The Toronto Blue Jays have disappointed on just about every level this season, but GM Alex Anthopoulos stated Tuesday that the team's struggles will not affect John Gibbons' standing as manager, reports Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com.
Anthopoulos said that "there's never been any thought in that respect at all," when pressed for answers about whether Gibbons would return for the 2014 season, adding:
"John is our manager, and we expect him to be ... I actually think [regarding] the in-game managing, he has done a great job.
"I think it's so easy to pin results on one person. I think it's convenient. I could say that for myself. I could say that for certain players, for the manager. I just don't think blame falls on one person."
Gibbons, who was re-hired by the Blue Jays in November after John Farrell returned to Boston, was supposed to lead Toronto's new cohort of stars through the gauntlet of the AL East this year and into the postseason for the first time in two decades, according to the preseason narrative.
But, as they say, you can't predict ball. The Blue Jays stumbled out of the gate in April and have never really been able to recover. There was a faint glimmer of hope when the team got up to .500 in late June, but injuries and the complete implosion of the rotation has sent them back down to the division cellar. They now sit at 59-74 on the year.
If Anthopoulos, Gibbons and company want to improve the situation next year, they'll have to do so on a limited budget. The team already has $110 million in contract commitments for 2014 before taking arb-eligible players into account, which is just $17 million shy of their payroll for this year.