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Sportsnet reports the following:
The Toronto Blue Jays fired manager John Gibbons on Friday, along with three coaches including Ernie Whitt and hitting coach Gary Denbo and replaced him with 1992 and 1993 World Series winning manager Cito Gaston.

Along with Gibbons, coaches Marty Pevey, Ernie Whitt and Gary Denbo were fired as well. Gaston will be in uniform tonight, alongside first base coach Dwayne Murphy, third base coach Nick Leyva and hitting coach Gene Tenace.


If Gaston is managing the team presumably it's not for just this season and that would seem to indicate that Ricciardi's job is safe. That is, if there was going potentially be a new GM he'd want his own manager and Gaston wouldn't be coming in.

As the poll on the left indicates, 67% of people think that Gibbons should go and 74% think Ricciardi needs to go (and 55% say clean house entirely).  As I mentioned the other day, I think that a GM should be allowed, at most, 2 coaching hires before he's removed.  It was fine to replace Buck Martinez; he wasn't JP's guy.  So he chose Tosca and eventually that didn't work out.  So then he chose Gibbons and now that apparently hasn't worked out either.  If you go 0-2 on your managing hires why should you be allowed to make a 3rd?
Back to the Future - Gibbons Out; Gaston In | 144 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Tyler - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#187639) #
Gibbons, Pevey, Whitt and Denbo out, Gaston, Dwayne Murphy, Nick Leyva and Gene Tenace in. 
Squiggy - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#187641) #
Doesn't it seem like this might be a Godfrey move? JP always went to great pains to distance himself from the past regime(s), so it would be hard to believe this is his call. I would actually read this as evidence of erosion of JP. But who knows... we'll have to decode the spin-doctoring tomorrow.
AWeb - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#187643) #
Well, it certainly worked last time (a mere 15 years ago) when Cito took over mid-season. This should be..interesting? A change in scenery for the players should do them some good at this point. But wow...this move reeks of desperation. I mean, the coaching staff from 15 years ago? Bizarre. All muddled thoughts in my head. This is a confusing day to be a Jays fan.
King Ryan - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#187645) #
Agree with Squiggy, this seems like it might have come from higher up. 

More than that, doesn't this just seem like such a Leafs thing to do? Ugh.



Thomas - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#187646) #
Here is the official press release. This is as out of left field as they come. Not the firings obviously, as one could foresee Gibbons and Denbo getting the boot (who really knows about Pevey and Whitt, but JP never seemed to like Ernie), but the hirings are out of nowhere. Except maybe for Murphy who has interviewed for the position recently, or at least been considered a candidate.

Pistol - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#187647) #
Doesn't it seem like this might be a Godfrey move?

My suspicion is that it sounds like a move made to appease the higher ups that allows Ricciardi to keep his job.
Noah - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#187648) #
I feel like im in some kind of bizarro world.  I read the article and thought it was some kind of April Fool's Day (in June) joke...



Marc Hulet - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#187649) #
I am OK with this move as long as it's going to be re-evaluated at the end of the season.
Helpmates - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#187650) #

Is Gaston the long-term answer?  Hardly.  If they're going to harken back to the "Blue Jay Way" days, why not just show Ricciardi the door, as well.  He's always demonstrated a disdain for the organizational philosophy which guided the franchise to the heights of baseball glory in the first place.

This is still an organization is dissary and shall continue to be as long as the baseball decisions continue to be made a man who possess the soul of a fast-talking used car salesman. 

ChicagoJaysFan - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#187652) #
Doesn't it seem like this might be a Godfrey move? JP always went to great pains to distance himself from the past regime(s), so it would be hard to believe this is his call. I would actually read this as evidence of erosion of JP. But who knows... we'll have to decode the spin-doctoring tomorrow.

I'm saying this out of ignorance, so I have no answer myself - other than Gaston and the recently fired managers, who else was available as a replacement for Gibbons?

I don't believe Butterfield has ever been a manager before, but he's the only other option that comes to my mind.
TheyCallMeMorty - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#187654) #
Bringing back Cito is one thing.  But bringing back his staff is ludicrous.  What have these guys been doing for the past 12 years?  Does anybody know?

King Ryan - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#187656) #
I had heard before that Gaston wasn't all that interested in managing again.  Maybe a stipulation of his hiring was that he wanted to bring back his coaches.
BallGuy - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 01:50 PM EDT (#187657) #

WOW! Has MLSE taken over down at Rogers Centre? This is goofy. Maybe Cito should put some pyramids under the player's bench and try to harness some mystical energy. Who is going to come back next? Fergie Olver?

This is not one of the better days in Jays' history.

 

 

Thomas - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#187658) #
What have these guys been doing for the past 12 years?  Does anybody know?

Who knows? As former baseball players and coaches, I doubt they sought employment in the sport.

Actually, according to the aforementioned press release, Leyva spent 2007 as the third base coach for the Brewers and Tenace spent it in the Cardinals organization.

Butterfield has indicated he might like to manage in the future, if I recall correctly.
Squiggy - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 01:52 PM EDT (#187659) #

I'm saying this out of ignorance, so I have no answer myself - other than Gaston and the recently fired managers, who else was available as a replacement for Gibbons?

Good question, CJF, but if you are going back to a guy that last worked in the 90's that opens up a ton of names... basically every guy that ever managed in the majors and is not doing so now. For example, Lloyd McClendon would be fun.

It's weird, but I liked Cito and he did some good things back in the day. Things cannot get worse so why not? I don't really think managers do too much for a team but he had that freaky pitch-prediction skill that Alomar and Carter always talk about. Maybe if the current group knows what's coming they can hit it? Nah, probably not.
Noah - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 01:52 PM EDT (#187660) #
Dwayne Murphy - 2005-2006 Coach Syracuse Skychiefs, 2007 Blue Jays roving hitting instructor
Nick Leyva - 1999-2004 Coach in the White Sox system, 2007 Milwaukee Brewers 3rd base coach
Gene Tenace - 2002 - present hitting instructor in the Cardinals system

SK in NJ - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#187661) #

I can't wait to see Roberto at 2B and Tony Fernandez at short again. It's been too long.

Oh wait, they're just bringing the coaches back? Darn.

I don't know how to feel about this move. It doesn't really make any sense. Is Gaston here long-term or is he just a nostalgic novelty act to remind the fanbase that this franchise was actually relevant at one point? Also, what good is trying to recreate the past when the GM is pretty much the exact opposite of that image?

I'm very confused, but maybe that's how they want me to feel. And yes, I agree, this has Paul Godfrey's fingerprints all over it.

Four Seamer - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#187662) #

I can't believe they've snubbed Galen Cisco like this.

ChicagoJaysFan - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#187663) #
For example, Lloyd McClendon would be fun.

Isn't he the Tigers hitting coach?  Probably hard to hire him mid-season.
China fan - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#187664) #
   Even though I think this is a Godfrey scheme to save his own skin, I still think it might actually work, in some weird way.  Cito might actually be the guy to motivate the under-achievers on this team.  As an older, tougher guy, with the instant respect of the World Series rings, he might be able to seize the attention of this team and galvanize some effort from those who have trouble focusing.
rotorose - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#187665) #
Every year throughout spring training Cito Gaston dons the uniform, sits on the field in Dunedin beside the manager and watches the team closely. He is not a stranger to this team and certainly remains hugely popular with the fans. This move is strictly to appease the fans who have bought the blue retro shirts and caps with such enthusiasm, trying to rekindle the glory years. Perhaps it is also for the veterans on the team who stopped responding to Gibbons' "aw shucks" approach. I asked Cito this spring when he would be coming up to Toronto, and he replied: "In August". Well, here he is just a few weeks early.
Gerry - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#187666) #

First I agree that this looks like it came from above JP.

Second, Dwayne Murphy was until today the Jays minor league roving hitting coordinator.  I also believe Cito is some sort of roving ambassador for the Jays.

