Gibby Has to Go
When you're in the job market, it's no secret that it helps to have a friend doing the hiring.
Case in point; Toronto Blue Jays G.M. Alex Anthopoulos handing the manager's job to his good buddy, John Gibbons. It was definitely a head-scratcher, as Gibbons had already served as the Jays skipper in the past and was fired for failing to get the ball club to the play-offs. This year, of course, has been a total disaster with the Jays sucking slough water in the A.L. East cellar. Despite that, however, Anthopoulos announced this week that Gibbons will be back as manager next season.
Other than being A.A.'s buddy, there's really no evidence Gibbons deserves yet another chance to prove he's a legitimate big league bench boss. But good ol' Gibby also has a bunch of buddies in the media and they've been defending their guy at every turn.
"It's not Gibby's fault the starting pitching has been horrible," his backers constantly point out. "And he can't run the bases or play defence either."
A lot of so-called baseball insiders are fond of pointing out that managers really only influence a handful of games each season. But, if that's the case, here's a question.
Why hire a manager at all?
Just let the inmates run the asylum and be done with it. After all, if you follow the logic of many Blue Jays experts, a manager has nothing to do with hitting, fielding, throwing, running....any of the elements that make-up a solid baseball club.
Of course, that philosophy is actually a load of bunk. Strong leadership is obviously important in all walks of life. Anyone whose been forced to learn under a terrible school teacher or work for a bad boss will tell you their performance has definitely been impacted in a negative way.
Sports is no different.
My two little lads are just beginning their journey into minor baseball, hockey and soccer. But already, we've seen the difference quality coaching can make in their skill development and general enjoyment. Some coaches go the extra mile and really engage the kids, while others sit on the sidelines like a big lump. A few of our son's coaches, in fact, haven't even bothered to take the elementary step of introducing themselves to the kids. "Hi, guys! My name is Coach Bob." Apparently, that's too much of a social step for some of these lunkheads and, as a result, the kids don't have any personal connection to the guy who's supposed to be leading them.
Sure, big leaguers don't need the kind of coddling children do. But quality leadership is still important and the way the Blue Jays have performed this season, it's clear the club is sadly lacking in this department.
But even if Anthopoulos changes his mind and fires Gibbons, you don't have to worry about his job prospects.
Gibby can always hone his managing skills by taking over my kid's Little League squad.