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Friday, July 21, 2006

AP: Blue Jays manager challenged Hillenbrand to a fight before he was cut

This new wrinkle in the story deserves its own thread, I think.

After Shea Hillenbrand wrote on the clubhouse bulletin board that the “ship was sinking,” Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons challenged him to a fight.

There was no brawl, but the tense relationship between the two reached the breaking point during a team meeting Wednesday night. Gibbons was adamant that he would’ve quit if Hillenbrand wasn’t cut.

“That’s a fact. That’s how the whole thing got started,” Gibbons said before Thursday night’s game against the Yankees. “I told him he won’t see the field as long as I’m here.”
...
Gibbons acknowledged he challenged Hillenbrand to a fight. “He had a chance yesterday to defend himself in front of his coaches and his teammates. He chose not to,” Gibbons said.

Toronto Star: Hillenbrand soap opera is now Jays of our lives

NTNgod Posted: July 21, 2006 at 12:53 AM | 146 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: blue jays

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   1. Dan 'The Boy' Werr Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:00 AM (#2105767)
Jesus.
   2. Sam M. Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:03 AM (#2105775)
Me, I'd have fired a manager who challenged a player to a fight.
   3. NTNgod Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:04 AM (#2105778)
Now hearing this, and with Doug Melvin saying "I've heard good things about Hillenbrand... This sounds like a personal problem with the manager" -- now I *REALLY* want to know what kind of dirt Koskie/Bush/Gross gave Melvin about the Jays clubhouse dynamic... :P
   4. Kyle S Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:04 AM (#2105781)
Holy sh**
   5. rr Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:08 AM (#2105793)
Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi... had eight needles in his back when he learned what Hillenbrand wrote.

This may refer to Richard Griffin's Ricciardi voodoo doll instead of to JP himself.
   6. Sam M. Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:09 AM (#2105794)
After Shea Hillenbrand wrote on the clubhouse bulletin board that the “ship was sinking,” Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons challenged him to a fight.

Of course, unimpressed as I am with Gibbons taking a page from the Billy Martin Managerial Playbook, I must say I'm also pretty unimpressed with Hillenbrand and his style of being a positive force in the clubhouse.
   7. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:10 AM (#2105795)
Famous challenges to fight or actual player/manager fights in baseball:

Walter Alston challenging an entire busload of players to "step outside or quit b*tching".

Lou Piniella and Rob Dibble, Cincy clubhouse

Billy Martin vs. Reggie Jackson, Yankee dugout in front of a nationally televised audience

Miller Huggins vs. Babe Ruth multiple times with the challenges

Sal Bando vs. Alvin Dark

Frank Lucchesi vs. Lenny Randle

I think George Stallings got into it with somebody on the old Braves.

Frankie Frisch had to tango with someone.
   8. Jeff K. Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:13 AM (#2105806)
So *this* is why the Blue Jays haven't been talking. Nice, Gibbons, nice.

Frank Lucchesi vs. Lenny Randle

Does this really qualify as a fight? I would put this along with Carlesimo/Sprewell.
   9. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:20 AM (#2105835)
Jeff:

Well, if I didn't inlcude it three smarty-pants would come along and wag their finger at the omission.

Reading posts in the other thread I am surprised that folks don't recall Billy vs. Reggie in the dugout that famous Saturday afternoon. Among baseball fans it's like the Kennedy assassination. Every fan over the age of 7 at the time knows where they were when that rumble took place.

I still think Billy could have taken him. Despite his physical advantages Reggie wasn't into bare knuckle brawling. Billy had come out of the womb swinging. My money's on the Dago......
   10. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:22 AM (#2105846)
And for those curious:

June 18, 1977: New York's Reggie Jackson loafs after a Jim Rice bloop double during a 10–4 loss to Boston and is taken out by manager Billy Martin right after the manager removes starter Mike Torrez. Jackson and Martin nearly come to blows in the dugout as national television cameras watch.
   11. Jeff K. Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:23 AM (#2105847)
I still think Billy could have taken him. Despite his physical advantages Reggie wasn't into bare knuckle brawling. Billy had come out of the womb swinging. My money's on the Dago......

There is absolutely no question in my mind that Billy Martin would have whipped the ever-loving dog-#### out of Reggie Jackson. None.
   12. Jeff K. Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:26 AM (#2105860)
Wait, people don't remember Billy/Reggie? I was a year away from being born and I've seen that video.