Finally this move undermines JP in another way.  Gaston knows Godfrey from way back and possibly knows other Rogers people.  Gaston will have a line of communication to those people independent of JP whereas Gibbons would have protected JP and let him know what was discussed with Godfrey, if anything..

Paul D - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#187667) #

 

Wow, i also thought this was some sort of weird April Fool's joke.

Mylegacy - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#187668) #

Cito is as class an act as there is.

Last time he came in he had been the hitting coach and he didn't want the manager's job and he was supposed to be an interim manager, as it is this time. Last time he stayed and - we know the rest. Will history repeat? No. But my friend Joe Pitsoff might disagree, while golfing in 1974 he was hit by lightening - in 1983, again while golfing - he was again hit by lightening. Sometimes history repeats. Just don't count on it. By the way, I went to "Smokin' Joe's funeral - it was a quiet affair. Even in his coffin he still had that funny twitch - can't really blame him can you?

Gibby - I love ya. Not your fault that Rios, Wells, Rolen, Overbay and Thomas all forgot how to hit anything but singles.

Frank Markotich - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#187669) #

Holy smoke! After falling out of my chair, getting back up and thinking about it some, I say ... why not?

No matter what you think of the current roster, the team wasn't playing up to its capabilities and that is the managers primary responsibility. Stuff like bunting and pinch hitting decisions are relatively trivial. Desperation move? Maybe. Unfair to Gibbons? Maybe. But I think a change was necessary.

If nothing else, the Jays will be getting a ton of publicity out of this.

Thomas - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#187671) #
Remember the times we've debated why Gaston never got another shot to manage in the majors and whether he would ever get a chance again? Who would have thought that the second chance would come again with the Jays.
Magpie - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#187672) #
I read the article and thought it was some kind of April Fool's Day (in June) joke...

Me too. While I have always been an admirer of Gaston, bringing him back to manage this team just seemed like something the Leafs would do. And you never, never want to go there.

For the record, I don't think the team's predicament was John Gibbons' fault whatsoever (and that Gibbons has many of the same strengths as a manager that Gaston brings to the table, which immediately seems a concern.) But unfair or not, Gibbons had to take the long walk off the short pier because the entire team had turned into Dead Men Walking and waiting for the axe to descend. And now it has.

By the way, it makes sense to me that Gaston would want a couple of guys on the staff (Leyva and Tenace) that he's familiar with. He's never worked with Murphy or the other coaches, and will have more than enough relationships and people to figure out. He also hasn't managed anywhere in more than ten years, and gets to jump back in playing NL rules. Well, at least he played in the NL
greenfrog - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 02:08 PM EDT (#187673) #
A jaw-dropping move...I actually laughed out loud when I realized it wasn't a joke. My immediate response is that I don't mind it as an interim move (say, for the rest of '08). But it does raise all kinds of questions. I mean, is Cito even up on the various players around the league? Doesn't reinstating him send the wrong signal about the direction of the organization (ie, backward instead of forward)?

In any event, the organization still has serious issues to address, starting with the front office.

Magpie - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 02:11 PM EDT (#187674) #
Something that could be interesting going forward. Cito Gaston never carried a seven man bullpen in his life. When under extreme duress, he would expand the pen from five guys to six. And running a bullpen was one of the things he was certifiably very good at doing.
The_Game - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 02:11 PM EDT (#187675) #

Anyway, knowing that what I just said isnít very likely to happen, I do think he's going to replace Gibbons if they lose tomorrow. And I think Cito could very well be the replacement.

Ha, I predicted this yesterday. It's a move made by Godfrey to appease the common fan...the signs were there for it for a while now.

williams_5 - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 02:15 PM EDT (#187676) #
The Fan 590's sports update was calling this an interim move.
Four Seamer - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#187677) #

Let me state, for the record, that I feel sorry for Gibby.  Not so much for being fired today - I think that's more of a mercy kill, to be honest - but for being saddled with expectations that couldn't possibly have been fulfilled with this lot of mid-level talent and a general manager in miserably over his head, even after seven years on the job.  Good luck to Cito in attempting to get something more out of this catatonic group. 

jmoney - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 02:19 PM EDT (#187678) #
The Jays are taking this Flashback Fridays thing too far.
Glevin - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 02:19 PM EDT (#187679) #
Shocking. Gaston is a very good manager for a certain type of  veteran, contending team. I don't think he's a bad choice though, I just hope it doesn't mean the Jays are going to let JP have a longer leash. JP needs to go.
ChicagoJaysFan - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 02:20 PM EDT (#187680) #
It's a move made by Godfrey to appease the common fan...the signs were there for it for a while now.

I'm not saying that has no bearing on this decision, but I doubt Cito would come back if that were the primary factor.  He's acted with a lot of pride the past few years (deservedly), with the Jays hitting coach job in 2000 - 2001 being the only non-manager job he's been willing to accept (and having turned down some hitting instructor jobs over the years).

I don't think he's coming back for this team unless he feels Godfrey / JP have some expectations that he'll actually do something - he's to proud to do anything else.
Chuck - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#187681) #

Vernon Wells has to be nervous. Mookie Wilson can't be far behind.

ANationalAcrobat - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#187682) #
Keith Law on the Fan:

- Law sees this as desperate move by a desperate GM.
- Believes this is JP's way of diverting attention from the Dunn comments.
- Understands that this was JP's idea, but that Godfrey had to be totally on board.
- Surprised to see Butterfield not getting the job; thinks he would do a good job. Feels Butter has done tremendous work with infielders.
- Describes the reason for which Gaston is interim manager: other clubs don't allow MILB managers/coaches/etc to interview for positions during a season, however after the season they are all fair game. A full search can be done after the year.
- Likes Gaston though he does not love him. Glad to see him get a chance.
- Unless Cito insisted on having his own people, does not understand most of the coach firings. Understands Denbo's firing though: the hitters did not hit.
- Surprised Arnsberg is still around, since Burnett has been such a disaster this year. Describes how JP hired Arnsberg as "the guy who was gonna get Burnett". This was said while Arnsberg was still with Florida. Law is not saying Arnsberg should have been fired, just surprised he was not.
- Shocked to see Gaston as the choice, though evidently not surprised Gibby was fired today. Sees the Bush near-no hitter as the trigger, and believes the season's low point was around the 7th inning of the last game.
greenfrog - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 02:26 PM EDT (#187683) #
Although this looks like a desperation move to appease fans, it could also be seen as an acknowledgment that the team is in serious trouble. Hiring Cito + co. for the rest of the year could give the organization some temporary stability while ownership (if it has any sense) figures out how to address the front office situation.
Frank Markotich - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 02:30 PM EDT (#187684) #

Say, wasn't there some sort of to-do concerning Adam Dunn recently? Anybody remember what that was all about?

S P - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 02:30 PM EDT (#187685) #
This better be just an interim move. Gaston hasn't managed since 1997 in ANY capacity. There was a good reason he was fired in 1997, he couldn't manage the young teams of the late '90s. And presumably, he hasn't kept up with baseball enough in the mean time to manage full time. This is just totally unfair to Gibbons.
Thomas - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 02:30 PM EDT (#187686) #
Keith Law on the Fan:

Appreciate the recap. Can't get FAN streaming online and I was curious to hear what Law thought.
Heraclitus - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 02:35 PM EDT (#187689) #
Is Cito still allowed to don the 43 on the back of his jersey?
Mike D - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#187691) #

The Jays are taking this Flashback Fridays thing too far.

Simply brilliant.

Let me state, for the record, that I feel sorry for Gibby.  Not so much for being fired today - I think that's more of a mercy kill, to be honest - but for being saddled with expectations that couldn't possibly have been fulfilled with this lot of mid-level talent and a general manager in miserably over his head, even after seven years on the job.  Good luck to Cito in attempting to get something more out of this catatonic group. 

