The Toronto Blue Jays are Following a Trend Hiring John Gibbons
Although Gibbons wasn't the trendiest name out their looking for work, the move to get him depicts one more organization following a new-wave of thinking in the major leagues: The MLB manger, regardless of numbers or opinions, does not hold that much of a value towards a team's overall success.
So why blow the bank—or possible team chemistry—trying to find one?
It's true, while we anoint and recognize the managers throughout MLB history that have done well, their value towards a championship is small—if any at all. The skippers of years past, in general, always had great players to go along with their great seasons; plus a little bit of luck or "getting hot" at the right time never hurt as well.
Because of current MLB aspects, like a team's marketing, and the general need for big-named highlights slapped across the media guide, there was a shift in hiring over the past few seasons. The shift was to bring in a top-tier manager —or recognizable name—to run the club, regardless if the players were top-tier caliber; regardless, if that manager was deserving of a job.
Bobby Valentine, Ozzie Guillen, Willie Randolph, Joe Torre (L.A. Version) and even Dusty Baker have been thrown into managerial positions because of their last name, and had little to show for it.
The result: Money spent on a big name that doesn't even play.
It has always been the trend, however, recent disasters have taught teams to be more mindful of whom they ink to run the squad. The idea now is to find a manager that can steer the ship steady, not ascending, and most certainly not descending.
Now, you see managers getting hired that don't necessarily make the front headline of the sports page—unless it is to ask who they are, exactly—but that is whole point.
Exit guys like Guillen... and enter guys like Gibbons.
The Blue Jays have done a lot of spending this offseason so the move to get Gibbons may be swayed due to finances, but he also has the third most wins for a coach in Blue Jays history (305-305.) While that may not be the greatest accolade, ever, it does give him some credit—skewed or not—towards running a team, successfully.
And that is all he has to do. Let the players win the games and overtake the AL East, possibly, not the coach and his so-called tactics.
The best move organizations, and their new coaches, can make is to not mimic the Red Sox of 2012: allowing the coach to sink the ship before it even leaves the spring-training harbor.
The Blue Jays made a sound decision hiring John Gibbons. It's a trend the MLB will continue to have in future seasons. Good coaches don't necessarily require the biggest name; they just have to keep things under control for 162 games.
Oddly enough, Gibbons' early stages of managing-pass-or-fail will be based on players doing what they are paid to do: perform.
It's the same aspect, and exact players, that big-named manager Ozzie Guillen failed to control—excluding his mouth—which left him unemployed.