Wasn't that right around the time of the "One's a born liar, the other's convicted" comment? The same day?
   13. Srul Itza Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:26 AM (#2105862)
Ricciardi said he wasn't surprised by Hillenbrand's behavior -- Hillenbrand once called Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein a derogatory term for homosexuals.

"He made some pretty disparaging remarks when he left Boston. I don't think people forgot that," Ricciardi said.

Reading posts in the other thread I am surprised that folks don't recall Billy vs. Reggie in the dugout that famous Saturday afternoon.

Really? There are people who don't remember it? It spawned, if I am not mistaken, one of Billy's greatest quotes: "One's a born liar and the other's convicted."
   14. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:26 AM (#2105864)
The more I hear/read about this whole thing, the less impressed I am with Gibons. And that's pretty incredible considering that Hillenbrand was the only one willing to really talk about it for the first 12-18 hours of the story.

A team pays ballplayers to hit, pitch, and catch the ball for the amusement of their fans. And you pay the manager to keep this guys from making asses out of themselves by acting like two-yearolds. You don't pay a manager to act like a two-yearold for his own amusement.

If I were GM of the Jays, I'd seriously consider handing Gibons his walking papers along with Hillenbrand. A manager simply cannot allow something like this to impact a team who still has a shot of contending for a playoff berth in late July.
   15. Tony H. Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:27 AM (#2105868)
I am wholly unimpressed with everyone in this situation, obviously. I'd imagine, however, that this sort of immaturity isn't as rare in MLB clubhouses as some think.

Question, though. Wasn't it Gibbons this offseason who demanded that Hillenbrand be kept instead of Koskie? I'd swear I remember that.
   16. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:27 AM (#2105869)
What that account doesn't point out is that Billy sent out Paul Blair to replace Jackson in the middle of the inning in full view of everyone. When Reggie made inquiries as to the reason for his removal Martin "explained himself". From there things quickly escalated with coaches Elston Howard and Yogi Berra grabbing Martin before he got to Jackson.

It was RIVETING. Now THAT'S what I call reality television!
   17. Jeff K. Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:28 AM (#2105871)
Really? There are people who don't remember it? It spawned, if I am not mistaken, one of Billy's greatest quotes: "One's a born liar and the other's convicted."

Jinx! (Shut up, Dial.)

Actually, it was the next year, because Billy was fired for that, and he won the Series in 1977. July of 1978 was the comment.
   18. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:30 AM (#2105878)
Harvey,

Though it's was a title defense, I'd have to put the Martin-Eddie Whitson bout on your list of famous manager-player brawls/near brawls.
   19. Srul Itza Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:31 AM (#2105882)
OOPS, my mistake.

The fight was in 1977

The comment was in 1978.


From the article:

Ricciardi said he wasn't surprised by Hillenbrand's behavior -- Hillenbrand once called Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein a derogatory term for homosexuals.

"He made some pretty disparaging remarks when he left Boston. I don't think people forgot that," Ricciardi said.


Well geez, Ricci, unless we are in a time warp, you hired him AFTER he made those comments. Maybe you might want to think about character a little, a least when it comes to signing fungible guys like Shea. An arsehole only qualifies as an eccentric if he is rich or has a 900 OPS
   20. Darren Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:33 AM (#2105887)
I just cannot believe that he actually challenged him to a fight. Maybe offered him a chance to defend himself verbally or got in his face or refused to back down when Hillenbrand was getting physical. But challenging him to a fight? If it's true, you just have to fire him--talk about a hostile workplace.

This incident reminds me of the Jay Payton thing with the Red Sox, in that I wonder how much of the blame should be put on the manager (and GM) for letting this thing fester to the ponit of no return. In Boston, it was taken pretty much as gospel that the Red Sox simply had to DFA and trade Payton, even though they had not publicly disciplined him in any other way. I think that management has to take some hit in both cases.
   21. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:34 AM (#2105891)
Billy's famous line was uttered on July 23, 1978. He issued an apology but was temporarily replaced by Dick Howser with Bob Lemon eventually taking over the team. The Yankees, way behind the Sox at this point, made their famous rush to the AL Pennant culminating in the Bucky Dent playoff game.
   22. Traderdave Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:34 AM (#2105892)
Vern Rapp lives!
   23. Darren Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:35 AM (#2105896)
I was 6 and I remember that Jackson fight. The most surprising thing, in retrospect, was that it was Rice who took an extra base on him. Not exactly Jim's style.
   24. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:35 AM (#2105897)
Wasn't that right around the time of the "One's a born liar, the other's convicted" comment? The same day?
I always thought that the "One's a born liar..." was what got Billy fired that year, and he wasn't shitcanned by George until the end of July. I could be wrong, though
   25. NTNgod Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:37 AM (#2105905)
But challenging him to a fight? If it's true, you just have to fire him--talk about a hostile workplace.