This I don't agree with.  I think it's surely among the manager's top three responsibilities to prevent any team from becoming a "catatonic group," which they certainly have been.  A lethargic team + fair-to-poor in-game strategy = skipper's gotta go.

Ducey - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#187692) #

No worries, Cito is just holding the job until Brian Burke can get out of Anaheim.

By the way, where is Pat Gillick when we need him?

Gerry - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#187693) #
Paul Godfrey will be on the FAN 590 at 3:05pm.  I assume it will be available on demand later.
HollywoodHartman - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 03:02 PM EDT (#187694) #
 When/What channel is the press conference on?
ANationalAcrobat - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 03:05 PM EDT (#187695) #
3:20 for the press conference. Sportsnet will be playing soccer, so I doubt they'll cut away from that. It might be on the Score and it should be on the Fan.
Dan Daoust - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 03:09 PM EDT (#187696) #
Why does fan590.com think there's a game on?  Other than the fact that no one has any hits.  (Ha!)
Jevant - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#187697) #
A couple of thoughts.

There have been a number of comments in this thread about Gaston not being up on the players.  I have a very, very hard time believing this.  Very hard time.

I know if I ever got paid to be a coach of a MLB franchise, I would probably need to know more about the sport than 99.9999999999% of the population.  You don't do that unless you enjoy doing it.  And it's hardly as if Cito hasn't been around the game and the Jays for a while.  He's been around, just not as active.

I'm sure Cito will be fine.  The Jays (and JP) I'm not so sure about, but I'm reasonably confident that Cito will do an okay job.  And who knows.  Maybe he'll command a bit more respect than Gibby did (I like Gibby, but it never really seemed like anyone felt they needed to listen to him (rightly or wrongly).  And has been already pointed out, perhaps this means a smaller bullpen (good!) and a larger bench (good! - Adam Lind!). 

Mike Green - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#187698) #
If you go 0-2 on your managing hires why should you be allowed to make a 3rd?

Hey, .333 aint bad in baseball! </sarcasm>

Good luck to Cito.
Four Seamer - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#187699) #

Let me state, for the record, that I feel sorry for Gibby.  Not so much for being fired today - I think that's more of a mercy kill, to be honest - but for being saddled with expectations that couldn't possibly have been fulfilled with this lot of mid-level talent and a general manager in miserably over his head, even after seven years on the job.  Good luck to Cito in attempting to get something more out of this catatonic group. 

This I don't agree with.  I think it's surely among the manager's top three responsibilities to prevent any team from becoming a "catatonic group," which they certainly have been.  A lethargic team + fair-to-poor in-game strategy = skipper's gotta go.

I'm not taking issue with Gibbons being relieved of his duties.  It's hard to make the case that the team is well managed at the moment, and as the old saying goes, you can't replace 25 players, but you can replace one manager (and three of his deputies, apparently).  But his general manager has equipped him with a team that, even with all cylinders firing, simply isn't as good as it thinks it is - and appears to have lethargy programmed into its DNA.  What he's supposed to do with personalities like Alex Rios, I haven't the foggiest idea.  Having been sat Wednesday, ostensibly on account of his poor play, he swiftly follows up yesterday with one of his signature moments of brain dead defensive indifference.  It's a poor carpenter that blames his tools, yadda yadda, but the reincarnation of Casey Stengel would have a hard time winning with this group.    

Put more simply, I just happen to think that there's room on the bus out of town for the general manager, as well.   

Four Seamer - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 03:17 PM EDT (#187700) #

And has been already pointed out, perhaps this means a smaller bullpen (good!) and a larger bench (good! - Adam Lind!). 

If you have high hopes for Adam Lind, Cito Gaston ain't your man. 

Ryan Day - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#187701) #
Weird. Cito alone was unlikely but plausible, but adding Leyva and Tenace made me assume it had to be some sort of joke.

Who knows what sort of impact this will have, but it's interesting that for the first time, the coaching staff has considerable experience at the ML level, both playing and managerial. Aside from Ernie Whitt and Buck Martinez, I think most of the managers & coaches have been career minor-leaguers. (maybe I'm missing someone?)

I do suspect that if this had really been Godfrey's move, Whitt would have stayed.

Ryan Day - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#187702) #
What he's supposed to do with personalities like Alex Rios, I haven't the foggiest idea.

I think the obvious answer is "get him to play like an All-Star, which he was for the last two years." Extending Rios and Hill was one of Ricciardi's best moves, which just about everyone liked, so when the two of them hit worse than they did in their rookie seasons, someone has to pay.
Jevant - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#187703) #
I realize this, but I have a hard time believing that JP or the management won't force the issue with Lind sooner rather than later.  There is no need not to give him a chance now, unless this means that the team still believes they have a legit shot at the playoffs this year.  And I don't have high hopes for Adam Lind, but surely he can't be much worse than Stewart or Mench.
ANationalAcrobat - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#187704) #
I don't think Godfrey said anything of note.

The press conference will be at 3:30.
Jevant - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 03:24 PM EDT (#187705) #
And this might work out.  Cito seems alot more like a "kick in the pants" dude than Gibby was.  If Rios gets going after this, that alone would validate it for me.
Bid - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 03:27 PM EDT (#187707) #

Apparently this is not unimaginable, this scene in which principals agree...

Cito is Field Manager for the rest of the season...he will be the new General Manager and familiar to Paul Godfrey. Perhaps Cito could use a Young Beeston. The scouting is already fine now.

Ricciardi agrees he will look for a new job. He is grateful for the extended opportunity he has had to learn on the job...which he surely has. They agree on compensation Everybody says he'll find employment quickly for sure. Gibby the same, all conclude.

Everybody says the new Field Manager is up to Cito. If he likes Butterfield, that's okay; if not, it's subject to speculation and that's okay too.

Well, back to the Euro Cup. What I like is the kids coming out hand in hand with the players. A sport which knows how to reproduce. Hello?

Original Ryan - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#187708) #
(who really knows about Pevey and Whitt, but JP never seemed to like Ernie)

I realise I'm a bit late in responding to this, but I'd disagree on this particular point.  I think Whitt's stock went up considerably after Ricciardi took over as GM.  Whitt was given a more prominent role in the minor league system, and even before he got the job on the major league staff, he seemed clear that he'd eventually be named to the staff when a spot opened up.

Pevey was another coach from the Ash-era who gained a higher profile after Ricciardi took over.  Pevey spent one year on the major league staff under Ash, but had been stuck in the low minors the rest of the time.
Helpmates - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 03:30 PM EDT (#187709) #
And this might work out.  Cito seems alot more like a "kick in the pants" dude than Gibby was.  If Rios gets going after this, that alone would validate it for me.
 
If you (or anyone else) genuinely believes that drivel, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell to you.
Ryan Day - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 03:32 PM EDT (#187710) #
And I don't have high hopes for Adam Lind, but surely he can't be much worse than Stewart or Mench.

People keep saying things like this, but Kevin Mench is not standing in Lind's way. Quite the contrary - if you're going to have Lind, who can't really hit lefties, on the roster, then having Mench, who hits lefties very well, is a very good idea.

It's Wilkerson who's in Lind's way, and he's actually been hitting pretty well for the last month. Stewart, too, but I suspect his days are numbered anyway.
Dan Daoust - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#187711) #
Ooookaaay.  Cito says this team has reminded him in spring training of the '93 Jays.  Right?  That's what he said just now, right?
Glevin - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#187712) #
"Quite the contrary - if you're going to have Lind, who can't really hit lefties, on the roster, then having Mench, who hits lefties very well, is a very good idea"

Lind has had 76 ABs against lefties with a .611 OPS (.772 OPS in 274 ABs vs. RHP). At 24, I'd say it's a tad early to be giving up on him just yet against lefties. (Well,the Jays seem to have given up on him entirely anyhow.)
Ryan Day - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 03:50 PM EDT (#187713) #
He's also hitting just 368/333/393 against lefties at AAA. I wouldn't say "give up" on him against lefties, but I also wouldn't expect him to be very strong against them this year. When you've also got Overbay and Stairs on the roster, it makes sense to have a strong right-handed bat available, and Mench is a career 303/359/550 hitter against lefties.
ayjackson - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#187714) #

If you (or anyone else) genuinely believes that drivel, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell to you.

