ST. PETERBURG, Florida – Toronto manager John Gibbons says he was trying to inject some humor into a tense situation and had “no malicious intent” in his comment that “maybe we’ll come out wearing dresses tomorrow” after the Blue Jays lost 3-2 to Tampa Bay on Tuesday night because of baseball’s new rule on breaking up double plays.
“I cannot understand how it would offend anybody, to be honest with you,” Gibbons said before Wednesday’s 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.”
With the bases loaded and one out in the ninth inning, Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion hit a grounder to third. After taking a throw from Evan Longoria for the force at second, Logan Forsythe made an errant relay to first that appeared to allow the go-ahead run to score for Toronto.
Rays manager Kevin Cash asked for a replay review, claiming Jose Bautista violated the new “Chase Utley Rule” governing slides on potential double plays.
Replay umpires in New York ruled Bautista’s slide was not directly into the bag and illegally hindered Forsythe. The call was changed to a game-ending double play that preserved Tampa Bay’s victory.
“I know who I am,” Gibbons said. “I know where my heart is. I show up every day and do the best job I can. Try to treat people the way I want to be treated, and I think for the most part I do that. But it amazes me in the world now how simple things, you try to calm things down, and it gets thrown out of whack.”
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.” -John Gibbons, manager, Toronto Blue Jays
Major League Baseball recently changed the rule on such slides, hoping to prevent a repeat of the takeout by Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley that broke the leg of New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada during last year’s playoffs.
“I thought the umpire out there made the right call,” Gibbons said of second-base umpire Mike Everitt. “He didn’t see anything. It’s a rule. Whatever they decide you live with it. I think they anticipated with this new rule there might be some controversy along the way.”