Well, it seems that Gibbons freely admits he challenged Hillenbrand to throw down.
   26. 1k5v3L Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:39 AM (#2105912)
RB, how's the new job? You have any time left to stop by Puck Fair?
   27. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:42 AM (#2105928)
The Yankees, way behind the Sox at this point, made their famous rush to the AL Pennant culminating in the Bucky Dent playoff game.

That's F'ing Bucky Dent.

One of my favorite baseball non-game camera shots ever was a couple of springs ago when the BoSox had just added seats atop the Green Monster.
   28. NTNgod Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:43 AM (#2105933)
Well geez, Ricci, unless we are in a time warp, you hired him AFTER he made those comments. Maybe you might want to think about character a little, a least when it comes to signing fungible guys like Shea.

It does seem a little like CYA when Ricciardi's spent the past year and a half talking about how Shea's 'a gamer' and re-signing him for a cool $5.8 mil in the off-season...
   29. Old Matt Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:44 AM (#2105935)
This story has taken a turn to the awesome.
   30. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:45 AM (#2105939)
Darren:

If the video is around and shows enough of the play Billy had every right to royally ticked. Jackson loafed from beginning to end.

But in his younger days Jim Rice moved pretty good. The guy did have back to back years of 15 triples after all. Rice was hustling that day.

And Jackson wasn't.
   31. Darren Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:45 AM (#2105941)
Well, it seems that Gibbons freely admits he challenged Hillenbrand to throw down.

Yeah, it seems that way, but his quote is a little vague. I'm probably just giving him too much of a benefit of the doubt because I find it so shocking.
   32. E., Hinske Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:46 AM (#2105944)
In response to NTNgod, I was just looking at JP's crying interview with the boys at Batter's Box. He specifically talks about how Hillenbrand is aggressive. Thin line between being aggressive and an #######, I guess.

I'm no fan of Shea Hillenbrand but if JP tries to slide that "Trade me now faggot" stuff out, someone should call him on that.
   33. 1k5v3L Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:47 AM (#2105952)
I think this time around Shea's words were "Trade me now lesbian"
   34. Darren Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:47 AM (#2105955)
If the video is around and shows enough of the play Billy had every right to royally ticked. Jackson loafed from beginning to end.

Oh I agree, and I can remember the play pretty well. Rice did move pretty well, and even played some RF in those days. But he just wasn't the type to take the extra base. Seemed more like a Remy or even a Lynn type move.
   35. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:48 AM (#2105956)
EH:

From the article:

"He made some pretty disparaging remarks when he left Boston. I don't think people forgot that," Ricciardi said.
   36. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:48 AM (#2105958)
This is a case where I'd like to hear from Chad Bradford Wannabee. It could well be that Gibbons had absolutely no choice but to call out Hillenbrand or totally lose the respect of the team.
   37. Jeff K. Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:54 AM (#2105978)
Thin line between being aggressive and an #######, I guess.

But this is always true, and if Ricciardi doesn't realize this, he's in the wrong business.
   38. Jeff K. Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:57 AM (#2105993)
Hell, in many cases, there is *no* line between being aggressive and being an #######. It can depend more on who is judging the action than the action itself.

You hear this all the time when women complain that if a guy is a dick to his male subordinate, it's seen as being not bad by *his* bosses, while if a woman is a dick to her male subordinate, she's seen as bossy by her bosses.
   39. Rough Carrigan Posted: July 21, 2006 at 01:59 AM (#2105997)
IIRC, Billy Martin KO'd one of his own players on the 1969 Twins, pitcher Dave Boswell. I think Billy's handlers would suggest a match with Reggie referring to Mr. October simply as an "opponent".
   40. Rough Carrigan Posted: July 21, 2006 at 02:03 AM (#2106019)
Supposedly, Hillenbrand had refused to talk to Gibbons or Ricciardi for 2 months. He would only communicate with them through his agent. Is this situation really all that surprising in light of that? What the hell were Gibbons and Ricciardi doing in that time? Your player was being a jerk but you had two freaking months to do something about the situation!
   41. Srul Itza Posted: July 21, 2006 at 02:12 AM (#2106042)
Supposedly, Hillenbrand had refused to talk to Gibbons or Ricciardi for 2 months. He would only communicate with them through his agent.


