Monday, June 23, 2008

Cito Gaston, Full Circle; Blue Jays Front Office, Incompetent

Two World Series titles buys you about 3.5 years. Thats for how long Cito Gaston managed the Jays after Joe Carter's walk-off. The Blue Jays fired him in 1997, and Mel Queen, the pitching coach, filled in as the interim manager. Since then the Jays have proven themselves inept at finding a viable replacement.

Tim Johnson lead the team to its first post-WS winning record, motivating his players with stories of his tour in Vietnam. After the season, he admitted the stories weren't true. It took the Jays' management three months to decide that the lies posed a "credibility problem." They fired him less than a month befre opening day.

They replaced him with Jim Fregosi. The mid-March coaching candidate pool is like a grocery store after a hurricane warning and Jim Fregosi was the dented can of spam. Perhaps it was the Jays' scramble to fill the vacancy that led to some sort of "Wait, what about the guy we beat in the WS?" logic that conveniently, or perhaps naively, ignored the rest of his resume. Not surprisingly, they didn't bother to extend him 2 years later.

Buck Martinez managed for a season and a half and Carlos Tosca finished off Martinez' year and then stuck around for another year and half himself. Neither left behind a winning record. Neither managed before or since.

The feisty John Gibbons will best be remembered for fighting with Ted Lilly and trying to fight Shea Hillenbrand.

Now that the Jays fired Gibbons, we come back to Cito Gaston. This is the Jays throwing their hands in the air, conceding that they haven't had a clue for the past 10 years. Obviously they figured since they've already fired 4 of their last 5 managers mid-season, whats one more? They are out of ideas, curled up in the fetal position, trying to comfort themselves in the cocoon of the good 'ole days. Supposedly, Cito spent the interim as a special assistant to the Jays' CEO, but what does that really mean when a then-10 year old MC Hammer was the VP of the A's?

I'm not saying the new Gaston era wont work out. I'd love to see a Tolkien-like story emerge, where we see that only Cito, the true manager of the Blue Jays, can win in Toronto! Then again, another mid-season firing is more likely.

1 comment:

  1. brings me back to the first WS i ever watched.