News of Gibbons' return has players pleased
TORONTO -- Manager John Gibbons received the unequivocal support of general manager Alex Anthopoulos on Tuesday, and Gibbons' players were happy to hear that their skipper will be returning in 2014.
Many on the club felt that their manager was not solely responsible for the lack of performance leading to a 59-74 record heading into Wednesday's rubber match with the Yankees.
"I don't think he's the guy to blame," closer Casey Janssen said. "He's not the guy throwing the ball, catching the ball or hitting the ball. He's done a nice job for us. Sometimes the manager can be the sacrificial lamb, but I think our coaching staff has done a nice job. It's nice to get the support from the GM and see him around next year."
Gibbons has faced his share of pressure this season, but the stability and consistency he brings as manager were potential factors in the team's decision to bring him back next year.
Like Janssen, Adam Lind has been through three managerial changes in his time with the Blue Jays, and he knows the benefits of having consistency from a manager.
"We need stability, and it starts with the manager," Lind said. "He's the leader; it's the most important part."
While both players are happy to hear of Gibbons' return, they are also acutely aware of how frustrating this season has been, especially considering it has followed an offseason that placed expectations on the club.
"It's frustrating," Janssen said. "This is the first season we had an expectation to compete in the AL East, and all across baseball. It gets tiring to lose as much as we have."
After Monday's 5-2 victory, R.A. Dickey said the greatest disappointment of this season would be if the Blue Jays didn't grow from the experience.
Janssen echoed that sentiment.
"Being a Blue Jays lifer, so to speak, I want to taste the postseason," Janssen said. "I want a meaningful September. Unfortunately, it's not happening this year. Hopefully, we build enough for next year and to continue on to be the team we thought we could be."