Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said that Friday was the worst day of his baseball life. By Sunday morning, as the Jays prepped to wrap up this rocky season, the manager was feeling better about the situation.
“Right now, sure, I feel a lot better,” Gaston said. “I feel a lot better that my players had nothing to do with it. I was just completely surprised to even hear that, because I know how I treat these guys. I know what kind of person I am and I know how I feel about guys on this club. Like I’ve said, there’s not a guy on this club that I dislike.”
Gaston woke on Friday to news that there was “mutiny” in his clubhouse, that players wanted him gone before next year. Anonymous sources in various reports cited negativity and a lack of communcation.
Players went on the record later that day and confirmed that there were some issues in need of addressing. But others said the extent of the issues were blown far out or proportion. It was not that the team did not want Gaston back, just that they had an assortment of team issues that needed to be discussed.
“Small issues turn into big issues and can ruin a season,” catcher Rod Barajas said on Sunday. “There were various small issues. It wasn’t one small issue. Just various issues that us as players felt like we had to get off our chest.”
As far as the original story, which made it seem like it was a team-wide revolt against Gaston, the manager believes the source came from outside the organization.
“Unfortunately, you have to go through something that somebody else planted here,” Gaston said. “I don’t think it came from my players and unfortunately we had to go through that and they had to go through it. And the person that did that, you know what? It will come back to get them in some kind of way. We might not ever find out who did it, but it’ll come back to get them.”
Gaston also found it odd that anyone would say he had an “old school” approach.
“Old school to me is when guys come to you and say, ‘Hey, we’re going to Sarasota, can I drive my car?’ ‘No, get on the bus,'” Gaston said. “Old school is to me if they need to go home to see their family or are having problems. Nope. Stay here. Old school is you can’t go home when your wife is having a baby. Old school is you certainly dont get your own jet and fly your family anywhere. That’s old school. We don’t have that school here.
“I guarantee you, when you’re not playing well, all kinds of stuff comes up. I guarantee if you go to those winning teams, they have problems over there, too. But they just are kind of overlooked because they’re winning. That’s the whole thing.”
1. Jose Bautista, RF
2. Aaron Hill, 2B
3. Edwin Encarnacion, 3B
4. Vernon Wells, CF
5. Lyle Overbay, 1B
6. Rod Barajas, C
7. Randy Ruiz, DH
8. Travis Snider, LF
9. John McDonald, SS
Starter: LHP Ricky Romero (13-9, 4.26)
BALTIMORE ORIOLES (63-98)
Fifth place AL East, 39.0 GB
1. Brian Roberts, 2B
2. Robert Andino, SS
3. Matt Wieters, C
4. Nick Markakis, RF
5. Melvin Mora, 3B
6. Luke Scott, DH
7. Michael Aubrey, 1B
8. Lou Montanez, LF
9. Jeff Fiorentino, CF
Starter: RHP Jeremy Guthrie (10-17, 5.05)
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