Thursday, September 11, 2008

All good things must end

Go figure. Ten straight wins, and the Jays lose with Roy Halladay on the mound. It just goes to show that nothin' in baseball makes no sense anyhow.

And to think that we had sweet photos of Racquel Welch, Farrah Fawcett and Heather Thomas lined up to post to celebrate the extension of the streak.

Nothing making sense: Gibby Defense League Edition
With the loss, the Jays slip to a mediocre 15 games over .500 under Cito Gaston. We've been led to believe by some dudes and their acolytes that the change in the team's fortunes can be attributed to progressing to the mean, which they would have done under John Gibbons anyhow. The same John Gibbons who was let go with the team four games under .500.

Maybe this win streak has skewed our view, but the gap between Gibbons' 35-39 record and Cito's 43-28 record is distinct enough for us to make some basic assumptions about the relative merits of their managerial skills.

Around the Horn


silvestre said...

Damn straight! It's nice to see a resident of the blogosphere step outside the Wilner zone on this issue. The fact that they are beating good teams now (vs. losing to the fucking Mariners) are further indication of the managerial effects.

SP said...

Gotta disagree here. Anyone who watches the games can see Cito makes some really questionable decisions so I can't say Gibby was inferior managerially. The only thing it could be then is that Cito is simply a better motivator, which I hate to think a professional ballplayer would need. So it's probably a combination of that, regression to the mean, and everyone being healthy at once.

silvestre said...

Good points and regression to the mean is part of it. But everyone has not been healthy, as Vernon and Rolen have missed time, Hill has not come back.

Cito ain't perfect. All I am saying is that Cito and Co. are clearly better at putting people where they can succeed - you cannot ignore the results which quantify the across-the-board offensive improvements. I don't claim to know the mechanism (motivation, pitch recognition, whatever), but nobody could have expected better when the change was made.

Tao of Stieb said...

Sometimes, Cito makes decisions that aren't by the book. Gibby, towards the end, was always by the book.

The question is: Do some of the dodgy decisions (Bautista at first, Eckstein DHing, pitching changes, blah blah blah) work in the bigger scheme of things?

And yeah, that goes to motivation. If you don't think that creating a work environment where people are actively engaged and wanting to contribute matters, then you should have met my former boss. She was brutal, and under her inept regime, I barely wanted to go on living, much less work hard.

Joanna said...

The guys seemed to love Gibby, but they play better under Cito. Its not a "decision" issue, its a generally team atmosphere issue. Cito's rep and success means business. He's a legend in this town. His name is on the damn stadium. Gibby, while not necessarily a bad manager, lacks that experience and the clout. he might have lacked the oomph to boss these dudes around, or do it with enough conviction.

thanks for the shout out, Tao!!!!!

SP said...

True Tao, I think the motivation factor is a big reason (trust me, I've taken my share of organizational behavior classes and experienced it at work too). But I don't remember a single bad word, let a lone a legit complaint about Gibby from the players when he was fired. Stairs complained about Denbo, but nothing about Gibby. I got the feeling everyone liked Gibby but they had reached a point of no return. This happens with managers. With the exception of borderline totalitarian managers like Cox, LaRussa, etc., managers exist to be fired and it was going to happen to Gibby eventually.

Stoeten said...

Hey now, I don't remember what I've written about it exactly, but on the podcasts I've been very clear about giving Cito a little bit of credit here. You can't not. But the regression is another part of it, and so is the decision play Scutaro over Eckstein, Barajas over Zaun and to bring up Lind. And I'm not sure Gibbers could have made those moves if he wanted to-- though who's to say he wanted to. I think that stuff mitigates the amount of credit you can reasonably give to Cito, but the man obviously deserves some.

Tao of Stieb said...

We must have mistaken you for Parkes. Which must be doubly offensive. Our apologies.

(Which one of you does the horse whinny and Connery impressions?)

dave said...

Chicks wearing Jays' gear are hot.

Agreed on Cito, but I'm the kind of guy who fucking LOVES bunting the runner along so some of these "questionable" calls I'm completely fine with. Either way, I have no idea how anyone could hold onto the assumption that the Jays would have done the same thing under Gibby.

Do we really think that changing of dynamics on a baseball team has absolutely no affect?

Let the next streak begin and may it take us to the.... PLAYOFFS!