Posts Tagged ‘John Gibbons’
At first it seemed odd that notorious dickhead and abrasive personality Shea Hillenbrand would be so gracious and contrite when asked to comment on the re-signing of John Gibbons as the Blue Jays manager, but after some cutting-edge journalistic work we at the Mockingbird have managed to uncover both sides of the AP interview quoted in part by the Star. Here now, in its entirety for the first time, is the complete and unedited interview with Shea Hillenbrand:
ASSOCIATED PRESS: Hello, Shea? This is the Associated Press calling. As you may or may not know, John Gibbons has recently been re-hired as manager of the Blue Jays. Just wondering if you had any comment on that?
SHEA: “That’s awesome. He’s a great guy.”
AP: What? No, I said JOHN GIBBONS. Former manager of yours. The guy who stopped playing you halfway through the season, challenged you to a fight during the ensuing fallout, and then refused to stay on as manager if you remained on the team. Do you have anything to say about him or what happened between the two of you?
SHEA: “I think he handled the situation that we had very professionally and I didn’t handle it professionally at all.”
AP: Wow, really? Gotta say I’m a little surprised. Did NOT think you were going to say that. Ok, well so much for that story…hey, how are all your wacky animals? Do you still have the rabbits and the lemur and the miniature horses and all those fucking tortoises? Did you ever get the Zebra and Buffalo you wanted? Ha ha ha. I mean, you run a petting zoo now, right?
SHEA: “All I know is that during my time with him he was a really good manager and I think he did a really good job with what he had.”
AP: Yeah, yeah, you already said that. Big of you. I was talking about…wait. Something’s wrong. Are you in trouble, Shea? Is he there? Don’t say anything…just use his first name in a sentence if you can’t talk to me right now./p>
SHEA: “I think John’s going to be a great addition to that ball club and he’s a great guy.”
AP: OH god. I’ll send for help. You just hang tight, Shea. I knew this wasn’t over.
If there was ever a chance that Towers was actually going to be traded, last night sealed the deal. Not only did Josh pitch much better than his line of 4 runs in 5.1 innings would suggest (thanks, Tallet), but he ripped the entire team and coaching staff after losing the game.
“We just gave the game away. Personally, that’s what I think,” Towers said. “Today was just a game that I felt we were in complete control of and we should’ve won and we didn’t. All around, it just wasn’t a great game played by us.
“I just don’t think that we consistently put ourselves in positions to make plays ahead of time,” he continued. “I don’t think we were heads up. I don’t think we consistently show up as a coaching staff and as a team every day, and I think it shows sometimes.”
Are you kidding me?? Our marginal fifth starter, fresh off a season that would make most grown men put a bag over their head and move to a country that had never heard of this baez-boll you speak of, is preaching about consistency, calling out the defence (although only 8 other pitchers in the league can match his 3 errors this season) whining that he was on a short (90 pitches) leash, and blasting our bullpen for allowing 2 runs in 4 innings? What happened the hemming, hawing, a-couple-of-baserunners-just-broke-my brain-but-I’m-happy-to-be-in-the-bullpen-as-long-as-I’m-on-the-team Josh?
A month of decent starts and now he’s kicking ass and taking names. That game ticked the heck out of me, too, but I did the emotionally healthy thing and burnt my Jays jersey to a crisp on an impromptu mound Damaso Garcia style. Pissing on everyone else to the media is for whiners and, uh…above-average players. So I’m calling the shot- JT is out the door, for a bag of doughnuts if need be.
Another myth the projections blow out of the water is that a manager’s in-game strategy means a lot. You don’t have to go to many street corners to find someone willing to venture that John Gibbons has cost us “at least 10 games” this year, like that time he pulled that pitcher, or didn’t pull that pitcher, or went with his gut, or played the numbers, etc. Here’s an article from Jay’s Nest that says “Gibby has personally lost about 6 or 7 games this year alone–despite injury.”
Using the same rationale as clutch hitting (below), ALL the effects not directly related to the team’s ability to score or prevent runs have added up to less than two games over the entire season. There is simply not a manager in the league who could squeeze a 55-43 record (7 more wins) out of a team that has scored 9 more runs than they’ve given up.
In fact, looking at two universally lauded managers- Jim Leyland and Tony Larussa, it’s interesting to see that their teams have exactly the records that their runs for and against predict, despite the notion that they can conjure up wins out of thin air.
There’s still a lot they might be doing to help their team score more runs in the long term (such as nurturing players and putting them in positions where they are more likely to perform) and the short term (shrewd pitching matchups, defensive alignments) – but as a rule of thumb it takes 10 runs saved/added to equal a win, and that’s a lot of good moves to have a noticeable effect.
Usually when people complain about a manager it’s usually for not coming up with the right move in a specific situation that would have won/saved a close game. And those almost entirely even out- no manager defies his team’s numbers.