ST. PETERSBURG -- Following a tough loss on Tuesday night that came in part as a result of the application of Major League Baseball's new rule on illegal slides, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons caused a bit of a stir when he suggested his team should wear "dresses." He brushed
ST. PETERSBURG -- Following a tough loss on Tuesday night that came in part as a result of the application of Major League Baseball's new rule on illegal slides, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons caused a bit of a stir when he suggested his team should wear "dresses." He brushed off that criticism on Wednesday morning.
Gibbons was upset that Jose Bautista was called for runner interference during the ninth inning of a 3-2 loss. Toronto appeared to have taken a 4-3 lead on the play but instead two runs came off the board, and afterward Gibbons said "maybe we'll come out wearing dresses tomorrow. Maybe that's what everybody's looking for."
Toronto's skipper said there wasn't any kind of malicious intent behind his comments and he does not understand why his quotes caused such an uproar.
"It was meant as a little humor," Gibbons said. "My mom, my wife, my daughter found it kind of funny. They know me. I do think the world needs to lighten up a bit. So, I'll move on from that.
"I cannot understand how that would offend anybody, to be honest with you, if it doesn't offend my mother, my daughter and my wife, who have a great understanding of life."
Gibbons' remarks came after Bautista was called for runner interference because it was determined that he was in violation of Rule 6.01(j). That rule states that runners must make a "bona fide slide," which involves contact with the ground before reaching the base, attempting to reach the base with a hand or foot, and being able to remain on the bag at the completion of the slide.
Bautista appeared to overslide second and his left arm made contact with the foot of Rays second baseman Logan Forsythe, who threw the ball away as he attempted to complete a game-ending double play. Two Toronto runners crossed home plate after the errant throw. Replay officials determined that Bautista's slide hindered and impeded Forsythe, which brought the game to an end without the runs counting.
Gibbons was incensed after the loss but had calmed down by the following morning. By then, Gibbons' quotes about the dresses made headlines across North America.
"Honestly, I didn't expect that," Gibbons said. "I understand there's an uproar, I don't get that; it's not the way I think. Try to inject a little humor into an intense situation. That's kind of who I am. You guys know me, that's who I am. No ill intent, but I do think we need to lighten up the world."
Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.