August 29, 2011; Detroit, MI, USA; Kansas City Royals bench coach John Gibbons (49) sits in dugout during the game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE
There hasn’t been a word from these parts in a week. It must have been heartbreaking for my dozen of fans but I need to reflect. The inherent roller coaster of optimism not felt in these parts since we signed Mr. Juiceball himself, Roger Clemens, has left me almost at a loss for words.
Twenty years of mediocrity with the occasional bright flash of achievement has left Toronto fans hungering for something substantial. I needed a week to scour the baseball landscape. Listen to pressers. Read every reaction. The trade I have touched onin past posts. The managerial search finally done so now I will address it. I am calm. Why? I finally felt right with it all when I found out Shea “The Ship is Sinking” Hillenbrand actually spoke highly of John Gibbons. If he can let bygones be bygones then so should we.
Considering the talent level Gibby has compared to his last tenure here, a team as primo as it has been in almost 2 decades on both sides of the ball, I see some serious contending next year. To coach those teams (2004-2008) to a 500 record was quite the achievement. His edge, his knowledge and his affable nature lend to exactly what Alex Anthopoulos was looking for. I tell ya, when I heard it was Manny Acta or Jim Tracy I wasn’t doing cartwheels. I still am not doing cartwheels but that is due to my egregiously large frame and lack of skill. I am smiling though. Those names didn’t impress me. John Gibbons? Shocked me AND impressed me. He is like that uncle you love to see because of his energy and all around good nature. He truly seems like the perfect fit to change the culture and demand the best.
He does manage like his mentor, Davey Johnson. Recognize the pluses for all players and put them in a position to maximize their potential and let their skillset take over. Keep them on track but let ball players be ballplayers. I love sabermetrics and all the new fan dangled stats out there but what keeps us going and keeps the players playing is the game itself. Gibbons knows no one is bigger than the game and he will demand his players respect the game. To play hard and fair. To play the right way.
So now I wander the streets not fretting about the season to come. Now I can worry about Black Friday madness and ornery downtown drivers. Now my head is held high and there is a calm surrounding me. Friends have noticed. I am losing weight and reading more. My stresses are not the same as they have been most of my adult life. Thank you AA. Thank you for taking the burden off my shoulders and allowing me to enjoy the holiday season. Better frikken snow on Christmas Day I tells ya…