No Such Nonsense

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Friday, July 04, 2008

Is it Canada, or Something Else

Cito Gaston's semi-triumphant return to his role as manager of the craptastic Toronto Blue Jays has got me wondering.

Joe Torre has won 4 championships as a manager. For this, he has been lionized as one of the greats of the game. In 2007, he lost the divisional series and left his job as the Yankee's manager, turning down a one-year contract with a pay cut. In big-league terms, he was a good as fired. He was snapped up by the Dodgers within two weeks.

Cito Gaston has two world series rings (back-to-back, let us not forget). That means he has the same number of championships as legends like Tony 'steroids, what steroids' LaRussa, Tommy Lasorda and Billy Martin. Bobby Cox, the forth winningest manager in baseball history, has just one championship.

So why has Cito gotten so little love and so little respect from the U.S. media and the baseball establishment? Sure, his '92 and '93 Jays teams were stacked with talent. But like the Yankees weren't? I could have managed the '98 Yankees to the big win and so could you.

After Gaston was fired in 1997, he was offered a few interviews but no jobs. Finally, he gave up having to prove himself, and seemingly, on managing in the bigs. I'll admit Cito left the Jays after some dismal seasons... but surely this is a guy he deserves more credit than he's gotten.

So the question is... is Cito's lack of props due to the fact that he managed a team that plays in such a low-profile backwater? Or is there some other reason?


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