There's an interesting line of discussion going on in the comments over at the Drunk Jays Fans over the relatively light hand that has been used with Cito Gaston this spring. The Drunks' Dustin Parkes raised the notion that some of the statements that Cito has made publicly through the Spring - and all the way back to the Winter Meetings, if you recall - are a bit goofy (and that's being generous). But for some reason, no one seems to be nearly as quick to call him on it as they were with his predecessor.
The question was raised as to whether or not if Gaston somehow has earned some extra rope based on his winning history, and whether or not if we should consider those past accomplishments when we're about to unload on the saintly Cito.
As we said in the comments on the Drunks' site:
People used to lose their shit talking about how John Gibbons sat in the dugout, or for any number of other minute, insignificant bullshit reasons.
Every word that came out of his mouth was interpreted to be the hopeless prayer of an idiot.
And if Gibby had ever made any of the weird speculatory statements that Cito has in this offseason, he would have been excoriated for them.
If people want to give Cito a free pass for life, maybe he should be the mascot and not the manager.
We have two basic thoughts about this whole Cito thing.
The first is that when we look at past performance as a reason for giving grace to the Jays' manager, it is at least worth noting that John Gibbons' performance - never fewer than 80 wins - was not as bad as people thought, and that moreover, Cito's later performance as skipper from 1995 to 1997 was far more dreadful than people remember. So it should probably be a wash.
The second thought that we have, though, is that we're probably as guilty as anyone in giving Cito a free ride over the past few months. There have been a number of times that we've read a quote from Gaston and thought immediately that he was talking out of his ass, but rather than scampering over to Blogger to mercilessly take him down a peg, we shrugged and wrote it off as Cito filling the air and reporters digital recorders. There's nothing particularly wrong about that in February, where everyone is still shaking off the cobwebs and getting back to work. But in April, it starts to get a little more worrisome.
The free pass that we've been giving to Cito so far has less to do with the Back-to-Back Salad Days, and more to do with our own knowledge of how uncouth our braying nincompoopery at Gibby's expense looks in retrospect. We probably did wrong by Gibby, and we don't necessarily want to make this blog an incessant screed against the manager of the day.
(But Gary Denbo, we'll never get tired of dumping on that punk.)