All Things Baseball

Maybe Shea Hillenbrand Was Right


 Maybe Shea Hillenbrand was right…

It was just about a month ago that the Blue Jays lost a player because he didn’t see eye-to-eye with Manager John Gibbons.  That player was Shea Hillenbrand.  He was traded after being kept out of the starting lineup by Gibbons, for no apparent reason, causing a rift between him and Gibby (Manager John Gibbons).  Hillenbrand was the Blue Jays utility man and designated-hitter, before being dealt to the San Francisco Giants, where he has fit in, but hasn’t produced offensively. 

Going a little bit deeper into the fight that Hillenbrand had with Manager John Gibbons, several interesting details start coming out.  Hillenbrand was apparently fed up with Gibbons’ laid-back style of managing, saying that “he’s not serious about winning”.  Shea Hillenbrand is an all-out competitor and found Gibby’s relaxed style “annoying” and “wrong”.  When Gibbons’ kept Hillenbrand and “another player that would have helped us” out of the lineup on consecutive days, Hillenbrand complained, and Gibbons apparently challenged him to a fight, which angered Shea even more.  Hillenbrand was designated for assignment just a few hours later, and as he left for San Francisco, he said the Blue Jays “ship is sinking” and that the clubhouse is terrible. 

But perhaps the Blue Jays evicted the wrong guy.  Maybe Hillenbrand was right all along.  Today, the baseball world got strong evidence in Hillenbrand’s favor. 

The Blue Jays got off to a quick 8-0 start against the Oakland Athletics today, but that lead was quickly surrendered by starting pitcher Ted Lilly.  When Gibbons removed Lilly from the game in the 3rd inning, the pitcher retaliated, complaining, and fuming at the manager.  Gibbons was later seen in the dugout with a bloody nose and bruises on his face, sparking rumors that he’d challenged Lilly to a fight, and Lilly had beaten him up.  The game got no better for the Jays, as Oakland came away with a 12-10 victory.  Meanwhile, another guy may soon be leaving the Blue Jays clubhouse, and while it will more likely be Ted Lilly, Gibbons may be the source of the anger and the cause of the “sinking ship”. 

Maybe the Blue Jays blamed the wrong guy in July.  Perhaps Gibbons should have gotten the boot.  It just goes to show you, even if you’re right, don’t mess with authority (your manager). 


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