Gibbons: Get on the phone to Boras, and have him tell Shea to move two feet closer to the line on this next batter.
   42. RJ in TO Posted: July 21, 2006 at 02:16 AM (#2106058)
Have you ever dealt with a jerk? For a true jerk, it doesn't matter what you do about the situation. He's still going to be a jerk.

Besides, we don't know what the Jays have tried to do over the last two months to deal with the situation. We only know what they've done now, which is DFA him. As far as we know, they've tried jerk therapy, kitten-snuggling, clubbing him over the head with bats, or any of a hundred other things to try and deal with him.

As a side note, on a purely coincidental basis, I seem to remember that the trade rumors surrounding Hillenbrand first started about two months ago, so it's entirely possible that they were trying to do something about the situation. It could just be that no other team really felt like helping them out.
   43. Sam M. Posted: July 21, 2006 at 02:19 AM (#2106067)
There seems no doubt at all that Hillenbrand was being a Grade A jerk. How in the hell does an organization let a situation like that fester so long, though, and get to the point where the manager pulls something like Gibbons did? I really am kind of sympathetic, in a way, to Gibbons's frustration with the guy -- but you just have to wonder about his lack of ability to do something a lot more constructive a long time before it got to this point to deal with the situation.
   44. jim in providence Posted: July 21, 2006 at 02:24 AM (#2106080)
Has the "Trade me, faggot" utterance been established as fact? I recall some question as to whether Hillenbrand said "faggot" (rhymes with "maggot") or \"######\" (rhymes with "sucker").

In any event ... I love Youkilis.
   45. NTNgod Posted: July 21, 2006 at 02:26 AM (#2106088)
The NY Times article on the case (RR)

“I would rather lose than sell myself out to have someone play here that says those kinds of things about our organization,” Ricciardi said. Ricciardi said several teams had already made offers for Hillenbrand, who earns $5.8 million. He added that he did not think the Blue Jays would have to include cash in a deal.
...
“I’ve known John Gibbons for 20-some years,” Ricciardi said. “If you can’t play baseball for Gibby, you can’t play for anybody. I’ve heard some rumors that his job is in jeopardy. I’m here to tell you that Gibby’s job is more secure today than it’s ever been.”
...
Center fielder Vernon Wells, the Blue Jays’ leader, said he was not surprised Hillenbrand was cut. But he said he had been a good teammate.

“I loved Shea, personally,” Wells said. “I try not to judge too many people. I try to take guys for what they’re worth and get to know them on a different level.”
   46. John Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: July 21, 2006 at 02:32 AM (#2106096)
Hillenbrand's main points of complaint, by the way, were that he wasn't playing absolutely every day, and that he was DHing a lot. That was - swear to God - what created this intolerable situation. It really is bizarre.

Well geez, Ricci, unless we are in a time warp, you hired him AFTER he made those comments. Maybe you might want to think about character a little, a least when it comes to signing fungible guys like Shea.

Heh... Ricciardi often seems to care about nothing but bloody character. If anything, he goes too far in the other direction.

the trade rumors surrounding Hillenbrand first started about two months ago

That's right - early May. I thought it had more to do with Rios hitting a ton, though, but maybe it was connected together.
   47. Banta Posted: July 21, 2006 at 02:35 AM (#2106101)
I would rather lose than sell myself out to have someone play here that says those kinds of things about our organization

Uh, what?
   48. John Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: July 21, 2006 at 02:39 AM (#2106107)
Yeah, Banta, I don't think the fans agree with him there. :) This one doesn't.
   49. Passed Ball Posted: July 21, 2006 at 02:39 AM (#2106109)
Can't wait for the Keith Law article. I bet he knows the scoop.
   50. JC in DC Posted: July 21, 2006 at 02:42 AM (#2106111)
The one who comes out the worst in all this is, IMHO, Ricciardi. He brought in Hillenbrand and now acknowledges he did so knowing he had a history, he let the situation fester, he DFA'ed a player w/value that'll return him less value having been DFA'ed.
   51. badpunstrkagain Posted: July 21, 2006 at 02:44 AM (#2106113)
Wow. I didn't know so many people cared about my blue jays. We're better off without him. what a #####. JP definatly didn't help anything, but this is typical clubhouse stuff. None of us really know what went down.
   52. Backlasher Posted: July 21, 2006 at 02:46 AM (#2106116)
Supposedly, Hillenbrand had refused to talk to Gibbons or Ricciardi for 2 months. He would only communicate with them through his agent. Is this situation really all that surprising in light of that? What the hell were Gibbons and Ricciardi doing in that time? Your player was being a jerk but you had two freaking months to do something about the situation!

