Blue Jays: I want the best for John Gibbons, and this ain’t it

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 14: John Gibbons #5 manager of the Toronto Blue Jays looks on from the dugout as he waits for a game to begin agains the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on August 14, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 14: John Gibbons #5 manager of the Toronto Blue Jays looks on from the dugout as he waits for a game to begin agains the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on August 14, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /
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According to the rumour mill, former Blue Jay skipper John Gibbons interviewed for the Astros’ vacant manager’s job, and it’s hard to root for him this time.

He was a bit of a polarizing figure for some of the fan base, but I’ll always be a fan of John Gibbons, and I believe the majority of the Blue Jays’ fan base would say the same.

For that reason, it’s been exciting to see his name back in the MLB rumour mill this week, as it looks like he’s being considered for some of the recent managerial vacancies caused by the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal. As a result, the Astros, Boston Red Sox, and now the New York Mets have fired their managers this week, all from the fallout of the biggest story in baseball right now.

It appears that Gibbons has already interviewed for the job in Houston, which makes sense as he makes his home in Texas when he’s not travelling around the country side as a big league skipper. And while the union would make a lot of sense, and more importantly, get him back on a MLB bench, I can’t help but root against the idea.

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Frankly, I want the best for the likeable former Blue Jay skipper, and I don’t know that inheriting this Houston mess is it.

When I really think about it, it’s hard not to foresee a pretty big fall from grace for the Astros next season with everything that’s gone on. There are more distractions associated with them than you can even count right now, and while those storylines will die down a bit by Opening Day, they’re going to follow this team. You can bet that if they’re not suspended (I’m not convinced that’s off the table with yesterday’s revelations/accusations), then Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman are going to be public enemy number 1 and 2 at every visiting ballpark.

They’re currently without a manager OR a General Manager, and this is a team that could still use a few more pieces if they’re going to be a serious contender in 2020, even before this all shook down. They lost their best starter as a free agent with Gerrit Cole signing with the Yankees, and while Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke are both still ace-calibre starters, Father Time has yet to lose a battle, and they’re both closing in on the end of their careers. They’re also set to lose George Springer as a free agent after the 2020 season, which would be another big blow to the roster.

Add it all up, and there is the very real chance that whomever takes over the Astros ahead of the 2020 season will be walking into the most toxic environment in baseball. You’ve gotta believe that players like Altuve, Bregman, and many more will seek redemption and behave in their typical (perceived) professional manner, but the media is going to be all over this team, and this story isn’t going to die down for a while.

If I’m John Gibbons right now, I’m also asking myself if the next Astro manager is simply a placeholder for the next generation of this team. It’s entirely possible that the Astros compete as they were expected to, but I also think there’s the very real chance that this whole thing could blow up. Without even knowing who the next GM will be, what kind of loyalty can be expected when everything turns over? My guess is not a whole lot.

As much as I’d like to see Gibby back in baseball, I find myself rooting against the idea of him working in Houston. I don’t know that I’d feel any better about him working for the Red Sox, for different and obvious reasons, but in a perfect world, he’d return to the Mets organization where he spent time earlier in his career, and he could even work with Marcus Stroman again.

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Of course, baseball is far from a perfect world, but in the end, I just hope he doesn’t go to Houston. I don’t think it’s the situation for his own career, and hey, I’d like to root for the guy, and I won’t be doing that if he’s wearing an Astros jersey.

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