Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Why hiring Gaston makes sense

There has been much said in many corners about Cito Gaston's return to the Blue Jays.

Perhaps bringing back the powder blues was a sign the organization wanted to change more than its look. Gibbons wasn't getting it done and he had to go. Ernie Whitt got slammed in ways he hadn't seen since Bobby Mattick had a manager's jersey. Perhaps this gives him more time to spend with Baseball Canada, which isn't all bad, but he deserved a look.

This may be a move simply to distract from the larger issues the club has (those being Paul Godfrey and Riccardi himself). But if you are going to blow smoke on the fans, there are worse ways to do it.

Gaston hasn't managed in a while. That's all right. His main claim to fame was being one of the best hitting coaches in the league. That's the biggest problem the team has in a league where small ball went to die. They can't score runs because they can't put ash or maple to Rawlings. And while some managers can go stale, Gaston was still involved in the sport. I've always wondered why Cito never got another managing job after doing a good job with the talent he had most of the time. When some managers get recycled like NHL coaches do, why not go with someone with a matching set of World Series rings? Not many have that on the resume. If Cito does the job now, the Jays management team will look like heros.

But here's the other reason it makes sense. If it goes wrong, J.P.'s got a fall guy not named Riccardi in place. They can simply say Cito was "out of the game too long." Professional sport is a miserable master sometimes.

If it goes right? Pat Gillick's contract with the Phillies apparently expires in a year, and I hear Jimmy Key hasn't pitched in a while.


Tyler King said...

"I've always wondered why Cito never got another managing job after doing a good job with the talent he had most of the time."

Because of the 1994 through 1997 seasons, and because he wouldn't go through the interview process.

He came in second for the White Sox job, was offered the Kansas City job, and declined an interview for the Dodgers job. It's a popular myth that he hasn't been asked to manage again.

Duane Rollins said...

I'm holding out for Manny Lee.

And, I'm soooo going to the park tonight.

Ci-to, Ci-to, Ci-to...