In the history of mankind, through all walks of life, men have led others and inspired them to achieve, and reach their potential and sometimes exceed what would otherwise be expected.  Managing a baseball team is no different than leading men into battle, or heading up a Business Acquisition Team.  Soft skills are important.  Intangibles matter.  After all, what became of the Brooklyn Bridge?

uglyone - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#187715) #

It's always tough to see a good guy like Gibbons go, he's a hard guy not to like. But the bottom line is that, as the cliche goes,  managers are hired to be fired. Whether it's his "fault" or not, this team wasn't playing like it should. (And this past series was an utter embarassment.) And when that's the case, there's no harm in making a manager switch. It can't make things worse, and it just might make things better -even significantly better. Nice to see them keep Arnsberg (pitching) and Butterfield (defense), who are both doing an excellent job. It's also nice to see the three guys coming in all having extensive hitting coach experience. That is badly needed.

As for Cito - can't believe this guy hasn't managed since he was fired here. It's really crazy. It's nice to have this kind of guy available to come in in pinch like this. It's also going to be nice to inject the clubhouse with some PROVEN WINNERS, something we've had a severe lack of recently.

As for JP - IMO, this tells us that he's clearly on his last legs here. There is no way in hell that these guys were JP's choice of hires. This was from above, and if the team can't turn it around with these guys, JP gets canned in the offseason for sure - and maybe sooner.  I'm no JP hater, but just like with Gibbons, if it doesn't work for this long, there's no harm in making a change.

 

 

Four Seamer - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#187716) #
What he's supposed to do with personalities like Alex Rios, I haven't the foggiest idea.

I think the obvious answer is "get him to play like an All-Star, which he was for the last two years." Extending Rios and Hill was one of Ricciardi's best moves, which just about everyone liked, so when the two of them hit worse than they did in their rookie seasons, someone has to pay.

I imagine that thought crossed his mind!  Personally, my view is that a veteran like Rios should be held accountable for his own failures, but that is not the world we live in. 


Ryan Day - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#187717) #
He's also hitting just 368/333/393

That should be 268/333/393, obviously.
Lee - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#187718) #

This is still an organization is dissary and shall continue to be as long as the baseball decisions continue to be made a man who possess the soul of a fast-talking used car salesman. 

Agreed. Also, somewhere less than 10% of the intelligence and people skills of the aforementioned used car salesman, I should think. JP is thoroughly unqualified and incompetent, and has shown absolutely no signs that he has learned anything from his 6+ seasons of abject failure. John Gibbons and his staff were in no way the problem with this team (of course, managers and coaches never are, as their impact is typically next to nil, but I digress). The problem is, and has been throughout JP's tenure, horribly flawed and frankly illogical roster construction. If JP is not gone by the start of next season, then Godfrey and his superiors are bigger idiots than JP himself is.

Mike Green - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#187719) #
Lind being platooned at this stage of his career is a reasonable option.  I can see Cito choosing it.

I still see this club as a pretty good one, and I am glad for the managerial change. Next step: the return of Aaron Hill.  Hill went down after the May 29 game.  The team was 30-26 at that point, and has gone 5-13 since and given up almost 5 runs per game. 

uglyone - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#187720) #

If you have high hopes for Adam Lind, Cito Gaston ain't your man. 

 

The same Cito who worked in 21 year old John Olerud, 21 year old Junior Felix , 25 year old Manuel Lee, 24 year old Glenallen Hill, 24 year old Mark Whiten, 23 year old Ed Sprague, 24 year old Jeff Kent, 23 year old Derek Bell, 24 yearold Randy Knorr, 22 year old Carlos Delgado,  22 year old Alex Gonzalez, 22 year old Tomas Perez, 23 year old Shawn Green, 24 year old Todd Stottlemyre, 25 year old Duane Ward, 24 year old Juan Guzman, 25 year old Mike Timlin, 23 year old Pat Hentgen, all into his full time roster?


ChicagoJaysFan - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 04:20 PM EDT (#187721) #
I imagine that thought crossed his mind!  Personally, my view is that a veteran like Rios should be held accountable for his own failures, but that is not the world we live in.

I disagree with you - Rios should definitely be held accountable for his own failures, but those that lead him should also be held accountable for failing to get the most out of him.

As ayjackson said, a baseball team shouldn't be treated altogether differently from any other organization.  Look at it like a sales team - your reps are going to be held accountable for their own performance through job retention, commissions, bonuses, etc.  But their sales managers are also going to be held accountable as well and they should be as they can provide guidance / coaching.  Both as far as motivation and as well as instilling the habits necessary to effectively channel that motivation.


Four Seamer - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#187723) #

As ayjackson said, a baseball team shouldn't be treated altogether differently from any other organization.  Look at it like a sales team - your reps are going to be held accountable for their own performance through job retention, commissions, bonuses, etc.  But their sales managers are also going to be held accountable as well and they should be as they can provide guidance / coaching.  Both as far as motivation and as well as instilling the habits necessary to effectively channel that motivation.

But in your example, the sales manager get paid more than the sales reps and has a lot more job security, which gives the sales manager a lot of pull, shall we say, with the sales reps.  The exact opposite is true in baseball, or at least it is in this particular case. 

electric carrot - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#187724) #
The logic for this is all wrong. Firing Denbo I understand -- but what has Gibbons done wrong this year? I like Cito and think he's a decent manager and wish him the best but sheeesh firing Gibbons is just wrong -- I don't care what people say about it you don't fire a guy whose doing a job well just cause that's the culture of the game at the moment. It's this kind of twisted logic that lead to the invasion of Iraq. (Things aren't going well and we've got to do something!)


Rich - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#187725) #
I have to nitpick a bit here - Cito trusted very few of these players enough to give them full-time jobs, especially the hitters.  He jerked Green around for years even when it was quite obvious he was ready to play every day.  Hill, Whiten, and Bell were all in and out of the lineup and put in the doghouse before they went on to mostly productive careers elsewhere.  Timlin and Ward were worked until their arms nearly fell off and the club struggled for years to find a closer once Wardo went down.

The team might respond to this kind of shake up (I can't see it hurting any, really) but Cito was a lot more effective managing veterans IMO. 

I wish the brooms had been at work at the higher levels of the organization today too.

ChicagoJaysFan - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 04:46 PM EDT (#187726) #
But in your example, the sales manager get paid more than the sales reps and has a lot more job security, which gives the sales manager a lot of pull, shall we say, with the sales reps.  The exact opposite is true in baseball, or at least it is in this particular case.

First, that's an inaccurate statement on your part - people at lower-levels on the totem pole can often make more than their superiors.  With sales reps specifically, in many industries (office equipment is one that comes to mind) it is not at all uncommon for star reps to make more than many sales managers within the company, including their own.  Outside of sales, this is also not uncommon - HQ staff often oversee the work of many field staff that make more than they do (retail is an industry that comes to mind).

