A classic knee-jerk reaction of struggling sports teams is to relieve their head coach of their duties. Is this the approach that the Blue Jays should go with in trying to revive their struggling group of players? One school of thought says they should.
Throughout John Gibbons’ lengthy career as an MLB manager, he has been known for many things. In 11 years in the bigs, the laid-back Texan has been lauded for his relaxed approach, his laissez-faire attitude and his generally positive rapport with star players.
Entering play on Saturday, Gibby’s career record as a manager stood at 745-732, barely scraping the .500 mark. He has a career .500 record in the postseason and has managed a total of 1477 major league ballgames.
While some might like his player-centered clubhouse and his old-school style of play, I think it’s time for this team to move on from John Gibbons.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a post that’s advocating for “firing” John Gibbons because of poor performance. I quite like Gibbons, he sticks up for his guys and manages a pretty good game. He’s entertaining in post-game interviews, and while I don’t agree with every single one of his managerial decisions, I tend to like what he does with the lineup card. But when a team is struggling as this team is, his performance really has nothing to do with it.
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As many Torontonian sports fans saw with the dismissal of Raptors head coach Dwayne Casey, you can be a great coach and still get the boot. In Casey’s case, it wasn’t because he made any particularly questionable calls as the boss, nor was it because of scandals or strained relationships with any of his guys, it was just time for the team to move on.
The Raptors wanted to adjust their clubhouse culture and give their stars a new look as they try to compete for a playoff spot next season. Casey didn’t do anything wrong, he just happened to be a casualty of a series of unfortunate events. Even though they’re two completely different sports, the science carries over.
I do not believe that John Gibbons is holding this team back from winning, not in the slightest. I do believe, however, that something has to change with this team’s management. The team needs a new look in the skipper’s seat as they enter this new era of Blue Jays baseball.
Gibbons did well for this team. He supported the core group of players through an exciting stretch of baseball and deserves to be applauded. For some reason, a chunk of the fanbase truly dislikes John Gibbons, but after six years in his second stint with this team, it might be time to change direction.
It’s just time move on. There’s really not much more to it than that.
At this point, my analysis is purely speculation. Ross Atkins has openly given Gibby his vote of confidence as this team trudges through an abysmal stretch. While it’s unlikely that Gibbons is replaced mid-season, the team could, and should look elsewhere in the offseason as they try and right the ship that is this franchise.