According to FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, Toronto Blue Jays players are fed up with manager Cito Gaston and don’t want him to return in 2010.
“It’s nearly a mutiny right now,” one source says. “He has lost the entire team.”
The players’ primary complaints are Gaston’s lack of communication, old-school approach and negativism, sources say.
It seems to me there is a perfect storm making it’s way into Toronto and it’s coming to a head real soon. GM JP Ricciardi’s job is in jeopardy, the players want their manager out, and the Blue Jays will have their first losing season in 2009 since 2005.
The Blue Jays have “massive team blow-up” written all over it in the offseason.
But let’s go back to the Gaston situation for a bit. I have two takes on this.
My first take is the Blue Jays have had a disappointing season and that brings discontent in the clubhouse. I have never heard of a losing team having a happy clubhouse. Somebody is always pointing the finger at somebody.
It’s either the coaches pointing the fingers at the players or the players pointing the finger at the coaches. It’s happened on every losing team in the history of sports. I am not surprised it’s happening in Toronto.
My other take on this is that maybe Gaston, despite his impressive past success with the Blue Jays organization (back-to-back World Series titles in 1992 & 1993) wasn’t the right person for this particular job.
Here is what I know about Gaston — every former player who played for him in Toronto in the 90’s raves about him. They can’t stop talking about what a great manager he was to play for. He is often referred to as the classic “players coach.”
Here is the thing though. All those players — they were superstars. Joe Carter, David Cone, Dave Winfield, Roberto Alomar — they were stars. Outside of Roy Halladay and fringe stars like Aaron Hill and Adam Lind, this Blue Jay team was made up of mostly young and under achieving players (Vernon Wells, Alex Rios, etc…).
Perhaps Gaston is a “Phil Jackson” type manager. This means Jackson can clearly manage superstars, but if you asked him to manage the Charlotte Bobcats he probably couldn’t work with all those young players. I am guessing Gaston would be great with a team like the New York Yankees or the Boston Red Sox.
This should be a fascinating offseason in Toronto. My guess is the entire operation gets blown up and the Blue Jays start from scratch in 2010.
The Blue Jays were in first place on May 23rd this year. How quickly things change.