Jays Roundup - Some Silicone Sister With a Manager Mister
Tuesday, October 05 2004 @ 08:25 AM EDT
Contributed by: Pepper Moffatt
Told me I go what it takes
She said "I'll turn you on sonny to something strong,
play the song with the funky break"
And go-cart Mozart was checkin' out the weather chart to see if it was safe outside
And little Early-Pearly came by in his curly-wurly and asked me if I needed a ride
Asked me if I needed a ride
- Gibbons Named Manager:
- Spencer Fordin:
He was the man of the hourglass. John Gibbons even got to name his own time on Monday, when he was named Toronto's full-time manager in a press conference at 10 a.m.
That time-frame was necessary because Gibbons had an afternoon flight back to Texas, headed home to spend some much-needed time with the family. In the baseball business, it never lasts long -- pitchers and catchers report in 134 days, if you're counting.
- Shi Davidi:
You won't meet many people as easygoing as John Gibbons, a man who slaps backs, speaks with a southern drawl and always has a smile on his face.
Underneath the surface, however, resides a strict baseball disciplinarian who will take players to task if he doesn't see the proper effort and determination on the field. "That's a side to Gibby you'll never see," Toronto Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi said Monday, shortly after naming Gibbons the club's manager in 2005.
- Richard Griffin:
Some things don't seem to add up regarding the hiring policies of Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi.
For example, on Sept. 3, 2002, the Jays gave John Gibbons a two-year extension to remain as first-base coach. Yesterday, they offered him only a one-year deal to remain as manager. No option year, nothing. Hmm!
In fact, it all still sounds pretty "interim" to many. Gibbons is a great guy. He's fun to talk to about many subjects. He's like a million friends that are enthusiastically into sports and life. But would you let them manage your major-league team? The fact is Gibbons seemed more comfortable being a coach, where he should have remained.
- Geoff Baker:
Former manager Tosca once said of Gibbons that he "has a little red-ass in him'' and could get downright nasty when he had to be — especially with umpires. Ex-Jays pitching coach Gil Patterson, fired last week, said his biggest disappointment was that Gibbons, who he considers a friend, didn't stand up and argue his case for him. But Gibbons instead stood up yesterday and explained why changes had to occur, with both he and Ricciardi citing a decline in the progress of some pitchers. It takes a certain survivalist instinct to do that and Gibbons will need his smarts, cunning and "two steps ahead'' vision to remain the manager.
Moffatt Asks: Is a 20-30 record with a difficult schedule worthy of having the interim tag lifted? How much of an impact should sample size play in the decision?
- The removal of the "interim" tag on Gibbons wasn't the only change to the coaching ranks yesterday:
- Spencer Fordin:
The coaching staff is set, pending one more addition.
The Blue Jays welcomed Ernie Whitt and Brad Arnsberg to the staff on Monday, when they also confirmed John Gibbons as the full-time manager. Mike Barnett, Bruce Walton and Brian Butterfield will be back in their original capacities -- hitting coach, bullpen coach and third-base coach, respectively.
The only thing missing is a first-base coach, and Toronto plans to add that later in the week. Whitt is poised to serve as a bench coach, and Arnsberg steps in as the new pitching coach. Both played in the big leagues, though Whitt has never served as a Major League coach. He's spent the past few seasons as a roving catching instructor, but he's ready for a change.
- Tim Wharnsby:
Even though Ernie Whitt has been added to the Toronto Blue Jays' coaching staff as manager John Gibbons's bench coach, the former Jay remains interested in managing the Canadian baseball team at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
As expected, Gibbons, Whitt, new pitching coach Brad Arnsberg, hitting coach Mike Barnett, third-base coach Brian Butterfield and bullpen coach Bruce Walton were each given one-year contracts yesterday.
- 36 hours later and many are still in shock due to the sudden passing of John Cerutti:
- Spencer Fordin:
The local baseball community remained in shock and sadness on Monday, 24 hours after learning that John Cerutti passed away at the age of 44.
A former player and broadcaster, Cerutti is best remembered as a husband and a father of three children.
"It was a very difficult day. Not only did I lose a good friend and teammate, just a good man," said Ernie Whitt, Cerutti's former catcher. "It's very difficult to talk about, but it just shows you how quick life is and how it's taken away from you. What I can say about John is he was a very devoted man to his family. He loved the game of baseball, but more importantly, he loved his kids."
- Following up on Jonny German's "The Future As Of Now: Your 2005 Toronto Blue Jays:
- Shi Davidi:
An inept offence can take much of the blame for a 67-94 record in 2004, resulting in the Blue Jays' first last-place finish since 1997.
But with Delgado coming off a four-year, $68-million US contract, ace Roy Halladay's salary going up to $10.5 million in 2005 and a payroll expected to be at $53 million, the Jays can't afford him and address other needs too.
"That's a reality," said Ricciardi. "I don't even know if we can pay him money that's going to make him say, 'Hey, I really want to stay here.' We're going to be honest with him, we'll tell him this is what we can afford."
- Tim Wharnsby:
The time-honoured baseball tradition of a club's general manager gathering local reporters for a postseason postmortem is steeped in hyperbole.
Toronto Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi kept up the custom yesterday, when less than 24 hours after his club finished with 67 wins and 94 losses -- its worst record in 24 years -- he preached more patience before the Jays could be a contender.
"I don't think we'll be knocking on the door next year," the third-year GM said. "This is going to take time to build up. It may take five years, it may take 10 years after I'm gone.
- Curtis Rush:
Patience, Blue Jays fans. Patience. And don't worry about the Jays meeting a similar fate to the Montreal Expos, who have played their last game in Canada.
The Blue Jays today said they are committed to fielding a competitive team every year, without spending gobs of cash to get one.
- Allan Ryan:
THE SHOPPING LIST: "A designated hitter, possibly a first baseman (and Carlos Delgado is still available), maybe another infielder," said Ricciardi. "Another starting pitcher would allow us to keep (Miguel) Batista in the pen, then maybe two or three more bullpen guys." Can Jays address them all? If the budget holds at $50 million (all figures U.S.), probably not.
THE OUTFIELD: Reed Johnson and Frank Catalanotto platooning in left, Vernon Wells in centre and Rios, looks like, the everyday guy in right. "I think (Rios) can be a good player and I think the power will come."
THE INFIELD: "Hinske and Hudson (Eric and Orlando, at third and second) and, even though it was a small sample size, he handled himself well and I'd go with Adams (at short). Question mark at first. It also could be a situation where we get another outfielder and maybe Catalanotto plays first."
Moffatt Asks: Are there any reasons for the casual fan to believe that the Jays won't finish in last again next year? I'm afraid I don't see too many.