Our beloved Toronto Blue Jays are in first place! Hurray! However, for the past few days the dominant story is what happened between star player Josh Donaldson and Manager John Gibbons in game three of the recent Blue Jays/New York Yankees series. Our take…give us a break!
The minor incident, if one wants to call it that, between Donaldson and Gibson has been blown out of proportion by the media, including and essentially fuelled by Toronto’s baseball journalist. The way that Dan Shulman of the Blue Jays telecast described the discussion between the pair suggested that the they were involved in a violent physical altercation.
Anybody who has played sports at a competitive level or at a level where winning is important understands that there can be frustration, particularly where the player feels that he or she is not performing up to their capabilities. We have all seen it, time and again, from young House League kids to grown adults playing professional sports.
Donaldson struck out on the play and was frustrated with himself. For the last two weeks, he has struggled at the plate.
We all know that he wants to contribute with hits, walks, runs, rbis and stellar defence. And so he got frustrated and threw his bat in the dugout and Gibbons had a talk with him. And so he should have because throwing a bat in the close quarters of the dugout, and frankly, at any time is not the best behaviour. Josh should have returned to the dug out, gone down the ramp toward the dressing room, and yelled and screamed there to get out his frustrations. In the alternative, he should have simply sat down quietly, taken a bunch of deep breaths, and recalibrated hmself.
But to suggest that he and Gibbons had a “scuffle” is over blowing a minor “Dog days of August” moment in a professional baseball game where managers, players and team executives are conditioned to think of only one thing – winning the World Series.
As far as we are concerned, the Blue Jays are playing great baseball. Gibby is doing the best he can (being a manager is never easy thanks to arm-chair quarterbacks, including us, who might question his calls) and Donaldson is having another fantastic season. He has a lot of potential to be a future Hall of Famer provided he remains healthy. Overall, he a great contributor to the team and understands the game of baseball at a very high level. He is a team leader and he will learn and we believe humble enough to understand that he shouldn’t be throwing his bat anywhere and that it should only be used to club hits all over the baseball diamond.