. But I haven’t seen brilliance in him at all.

        He’s part of the failure of this team, of which you can pin about 80% on injuries which is out of his control.

        So keep him, start the team fresh next year, upgrade your 2B and C, and see where things end up next year.

        • Why? What has he done to earn another season?

        • …also you said

          “(Weber, Romero, Wang, Redmond’s first go-around, Laffey, Ortiz) and Dickey and Buehrle were not very good either. None of that is on Pete Walker or Gibbons.”

          I don’t know how you can say “the pitching wasn’t good, but it’s not the pitching coach’s fault” with ANY confidence

  56. So the Blue Jays have been terrible this year. We can’t quantify the worth of a good manager in terms of wins. The best we can surmise is… “there is a chance that some managers MIGHT have the ability to add wins, or improve the quality of their players”

    So…to simplify…
    1) There are managers who are capable of drastically improving their team
    or
    2) Managers have a minimal effect on the outcome of games

    If 1 is true, we know that Gibbons doesn’t have this capability.

    If 2 is true, there’s no loss in firing him anyway.

    Personally, I don’t really care about “fair”. I have no personal attachment to Gibbons, and I have been confronted with the unfairness of the world on a day to day level. Therefore, I don’t think there is ANY downside to bringing in another manager.

    We all thought similarly when Butterfield left last year. “Well too bad we lost him, but y’know…we never won with him anyway”. Why not try something different?

  57. I also maintain my old opinion. Every job, every task, every project…just about everything we do in the world can be done more efficiently with good leadership. I don’t understand why people in this blog seem to think that baseball is an exception to this rule.

  58. This team is full of cocky Hispanics..

    How can Gibby control that madness :(

  59. Right Stoet. Gibby may need to improve on a few things. But not enough worth turfin him.

  60. Kind of unrelated, but just because Butterfield’s gone, why did we completely abandon our extreme defensive shifts from last year? The ones that helped us rank near the top of infield defense?

    • This is a good question.

      • IMHO Butterfield makes that weasel Farrell look good and if the can Gibby, they should hire Butter.

        • Agreed. Of the coaching changes Butter was the only true loss. If we can fire anyone let it be the useless tit Riveria. We can get a Spanish translator anywhere. If I see him wave one more runner home that obviously does not stand a chance. I’ll staple him back to the press box. Where he actually belongs.

  61. Fire Ben Affleck!

  62. Should Gibbons be fired? Meh, probably not. Will he be fired? There’s no way. AA can’t fire him, he said too much to the media about Gibbons being his guy, really hurts his credibility if the guy he hand picks gets fired after the first year. So Gibbons is back next year no matter what, unless AA convinces Gibby to “resign” and tell the public it was all his own doing and not influenced by management. What can you really rate a manager on anyway? Well I’ll tell you what after I make up a bunch of categories.

    I will give a rating of nailed it, meh, and stinky face to the responsibilities I can think of.

    Managing bullpen: Nailed it
    Managing starters: Nailed it, yes the starters sucked, but this is not Gibby’s’ fault. The fact that I recall having roughly any equal amount of games where I thought “He pulled that guy too soon” and “He left that guy in too long” probably means he was doing it just right.
    Managing lineup: Meh. It took Gibbons way too long to settle with a lineup (obviously now it’s completely fucked anyway) and players were moving all over the place in the order. It’s hard to figure out what works when the order is different every night as it was the first few months of the season. Also a few questionable substitions/non-substitions, but not too many really.
    Calling Steals/Hit & Run: Nailed it. Never know when he actually put the stop sign on or off so difficult to rate. I assume he did well because there weren’t many Jays thrown out in horrible situations to steal/hit and run.
    Bunt Calls: Meh. Kawasaki can bunt. Most of the rest of the Jays can’t. Gibbons just refused to believe that as the year went on. No point in forcing them to fail.
    Player Preparation: Meh bordering on Stinky Face. Yeah I know it’s impossible to quantify, but there clearly was a lack of polish coming out of spring training and the Jays aren’t exactly known for grinding out tough practices. I’m sure they go through more than we see, but for defense and bunting in particular, it didn’t translate on the field. Those two tasks boil down to getting tons of reps, the Jays apparently didn’t get enough.
    Managing Clubhouse: Stinky Face… kidding. Any clubhouse speeches he gave probably slowly trailed off to a nonsensical mumble while the players stared on bewildered. Anyway the clubhouse seemed fine, if it wasn’t, who cares?

