Though he doesn’t go as far as recalling Spree’s chokefest ala Rebuilding Year’s Josh, The New York Sun’s Tim Marchman demands that “any manager who not only helms an expensive, underperforming ballclub but gets into two separate physical confrontations with players should get the boot.”
One is free to suppose that Gibbons (above) might have, say, chased Lilly down into the tunnel to talk about muffin recipes, tripped, and fallen on his face, thus bloodying his nose. Even so, one would have to find it a bit curious that in this situation, Gibbons found it difficult to get his starter to give him the ball. Who’s heard of such a thing? And what kind of manager chases a player into a tunnel and grabs him, even if it’s only to let him know before he hits the shower that Mrs. Lilly’s suggestion to add a touch of vanilla when making banana-nut muffins was a hit around the Gibbons household?
This is, of course, fresh off last month’s incident in which Gibbons challenged Jays infielder Shea Hillenbrand to a fight after finding out he’d written “The ship is sinking” on a clubhouse blackboard.”He had a chance yesterday to defend himself in front of his coaches and his teammates. He chose not to,” Gibbons told reporters the day after the incident, which ended up in Hillenbrand being traded to San Francisco.
Who talks like this? Gibbons is a grown man. Baseball isn’t law or medicine, and you certainly hold baseball managers to a different standard than the one to which you’d hold, say, newspaper editors, but challenging a subordinate to a fistfight in front of your staff and his fellow employees is just about most immature behavior imaginable. It’s the sort of thing only someone who knows he deserves no respect whatsoever does.