Game 160: CitoGate (Toronto at Baltimore)

Thumbnail image for cito.jpgThe overwhelming sense inside the Blue Jays clubhouse this evening was that a majority of players agree that there is a problem, the heart of the issue is manager Cito Gaston, and it needs to be addressed soon.

Said interim president Paul Beeston: “I don’t believe it.”

Said Gaston: “I’d really like to know what I need to change. That would be interesting. I’d like to hear it myself.”

Beeston is expected to be in Baltimore on Saturday and the players plan on holding a meeting to discuss the current issues. Gaston did not seem to believe that more than a handful of players were complaining. Center fielder Vernon Wells indicated it was more than half the room.

There is a serious gap there.

“Unfortunately you’re not going to have everybody that likes you on the team, that’s just the way it is,” Gaston said. “It doesn’t bother me that there’s some guys that don’t like you. There’s some guys that didn’t like me before, they come back and they like me in the end. It’s one of those things that you can’t do anything about, there’s not a guy on this team that I dislike.”

Read later for more…

Today’s lineups:

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (75-84)
Fourth place AL East, 27.0

1. Jose Bautista, RF
2. Aaron Hill, 2B
3. Edwin Encarnacion, 3B
4. Vernon Wells, CF
5. Lyle Overbay, 1B
6. Randy Ruiz, DH
7. Travis Snider, LF
8. John McDonald, SS
9. Kyle Phillips, C

Starter: LHP David Purcey (1-2, 5.28)

Thumbnail image for Orioles.gifBALTIMORE ORIOLES (61-98)

Fifth place AL East, 41.0 GB

1. Brian Roberts, 2B
2. Cesar Izturis, SS
3. Matt Wieters, C
4. Nick Markakis, RF
5. Ty Wigginton, DH
6. Melvin Mora, 3B
7. Michael Aubrey, LF
8. Lou Montanez, LF
9. Jeff Fiorentino, CF

Starter: RHP Jason Berken (5-12, 6.51)

Don’t forget, you can follow me on Twitter: @MLBastian


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  1. gsjays

    LOL-This is all about poor little Vernon, can’t handle the fact he’s no longer the top dog on the team. Well Vernon, you have two options, one is to retire and take your sour look **** home and the other is to perform to the contract you have and when you do, you’ll likely be top doggie again.

    Frankly, please choose option one.

  2. gsjays

    Hey Vernon, how’s if feel to see a rook come up, have 105 at bats and hit 10 home runs-only 5 behind ya in your 616 at bats. Is that what’s got ya upset Vernon. Awh, poor Vernon

  3. aaaincny

    Man, if Wells was a really worth big money he’d be tough enough to just suck it up and keep his mouth shut. After the year he has had and the money he has made, he should be embarrassed to be involved in anything other than an off season find his stroke program. What a whiner!

  4. lndigo

    Wells is the players rep , so if a player has a greivance he is suppose to go to Wells . Nowhere in this article does it say VW was complaining, so until we have actual facts why go after Wells . Obviously there is a problem between Gaston and some of the players . Lets hope everything gets resolved

  5. gsjays

    Indigo, this is one reason to assume Wells is at the center of this: Asked if it would be difficult to play under Cito again in 2010, Wells: “I cant answer that question.”

    Richard Griffin of the Star has a blog post covering this situation which is an interesting read. I don’t often agree with him, but I do agree with a lot he says in this post, particularly, who leaked this supposed turmoil story to Ken Rosenthal of Fox news is the same guy who leaked the Halladay trade rumors, our very own JP Riccardi.

    It might be that a lot of players were caught off guard and never expected this to be public. There’s always some discontent in every clubhouse, particularly on clubs with years like this one, but Wells comment is a devastating one coming from someone the Jays have invested over $100 million in.

  6. teacherguy

    Like Billy Martin said, ( think he was referring to Reggie). Keep the half that love you away from the half that hate you. Good message for all management. Which side is Wells? Time will tell.

  7. gsjays

    Casey Stengel said something similar. It was he understood that, on any baseball team, a number of players liked the manager, a number didn’t like him and rest were undecided. Stengel said the most difficult part of managing was keeping the guys who hated him away from those who hadn’t made up their minds.

    All Blue Jay players should make three phone calls to Alex Rios, Ted Lilly and Reed Johnson. They should ask Alex how much he enjoys getting personally abused each and every day by Ozzie Guien and they should ask Reed & Ted how many times Lou Pinella butters their toast.

  8. gsjays

    The Toronto Blue Jays have fired general manager J.P. Ricciardi.

    Said Paul Beeston, the team’s acting president, and CEO: ?This was a tough decision and a difficult one for me personally as I have enjoyed J.P.’s friendship and his perspective on the game.?

    ?J.P. has put an incredible amount of effort into improving the team and he has brought along a number of great young players. However, I feel that it is time for a change and accordingly we have decided to move on.?

    Ricciardi, who was also senior vice-president of baseball operations, joined the Jays in 2001 and had one year left on his contract.

    Filling in for him will be Alexander Anthopoulos, vice-president of baseball operations and assistant GM.

    The 75-85 Jays are finishing out their regular season in Baltimore.

    Ricciardi’s firing comes on the heels of news of locker-room unrest with manager Cito Gaston.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you


    I hope Cito’s next. Not because of the players complaining, but because of his in-game managing.

    Would anyone be upset if Alex isn’t just interim ? I’d like to see him get a shot.


    All this talk about the players complaining about Cito makes me wonder if that was one of the reason’s Rolen asked to be traded.

    Indigo is right by the way, Vernon is the team’s player rep. so if anyone has complaints they go to him, that’s why he’s been the most outspoken of all this.