    So overall Gibby gets about a Nailed it-. Again, I think he went to0 far with the “hands off” approach, but most of the rest was fine.

  63. I’m going to preface this by saying that I do not necessarily think that Gibbons should be fired. I am of the belief (as many here are) that talent matters most and this team was undone by poor starting pitching.

    However, I don’t understand why things like ‘culture’ and and ‘leadership’ are dismissed outright as ‘magic’. These topics have been pretty thoroughly studies academically, and positive relationships have. Been found time and again between. Strong leadership and performance, cohesive team culture and performance, and more. Its all out there to read if you choose to look for it.

    When the difference between good and very good or very good and great is as marginal as it is in professional sport, I’m not sure why people are so quick to dismiss something that may provide marginal positive benefits.

    I’m not saying a better culture would have made this a playoff calibre team. I do think its fair to evaluate Gibbons’ style and see if it is the right fit for this group of players and make a decision based on that.

    • Are those studies based on normal workplaces or professional sports teams?

      • In what way are they different?

        • +1 zig. What’s the fucking difference between a sports team and a workplace? If you think there is one, you just don’t get it.

      • Not even professional sports teams, just baseball teams right?

      • Stoeten -

        Studies have been done on normal workplaces, amateur and collegiate sport and professional sport. They all find a similar result.

        Now, don’t get me wrong.. I’m not about to say That’s the main issue with this team. I just feel that to dismiss it outright as some sort of voodoo is as wrongheaded as placing all the blame on it.

        • +1000000000000.

        • Totally agree, this blog is so outright dismissive and close-minded about the mental aspects of the game. Even bringing it up in the comments, you get hate from those who blindly agree (and some who share the same opinion) with everything Stotes says.

          People tend to talk about it being more to do the poor performance of our players, but perhaps that is somewhat linked to those dismissed ‘voodoo’ factors?

  64. I think we should only shitcan Gibby if we can hire that Masshole Ben Affleck to replace him? It almost certainly wouldn’t help the Jays but I wouldn’t be subjected to his playing Batman, which would be pretty great.

    Makes about as much sense as all the other “reasons” to fire Gibbons, no?

    • Yeah other than the fact that they’re 15 games under .500 and the team is terrible, Gibbons has been great!

  65. Damien Cox is the equivalent of Jon Morosi. They’ll say and write anything that gets them page views. I don’t blame them, they get paid to do it. Who needs self respect anyways?I

    It’s the people that eat up those inane articles without asking questions who are the worst. Those people give me no hope.

  66. It’s unlikely Gibbons will be fired. AA probably won’t do it because it will come back on him. But that’s the wrong reason to keep the guy. I hate to use Boston as an example, but they had Valentine for one terrible year. He was more obviously and openly problematic than Gibbons but the results were roughly similar. They got another guy in–I hate him but he has been very successful–and this year the team is amazingly improved. I would have loved it if Farrell had messed up but he didn’t so fair play to him. I’d like to see what Butter could do.
    And, like the poster above inquired, why weren’t the highly successful exaggerated shifts used this year?

  67. Ever notice that almost every discussion of a manager – whether it’s by Kelly or Cox or Stoeten or the guy at the bar – begins with one’s opinion of the manager? And that it proceeds from that a priori position to make sense of his performance? So if one begins with the position that Gibbons is a good manager, one quickly veers to the notion that the fact that his team is going to lose about 90 games can’t possibly reflect poorly from him. It can’t be his fault. He’s already been identified as a good manager. Similarly, when you begin with the position that you don’t like the manager… well, the team can’t win enough games to make you happy. There will be bitching and complaining.