Second, income is not a source of authority.  No one ever has, or ever will, get respect because you made more than them.  Even in the prime of the hard-ass type eras, people respected their coaches / managers because of the softer-skills, not the hammer.  For a great example, read Instant Replay or other books about Vince Lombardi and his players.  They loved him.  This "today's athletes are different" mantra has been going on for decades, not just recently. They were saying the same thing about athletes in the 70s with Bradshaw, Namath, and Reggie Jackson.  It's just something people like to say to sound insightful but doesn't actually mean anything or have any bearing.  I give it as much respect as the "grittiness" of certain players.
christaylor - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#187727) #
When I read this I mentally check the date, once an answer came back from the little man in my head I said to myself, "So it isn't April 1. Uh oh."
Frank Markotich - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#187728) #
We can certainly debate the merits of the GM and his body of work, but calling a team which has won 170 games in the past two seasons an "abject failure" is too silly for words.
Four Seamer - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 05:17 PM EDT (#187730) #

Second, income is not a source of authority.  No one ever has, or ever will, get respect because you made more than them.  Even in the prime of the hard-ass type eras, people respected their coaches / managers because of the softer-skills, not the hammer.  For a great example, read Instant Replay or other books about Vince Lombardi and his players.  They loved him. 

I don't doubt there is some truth to this, but it underscores the point I was making about job security.  An underperforming player on the '67 Packers knew it was going to be him, and not Vince Lombardi, that was going to be run out of town on a rail.  Were it the other way around, Lombardi and his players would have had a very different relationship. 

Anyway, the only point of mine worth making is that Alex Rios is a big boy, and he ought to be able to motivate himself (assuming motivation is his problem - if it's a mechanical problem, the hitting coach has to share in the responsibility, and if he's hurt, all bets are off).  If it takes a special kind of management touch to get him going, then the Jays ought to more highly value that skill than they have to date.

ChicagoJaysFan - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 05:26 PM EDT (#187732) #
I don't doubt there is some truth to this, but it underscores the point I was making about job security.  An underperforming player on the '67 Packers knew it was going to be him, and not Vince Lombardi, that was going to be run out of town on a rail.  Were it the other way around, Lombardi and his players would have had a very different relationship.

You're inserting your own conclusion into facts that don't support it.  Job security was not the sole (nor primary) motivating tool used by Lombardi.   To say Lombardi's players would have had a different relationship were the situation to be different is to speak completely ignorantly on the relationship.  Read up about Lombardi and his motivational tactics.  It's far from summed up in the two words "fire underperformers".  Do you honestly think Bart Starr was ever concerned about being cut? Hell, he could have played at 60% effort and still been better than most starting QBs.

Lombardi's players absolutely loved him - that's why so many showed up to his funeral well after playing for him and that's why they had such a high opinion of him.  He had the option of the stick, but that's not why his players loved him and it's not why they played their ass of for him.  I'm not going to be unrealistic and deny it had any impact, but his ability to motivate went leaps and bounds beyond the ability to cut a player.

Hell, even Jack Welch (back to business), who had a great reputation (and deserved) for firing underperformers realized that it wasn't just the stick you used to motivate.  He preached the value of splitting your force into 10, 20, and 90th percentiles and reward / motivate accordingly.  You're not going to motivate highly talented individuals by threatening to fire them.
Mike Green - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 05:32 PM EDT (#187734) #
Having watched Rios progress through the minor leagues, it always seemed to me that his issue is not motivation so much as focus. 

This season has been a puzzling one for him.  Rios played a superior defensive centerfield, while Wells was out with the injury, and this contributed to the team actually doing very well at that time.  He has obviously not hit all season, with the increase in ground balls being the key change. Gary Denbo's approach did not work for him, and in this, Rios was not alone.

Cito will, I think, be a good choice to create an environment with less distractions.  That, much more than a kick in the butt, is what I think Rios needs.

uglyone - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 05:34 PM EDT (#187736) #

 have to nitpick a bit here - Cito trusted very few of these players enough to give them full-time jobs, especially the hitters.  He jerked Green around for years even when it was quite obvious he was ready to play every day.  Hill, Whiten, and Bell were all in and out of the lineup and put in the doghouse before they went on to mostly productive careers elsewhere.  Timlin and Ward were worked until their arms nearly fell off and the club struggled for years to find a closer once Wardo went down.

How could he have "jerked Green around for years", when he was only 24 the year Cito was fired?

He gave him 379ab as a 22 year old, 422ab as a 23 year old, and 429ab as a 24 year old. Obviously just protecting the kid from lefties.

Whiten and Hill were both traded in their 2nd years with the Jays, after being introduced to the bigs by Cito, and were part timers for the remainders of their careers.

Cito also introduced a 22 year old Bell to the majors, played him as a backup at age 23, and then he was traded at 24.

ayjackson - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 05:45 PM EDT (#187737) #
I guess we shouldn't confuse "won't give kids a chance" with "was very loyal to those he won with" when remembering Cito.  Or am I mis-remembering Cito?
Original Ryan - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 06:07 PM EDT (#187738) #
It was asked earlier if Butterfield had ever managed before.  He's been a manager in parts of six seasons in the minors.  Almost all of it was in Rookie and Single-A ball.  His last stint as manager was at the start of 2002, when he was fired by the Yankees as the manager of AAA Columbus.  He has an overall record of 301-290.

Pistol - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 06:10 PM EDT (#187739) #
"The team might respond to this kind of shake up (I can't see it hurting any, really) but Cito was a lot more effective managing veterans IMO. "

Well, other than Lind, who isn't getting a chance now anyway, there aren't really any decisions to make with the lineup of this team.
parrot11 - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 06:11 PM EDT (#187740) #
Like most people, I see this as nothing more than buying some extra time for JP/Godfrey, distract the media from the losing and Dunn comment, and desperately hoping to strike lightning in a bottle. I think that Gaston will do slightly better, but nowhere close enough to contend for a playoff spot. The absolute worst thing that could happen is that the Jays finish 3 or 4 games over .500 and then extrapolate this as thinking that they have a good team and keeping JP around for another season of the same old. Like greenfrog stated, this team needs to clean house in the front office and get rid of both Godfrey and JP. The sooner this is done, the quicker this organization can begin the long process of turning around this franchise. This team is just not good enough, but JP will never admit this fact to himself and nevermind anyone else. Bavasi felt the same way about the Mariners, despite all the bungling he did.
Pistol - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 06:12 PM EDT (#187741) #
I deleted the comment due to out of control italics, but KRose noted:

I don't care what people say about it you don't fire a guy whose doing a job well just cause that's the culture of the game at the moment.
Last time I was fired, my older bro gave me a very powerful piece of advice. "Generally cultures don't change to meet individuals. Individuals must adapt to cultures."


Magpie - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 06:16 PM EDT (#187742) #
Italics begone!

Hope that worked.

By happy coincidence, we already have a Manager's Box for the new guy!
Magpie - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 06:21 PM EDT (#187743) #
Gaston did indeed give kids a chance - Green's problem was his habit of hitting .220 for the first three months of the season. But Gaston  very definitely became too attached and too loyal to the guys he had won with when there was no longer any reason for them to still be playing regularly. It was a serious problem, and it happens to almost every manager who holds the same job for more than five years - even LaRussa and Weaver have struggled with it.

He won't have that issue here, obviously. This crew never did anything for him.

Rich - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 06:29 PM EDT (#187744) #

How could he have "jerked Green around for years", when he was only 24 the year Cito was fired?

He gave him 379ab as a 22 year old, 422ab as a 23 year old, and 429ab as a 24 year old. Obviously just protecting the kid from lefties

Because he was ready to play every day at 23.  When he was 25 and played everyday he slugged .510 and then .588 the next year.  Cito didn't trust him even though it was clear he was ready.
Gerry - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 06:50 PM EDT (#187745) #

The interaction between manager and GM will be interesting.

Gibbons was clearly subordinate to the GM and many decisions of the manager could be traced back to the GM.  I doubt that will be the case with Cito, Cito will do what he thinks is right for the team, probably even if JP objects.

scottt - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 07:14 PM EDT (#187748) #
They missed Friday the 13th by a week.

I wonder how long it took to sign all those guys.

I see this as a chance to re-evaluate the entire team.


