Dear John Gibbons: Shut up and learn the rule

Toronto Blue Jays' Jose Bautista (19) interferes with Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Logan Forsythe as he looks to turn a double play on a ball hit by Edwin Encarnacion, that ended the baseball game after review, in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Tuesday, April 5, 2016. The Rays won 3-2. (Will Vragovic/The Tampa Bay Times via AP)

Toronto Blue Jays’ Jose Bautista (19) interferes with Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Logan Forsythe as he looks to turn a double play on a ball hit by Edwin Encarnacion, that ended the baseball game after review, in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Tuesday, April 5, 2016. The Rays won 3-2. (Will Vragovic/The Tampa Bay Times via AP)

Did you see the ending of Tuesday’s Blue Jays-Rays game?

Have you read the rule about runners impeding fielders on plays at second?

Anyone who thinks the Blue Jays got hosed on the final call that cost the Jays the go-ahead run when Jose Bautista was called for interference hasn’t done both.

And that must include Toronto manager John Gibbons.

“Maybe we’ll come out wearing dresses tomorrow,” Gibbons said. “Maybe that’s what everybody’s looking for.”

Gibbons then backpedalled from those remarks Wednesday, saying he was just trying to inject some levity into a tense situation.

“I cannot understand how it would offend anybody, to be honest with you,” Gibbons said before the game with the Rays. “It doesn’t offend my mother, my daughter, my wife, who have a great understanding of life. I do think the world needs to lighten up a little bit.”

The implication of the remark is that women wear dresses so therefore women can’t play the game the way it’s played in MLB. Anyone woman or girl who has played the game would – and should – take offense with that remark.

If Gibbons wanted to make his point, he could have said something like “maybe we should put players in bubble wrap.”

Let us please get the dresses remarks or powerpuff remarks out this. It is 2016, and they are outdated, like John Gibbons.

Oh, and one more thing John Gibbons: Instead of bellyaching and coming up with outdated lines of levity, how about LEARNING THE RULE.

The rule is in place. You may not agree with it. But it’s there. It is not going to change anytime soon. So learn the rule. Teach the rule.

That’s what Ned Yost has done in Kansas City.

“From Day One of spring training, we have been talking to our team about that very situation, how it can cost you a game,” Yost said on MLB Network’s High Heat. “And how important it is with this new rule to slide directly into second base, and don’t try to go to the left, don’t try to go to the right.”

Huh. Maybe that’s why Ned Yost has a World Series ring, and John Gibbons has dress jokes.

Major League Baseball is going to enforce the rule to the letter of the law in the opening weeks of the season. Why? So they can teach the players the rule.

That’s how it worked with the home plate collision rule a couple of years back. Early in the season, there were runners who were ruled to be safe, even though they probably should have been out, because the catcher was ruled to be blocking the plate. Later in the season, the interpretation of the rule was loosened up, as players on both sides of the play adjusted to the new rule.

The same thing will happen here.

The Jays learned the lesson the hard way. It would have been much easier if Gibbons spent time teaching that lesson during six weeks of spring training instead of being a 1970s stand-up comedian.

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One comment

  1. Pingback: MLB Network’s Billy Ripken is 100 percent, absolutely spot-on with analysis of slide rule « More Splash Hits

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