    With very few exceptions, every manager is the right guy for some situations, the wrong guy for other ones. Gibbons’ last team before this season underachieved so badly that Gibbons had to be fired. I think we can all agree that his 2013 team didn’t live up to expectations. Even his best team, the 2006 team, was also a major disappointment. It’s possible that a team with high expectations may not be the best match for his skill set.

    Which means he might be the right guy next year…

  68. While I voted to keep Gibbons, I came up with one possible exception while skimming through the comments.

    Seemingly one of the popular sentiments is that Gibbons may be fired as a sacrificial lamb for the fans.

    Because there must be a major change to sell hope to the fans for 2014 or some other such nonsense…

    Personally, I don’t agree with this horseshit.

    However, has it ever been studied whether there’s a relationship between firing the manager of a “disappointing” team and maintaining/improving revenue streams such as attendance, TV etc?

    If there is some evidence that firing the manager does, indeed, sell hope and, by extension, lead to extra revenue, then I’d be in favour of firing Gibbons.

    Espescially if AA could sell Rogers on tossing another few million into next year’s major league payroll.

    As much as I like Gibbons, both because of his managing as well as his personality, I’d take a $145 million payroll over a $140 million payroll for 2014 even if it meant he had to be sacrificed.

  69. I think gibbons is a nice enough guy and all, but perhaps the better question is why should he stay?! What has he done well in the face of all this shit to motivate or pick this team up even with no true shot at the playoffs. Will he help attract new players of need? Does he offer this team new direction and do the players respond to him well/like playing for him?

    I think focusing on if he should be fired isn’t the right angle at all, rather we should be looking at what he does bring looking forward based on what we do know from this season and if not what we want, do we have something better as an actual option out there.

    I personally am on the fence. I always wanted butters to get a shot, but that ship has sailed frontoronto waters it seems. Yet farrel did go back to boston right.

    • So you think lack of motivation and not being “picked up” by some magical manager has been the difference between them being where they are and their being in the race?

      • No, i clearly stated even now in the face of no playoff hopes? I’m truly asking questions here, as I am not sure he has ever shown me enough to stay during either stint here in Toronto. Yet I guess you have a position to protect versus looking at this objectively. Next year after more failure you can effectively change your position based on a larger sample size, yet do we truly expect gibby to turn this team around?

    • I would really have liked someone to get traded because then you could hear what was happening in the clubhouse. Usually they spill there guts when they leave.

      You would still have to take it with a grain of salt but you would get a better understanding of what the hell happened.

  70. In early May I turned to my wife and said, “This isn’t good.” Bonifacio had just committed his third error of the game and on returning to the dugout Gibbons sauntered over and patted him on the back. Empathetic gesture, wrong message. He should go.

  71. The way I look at things, I look at the direction of a career. If Joe Girardi, for example, gets canned, and ends up becoming a bench coach of say, the Kansas City Royals, then gets demoted to managing a AA team, those are steps backwards in ones career as a result of poor performance. They’ve been judged by MLB and they have determined that they don’t deserve to run a major league ball club for whatever reasons that we don’t realize.

    None of us on this forum have the knowledge to really know what makes a great manager except what columnists tell us to think.

    Gibbons wasn’t asked to manage a major league club after he was fired. Neither was Cito. Bobby Cox, Jimmy Williams, and John Farrell were asked.

    Gibbons is ok, that’s it.

  72. What evidence is there (in five years of managing) that Gibbons is a good manager?

    I cite a losing record this season with a lineup that most predicted was playoff bound as evidence.

    SHOW ME THE EVIDENCE that Gibbons deserves to stay.

  73. Every year there is a manager that takes on a bad situation and makes it better and then gets consideration for manager of the year. This year that will not be John Gibbons.

  74. Before the season Gibbons was talking about the team and his role within the team. He said something along the lines of that these are all good ball players and he’s going to just let them do their job. That is not the way you coach. A good coach needs to get the best out of his players, and he certainly has not done that. Granted there has been injuries, but from the outset of the season, he had the wrong mentality. It was his job to create chemistry within that clubhouse, get the best out of his players, instill the winning culture, but he is not the ALPHA-coach like a Joe Girardi that this club house needs.

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