Glevin - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 07:19 PM EDT (#187749) #
"The same Cito who worked in 21 year old John Olerud, 21 year old Junior Felix , 25 year old Manuel Lee, 24 year old Glenallen Hill, 24 year old Mark Whiten, 23 year old Ed Sprague, 24 year old Jeff Kent, 23 year old Derek Bell, 24 yearold Randy Knorr, 22 year old Carlos Delgado,  22 year old Alex Gonzalez, 22 year old Tomas Perez, 23 year old Shawn Green, 24 year old Todd Stottlemyre, 25 year old Duane Ward, 24 year old Juan Guzman, 25 year old Mike Timlin, 23 year old Pat Hentgen, all into his full time roster?"

Sorry, I don't see any debate about this one. It was obvious to anyone following the Jays in those days that Cito was sitting his young players way too often. 

1996 is a perfect example: The Jays finished 77-85,  18 GB, never really close to contending. Green got 422 ABs and Delgado got 488 as 23 and 24 year olds.  Not too bad for young players. However, they were the Jays 2nd and 4th best hitters and for a team not contending, why not let them play and learn to hit lefties. And why...and this was Cito's biggest drawback, why give a washed-up 36-year old Joe Carter 625 ABs, a crapy Otis Nixon 496 ABs, and Jacob Brumfield 308. Delgado and Green should have been playing full-time. Green was actually the team's best hitter a year earlier as a 22-year old, but Cito still platooned him with Brumfield. A year later, Green outperformed Carter with an OPS+ of 110/77 and was 13 years younger and Carter still got almost 200 ABs more than Green. Stewart was clearly ready for a shot, yet Gaston STILL gave Mariano Duncan as many ABs as Stewart, and gave hundreds of ABs to Nixon, Orlando Merced, and Brumfield. Have a look at the Jays rosters in Baseball Reference and you can see just how much he favoured washed-up veterans over up and coming youngsters.

As for the idea that he can take credit for having young players come up when he was manager is absurd. The Jays had an incredible system year after year.

   

braden - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 07:19 PM EDT (#187750) #
McDonald in the lineup, Rios with a double.  Good start to the Cito Era: Redux.
GregJP - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 07:21 PM EDT (#187751) #
Now what will happen is the teamís hitting with RISP will regress to
the mean, they will play 0.550-0.575 ball for the rest of the year and
just miss the playoffs, Cito will be hailed as the greatest manager
since Casey Stengel, Ricchiardi wonít get fired, and the mediocrity
will continue.
King Ryan - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 07:23 PM EDT (#187752) #
Agree with Greg.

Overbay with another GiDP.  Moses.

scottt - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 07:25 PM EDT (#187753) #
Rios back in the 3rd slot.

MacDonald is a surprise. Eckstein is .375 career against Duke.

Magpie - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 07:52 PM EDT (#187756) #
Green got 422 ABs and Delgado got 488 as 23 and 24 year olds.  Not too bad for young players. However,

The Blue Jays had had an awful lot of success working young players into the lineup by platooning them at first and gradually giving them the full-time job. Gaston was the hitting coach when they did it with people like Jesse Barfield and Fred McGriff. As a manager he did it with Green, platooning him in 1995, his first full season. The following year was Delgado's first full season, although he played more than a strict platoon would suggest. As for Green, having had a good rookie year in 1995, they tried to make him an everyday player in 1996. By the middle of June, he was hitting .216 and it was thought that he might be better off if they simplified his job requirements.

I agree completely on Stewart and Nixon. I thought Stewart should have opened the 1996 season as the centre fielder, but the GM went and signed Otis Nixon to a two year contract.
Dave Till - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 07:53 PM EDT (#187757) #
Well, that was unexpected.

I have no idea how Cito Version 2 will work out as manager. But the team has rolled over and died under Gibbons, so I can see why they would want to make a change. At the very least, Cito won't be nervous about managing - he's seen and done it all before.

Leyva and Tenace are obviously there because Cito wants to work with people he's worked with before. It was probably a condition of his taking the job.

Joe Morgan once wrote that he thought it was an outrage that no one else had ever hired Cito as manager - the man has won two World Series titles. Jimy Williams, who has won zero, has been hired several times.

And it should be pointed out that the Jays have been to the postseason five times in their history. Cito managed four of those teams, and was the hitting coach for the fifth. I wish him luck.

Oh, and there will probably be a lot less use of the hit-and-run, starting approximately now.
Magpie - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 07:54 PM EDT (#187758) #
Gaston STILL gave Mariano Duncan as many ABs as Stewart

Well,l Mariano Duncan could play second base. Stewart couldn't.
scottt - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 08:09 PM EDT (#187759) #
The Blue Jays had had an awful lot of success working young players into the lineup by platooning them at first and gradually giving them the full-time job.

I'd like to see more of that with established players who have struggled following injuries. Overbay, for example.
Rich - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 08:17 PM EDT (#187760) #
The Blue Jays had had an awful lot of success working young players into the lineup by platooning them at first and gradually giving them the full-time job.

Yes, but Cox let his platoon players graduate to full-time roles (e.g. Barfield).  Cito stubbornly refused to give his young guys full-time roles even when it was clear they were a) ready and b) superior to older players on the roster.  If I'm Adam Lind I'm not exactly jumping for joy.
Magpie - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 08:23 PM EDT (#187761) #
Cito stubbornly refused to give his young guys...

I'm saying he gave Green the job in spring 1996 and Green gave it back. Delgado didn't, of course.
jeff mcl - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 08:40 PM EDT (#187762) #
Lind has to be called up before Cito can misuse him as so many are speculating, and that's clearly not happening so long as JP continues to wear the sheriff's hat.  Moving along... and baseball is still being played despite all the drama!  Where's the frickin' Pirates preview?  I wanted to see some esoteric diagram that confirms my subjective view that Jason Bay is in fact totally awesome.

Anders - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#187763) #
Oh no. Doc got hit in the head with a line drive, and it appears he is not coming back out for the bottom of the 8th inning.
Original Ryan - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#187764) #
Doc looked a bit wobbly as he was walking off the field.  Hopefully it's not a concussion.
Original Ryan - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#187765) #
I'm not a very good lip reader, but after viewing the replay again, it appeared that Halladay asked Barajas "what happened?" immediately after he was struck.
BulletJayFan - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#187766) #
Sorry if I'm a Johnny-come-lately on this one, but Adam Lind was pulled after 2 in tonight's Chiefs game. I asked Doug Davis if he had been called up and he said he had been. I'm not sure what corresponding moves will be made, but it looks like there might be some larger changes throughout the organization.
King Ryan - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 10:01 PM EDT (#187767) #
We still playing six word game?

Not a bang, but a whimper...

King Ryan - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 10:06 PM EDT (#187768) #
Very happy to see that Cito doesn't believe in "saving the closer for a save situation."
Ryan Day - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 10:21 PM EDT (#187769) #
Shawn Green couldn't hit lefties at all, so wasn't clearly ready for full-time duty. Even in 1998, he hit just 221/265/413 against them. In his career, he's was still just 253/323/431 against them.

I think the real problem was that most of the players who got the at-bats against lefties sucked. In 1997, it was guys like Jacob Brumfield, Juan Samuel, and the decomposing corpse of Ruben Sierra sucking up at-bats. (Though Samuel was pretty decent that year)

greenfrog - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 10:50 PM EDT (#187770) #
In a word: putrid. I thought Cito managed well, though.

We've already had the Season from Hell. I guess we'll eventually need some sort of shorthand for 2008. My early submission? Worst Season Ever.
Ron - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 11:26 PM EDT (#187771) #
Christmas in June!!!!!!!!!

