John Gibbons will be the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2015, “unless something crazy and unforeseen happens,” reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports this evening. And while those of you who oddly, desperately want him gone might be inclined to cling to the slight hint of a door left open that he’s not entirely in the clear — though… actually you all just seem to enjoy venting like children without worrying if there’s the slightest logic behind what you’re saying, as long as there’s a finger to dumbly point, so you probably secretly want him to stay — the big takeaway from Heyman’s latest is that ol’ Gibbers is pretty damn safe. As he should be.
“Team higher-ups are said to be planning for next season without even a thought they might consider changing manager,” Heyman says. “ Team higher-ups are said to like Gibbons and are especially pleased with his in-game managing, which they view as excellent.”
I tend to agree. Yes, September has, at times, been a bit unsettling, but it’s likely at least some of the weird moves we’ve seen have come at the behest of Gibbons’ boss. I think it’s just as likely that some of the moves haven’t been quite as bad as they’ve sometimes felt. In fact, I wrote about that just today in the comments section of a post here, expounding on the somewhat curious decision to bench Colby Rasmus when the club was still in clearly in the hunt for a playoff spot. “Given the season he’s had, and what Gose had done in the big leagues, and Pillar in the minors, until that point, there’s at least an argument for having played those two over Colby, even when the season was on the line,” I wrote. “I’m not sure it’s an argument I buy, but it’s not a slam dunk one way or the other — especially when you consider that all of Rasmus’s offensive value is all tied up in his once-in-a-while power (40 extra base hits in 376 PA), while Gose was actually doing a much better job at avoiding outs, which as the ninth guy in a top-heavy lineup isn’t maybe as bad as the wRC+ makes it look.”
Whatever the case, it doesn’t really matter what I think or anybody but those “team higher-ups” think. Which… um… actually would be slightly more comforting if not for some of the additional stuff in Heyman’s piece.
Team management believes the culprits for a so-so last few months that basically ended Toronto’s playoff hopes to be the bullpen woes and a spate if injuries to middle-of-the order bats Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Lind and Brett Lawrie, and more recently, Melky Cabrera.
Now, those are obviously the easiest excuses to make. They’re the ones that won’t cause a ripple like the more honest, “We insanely went with a second baseman who couldn’t hit his way out of a paper bag, had no depth to cover for the inevitable happening, and then when the third baseman went down we were even further up shit creek except for those few weeks when Juan Francisco wasn’t hot garbage — oh, and our bullpen completely went to shit, and our five-win centrefielder turned back into replacement level dreck.” And, of course, as Heyman notes, “Toronto people don’t talk about the team’s finances,” so they certainly couldn’t have said that much of the reason for their inability to add better players to their roster was money related, or what others did, which is that the club “had no extra money to add players at the deadline.”
So… maybe we shouldn’t worry about the nature of the club’s anonymous excuses to a national U.S. reporter?
Yeah, let’s not worry about it! Gibbers is back! Most likely!