RC, I saw someone post this on the other thread. The article I read indicated that dealt with communications with Ricciardi. It did not say Gibbons. Have you seen a Gibbons site.

Shea has said he tried to talk to Gibbons about Playing time. I also don't think Gibbons called Boras and said, "Tell Shea, I'm going to kick his ass."
   53. Jeff K. Posted: July 21, 2006 at 02:46 AM (#2106117)
Has the "Trade me, faggot" utterance been established as fact? I recall some question as to whether Hillenbrand said "faggot" (rhymes with "maggot") or "######" (rhymes with "sucker").

Is either one acceptable when speaking of your boss' boss to the media?
   54. John Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: July 21, 2006 at 02:52 AM (#2106121)
The one who comes out the worst in all this is, IMHO, Ricciardi.

Well, no one comes out if with any credit, right? Anyway, yes, Hillenbrand proved to be a mistake, probably even on balance. It hurt the team a lot less than if he'd signed a bad player for that amount of money, though.

It'll be most interesting to see what the Jays get for him.
   55. Sam M. Posted: July 21, 2006 at 03:00 AM (#2106130)
Buster Olney reports, on BBTN, that Giants and Angels are interested in Hillenbrand.

The Giants? He's under 35 years old. How can the Giants want him?
   56. Jeff K. Posted: July 21, 2006 at 03:01 AM (#2106131)
It'll be most interesting to see what the Jays get for him.

It will be something approaching jack #### so rapidly that it will be virtually indistinguishable from jack #### itself.
   57. Boots Day Posted: July 21, 2006 at 03:11 AM (#2106136)
Has the "Trade me, faggot" utterance been established as fact?

This time around, it was probably "Trade me, pimp."
   58. pkb33 Posted: July 21, 2006 at 03:14 AM (#2106139)
Of course it appeared that they were going to get jackshit for Shea anyway. They've been trying to dump him for quite a while with no takers, so while I don't think this was handled well his value is roughly "starting from zero got nothing to lose."

Maybe they'll have to eat more money on the deal now, that's something I guess. But they couldn't even get replacement-level(and third-best 2B available on his own team/AAA team) Adam Kennedy and his contract for Hillenbrand to begin with, so....
   59. Sam M. Posted: July 21, 2006 at 03:15 AM (#2106141)
It will be something approaching jack ####

I wouldn't assume that. If there's more than one bidder, then there's a market. And a market means J.P. has some leverage, despite the ugliness of the situation. I bet he can get something useful here.
   60. Jeff K. Posted: July 21, 2006 at 03:17 AM (#2106143)
I wouldn't assume that. If there's more than one bidder, then there's a market. And a market means J.P. has some leverage, despite the ugliness of the situation. I bet he can get something useful here.

Define useful.
   61. John Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: July 21, 2006 at 03:19 AM (#2106146)
Well, for the reasons that pkb33 mentioned, I somehow doubt it. A C+ prospect, or a real major league shortstop (bad contract or no), would have been an acceptable return for me before this all started. I hoped for more, obviously. But now...
   62. Boots Day Posted: July 21, 2006 at 03:19 AM (#2106147)
There was also the time that Billy Martin sent Reggie up to bunt, and Reggie approached the plate holding the bat like one of the Peter Matz Dancers holding a bamboo cane. Was that the same game as the fight in the dugout?
   63. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: July 21, 2006 at 03:26 AM (#2106152)
Define useful.

Somebody who will be a man and accept Gibbons's challenge.
   64. Sam M. Posted: July 21, 2006 at 03:27 AM (#2106155)
Define useful.

A decent prospect. Probably no one who can help them right now, though. If Ricciardi is willing to take someone a little further from the majors, I suspect he can get someone with solid major league talent. If he wants major league ready, then we're talking fringey.
   65. NTNgod Posted: July 21, 2006 at 03:30 AM (#2106158)
Somebody who will be a man and accept Gibbons's challenge.

TORONTO BLUEJAYS: Trade Shea Hillenbrand to UFC for Tito Ortiz and future considerations.
   66. Jeff K. Posted: July 21, 2006 at 03:42 AM (#2106165)
Somebody who will be a man and accept Gibbons's challenge.

