Blue Jays' Gibbons: 'The world needs to lighten up a little bit'
Toronto manager John Gibbons said he didn't expect such a reaction to his post-game comment that given the latest rule changes maybe his team should be "wearing dresses" and that "the world needs to lighten up a little bit."
Gibbons said Wednesday morning that he was trying to "inject a little humor" into the frustrating situation and didn't mean to offend anyone.
"My wife, my mom and my daughter found it kind of funny. They know me," Gibbons said. "I do think the world needs to lighten up a little bit. I move on from that.
"I cannot understand how that would offend anybody, to be honest with you. Like I said, if it doesn't offend my mother, my daughter and my wife, who have a great understanding of life … Honestly, I understand there's an uproar, I don't get that, and I never have, that's not the way I think."
Gibbons has been criticized on social media and other platforms for offending women and being misogynistic.
"I tried to inject a little humor into kind of a tense situation, that's kind of who I am," he said. "No ill intent. But I do think we need to lighten up in the world."
Gibbons was extremely frustrated at how Tuesday's 3-2 loss ended, with the Rays winning on a replay reversal walkoff based on enforcement of MLB's new rule regarding slides into second base.
What looked to be a play that scored two runs to give Toronto a ninth-inning lead instead ended up a loss as the New York-based replay crew found that Jose Bautista both "hindered and impeded" Rays second baseman Logan Forsythe in making what turned out to be an errant throw to first to try to complete a double play by grabbing at his foot, and that Bautista did not execute a "bona fide slide" by going past the base.
Gibbons had plenty to say about how the call was "a flat-out embarrassment" and it was "a shame" to lose a game that way.
Then when asked about the safety aspects of the new rule — which was implemented to prevent violent collisions — he said, "I guess maybe we'll come out wearing dresses tomorrow."
Rays players were still trying to sort out what happened as well. "It was a crazy finish," 1B Steve Pearce said. "We were very fortunate it worked out our way. It was fun to be on the other side of it. It's tough for those guys, especially when you play baseball your whole life and you're taught to break up a double play. But the rules are changing and they have to call it."