$$$=Security For Managers…Sometimes
With the report that Blue Jays manager John Gibbons is getting a contract extension for 2008 worth $650,000, I guess the intention is to ward off any rumors of Gibbons being fired if the Blue Jays get off to a bad start. With Gibbons and the problems he had with publicly fighting with his players last season, an extension through next season for an amount that, in baseball, is piddling, he probably shouldn’t feel any more secure than he did before.
Teams are reticent to fire managers due to contracts only when those managers are making a serious amount of money; by serious I mean $1.5 million+. Billy Beane fired Ken Macha and Macha was supposedly making $2 million+. If this extension is an attempt to insulate Gibbons from those rumors, it won’t work.
It’s really kind of unfair. Gibbons is a good game manager and the incidents between himself and his players probably happen at least ten to twenty times a season in every clubhouse. The difference is that most of those incidents don’t become matters of public record. The Blue Jays should either make a commitment to him financially, or just fire him because this strategy isn’t going to work. The Blue Jays expect to be in the middle of the playoff race and if they’re not, Gibbons will take the fall—–contract extension or not.