The decision to hire Gaston reeks of something that JP had nothing to do with. This hiring had to come from ownership and Rosenthal agrees. The writing is clearly on the wall for JP. He's going to be toast after this season. Cito Gaston was never in the running for the skippers position after Buck and Tosca were fired. Paul Godfrey is the main reason Gaston is still associated with the Jays. While Gibbons wasn't a terrible manager, it's easier to fire the manager than trade away the whole team. I wish him nothing but the best and applaud the fact he used Ryan to get more than 3 outs numerous times in the 2006 season. Now of course we don't know if this had anything to do with Ryan needing TJ surgery and as a result saying he would not be used for more than one inning per appearance this season. If I get asked about Gibbons 5 years from now, the 2 things that will jump out are 1)The scuffle with Ted Lilly in the dugout after he didn't want to hand the ball over 2)When he challenged Shea Hillenbrand to a fight in front of the other players


ayjackson - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 11:27 PM EDT (#187772) #
I wonder if Eckstein might be of interest to the Dodgers.  If Cito likes JMac, then certainly Scutaro is enough cover for him and perhaps to platoon with Lind.  The Dodgers are scrambling for infield help.  Another possibility is a reliever gets sent down.
krose - Friday, June 20 2008 @ 11:44 PM EDT (#187774) #
Yeesh! First I'm fired. Then wait... I'm deleted... and for what...out of control italics!!! Pistol, if you were an ump and I was a manager I'd be going for the ejection. Dirt upon your shoes!
Jonathan - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 12:02 AM EDT (#187775) #
Love this move.  It's not enough, because JP is the architect here.  But it's nice to see someone in that is NOT JP's man.

I feel that if there is anyone that can talk to and light a fire under Alex Rios and Vernon Wells, it is Cito.  It sounds so much like his relationship with Devon White; talented players that needed a great communicator, and a patient hand. 

I dont think this rights the ship, but the franchise is in disarray.  Best to put it in the hands of someone respected, that may be able to correct and shape the habits of the talent on the team, while giving the upper brass the time to decide the next move - and through the ear of someone trusted that can make assessments on the players for the offseason ahead.

Matthew E - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 12:05 AM EDT (#187776) #
Well, Cito's been the manager for four-thirds of a game now, and the Jays haven't scored a run.

I say it's time to fire him. C'mon, it'll be fun.

(Seriously. Could you imagine the fan and media reaction?)

jgadfly - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 12:13 AM EDT (#187779) #

Not a good day... I hope Halladay is okay ... that was really scary... Gil MacDougald-Herb Score scary...hopefully not worse... after seeing the video footage I was surprised that he walked off the field ... any updates from medical staff on his medical status?... he should be in hospital overnight for observation at the minimum

 

 

China fan - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 02:06 AM EDT (#187784) #
 Another less-noticed aspect of the Gaston hiring is the dismissal of Gary Denbo.  Here is an area where Ricciardi definitely deserves some major criticism.  He obviously made a bad miscalculation on Denbo.  He had plenty of time to choose a new hitting coach, after deciding that Mickey Brantley was not good enough.  He took his time, did a search, found his preferred candidate, signed Denbo to a two-year deal -- and then sacked him after less than three months.  Something is screwy here.  How can you be confident enough to give a two-year contract to a coach, and then fire him after less than three months?  Even Frank Thomas was not dropped until the second year of his contract.   Ricciardi clearly made a big mistake on Denbo, and it may have cost us the season.  If the team's hitting woes are partly a result of an ineffective hitting coach who deserved to be fired so quickly, then Ricciardi needs to be blamed for being so badly wrong in his hiring decision.
Magpie - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 03:16 AM EDT (#187785) #
the dismissal of Gary Denbo.

Yes. Hmm.

Well, Leyva and Tenace are Gaston's guys and presumably part of the package that comes with him . Its hard to tell when the replacements were all in place and when it all got sorted out. Ricciardi apparently told Walt Jocketty while asking forgiveness sometime on Thursday that "later today I've got to fire my manager and half my coaching staff" - Gaston said that he spent his time late Thursday rounding up his coaches.

Anyway, Tenace by trade is either a hitting coach or a bench coach. So Butter either stays on the bench or goes back to third base. I'd rather have see him on third than Leyva only because he's been working in the AL these last few years and knows this team and the AL outfielders better than Leyva. Not that big a deal.

Tenace, by the way, is a serious hard-ass and a bit of a bully. He is Gaston's enforcer, head-banger, hit-man. His real first name is Fury and you do not want to get on his bad side
brent - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 03:35 AM EDT (#187786) #

"'Sorry' doesn't always fix things," Dunn said on Friday before the Reds played the Yankees. "To me, you're not criticizing me as a player. You're criticizing me as a person. That's different. You can say I stink all you want, OK, I'm fine with that. It's over. I'm not crying about it. It doesn't really mean that much."

What is with Dunn and that last throwaway sentence. It obviously was personal, and he didn't accept the apology. You can't have it both ways sensitive tough guy. BTW, who doesn't accept a sincere apology these days? He never came out and talked about his commitment to baseball.

ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 07:25 AM EDT (#187787) #
"I don't know the clown," Dunn told Cincinnati reporters. "You can use the word clown. "I really don't care what one guy thinks, to be honest with you. If I'm a GM, I don't know that I'd go out of my way to discredit a player."
What Dunn says about Ricciardi's inappropriate trashing of another's teams player is obviously true, as Ricciardi acknowledged, either on his own motion or under direction. And lots of GM's fire managers without going on the radio and making completely improper comments about a player on another team. To me, it's just another indication of how greatly the job of GM of a major league organization exceeds JP Ricciardi's capabilities.
CeeBee - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 08:06 AM EDT (#187788) #
Nice to see Cito back in the dugout. I feel sorry for Gibby but I'm betting a few players follow him out of town in the next month and rightly so. The hitting stinks and I think it's time to rebuild the offense.  Please don't blow up the pitching staff though, because it's the only reason to watch the Jays most nights.
Matthew E - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 08:07 AM EDT (#187789) #
Here's what I suspect happened:

- we know from various accounts of the Gibbons/Gaston transition that it's been in the works since early this week
- I believe Ricciardi really has heard some things about Dunn that cast doubts on Dunn's affection for baseball

So, let's reconstruct Ricciardi's state of mind when he was doing Wednesdays With JP last week. He has to fire his good friend, a guy who never had the kind of big-league career Dunn doesn't appreciate, a guy whose effort and desire and enthusiasm Ricciardi (presumably) respects. And some fan calls up and tries to hector Ricciardi into bringing in Dunn. And he thinks, what kind of a deal is this where I have to fire Gibbons but people want Dunn here? No wonder he saw red.

Now, actually holding forth on Dunn's drawbacks the way he did can best be described as 'ill-advised', but I can certainly understand the impulse behind it.

ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 09:18 AM EDT (#187792) #
Matthew, I'm not in a position to explain what was 'in Ricciardi's mind' when he jumped the shark on wwjp, and really neither are you. The fact that Gibbons was fired Friday and Ricciardi's comments made Wednesday, aren't in any way 'proof' that he only made the comments because of a diminished emotional state rather than lack of judgment and a lack of understanding of what's appropriate and what's not. That seems rather like after-the-fact excuse making.

As for a fan 'hectoring' JP about trying to acquire Adam Dunn, when you've constructed a last place team with a $100 million payroll and little or no help in the farm you've built, in any other place it would be painfully obvious that a GM who goes on the radio (and is paid in addition for it I might add) would expect fans to call in with acquisition suggestions. That's not 'hectoring' at all.
Matthew E - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 09:47 AM EDT (#187794) #
Oh, I freely admit that I was just speculating there. (The timing does work out, though.)

And if you go back and read my comment again, you'll see that I wasn't trying to make excuses for Ricciardi so much as I was trying to understand the context. Of course he shouldn't have said it; no explanation will change that.

As for 'hectoring', you must allow me a bit of poetic license.

