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RG: I'd like to do a small exercise with you. I have a list here of John Gibbons post-playing career jobs that you have had. If you could respond whether you applied for each one or not.
JG: OK. I can do that.
RG: Jays bullpen catcher.
RG: Jays first base coach.
RG: Jays manager – first time.
RG: The contract extension with J.P.
RG: You didn't demand an extension?
JG: No (laughs).
RG: Royals' bench coach.
RG: San Antonio manager.
JG: Yes, I had a couple of people call (the Padres).
RG: This time around as Jays manager.
RG: That's pretty good. That's a pretty good record of landing on your feet.
JG: Yeah. You know that (Jays) bullpen catching job. When (J.P.) got the (Jays' GM) job, he was helping make calls for me because I'd walked away from the Mets and the Triple-A team because I wanted to get closer to home with my family. I would have taken an A-ball job, anything.
One day I called Beane and he told me, 'Hey, I'll call you back. J.P.'s having a press conference (in Toronto).' That's when (Ricciardi) got (the Toronto) job out of the blue. My thought was, you know he's been trying to help me find a job, he should at least have something over here for me. I don't know what it is but I need something. So, he called me back and he said, 'Hey, listen, we've got the third base coaching job here and the bullpen catcher.' I don't even remember if he said bullpen catcher right away. He said, 'I'm bringing in Carlos Tosca up here.' They had a connection from the Yankees. He said come on up and interview. I said alright.
So I went up there and met with him and Buck Martinez. At the end of the interview they say, 'Well we have the bullpen catching job. Do you have any interest there?' I said, 'No I can't do that.' I'm going a little better than that. Right then I realized, well, they've already settled on this (as the best offer). There goes my coaching interview. So I get home and I'm thinking, damn, you know I need a joB. I've got 10 days left. So, I called him back.”
RG: Basically at the time you would have qualified as a minority hire in that you're an idiot for quitting your Mets job before you had another one lined up.
JG: (laughs) Exactly. So I call him back and I say, hey, you know what, the more I think about it, it makes sense. I've spent my whole life as a bullpen catcher and now I'm going to do it again. So, he gave me that job. I go to spring training – I haven't squatted in 10 years – the first day my knee breaks down. So now I'm the only bullpen catcher in the big leagues that can't catch. I remember Greg Myers was there. He was ragging me too. Tom Wilson and those guys.
Honest to God, I'd be down in the bullpen catching, once the season starts and it's, man, we've got 10 guys (warming) up every game. We're getting beat down pretty good. Nobody can get anybody out and my knee's killing me. I'm catching on one knee. I thought, I might not be able to make it to June. I can't do this. Maybe I should get into scouting. I may have to go to J.P. and say something. Then June came around. He ended up firing Buck and putting in Tosca to manage. I took over at first base. That's how it all started. It was a relief physically and professionally.
RG: The good thing is you didn't have to go to one knee too often coaching first base.
Every year they were going through at least one coach, maybe two. I didn’t get one of the jobs and, I mean, that’s the way it goes. He wanted one of his people. But usually a Triple-A manager slides in there after a few years. That didn’t happen.
Not usually a fan of RG - I have often found his stuff agenda-driven and he has been old school to the point of ridiculous in the past (especially when JP was GM). I vowed to stop reading him completely and have mostly stuck to this rule. However, this was a good article. Maybe he should stick to interviews and story telling.
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