Archive for the ‘Gibbers’ Category

Searching In Vain For A Culprit

Cleveland Indians v Toronto Blue Jays

Baseball is a funny game sometimes– almost as funny as its fans. The Jays wasted an excellent Josh Johnson start, losing 4-3 to the White Sox on Tuesday night, in a game where John Gibbons’ debatable, yet defensible, decisions are being blamed in many quarters for the defeat. Indeed, baseball games are often won or lost on the margins– on nearly imperceptible inches and either-or decisions with slim differences between possible outcomes.

What gets me sometimes, though, is how hung up we get on one instance or another being the misstep, the spot we can place the blame for defeat, when no such point really actually exists. In tonight’s game, for example, looming over every late-game decision that John Gibbons made, is the fact that his club– his lineup, which benefited from his argued-against decision to bat J.P. Arencibia third– could only score two runs on Dylan Axelrod, a 27-year-old 30th round pick with 79 career innings in the big leagues, who put up both a FIP and an ERA above five last year, and whose fastball so far in 2013 has averaged less than 88.

The Jays’ first run allowed was the result of a pitch in the dirt that J.P. Arencibia couldn’t handle, while Josh Johnson was in the process of striking out Hector Gimenez. The home side could have caught a big break in the fifth, when after a lead-off Colby Rasmus walk, Maicer Izturis hit a ball down the first base line that may have had eyes for a double… had it not landed in Paul Konerko’s Adam Dunn’s glove.

Yet for all the weirdness that came before it, the loss was all John Gibbons’ fault, if you ask some.

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Gibbons, come on, man, you can’t leave the desk like that!

In anticipation of the hoopla over the weekend, I was saving this one as on last kick in the ass on the way out of town for the Senator from Massachusetts, John Farrell, but… since the series against the Red Sox didn’t quite work out the way anyone outside of Greater Massholia had hoped, it didn’t seem real appropriate to post it. Today, though, I think we’re all safely calmed, ready for the Detroit Tigers, and ready to hear how, on an episode of Tim and Sid last week, J.P. Arencibia compared the communication the club received from ol’ fuckface with how it’s been like so far with Gibbers.

SID SEIXEIRO: How, so far, has John Gibbons communicated with you guys in comparison to Farrell. What are the differences?

J.P. ARENCIBIA: I feel like just more letting the guys be themselves and play the game. And, you know, understand that guys are here for a reason and they’ve done what’s made them successful, and you need to let them go out there and not try to force the hand or change the way the game is played. I think last year we might have tried to reinvent the wheel a little bit, and that hurt us sometimes. So I think Gibbons really has a laid back feel. But, I think another thing that he did, and he did with me yesterday, is that I missed a sign and I came into the dugout and he was all over me, and, you know, ripping me apart– in a great way. And I think that’s necessary, and we didn’t have that last year, and I think that’s a big part of who he is.

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They may not always do it on the record, but Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun sure is a wizard when it comes to getting people to talk– especially scouts and executives with juicy, interesting things to say about the Toronto Blue Jays.

I don’t know if it’s just because he’s got so many connections he can simply print a source’s title– even including the league he works in!– and still no one will be able work backwards to figure out who’s dishing him the goods, but it’s a pretty remarkable trick he pulls, and at a big conference like the Winter Meetings, he lands some invaluable stuff.

I’ve already pulled some from his latest to us in the Escobar piece below, but there’s much more in there, and two things, in particular that stand out…

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The Gibbons Love-In

When John Gibbons was fired by the Blue Jays in 2008 we were still deep in the wake of the shitstorm that occurred when a frustrated JP Ricciardi lost his patience and accosted a Wednesdays With JP caller for suggesting the club should pursue Adam Dunn. Ricciardi, you’ll recall, insisted to the world that he’d done research on Adam Dunn, and that Jays fans wouldn’t like Adam Dunn, because Dunn didn’t actually like baseball.

The Jays were 35-39 at the time, two seasons removed from the 86-win 2006 club that stands next to 1998′s Roger Clemens/Tim Johnson year as the franchise’s best since the World Series days. They were seven years into Ricciardi’s tenure as GM, heading towards Gibbons completing his fifth fourth full year as manager, and last in the American League East, atypically behind an Orioles club that would eventually fall back to earth, and a Rays club that was in the midst of breaking out.

In terms of self-preservation for a GM who held all the power and was facing an uncomfortable number of questions about his own competency, it made too much sense to fire the manager at the time he did. And for the hopelessly cynical former president of the club, I suppose it probably even made sense to patronize the fans and jeopardize the development of the organization’s young players in order to miscast Cito Gaston as some kind of saviour.

John Gibbons’ ultimate fate was inextricably linked to these forces, even though his most glaring fault as a manager was that he didn’t have a particularly good team to work with in the first place.

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Elliott: The Return of Gibbers


Gibbons, come on! You can’t leave the desk like that!

According to a report from Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun, the Jays will announce on Tuesday morning that they have re-hired John Gibbons– Gibbers!– to be the manager of the club.

No, really.

I just… I don’t know where to even begin, except to say that I hope it’s true, that I think this is friggin’ awesome, and that I’m certain people are going to absolutely hate it. And that that makes me like it even fucking more.


No fucking way!

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