The sad saga of Jay Gibbons

So what’s up with our boy Jay Gibbons? 

From Roch:

Jay Gibbons looked good in the cage. He understands that he’s got a lot to prove and isn’t assured of making the club despite having two years and $11.9 million remaining on his contract. “It’s obviously a little different situation for me this year,” he said. “The last few years, you come in knowing you have a spot. Now it’s going out there and trying to win a spot. I’m happy to do it. I know I have a lot to prove. I know last year was a disaster in so many ways. I’m just going to go out there and work hard and see what happens.” Gibbons used the words “embarrassment” and “disappointment” when describing how it felt to receive a 15-day suspension. “You know, it’s just one of those things where you look in the mirror, and I have no excuses,” he said. “I blame myself. It’s definitely something that’s out of character. I took a shortcut and I’m paying the price with the 15 days. It’s something I have to live with the rest of my life and it’s something I think about a lot. I do try to carry myself in a certain way. Like I said, it’s out of character for me. I wish I could take it back but I can’t. I’ve asked my family and friends for forgiveness, and they’ve given it to me. I go on from here.” Gibbons said he’s been throwing for about eight weeks and is full-go once he’s allowed to play.

Here’s where I start and Roch ends

I’ve written Jay Gibbons as a wash. I expect nothing from him, so anything that comes out of him will be a surprise. Every year for the past few, I’ve been a rube in thinking this will be the year that Jay Gibbons will be healthy for a full season, will be productive, and establish himself as a solid everyday player. So I decided to look on his baseball reference page and see where I got hoodwinked.

His first season was 73 games in 2001. He hit 15 homeruns and 38 RBIs. I thought he had potential here.

In 2002, he plays 136 games. That year he hit 28 homers and drove in 69. That’s better and I start thinking next year is going to be the year that he breaks out and becomes a big part of the Orioles.

2003 was the year that suckered me in…here’s where the myth of Jay Gibbons is born. Jay plays 160….160, I repeat 160 games. That’s the most he’s ever played in a season and will probably be the most he ever plays ever in a major league season. This is the year where he hits 23 homers. That’s five fewer than 2002, but you know what, he drove in 100 runs. Five less homers is nothing when you drive in 31 more runs.

Then in 2004, the cycle begins. Jay musters up 97 games, hits a paltry 10 homers and drives in a mere 47 RBI. I write this off as a tough year. He’ll get better and be back strong for 2005.

Ah, sweet 2005. Jay plays in 139 games. He hits 26 homers and drives in 79 runs. Jay’s efforts were rewarded with a 4 year contract 21 million dollar contract extension. This seemed somewhat foolish at the time because no team would give that kind of contract to Jay Gibbons.

With new contract in hand and a home for 4 years, 2006 should be the year that Jay comes out and shows that he’s worth that contract. Well, Jay gets hurt in Anaheim and things go sour. 90 games,13 Homers 46 RBI. Well, there’s always next season.

2007….Jay balks at talk again about moving to first base. He says that he’s an established outfielder and shouldn’t have to move positions. That said, Jay’s, at best, a below average outfielder. That’s kind of how he got hurt in Anaheim. Well, 2007…6 homers and 28 RBI. Move on folks. Nothing to see here. 

Offseason of 2007: Jay’s name comes out in the Mitchell report. Gibbons admits to it and is suspended of the first 15 days of the season. So now the reality is that the few good seasons Jay has had were the result of PEDs.

This brings us to now. Even Jay knows that he has no certain spot of this team. The outfield is crowded. Nick Markakis and Adam Jones have the everyday jobs in CF and RF nailed down. LF appears to Luke Scott’s for the talking. Jay Payton, Tike Redman, and Freddie Bynum are all suited for the backup spots far better than Gibbons. Scott Moore is learning to play outfield as well. Can Captain Warning Track get time at first? Well, he’ll have to wrestle Aubrey Huff and Kevin Millar for playing time. DH? same situation. The veteran jog jam is going to have to end and at least 2 of Payton, Huff, Mora, Millar, and Gibbons are going to have to go. At least 2 hopefully 3.

There’s not much of a spot for a steroid tainted, injury prone, poor defender, weak hitting DH on a rebuilding club. I like that Gibbons is saying the right things. He did man up and say ‘I took PEDs and I was wrong.’ He blames himself and not everyone else. He acknowledges that he’s going to have to play for a spot on this team. As long as he’s an O, I’ll cross my fingers and hope he gets it together and root that he goes. I’m skeptical.

On a sidenote, there’s going to a few things going on with the blog over in what could be the next few weeks or possibly a couple months. I really can’t say right now, things are still working themselves out. I’m kind of finding out things too. But there’ll be some changes soon.

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