You would need a detailed road map to detail John Gibbons path through the minors en route to making it in the big leagues.
And along the way, the Blue Jays manager certainly became well-versed in reading the signs.
So don’t think for a moment that he isn’t aware that the end is near for him in Toronto, as has been speculated of late. What is new on the topic of Gibbons future, however, is his own skepticism at being a part of the vague and uncertain future of the team.
“Truthfully, a full breakdown, you know I have to admit I don’t know if I’m interested in that,” Gibbons said prior to Friday’s 7-0 blowout loss to the Tampa Rays. “But we’ll see. I’m still here. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”
Gibbons was re-iterating comments he made earlier in the day to MLB Radio where he suggested the team may be better to “have a young, fresh face in here.”
Whatever happens, Gibbons said he’d prefer to discuss his future — and more likely exit strategy — with general manager Ross Atkins and president Mark Shapiro before leaving. There wouldn’t be much sense to jettison him before this season is over but who knows where the mindset is regarding the current mess?
“As long as I’ve been here I’ve heard (rumours of being fired) many a times,” Gibbons said, prior his team falling to 52-63. “One time it was accurate. You just deal with it. It’s kind of part of the job, the job description.
“When things don’t go well, that’s generally what happens.”
With one more year left on his contract, Gibbons would gladly take the money owing him and enjoy life back home in San Antonio. His relationship with management has been strong, but the 56-year-old jokes about the analytics age embraced by the current braintrust.
“(My future) has been kind of hanging over ever since we got a new regime here,” Gibbons said.
The other part that is surely weighing on Gibbons — though he’s never said it publicly — is how difficult the past two seasons have been. Injuries, an aging roster and two off-seasons without significant improvement have made his task next to impossible. However it goes down, Gibbons already seems to be at peace.
“Oh yeah, I’m fine with it,” Gibbons said. “I’ve loved my time here in Toronto. How many guys get a chance to come back and do it a second time? I’m confident in what I do. I’ve always given my best here, but this a result-driven business and that’s part of it.”
Does Blake Snell have a perfect game in him? We may never know.
In his second start since returning from the DL with shoulder fatigue, the young Rays lefty pitched five perfect innings against the Jays on Friday, striking out six.
But as designated by manager Kevin Cash, Snell was on a serious pitch count and threw 47 before his night was done.
“He’s one of the bright young guys in the game,” Gibbons said of Snell. “He was pretty impressive tonight.”
So, what happened with the first batter faced by reliever Jake Faria in the sixth? Luke Maile beat out an infield single, one of just three Jays hits on the night.
Meanwhile, Toronto starter Marco Estrada, who flirted with a no-hitter this past Saturday in Seattle, was knocked around a little. He exited after 5.1 innings allowing five runs on five hits and a pair of walks. The five earned runs matched a season high for Estrada (third time.)
WELCOME TO THE BIGS
Estrada being unable to go deep into the night opened the door for left-hander Thomas Pannone to make his major- league debut in one of the glimpses of the future that could highlight the final six weeks of the season.
The good: Pannone struck out three in the 1.2 innings that constituted his debut in The Show, including the first batter he faced, Rays veteran Kevin Kiermaier. The rookie didn’t get away unscathed, however, as the Rays struck for three hits and a pair of runs to open up their lead to 7-0 after seven innings.
“I was definitely a little nervous and just stayed in the moment the best way that I could,” said Pannone. “I didn’t want to try to look at the big picture.”
It’s unclear what’s next for Pannone, though Gibbons wouldn’t rule out him getting his first career start Monday in Kansas City.
If the blowout loss in the first of three against the Rays this weekend felt bad, there could be more to come.
Somewhat surprisingly, this is the Rays’ first visit to the Rogers Centre this year and they’ll have a three-game and four-game series here in September.
And if that’s not enough, the season ends for both teams at The Trop, a three-game series. In other words more than a quarter (12) of the Jays’ final 47 games will be versus the Rays.
AROUND THE BASES
The big damage the Rays inflicted on Estrada came from the long ball — a third inning, two run-homer by Michael Perez and a solo shot from Ji-Man Choi in the sixth … It was the seventh time the Jays were shut out this season and they are now 18-28 versus the AL East opposition … Another game, another blast for top Blue Jays prospect Vlad Guerrero Jr., who hit his third home run in as many nights down the road in Buffalo … The Jays offence was dormant, however, with the three hits their fewest since a June 5 tilt vs. the Yankees … The Toronto version of the Bronx cheer is finding it’s way into the Rogers Centre. A rather hearty “Go Leafs Go” chant broke out in the eighth inning. My, how things have changed in two short (or achingly long, depending on your point of view) years.
Source:: Toronto Sun – Movies