Mariners Receive Permission To Interview John Gibbons' Personality

Per Bob Elliott, who looks incredible:

M's asked and rec'd permission to interview Royals bench coach John Gibbons for their vacant managerial position.

The first thing that comes to my mind when I think about John Gibbons is the first thing that comes to everybody's mind when they think about John Gibbons - isn't that the guy who openly challenged his own players in Toronto? And, sure enough, it is. Gibbons - who managed the Blue Jays from 2004 into 2008 - had enough incidents on the job that his Wikipedia page has a special section titled "Controversy With His Players". Over the course of his Blue Jay career, Gibbons battled with Dave Bush, Shea Hillenbrand, Ted Lilly, Frank Thomas, and most certainly a handful of others, which shouldn't come as a surprise from a guy who looks like he went to Vietnam for vacation.

It's almost impossible to imagine that the Mariners could consider both John Gibbons and Joey Cora for the same vacancy, because, at least publicly, they couldn't be more different. "We either want this guy, or we want the complete opposite of this guy. I'm stumped!" One can just picture how the two would've responded to the Chone Figgins episode.

Joey Cora

Cora: Chone, please come here and sit down.
Figgins: No
Branyan: Listen to the coach
Figgins: The coach is some bullshit
Branyan: Your face is some bullshit
Figgins: Your back is some bullshit
Cora: STOP FIGHTING
Cora: :runs away:

John Gibbons

Gibbons: SECOND BASE
Figgins: What
Gibbons: COME THE FUCK HERE AND SIT THE FUCK DOWN
Figgins: Okay
Gibbons: STAND UP
Figgins:
Gibbons:
SIT DOWN
Figgins:
Gibbons:
STAND UP
Figgins:
Gibbons:
SIT DOWN
Figgins:
Gibbons:
STAND UP
Figgins:
Gibbons:
SIT DOWN
Figgins: Coach, I
Gibbons: FUCK YOU

Gibbons, most certainly, seems a bit colorful, and though some time in Kansas City may have mellowed him out a little bit, odds are he hasn't changed. No one is just temporarily hot-headed. If you're kind of confrontational at 46, you're still going to be kind of confrontational at 48.

So the question then becomes, is that bad? And while we can joke about Gibbons' history and the fact that he wanted to punch Shea Hillenbrand in the face, the truth of the matter is that the Blue Jays were a .500 team under Gibbons over more than 600 games. They never made the playoffs, but they were never a complete pile of crap, either. They were all right. And it's easy to see the upside of his behavior. Gibbons wasn't one to let his players sulk or act selfishly. He got in their faces when he thought there was a problem, and one could interpret his actions as a sort of managerial back-burning. Get everything out in the open immediately and issues don't build up under the surface.

Gibbons faced an interesting situation in 2008, when he benched Frank Thomas during a slow start. Thomas complained about the lack of playing time, and rather than siding with the legend, the team sided with Gibbons and released Thomas the next day. It obviously isn't the same situation that Don Wakamatsu faced with Griffey, since Frank Thomas wasn't quite to Toronto what Junior is to Seattle, but there are some parallels.

In the end, we arrive at the same point as always - you can give us all the names of managerial candidates you want, but we're never going to be able to figure out which would be best and which would be worst ahead of time. Maybe John Gibbons would be great with the Mariners. Maybe John Gibbons would be terrible. Maybe John Gibbons would be okay. All we can say for sure is that, as long as both Gibbons and Joey Cora are in the mix, the M's are talking to both ends of the spectrum. In this managerial search, we've got something for everybody.

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