Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Gibby isn't Willie

In spite of the fact that both of their teams are a game below .500, those who are clamoring for John Gibbons' dismissal shouldn't take the midnight execution of the Mets' bench boss Willie Randolph as a sign that Gibby should be going next.

Let's remember that the Mets were absolutely built to win NOW. They have brought in big names (Pedro, Beltran, Delgado, Wagner, Santana) and built from within (Wright, Reyes, Pelfrey), and this was supposed to be a powerhouse. They have the third largest payroll at more than $138 million, which is actually more than the Red Sox are spending. They were also number three in payroll last year when the team went into the crapper in the final month of the season.

It's hard for us to say what Randolph's role was in the decline of the Flushing Nine. Certainly, some of those big acquisitions have underperformed in recent years (looking your way, Carlos), and it's hard to stick that on Randolph.

But one distinction we would make between Gibby and Willie is the manner in which the folksy, taciturn Texan has learned to deal with the media. Sure, Toronto isn't New York, but with three national sports networks, lots of talk radio and four dailies following the team around, Gibby's job in handling the media is no walk in the park.

Unlike Randolph, Gibbons has learned to give polite and usually honest answers without throwing his players under the bus or escalating the situation when things are going poorly. We tend not to give the man any credit because we're all a bunch of self-satisfied arrogant Canadians who figure than anyone with a Southern drawl must be a hick and a dope. But Gibby's learned from his run-ins with players in the past, and knows that giving the press an "aw shucks" bon mot will usually get them off his back and diffuse the situation.

It's not to say that we think that Gibby's got a ton of rope: both he and J.P. are meat if the seats in the SkyDome don't start to fill up soon, because the Rogers folks are focussed on the bottom line of the time above most everything else.

7 comments:

eyebleaf said...

over the years I've come to grow rather fond of Gibby and his southern drawl. i'm rootin for him. hopefully the sons of bitches can start hitting and save him.

Lloyd the Barber said...

As sad as it is to say, the Mets require a Spanish speaking manager. I wish it wasn't that way, but it looks like it is.

eyebleaf said...

four home runs for the brew crew in one night...wow, must be nice...

Mono said...

I like Gibbons, with the mish mash we're fielding I hope upper management is reticent to the irrational clamors for his jettison. Honestly, when we don't have a bona fide cleanup hitter and are compelled to play Joe Inglett, John Gibbons merits to continue playing

Anonymous said...

Boomhauer has got to go. Now. You guys are going soft.

silvestre said...

As much as I wish that firing Gibby would make a difference, I just don't think so. I would like to hear what he does to help the team lose? I mean, all he is responsible for is the pitching changes and lineup mgt., along with the occasional PH. On these counts, he is fine - I have heard very few complaints, even from Gibby haters. The pitching has been good, and he has tried all sorts of lineups. The team just flat out cannot hit for power or with RISP. IMHO, this is a .500 team unless some of the key guys break out offensively. No matter who the manager is.

Andrew said...

Show me proof that firing a manager in mid season has ever helped that season. Even in 1991, the Jays played worse in the 2nd half under Cito.