  11. djaysm

    So long JP. I’m glad they made this move before the end of the season, maybe this will help some players decide their future.
    I personally don’t want Alex A to be the full time GM next season. Only for this reason, JP has spent 8 years dragging this team through the mud, and respect for this organization is at an all time low. We need to bring someone in with a good reputation, some previous GM experience, and help bring this team back up to a respectable standard, on and off the field.

  12. gsjays

    Enigma-Yes Wells is the player rep, but the comment when asked if it would be difficult to play under Cito again in 2010, Wells: “I cant answer that question.” suggests he’s a lot more skin in this game than just the spokesman.

    I stand by what I original posted on this fracas. JP is the one who leaked this story to Ken Rosenthal as a way of taking a shot at the organization on his way out the door.
    Reading all the stuff written about this, it’s quite clear the players were as surprised it hit the press as Cito was. Therefore, it might be that Wells himself was caught off guard when asked the question, BUT, one never bites the hand who feeds you and this organization has committed over $100 million to Vernon and have the right to expect his loyalty to the organization.

    In all MLB clubhouses, there’s always some grumbling and there’s always some guys whining about playing time. As the player rep, Vernon should have sat down with Cito once a month or so and review any grumbling behind closed doors and deal with it at the time, but he didn’t do that.
    Point is,this story should have never hit the press. In that regard, I also hold Vernon responsible, because if he properly done his job as player rep, JP wouldn’t have had the chance to throw the grenade into the clubhouse and cause this uproar..

  13. gsjays

    Kevin Towers just got fired as the GM for the San Diego Padres. Under Towers, the small-market Padres won NL West titles in 1996, 1998, 2005 and 2006. The Padres’ $43 million payroll this season is among the lowest in baseball.

    Towers has a reputation for being able to trade untradeable contracts while upgrading the personal at the same time. hmmmmmmmmmmm

  14. lndigo


    VW should be loyal to this club and by giving the answer he did he proved his loyalty . Any other answer would have been unacceptable as the representative of these players . How do you know VW didn’t approach Gaston about the unrest , you don’t unless you were in Gaston’s office . One thing I do agree with is this should have never hit the press but should have been kept in house . Unless Rosenthal divulges who his source was ( I highly doubt he will ) , everything is based on speculation

  15. lndigo

    Towers would be an interesting choice . The biggest problem the Jays’ organization have, will be finding someone who wants to cross the border . This team has been mediocre at best and everyone wants to be on a winning team . It will cost the Jay’s more money to entice staff and players to come to Canada . Jays may always have to overpay to get who or what they want

  16. gsjays

    Indigo-I guess we have to agree to disagree on Wells answer. The right answer would have been “we have some communications issues which is normal considering our season, but I’m sure they can be straightened away.”

    There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that if Wells had approached Cito, he’d gotten a hearing. Cito said “If there were problems, I don’t know why no one has talked to me about it.” I believe Cito because he doesn’t really need this job and in all the time he’s been here as manager he’s never been caught lying. I don’t think he’s lying now.

  17. lndigo

    As a union rep VW is the voice for the whole team. If his answer had been ” No we can’t play under Gaston next year ” or had he said ” It will be no problem playing under Gaston next year” , then VW would have lost the capacity of representing all the players on the Jays’ team and the respect of his fellow teammates. His only choice was to be neutral and say ” I can’t answer that question ” . As you said no one bites the hand that feeds you , VW’s answer reflected that .

    One of the things I have read over and over again was that Gaston wouldn’t talk about things but like I said its all speculation

  18. gsjays

    Indigo-It was a question directed at Vernon personally, not the team and he didn’t respond “we”, he responded I. There are now numerous reports coming out that Vernon is the ringleader of this, which is hilarious because he’s also the main problem as a result of not doing his job as player rep.
    If Wells had went to Cito in his official capacity as players rep, Cito would HAVE to sit down and listen to him. Point is Beeston is saying the same thing and also said he was surprised that if there were issues no one talked to him.So if Wells had been turned down by Cito, he certainly didn’t call Beeston.
    Fact is, I believe Cito and Beeston one hell of a lot more than Vernon Wells. Now it could also be that it was Wells intention of bringing this forward at the end of the season in a private meeting with Cito and Wells himself was blindsided by JP released the story to Ken Rosenthal. In my mind, that’s Vernon’s only defense, but it still doesn’t explain his answer to the question.

  19. lndigo

    The only knowledge we have is what the media tells us, so none of us will ever know the whole truth . The whole thing is a mess and if JP leaked this , along with the Halladay debacle , then he should have been fired back then but we will never know . The only thing I know( from everything I have read ) is the fact there is a huge problem and if VW or any team member felt they couldn’t go to Gaston then obviously there was no respect there. Hopefully the problems get solved and this team can get back to playing baseball .

  20. lndigo

    I am not saying Wells isn’t part of this but since he is the player’s rep he should be the ringleader and be front and centre . He is suppose to be the players voice . The whole thing makes me sad it got this far and that it was leaked to the media . TO seems to be the drama queen of baseball lately…..the fights with Gibby and now this

  21. gsjays

    From Bastian’s Tweet referencing the team meeting:

    Cito: Anonymous comments about him probably came from someone outside the organization. One team source relayed a similar story. More later.
    Doc, on Cito situation: “The players being on the ledge was kind of brought up by people who aren’t associated with the situation.”
    Two meetings today. Beeston met with some players to discuss recent reports about Cito. Team held meeting at park to talk GM situation.
    Anthopoulos will be the general manager going forward, unless the new president (whenever he is hired) decides to bring in his own GM.

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