This post is long overdue, it actually should have been one of the 1st posts I wrote, but there was just so much going on in Blue Jays land that I didn't have the opportunity to write anything. So with that all being said this is my formal welcome back Kotter moment for John Gibbons as the new Toronto Blue Jays Skipper!
Lots can be said as to who the Jays should have went out and got as their new Manager, but it looks like the Jays wanted to go with someone who they knew, trusted and who understood the Jays system. Gibby (Outside of a return of Cito) was the only real person who fit that bill to a T.
Over the course of his 1st stint as the Jays manager I found Gibby to be the most fascinating manager/coaches in Toronto Sport. He seemed to garner the respect of his players, media and the fans and none of this was evident when he was announced as the New Manager of the Blue Jays back in November. At first we heard fans angered over the fact that we didn't end up with a big name, but over time and we got the chance to listen to Gibby and AA & hear about the relationship that seemed to be there, I think everyone felt a little more at ease. A great example of the relationship between AA and Gibby was how Gibby was involved in the RA Dickey courting process. That comfort level never seemed to be there with AA and Ferrell. It's easy to say this now since Ferrell is gone, but the Guy seemed too much like a Robot built to say the right thing and over think everything.
If you had the chance to watch the Press Conference announcing Gibbons hire you would have noticed him at his best. His casual "Ah Shucks" type of demeanor mixed with his good old buy attitude put everyone at ease. You would have also gotten the chance to see a guy who talked to everyone by name, had a large amount of respect for everyone there and showed more personality in the 1st 2 minutes than the previous manager did in 2 years.
To the hatters.....
A lot has been said about his run in's previously with players such as Ted Lilly and Shea Hillendrand, but those were soon put to rest with a number of ex players coming to his defense saying he was in the right with each of those issues. To be honest a Skip with some back bone who isn't going to be walked over is exactly what this team needs. There are a number of young guys around that need to be pointed in the right direction and disciplined a little.
Don't forget that Gibby was a great tactician when he was 1st managing with the Jays.. Not only did he his Jays teams have some best year's in recent memory, he was also consistently praised for his management of the bullpen and how well the Jays pitching staff as a whole preformed. Pretty sure that Jays had the lowest Team ERA one year under his watch.
Do I have some concerns with Gibbons? Yeah a little (most of them involve him bringing the wind breaker back), but my optimism outweighs any concerns on how he will handle this team!
Go Jays Go!
If you want to have a giggle, just think of what a conversation between Gibbons and Rasmus would sound like. Pretty sure that conversation would need a translator for the red neck impaired!