02.23.07

Hillenbrand Can’t Quite Let Go Of His Toronto Memories

Posted in Baseball at 10:09 am by

Currently making all sorts of new friends in Angels camp, Shea Hillenbrand take the opportunity provided by the Toronto Sun’s Bob Elliot to trash virtually everyone in the Blue Jays organization.

“I’m not a guy like Gregg Zaun who claims he’s a leader, I’m a competitor,” Hillenbrand said.

“I like Gibbons, but J.P. puts so much pressure on him. Gibbons keeps everything inside until he reaches the boiling point and can’t keep it in any longer.” Hillenbrand remembers being in the training room at Rogers Centre after a game early in 2005. “J.P. comes in ranting, knocking Vernon for a lack of work ethic and saying how he couldn’t stand Eric Hinske,” Hillenbrand said. “I hardly knew the GM and he’s saying this to me?”

Hillenbrand spoke of a dugout scene against the New York Yankees in 2005 when Alex Rios didn’t run out a ball and Gibbons lifted Rios from the game.

“The manager had the situation under control; at the end of the inning in comes (third base coach) Brian Butterfield, he’s yelling, swearing, hitting the Gatorade bucket and crapping on Rios. “I tap him and say ‘it’s okay, John handled it,’ and Butterfield turns and goes off on me. We didn’t need him distracting everyone. (Butterfield) said later I didn’t know him well enough to say anything to him.”

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