Heh.

A decent prospect.

I don't think they can get anything over C- for him.

Probably no one who can help them right now, though.

Certainly not, unless by "help", you mean "be temporarily slightly better than the worst person on the 25 man roster".
   67. Rough Carrigan Posted: July 21, 2006 at 03:43 AM (#2106166)
(AP) In yet another shocking development, the Toronto Blue Jays announced that they have signed former major leaguer Lenny Randle, making a comeback, to a major league contract with the intention that he take Shea Hillenbrand's place on the roster.

John Gibbons: -Gulp-
   68. NTNgod Posted: July 21, 2006 at 03:44 AM (#2106168)
RoboSpeculation: Where could Hillenbrand end up?

Some of the teams:
- Angels. Rejected the Jays' offer of Hillenbrand for second baseman Adam Kennedy earlier this season, but their interest could revive now that the price in talent figures to be lower.

- Padres. Certain to explore the possibility, but money will be an issue; one rival GM says the Padres have no more than $1 million to spend.
   69. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: July 21, 2006 at 03:45 AM (#2106169)
Is either one acceptable when speaking of your boss' boss to the media?


It was on WAAF out of Worcester, IIRC. Opie and Anthony used to host "Whip It Out Wednesday" there before they went to NYC. What kind of discourse do you expect from a station like that?
   70. Rough Carrigan Posted: July 21, 2006 at 03:47 AM (#2106171)
#44. I heard the clip. It was a local radio station, WAAF. IIRC, it actually occurred a week or two before the Sox traded Hillenbrand. Goaded into a dumb reaction to the rumors that had started to swirl that he might be dealt, Hillenbrand chirped "Trade me now, (slur that means Jay Marrioti)"
   71. Jeff K. Posted: July 21, 2006 at 03:50 AM (#2106173)
What kind of discourse do you expect from a station like that?

I expect a professional to show a little more sense, regardless of how juvenile the medium.
   72. Rough Carrigan Posted: July 21, 2006 at 03:50 AM (#2106174)
#52. I heard it on the radio (890 am) in Boston. I want to say that it was Buster Olney talking with Michael Felger.
   73. NTNgod Posted: July 21, 2006 at 03:53 AM (#2106177)
About the 'ship is sinking' chalkboard scribblings, this was in the Toronto Star earlier today, FWIW:

Sources have said that Hillenbrand and other players had taken turns attempting to write humorous messages on a clubhouse chalkboard. At one point, Hillenbrand is said to have written: "This is a sinking ship" on the board.

Though the messages were being quickly erased by the players after writing them, somebody apparently got word back to Gibbons about Hillenbrand's scribbling. After batting practice, the manager entered a players-only meeting, demanded who had written the message and got in Hillenbrand's face when he accepted responsibility.
   74. Jeff K. Posted: July 21, 2006 at 04:00 AM (#2106180)
Sources have said that Hillenbrand and other players had taken turns attempting to write humorous messages on a clubhouse chalkboard. At one point, Hillenbrand is said to have written: "This is a sinking ship" on the board.

Though the messages were being quickly erased by the players after writing them, somebody apparently got word back to Gibbons about Hillenbrand's scribbling. After batting practice, the manager entered a players-only meeting, demanded who had written the message and got in Hillenbrand's face when he accepted responsibility.


Oh. My. God.

If that's true, this has taken a turn for the truly bizarre.
   75.     Hey Gurl Posted: July 21, 2006 at 04:18 AM (#2106190)
Ok so now we have to find the snitch.
   76. NTNgod Posted: July 21, 2006 at 04:18 AM (#2106191)
The Canadian Press wire version, via the Toronto Star: Gibbons gives his version of Hillenbrand saga
Gibbons confirmed that Hillenbrand, while joking around with teammates, wrote "This ship is sinking" on a clubhouse board and that he later confronted him about it during a team meeting.

"There were some other things written as well. That's a fact," Gibbons said. "That's how the whole things got started. We're a team that's hanging in, trying to win this thing. You've got to have the right frame of mind."

Gibbons stopped short of confirming Hillenbrand's accusation that he challenged him to a fist-fight, saying: "He had his chance..[blah, blah- same quote AP used]."

