In years past, the title of Blue Jays badass would go to players such as Jose Bautista or Marcus Stroman. With the Blue Jays moving on from Bautista this off-season, and a struggling Stroman doing his very best not to upset the overly-sensitive umpires, it appears as if John Gibbons has become that one guy who’s not afraid to really speak his mind.
And that’s exactly the way it should be. Players shouldn’t have to be arguing strike calls only for that sort of behaviour to sour their relationship with an umpire. In previous years, Blue Jay hitters were notorious for questioning umpires, and one has to wonder if perhaps it did more harm than good.
The 2018 Blue Jays, with the addition of Curtis Granderson, Yangervis Solarte, and Teoscar Hernandez has transformed this ball club into one of the friendlier teams in the league. And the positive approach they bring to the game has certainly rubbed off on the rest of the team.
That being said, Toronto still needs to have someone willing to question the umpires when they do as poor of a job as they did this past weekend against the Rays. Gibbons is more than up for the task of doing this job for the Blue Jays.
In fairness to Gibbons, he’s been very well behaved this season. It wasn’t until the Blue Jays encountered the shoddy umpiring in Tampa Bay that ignited Gibbons’ fury. ‘Fury’ may in fact be too strong a word for it…as he looked like he was simply trying to have a somewhat civil conversation with C.B. Bucknor before the home plate umpire tossed him for next to nothing. For the record, Bucknor was rated by the players as being the worst MLB umpire in 2003, 2006, and 2010.