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Managing a difficult job well gets Gibby to something of a milestone


It’s not the roundest of numbers and it really doesn’t leap off the page of all-world accomplishments but I think it should be noted that Gibby managed his 700th win with the Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon.

Now, he’s still not at Cito’s level here and I don’t imagine anyone’s ever going to put him in the same conversation as Cornelius McGillicuddy or anything like that but, still, getting to 700 is something of a deal, I think.

I’ve only had a few instances of interaction with Gibby – mostly as a back of the scrum fill-in who knows what he doesn’t know and is quite willing to piggyback on the expertise of the gals and guys who work the beat every day – but I do admit to admiring the man quite a bit.

I love that he doesn’t take himself too seriously ever and that while he’s got a bit of the red ass in him, he’ll crack a joke at his own expense while gently chiding those he disagrees with in his down home style.

Being a major league manager could very well be the hardest “coaching” job in the four North American professional sports.

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Given the grind of the season, it’s got to be mostly about managing failure, not getting too excited or too grumpy too often; you’ve got to work with crazily disparate personalities and a lot of them on a 25-man roster that’s often in flux.

You can’t get too ticked at players in slumps because you need them to come out of them, you can’t fall too much in love with this guy or that guy because they’re going to scuffle at some point.

No professional manager/coach gets second guessed more than baseball managers do, everything from pitching decisions to bunting or stealing are open to debate every single day. Having to answer for strategic decisions can’t be easy and Gibby seems to do with the perfect blend of bemusement, defiance and irascibility.

I don’t think he probably gets the credit he deserves for the wins his teams have accumulated and he probably gets too many sideways glances when things go awry.

But he’s done it for years, his teams have won an awful lot of games and here he is, still going strong for new bosses who could quite easily cut him adrift.

I just like the guy, the way he handles himself and the way he handles a truly difficult job and getting to 700 wins may not put in the pantheon of the all-time greats but it does seem to be a rather significant number.

Now, he and I might disagree on the butt ugly red uniforms but that’s okay; he’s still cool in my books.

Works for me, always does.

Yes, Charles Oakley gave up his coaching duties in that old guy Three On Three league/tournament/travelling road show yesterday after coaching one of the teams the first few weeks.

And, yes, Charles Oakley picked up a flagrant foul for an incident involving Al Harrington.

Never change, Oak. Never change.

How’s this for a Saturday:

A little Premier League action after a very nice start to the morning, it morphed into a bit of golf and then the baseball game at 1 for a few hours.

That led to a bit more golf, the women’s basketball game at 5:30, the TFC game on the TV with the women on the computer and then the wrapup to the Denis Shapovalov week at night.

No, didn’t get a lot accomplished around Casa Doug that day, that’s for sure. But was a helluva day loafing and watching sports. Who says these are the dog days?

Same schedule this week which is another kinda holiday week, we’ll be here today, Wednesday and Friday with a weekend maibag in the plans as it always is. If there’s anything on your mind for either the mail or anything else that suits your fancy, you know how to reach me, it’s askdoug@thestar.ca and be glad to hear from you.

I won’t write about and I don’t really care an awful lot because it will unfold as it unfolds but allegedly the full NBA schedule will be out today or tomorrow – maybe Wednesday, I suppose – and then we can start planning the travel.

And while I don’t know it all and revisions could still be made, not sure the league had my best interests in heart on the cutting down on the back-to-backs when it comes to the opening week and right after Christmas.

The bums.

But things could change, I suppose. I know teams try as hard as they can to convince the league to alter particularly arduous parts of the schedule and maybe Bobby and Masai took my good health into consideration.

I’m sure they did, right?

So we’ve got five-sixths of the international basketball season in the bag and, yeah, been a helluva run for Canada.

The senior women’s win on Sunday over Argentina (some details on it and the program are here in this tiny wrapup piece) was the fifth time a Canadian team had mounted a medal podium in five events.

You had the junior men winning the gold at the world championships, the junior women winning the bronze medal at their global event – both firsts – and the Under-16 boys and girls both finished second to the United States in the FIBA Americas qualifying events and will play in world championships next summer.

That’s a helluva run by anyone’s estimation.

Now it’s the senior men, who start workouts not too long from now and have their warmup AmeriCup tournament starting later this month before they begin the convoluted process of qualifying for the 2019 World Cup with a game in Halifax in November.

And now that lots of people know about the senior women, I’m wondering when I make the pitch to go to the world championships in Spain next summer. Today? Next week?

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