The Toronto Blue Jays have made recent moves that have rejuvenated the fan-base. I too was downright giddy. That has changed. The retread hiring of John Gibbons to run this suddenly talent-infused show is underwhelming and disappointing (in my opinion anyway). Let’s take a look…
I guess we will start with Gibby’s first go around as the Jays on-field boss. In 2004, then GM J.P. Riccardi fired Carlos Tosca and replaced him with Gibbons. J.P. and Gibby were roommates in the minors so this was a hiring based on familiarity as much as anything else. The Jays field boss job was not exactly a plum position in those days (recent acquisitions have made the Jays job desirable today).
The Jays went 305-305 under Gibbons. They finished last, 3rd, 2nd, 3rd. The team added a ton of payroll in his tenure, yet we see the .500 results overall.
The Jays have added a ton of speed recently, but in Gibby’s first go-around in the T-Dot his teams were 17th, 22nd, 27th, and 20th for stolen bases.
I will spare you the sorted details of Gibby’s numerous fights with players. His tussles with guys like Ted Lilly, Shea Hillenbrand, David Bush, and Frank Thomas are well publicized so I am sure you are very familiar with the many times he fought (openly) with his players.
One thing I find concerning is that there have been 25 MLB managerial changes since 2009, and Gibby has been considered for zero of those vacancies. GM after GM has not even had the name John Gibbons pass through their thought process, yet here he is again in the T-Dot.
After being fired by the Jays in 2008, Gibby spent 3 years as the KC Royals bench coach. Did the 2009, 2010, or 2011 Royals show any improvements or do anything to impress you?!?! Not likely…KC finished last, last, and second last in his three seasons as the bench coach (yikes).
In 2012 Gibbons took over the San Antonio Missions in the Texas League (AA for the San Diego Padres). The Missions were the defending champs when Gibby took over and he had them in last place this season (yikes II).
If there is a bizarro-world scenario where Gibby is the best candidate available that is one thing, but there are T-O-N-S of better/more legit candidates. Let’s take a look…
Need a big name? (I don’t, but some do) How about Joe Torre, Ozzie Guillen, Mike Hargrove, heck even Tony LaRussa and Bobby Cox are out there (they are likely to remain retired, but could this rejuvenated roster entice some interest from them?)
Need a coach with previous experience under his belt? Jim Riggleman, Jim Tracy, Manny Acta, and Don Wakamatsu (plus several others) are available.
Looking for an up-and-coming candidate? Dave Martinez (who I wanted…he has been learning under Joe Maddon in Tampa Bay), Tony Pena, Matt Williams, Sandy Alomar, DeMarlo Hale, Tim Wallach, Ryne Sandberg to name a few. Sal Fasano, Paul Molitor, and Robbie Alomar as dark-horses too.
It seems to me that Gibby is different from anyone I have mentioned in that he will be controllable (likely) by Alex Anthopoulos. The Jays GM has never played in the majors so he may require a coach that will be beholden to him for giving him a 2nd chance. That IS Gibby, I just do not agree with the move. Especially with so many better (in my opinion) candidates available.
Joe Girardi, Buck Showalter, and Joe Maddon. Are any of these AL East guys worried about a John Gibbons coached team? Doubt it…
Thank you for reading my work! Much appreciated…