Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons says the world needs to “lighten up” after coming under fire for a comment he made following Tuesday night’s controversial loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.
“Maybe we’ll come out wearing dresses tomorrow,” Gibbons said.
Gibbons made the comment after a new rule governing slides and double plays cost the Jays the tying and go ahead runs in the top of the ninth inning.
“[The call] turned the game into a joke,” Gibbons said. “That’s flat embarrassing. That cost us a chance to win a major league game.”
The “dresses” comment did not go over well. However, Gibbons says he doesn’t see a problem with the statement.
“I cannot understand how it would offend anybody, to be honest with you,” Gibbons said before Wednesday’s game with the Rays.
“It doesn’t offend my mother, my daughter, my wife, who have a great understanding of life. I do think the world needs to lighten up a little bit.”
The new “Chase Utley rule”
With the bases loaded and one out in the ninth inning, Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion hit a grounder to third base. After taking a throw from Evan Longoria for the force at second, Logan Forsythe made an errant relay to first that appeared to allow the tying and go-ahead runs to score for Toronto.
Replay umpires in New York ruled Jose Bautista’s slide was not directly into the bag and it illegally hindered Forsythe. The call was changed to a game-ending double play that preserved Tampa Bay’s victory.
Toronto Blue Jays’ Jose Bautista interferes with Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Logan Forsythe as he looks to turn a double play on a ball hit by Edwin Encarnacion, that ended the baseball game after review, in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Tuesday, April 5, 2016. The Rays won 3-2. Will Vragovic/The Tampa Bay Times via AP
Toronto Blue Jays’ Jose Bautista interferes with Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Logan Forsythe as he looks to turn a double play on a ball hit by Edwin Encarnacion, that ended the baseball game after review, in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Tuesday, April 5, 2016. The Rays won 3-2.
Will Vragovic/The Tampa Bay Times via AP
“I feel like I respect the rule, that it was an absolutely clean slide,” Bautista said. “And it’s just disappointing to lose a major league baseball game, with so much at stake every day here. We put a lot into the game since we were little kids and then to all of a sudden have everything taken away like that is just strange.”
It’s known as the “Chase Utley rule” and it’s aimed at preventing baserunners from sliding into defensive players to break up double plays. Utley, an infielder with the Los Angeles Dodgers, was suspended for two games after sliding into New York Mets second shortstop Ruben Tejeda in an attempt to break up a double play. Tejeda had his back to Utley and suffered a broken leg in the play. The play occurred during last year’s post-season. Utley has appealed the suspension.
However, it was Gibbons’ “sexist” comments that angered many on social media.
“Terribly sexist comments by Gibbons after last night’s Jays game,” Chris Cherry tweeted. “Being ‘tough’ does not require implying weakness in women.”
“If Gibbons wanted a non-sexist way to complain about the rule being too stringent he could have said the team should wear bubble wrap,” Neil Weinberg tweeted.
“What happened in the Jays-Rays game is real confusing and maddening,” Adriano Vertullo chimed in. “Gibbons was upset, but should never make comments like he did.”
Here’s a look at some of the other reaction:
What’s sad about Gibbons’ “we’ll wear dresses” comment isn’t just that it’s profoundly unfunny, but equates being feminine with being weak.
— Anne T. Donahue (@annetdonahue) April 6, 2016
I don’t think it’s a crime what Gibbons said or even a big deal. Just unnecessary IMHO.
— Damien Cox (@DamoSpin) April 6, 2016
Hey John Gibbons, in case you didn’t know, these guys wore dresses & seem to be doing quite alright at baseballing!! pic.twitter老域名购买/t5noTXxl8M
— The Original Hecky™ (@Hecky1019) April 6, 2016
I disagree with Jose Bautista and I don’t like what John Gibbons said. I feel like I’m at an awkward family function with the in-laws.
— BallHer (@BaseballHer) April 6, 2016
I hope John Gibbons takes a lot of heat for his terrible “players may as well come out in dresses’ comment. 👗⚾🔥 #Jays
— Pete in Florida (@stpete2you) April 6, 2016
Hey, Gibbons: these players managed to play pretty damn well in skirts, so what’s your point? pic.twitter老域名购买/RKU5UmKp9g
— Britni de la Cretaz (@britnidlc) April 6, 2016
If people are so offended by John Gibbons comments, maybe don’t stick a microphone in his face 30 seconds after a heated game and tough loss
— M Edward Fitz (@markmcfitzy) April 6, 2016
When men question another’s manliness we call them girls. We’ve been doing it since we’ve existed. It’s really not that deep. #Gibbons
— McG….enius? (@GrantParisian) April 6, 2016
RE: #gibbons comments; you can call the way your team played trash without turning it into a sexist remark 💡
— Meg (@meagcity) April 6, 2016
I usually like Gibbons, and still will, but I think sports should be inclusive for spectators, fans, & players. His dresses comment isn’t.
— Tim Fowler (@TimDFowler) April 6, 2016
You tell them, John Gibbons! Maybe they won’t baby the game anymore!
— Hank Greenberg (@hankygreenyberg) April 6, 2016
I don’t think Dottie Henson played her ass off just to have Gibbons make disparaging remarks about baseball in dresses.
— tom (@GetsThruBuckner) April 6, 2016
Maybe Gibbons is just pissed he doesn’t look as good as Dottie Hinson in a skirt.
— Tom Selleck (@TomSelleck16) April 6, 2016
–with files from The Associated Press