In a year where so much has gone wrong for the Toronto Blue Jays, team GM Alex Anthpoulos added a little bit of right by ending the doubt over whether John Gibbons‘ future with the team decisively:
When Anthopoulos was asked if Gibbons’ future was in doubt he responded: “No.” #BlueJays
— Gregor Chisholm (@gregorMLB) August 27, 2013
There’s probably a joke to be made about how Anthopoulos’ moves themselves have turned out, but I think we can save that bit of snark for another day.
Now, this isn’t the first vote of confidence that the head honcho has given, but given the context of the situation and the minor #FireGibby fervor that has built up among Blue Jays nation over the course of this season, the gesture itself is quite telling of how the organization sees the nightmare that has transpired in 2013.
In short: this team was built to win, and this team is still expected to win — it’s time for the players to take on the consequences of their own failures.
Despite the team having rewritten every chapter of “How to Lose A Baseball Game” this season, much of the losses has come from the individual failures of the players rather than Gibbons’ mismanagement/mishandling of a situation. Sure, there’s been the occasional questionable bullpen move here and there, but compared to John Farrell, it’s practically non-issue.
Besides, Farrell is still over in Massachusetts bungling bullpen decisions for the Boston Red Sox, so …
Was it Gibbons’ fault that R.A. Dickey hit the regression wall this season? That Josh Johnson decided to have the worst season of his career? Or that Brett Lawrie didn’t find his groove until well into the second half? The team may be tired and frustrated of losing, but it’s not in disarray.
While scapegoats tend to be convenient, to change leadership once more after just one year with this newly rebuilt group would be admitting the biggest defeat: that the players are not responsible for what they do on the field.
There are plenty of targets to point fingers at, but the fact is that if this team is going to rebound next season, it’ll be something that they have to work through together instead of hoping that a new voice in the clubhouse will change everything — this is a team filled with veterans, and there are just no more excuses.
Or, in short:
Gibby coming back = players on notice = as it should be.
— The Ack (@TheAck) August 27, 2013