Frank Markotich - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 10:14 AM EDT (#187796) #

The Dunn comments were obviously out of line - that's one of Ricciardi's qualities. He tends to say what's on his mind without thinking of the PR aspects. A more polished reply would have been to say "I can't comment on specific players under contract to other teams" and then a few minutes later say "you know, quite frequently we in management know things about players that fans don't; just speaking generally of course".  But that's not JP.

Myself, I only care about how good a job the GM does. This stuff doesn't matter to me. It's the kind of thing that gets emphasized if you already dislike the guy, so you get to add another negative to your list. Embarrassing the organization? Piffle I say.

Adam Dunn - he's a free agent after this year. I would welcome a deadline type deal for him if the price is right, but no way do I sign him as a free agent. I see where he's lost about 20 pounds this year, and I read where he's "rededicated himself" or some such nonsense. So when he gets his big contract he can revert to being his old self. Oh, he'll still be a good hitter, my problem is that he'll be overpriced for what he gives you.

grjas - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 11:49 AM EDT (#187805) #

"why not just show Ricciardi the door, as well"

Because it's much easier to cycle a temporary manager in and out , than a GM. (Well unless you're the Leafs.) Better to do a proper search at year end for a long term solution (I hope.)

"The interaction between manager and GM will be interesting.... Gibbons was clearly subordinate to the GM and many decisions of the manager could be traced back to the GM.  I doubt that will be the case with Cito, Cito will do what he thinks is right for the team, probably even if JP objects.

Great point. And we all know how stubborn Cito can be, sometimes in a good way, sometimes not. But clearly the team needs some new ideas so I am glad the manager's not another JP buddy.

He had plenty of time to choose a new hitting coach, after deciding that Mickey Brantley was not good enough.  He took his time, did a search, found his preferred candidate, signed Denbo to a two-year deal -- and then sacked him after less than three months.  Something is screwy here.

Looks like it's the first example of Cito putting his foot down. I hope it continues.

Anyway with the season likely lost, the best thing about this move is it gives Cito another chance to manage, even if briefly. Although he had his bad years as well as his good, he was a decent guy and a decent manager, and his inability to find a job in the big leagues was hard to fathom.


ayjackson - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#187806) #

The Dunn comments were obviously out of line - that's one of Ricciardi's qualities. He tends to say what's on his mind without thinking of the PR aspects. A more polished reply would have been to say "I can't comment on specific players under contract to other teams" and then a few minutes later say "you know, quite frequently we in management know things about players that fans don't; just speaking generally of course".  But that's not JP.

Myself, I only care about how good a job the GM does. This stuff doesn't matter to me. It's the kind of thing that gets emphasized if you already dislike the guy, so you get to add another negative to your list. Embarrassing the organization? Piffle I say.

This is pretty much spot on analysis from my point of view.  Well done, Frank.  I would add though, that being an embarrassment to the organization can seal the fate of an otherwise average GM.

Thomas - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 12:25 PM EDT (#187810) #
Not that I expected anything different, but Gibbons handled his firing very well and with a lot of class. On the post-firing press conference call he said that the most difficult thing about the whole process was the fact that three other guys who had put their heart into this team were also losing their jobs. He said he felt much worse for Denbo, Whitt and Pevey than for himself.
CaramonLS - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#187817) #
Color me stunned.  Never in a million years, despite me lobbying for it, did I expect to see Cito behind the bench again with the Jays.

I think JP has been reading the fan boards a little to much to think that this would fly, and this reeks a little bit of a publicity stunt, as Magpie mentioned, this is something that the Leafs would do - but with that being said, I love the move.  Cito has always been a great motivator and has been able to give his hitters the confidence to play the game.  This is something we desperately needed for this sorry group of batters right now.

westcoast dude - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 02:50 PM EDT (#187818) #

Fury 

In the Oresteia--the only trilogy in Greek drama which survives from antiquity--Aeschylus took as his subject the bloody chain of murder and revenge within the royal family of Argos. Moving from darkness to light, from rage to self-governance, from primitive ritual to civilized institution, its spirit of struggle and regeneration is universal.

Horrible to look at, the Furies had snakes for hair and blood dripping from their eyes. They changed into the Euminides, protectors of the suppliant, after Athena had made them merciful, sparing Orestes, whom they had stalked for a long time after the murder of his mother and her lover.

brent - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 04:43 PM EDT (#187821) #
I just thought that Dunn never came out and said that he was commited to the game or that he loves it. I think just saying "you don't know me" isn't a very good defence.
Chuck - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#187822) #

I just thought that Dunn never came out and said that he was commited to the game or that he loves it. I think just saying "you don't know me" isn't a very good defence.

Why should he have to defend himself at all? He did nothing to incite Ricciardi's disparaging remarks. Out of the blue he is insulted by the GM of a team he probably has no interest in playing for in the first place. He owes no one a refutation of Ricciardi's classless, tactless remarks.

Wildrose - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 06:57 PM EDT (#187830) #

Matthew was bang on about his speculation.

Jocketty was shocked by the remarks.

"He told me he was going through a lot of stuff because he was going to have to fire his manager and coaches," Jocketty said.

I'm giving Ricciardi the benefit of the doubt over these remarks, people say stupid things when under duress and firing one of your best friends can't be easy.


ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#187836) #
Why should he have to defend himself at all? He did nothing to incite Ricciardi's disparaging remarks. Out of the blue he is insulted by the GM of a team he probably has no interest in playing for in the first place. He owes no one a refutation of Ricciardi's classless, tactless remarks.

Well put Chuck. I wanted to say the same thing.
Lefty - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 10:06 PM EDT (#187843) #
Here's my speculation from March 5th. Lefty takes his bow.     Lefty - Wednesday, March 05 2008 @ 08:29 PM EST (#180683) #

I think its widely assumed that if the Jays do not get off to a good start this year there will be plenty of questions about not only John Gibbons, but Ricciardi himself.

I think it would be a good self preservation move by JP to warm Cito up a bit this year, just in case he needs a Plan B.

The detractors of this strategy may suggest that Ricciardi only wants so - called puppet managers he can control. But the rope given to JP is starting to get stretched, so he might want to role the dice and go with someone who will demand and get respect and performance from a team.

The Jays are a veteran club now. Really there are few kids expected to crack this squad this season. Plus, Ricciardi is five years into his first gig as a GM now. He should be comfortable and confident that he can work with a baseball man with an opinion and track record.

 

katman - Sunday, June 22 2008 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#187872) #
"Ooookaaay.  Cito says this team has reminded him in spring training of the '93 Jays.  Right?  That's what he said just now, right?"

Well, Molitor, Alomar, Carter, et. al. are all 15 years older now. So yeah, the hitters are probably about even.

Craig B - Sunday, June 22 2008 @ 10:12 PM EDT (#187882) #
Sorry, I don't see any debate about this one. It was obvious to anyone following the Jays in those days that Cito was sitting his young players way too often.

No, it wasn't.  It was a ridiculous fairy story invented by the media around the time that Shawn Green was bitching about not playing against lefties when he couldn't hit one with a tennis racket.  It bears no resemblance to fact, as has been demonstrated extensively on this site several times.  I suppose I need to haul those threads out of the archives..
Lee - Monday, June 23 2008 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#187914) #

We can certainly debate the merits of the GM and his body of work, but calling a team which has won 170 games in the past two seasons an "abject failure" is too silly for words.

Um, no. No it is not. Finishing a season a handful of games above .500 is not success. For a team with qualified and competent leadership, any given season should serve a definite purpose: either to contend for a playoff run, or to build for the future. The closest the Jays came to a playoff berth in the last two seasons was in 2006, when they finished 8 games out of the WC. That is not seriously contending. Given the state of the roster and the performance of the team this season, I don't think you can really argue that they were building effectively for the future. So, yes, JP failed in both of those seasons, and in every other season he has been GM of this club, to either put a serious contender on the field, or else build effectively toward doing so in the forseeable future. His body of work pretty much speasks for itself, I think.

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