Hillenbrand said he hadn't spoken in two months to Gibbons, who allegedly told him during a closed-door meeting in May that he was "washing his hands of" the player. Gibbons denied that, saying, "Don't buy all that," and the hand-washing comment wasn't made "in those terms."
   77. AROM Posted: July 21, 2006 at 04:19 AM (#2106192)
- Angels. Rejected the Jays' offer of Hillenbrand for second baseman Adam Kennedy earlier this season, but their interest could revive now that the price in talent figures to be lower.

That's starting to look like Steve Finley for Edgardo Alfonzo.
   78.     Hey Gurl Posted: July 21, 2006 at 04:19 AM (#2106193)
Ok so now we have to find the snitch.
   79. NTNgod Posted: July 21, 2006 at 04:22 AM (#2106197)
Ok so now we have to find the snitch.

It's just like a murder mystery.

WHO BENEFITS MOST?
   80. Jeff K. Posted: July 21, 2006 at 04:26 AM (#2106200)
WHO BENEFITS MOST?

EXPO dry-erase boards?

(I only mention this because there was an EXPO street team on campus today. Yes, it's true, and yes, it was as completely bizarre as it sounds.)
   81. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 21, 2006 at 04:31 AM (#2106202)
Eric Hinske with the lead pipe in the library?
   82. Sam M. Posted: July 21, 2006 at 04:31 AM (#2106203)
So let me see if I have this right. Gibbons challenged Hillenbrand to a fight because he wrote something on a message board as a joke, as part of something going on with a group of other players?

Good lord. What a tool.
   83. Asher87 Posted: July 21, 2006 at 04:35 AM (#2106208)
I'd think the most logical place for Hillenbrand to wind up would be San Diego...are they really going to Bellhorn their season to hell?
   84. Jeff K. Posted: July 21, 2006 at 04:35 AM (#2106209)
So let me see if I have this right. Gibbons challenged Hillenbrand to a fight because he wrote something on a message board as a joke, as part of something going on with a group of other players?

Add: Which he didn't even see.
   85.     Hey Gurl Posted: July 21, 2006 at 04:37 AM (#2106210)
I honestly don't see how what Hillenbrand wrote can be construed as a "joke." I try to keep my mind open to other senses of humor, but I don't see how the quote "This is a sinking ship. Play for your paycheck." could possibly be funny from any perspective.
   86.     Hey Gurl Posted: July 21, 2006 at 04:38 AM (#2106211)
Oh, but Gibbons is a tool.
   87. Sam M. Posted: July 21, 2006 at 04:43 AM (#2106217)
I try to keep my mind open to other senses of humor, but I don't see how the quote "This is a sinking ship. Play for your paycheck." could possibly be funny from any perspective.

That's not the point, though. I don't think it's funny, either. But in the context, with other players around when they were all trying to be funny, you have to assume that was Hillenbrand's intent. So, yes, Gibbons is a tool for reacting to that by doing anything more than maybe telling Hillenbrand he's a turd. Trying to provoke a fight with a guy because he has a bad sense of humor? And because he obviously hasn't liked the guy for a long time previously?

Yeah, that's a tool.
   88. J. Cross Posted: July 21, 2006 at 04:51 AM (#2106220)
I think this is in stark contrast to how Willie reacted when Pedro Feliciano criticized him. Willie dealt with it like and adult and without the need for force machismo.

The one who comes out the worst in all this is, IMHO, Ricciardi. He brought in Hillenbrand and now acknowledges he did so knowing he had a history, he let the situation fester, he DFA'ed a player w/value that'll return him less value having been DFA'ed.

Absolutely. Statements like: “If you can’t play baseball for Gibby, you can’t play for anybody." won't help Shea's strade value. Does he follow that up with "... but I think he'll work out great for you guys!" I'm guessing that the Jays both have to take back salary AND don't get someone useful.

Shea, Gibby and Ricciardi all look terrible here.
   89. E., Hinske Posted: July 21, 2006 at 05:03 AM (#2106225)
I haven't seen this elsewhere but there are some ####### incredible JP quotes from the Fan 590 in Toronto this morning. The Fan and the Jays share ownership.

"His comments about him loving his teammates...I don't if the feeling was mutual. I'll leave it at that."

"We're not going to allow someone to do something that is detrimental to not only our organization but the country of Canada and a Canadian ownership group that is paying a player a very good salary and I'm going to leave that at that."

We're pretty tolerant in terms of our definition of what's detrimental to our country up here. There are 50 MP's in Parliament who are there with a mandate to break up the country. No one shoots them or charges them with treason. Basically, we're cool with anything other than an attempted violent overthrow of the government. That's a pretty serious charge for JP to toss out there and then say that he's not willing to discuss it any further.

