John Gibbons - J. Meric
Of course, it is easy to like the manager before there are any games, but today, I'm a big John Gibbons fan.
Jeff Blair has a story in the Globe and Mail about John Gibbons wanting the Blue Jay baserunners to be smarter.
The best line, from Gibbons:
"And you can never get caught stealing third base with two out. That should never happen."
I hope no one teaches Farrell that. It seemed like 2 outs situations were the moments when the Jays would decide to try to steal third. It was like they were waiting for the exact wrong moment to go.
Stealing bases is a good thing, but being smart on the bases is more important. Knowing the game situations, not deciding to steal home when Jose Bautista is at the plate with two strikes, for a totally hypothetical example.
Those "things" - such as Brett Lawrie getting thrown out at third base with one out in the eighth inning of a 5-5 tie with the Boston Red Sox, on a play right in front of him - hinted of an erratic disposition that can be annoying when a team is playing out the string but deadly in a season like 2013, where the Blue Jays have spent so much time and money positioning themselves for a run at the American League East title.
I'd like to think that Gibbons wouldn't allow that sort of thing, even if the team was 'playing out the string'.
Maybe it was something about being a former pitcher and pitching coach, but Farrell didn't seem to understand, or perhaps he just didn't care, that bad base running has a cost. It will be interesting to see if the Red Sox take up the same overly aggressive base running style.
The good news is that Gibbons see the problem and plans to fix it. On top of that, we have Tim Raines helping with baserunning. He was a good baserunner and had a very good success rate as a base stealer (84.7%, which baseball reference says is 11th best all time).
I can't imagine Gibby having a problem telling players when they have screwed up. And, it seems, Mark DeRosa job is to be a calming influence on Brett Lawrie. Hopefully, between the two of them, and whatever Tim Raines can impart, maybe we'll have fewer of the just dumb moments on the base paths. At very least I wouldn't expect Gibbons to just shrug his shoulders and wait for it to happen again, which seems have been Farrell's method.