"If Babe Ruth acted in the same way that some of this behavior was, we'd do the same thing with Babe Ruth."

"This is a good city...this is a good country and we're not going to let anybody do things and say things that are detrimental to what this team stands for."

JP is a douche. I don't like Shea but good Christ - accusing him of doing things detrimental to the country?
   90. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: July 21, 2006 at 05:08 AM (#2106229)
Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons challenged him to a fight.


I'd want Gibbons to win
   91. Backlasher Posted: July 21, 2006 at 05:08 AM (#2106230)
So let me see if I have this right. Gibbons challenged Hillenbrand to a fight because he wrote something on a message board as a joke, as part of something going on with a group of other players?


Heavens to Betsy, I can't imagine anyone getting mad over a joke post on a message board.
   92. MM1f Posted: July 21, 2006 at 05:13 AM (#2106231)
" So let me see if I have this right. Gibbons challenged Hillenbrand to a fight because he wrote something on a message board as a joke, as part of something going on with a group of other players?"

I can certainly understand a manager getting upset over something like "play for your paychecks", esp if he had history with its writer and didnt know it was a "joke"...if it was.

Good thing SABR teams dont need clubhouse chemistry...except for staph treatment chemicals..</troll-y comment>
   93. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 21, 2006 at 05:13 AM (#2106232)
Shea Hillenbrand: Ladies and gentlemen, I'll be brief. The issue here is not whether I broke a few team rules, or took a few liberties with a dry erase board - I did.

But you can't hold a player responsible for his behavior with a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn't we blame the whole team? And if the whole team is guilty, then isn't this an indictment of the entire city of Toronto? I put it to you, J.P. Riccardi - isn't this an indictment of our entire Canadian society? Well, you can do whatever you want to me, but I'm not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth Canada! Gentlemen!
   94. E., Hinske Posted: July 21, 2006 at 05:19 AM (#2106238)
I listened to Shea's comments as well. He sounds a lot more credible than Gibbons. He also sounds like a slightly smarter Pauly Shore, which isn't as good.
   95. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: July 21, 2006 at 05:20 AM (#2106239)
Ok so now we have to find the snitch.

Well, we better get Veronica Mars to Toronto, QUICK
   96. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: July 21, 2006 at 05:23 AM (#2106242)
In Shea's defense, he didn't call Gibbons the son of a terrorist whore.
   97. SouthSideRyan Posted: July 21, 2006 at 05:25 AM (#2106245)
Trying to provoke a fight with a guy because he has a bad sense of humor? And because he obviously hasn't liked the guy for a long time previously?

Yeah, that's a tool.


But what if I run into Carlos Mencia in a dark alley?
   98. J. Michael Neal Posted: July 21, 2006 at 05:29 AM (#2106247)
But you can't hold a player responsible for his behavior with a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn't we blame the whole team? And if the whole team is guilty, then isn't this an indictment of the entire city of Toronto? I put it to you, J.P. Riccardi - isn't this an indictment of our entire Canadian society? Well, you can do whatever you want to me, but I'm not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth Canada! Gentlemen!

Do they hum Anne Murray as they file out?
   99. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 21, 2006 at 05:42 AM (#2106255)
"We're not going to allow someone to do something that is detrimental to not only our organization but the country of Canada and a Canadian ownership group that is paying a player a very good salary and I'm going to leave that at that."

We're pretty tolerant in terms of our definition of what's detrimental to our country up here. There are 50 MP's in Parliament who are there with a mandate to break up the country. No one shoots them or charges them with treason. Basically, we're cool with anything other than an attempted violent overthrow of the government. That's a pretty serious charge for JP to toss out there and then say that he's not willing to discuss it any further.



I think that refers to this report:

"On Thursday, Hillenbrand denied writing the words and also denied another report that claimed he ripped a Canadian flag patch off his hat after being removed from a game on Canada Day."
   100. SuperGrover Posted: July 21, 2006 at 06:04 AM (#2106268)
Anyone notice the lack of player support for Hillenbrand? If Gibons was THAT bad I'd figure that Wells, Rios, Overbay, Halladay, or Ryan (you know, someone who is DEFINITELY not going to get cut) would speak up in Hillenbrand's defense. I saw the Wells interview and he didn't look all that upset about things.

Who knows though? The Blue Jays have had some strange things happen to their managers since Gaston left.
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